Noah Conte '23 is a Communication Sciences and Disorders graduate student from Kittery, Maine. He earned a B.S. in social studies from Plymouth State University and M.Ed. in elementary education from UNH.
How would you explain your discipline and/or research to those unfamiliar with the subject?
As a future speech-language pathologist, I am learning how to help people of all ages improve their communication by addressing their speech or language needs, as well as related disorders such as swallowing or hearing loss.
What do you wish your colleagues/friends/family knew about your work?
I try to remind myself, as well as my friends and family, that the physiological and neurological processes involved in communication are complex and that these abilities should not be taken for granted.
Have you learned/discovered anything during your experience at UNH that’s surprised you?
My previous career was in education and I worried that not having a background in communication sciences and disorders would put me at a disadvantage. I am surprised by how applicable my skills as an educator have been during this new endeavor.
What do you consider your biggest challenge?
I have a one-year-old son and my wife works full-time as a business owner. Balancing time spent in the library studying with quality family time and domestic responsibilities has been a big challenge. However, I think I’ve found a good balance between these responsibilities, and if putting a little less time into an assignment means I can spend more time with my family, I’ve learned to be okay with that.
What motivates you?
I had a lot of great teachers and coaches growing up who offered more kindness and guidance than their professions required. I’m motivated to help others in the same caring and heartfelt way.
What are you most proud of?
I am able to see the best in the students and clients I’ve worked with. I think this has helped me build strong rapports and also communicates that I genuinely care about their growth. Last semester, I was able to help a client make excellent progress and they felt very proud; in turn, I felt proud of being able to facilitate this growth.
Why did you choose UNH?
I really appreciate the emphasis various programs at UNH put on internship and externship learning experiences. The skills I’ve already acquired during my first semester of clinical practice feel invaluable and I'm excited for my externship.
What do you plan to do with your degree?
I’d love to continue my career working with children. While speech-language pathologists can work in a variety of settings, I’d love to be part of school community again.