The University of Akron

College of Health Professions Report

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Page 10 of 11

CESS STORIES Speech Language Pathology Jasmine Simmons, Deaflympian, University of Akron Student "I had a wonderful experience competing in the Deaflympics this summer in Sofia, Bulgaria. Being in Europe for Deaflympics was so surreal. I had wanted to participate in this event for as long as I could remember, and it was finally happening! It was so cool meeting so many deaf people from different countries and seeing them signing and talking in their own languages. Although quite a few people, like myself, communicated orally with their cochlear implants, there were strict rules that no athlete could complete aided with hearing aids or implants. Deaflympics required athletes to compete deaf, so violators would be disqualified. "So finally, after years of training, I was scheduled to compete in my first event. I placed a disappointing ninth in the shot put. But I was determined not to let it get me down because my favorite (and strongest) event was yet to come – the discus. Long story short, I competed in the preliminaries and made it to the finals! My first throw in the finals was lower than my previous ones. My second throw was a foul. I was down to my final throw. I didn't want to have to wait four more years to prove to myself that I could compete at this level. My final throw landed a full nine feet better than my personal highest throw – and I broke an 11-year record for deaf women in discus! I was so happy. It was not enough to medal, but it was enough for fifth place. "I had an amazing experience, and it capped off a great freshman year at The University of Akron." JASMINE SIMMONS (center) Nutrition and Dietetics Maggie Simenc, a FEN graduate and current Smucker's employee, was able to find her passion through the School of Nutrition and Dietetics and its unique FEN program. The program prepares students for the fast-paced food industry and the need to interact within cross-functional teams. Program graduates gain a strong food science and nutrition-based background along with strong business and management skills. This skill set allowed Simenc to explore her entrepreneurial side and create her homebased business, Sweet Little Things. The business specializes in creating custom designed cupcakes for her customers. She began by experimenting with baking in her parent's kitchen and consulting with the FEN faculty on a creating a business plan. "My Akron experience has been multidimensional," Simenc notes. "It's not just going to a classroom and learning from a lecture. It is very hands-on. Looking back, I have truly been on a journey of self-discovery." MARIBETH HUTCHENS-SAXER 11

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