Never a Dull Moment: Julia Gonzalez Thrives on Activity
To say that Julia Gonzalez has been busy the past four years would be an understatement. A student-researcher, member of multiple honor societies, and volunteer for various causes, the senior Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology major has relished every moment at St. John’s University. As she prepares for life after college, she is confident that her experiences as a Johnny have prepared her for any opportunity that comes her way.
“St. John’s has allowed me to become the best version of myself, personally and professionally,” she said. “From my admission as a first-year student to now, I have strived to embody the essence of the University mission with every activity I am involved in.”
As a native of Floral Park, NY, a small town on Long Island, Julia explained that when she began her studies at St. John’s she was nervous about moving to the city and living independently. “Looking back, it was a completely unnecessary worry,” she said. “Through the roommate selection process, I was matched with my four-year roommate—who is now my best friend. We are both enrolled in the same program, and we continually support each other inside and outside of the academic setting.”
Upon her arrival at the Queens, NY, campus, Julia wasted no time in getting involved, joining the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association (NSSLHA) as a freshman. Just one year later, she collaborated with the NSSLHA Executive Board, organizing and presenting a résumé workshop, a personal statement workshop, and a research-affiliated club event. Soon after, Julia was chosen as a research assistant for the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders.
“Julia has been conducting research in my laboratory since her sophomore year,” said Yan Yu, Ph.D., ’05G, Associate Professor, Communication Sciences and Disorders, St. John’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (SJC). “She has not only enhanced her skills in conducting research, she has also made contributions to the field of neuroscience by helping me advance my research agenda and by presenting at prestigious national and international conferences.”
Under Dr. Yu’s guidance, Julia presented at the 2019 American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) Convention in Orlando, FL, where she earned Meritorious Poster Submission Recognition, an award she received the following year as well.
An exemplary student, Julia is a member of several honor societies, including the President’s Society, the University’s highest honor society; Sigma Alpha Eta, the honor society for Allied Health Professionals; and Sigma Delta Pi National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society.
She has also participated in the University’s Career Peers program; the Leadership Development Program; the Student Ambassador Program; and the Academic Service-Learning Conversation Partners Program, which was among her most rewarding volunteer experiences at St. John’s.
“I was paired with a nonnative English-speaking student, and throughout the semester I worked with her on developing her verbal and written communication skills,” she explained. “Together, we also composed an admissions letter that gained her acceptance into New York University. It was incredibly rewarding.”
Julia’s volunteer work was not limited to campus organizations, as she was a regular participant in the Midnight Run, which distributes food and clothing to homeless men and women in New York City.
Not surprisingly, it can be a challenge for Julia to balance her schedule. However, she has gradually learned to manage her time.
“I have to remind myself to take a breath sometimes,” she said. “While I love the hustle and bustle associated with being a St. John’s student, it is also important for me to occasionally wind down and relax. Fortunately, my schedule is filled with more fun to-dos, rather than a list of tedious tasks. I have great friends who give me great memories, too.”
Next on Julia’s busy schedule is selecting a graduate school, where she will continue her studies in the field. “I aspire to become a speech-language pathologist with an additional certification in special education services,” she said. “I can see myself serving children in both the educational and hospital settings, and being wholeheartedly committed to patient care.”