Past iSHINE Scholars

2018-19 Scholars

Meredith BowlesMeredith Bowles, SLP

Hi! My name is Meredith Bowles and I am a first-year graduate student in Appalachian State’s Speech-Language Pathology master’s program. I completed my bachelor's degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders here at App last spring and I'm looking forward to staying in Boone for the next two years. I am especially excited to do so as an iSHINE Scholar because the program will help me become a more informed and effective SLP with the ability to make a difference in the lives of not only children with language and communication disorders but also those who face co-occurring high-intensity needs. Ultimately, I am very excited about the opportunity to be a part of the iSHINE program because it will prepare me to aid any child who may cross my path as a Speech-Language Pathologist.

Emily CoxEmily Cox, Reading Education

Hello! My name is Emily Cox and I am from Pleasant Garden, NC, which is a tiny town right outside of Greensboro. I received my Bachelors Degree this past May in Special Education with a concentration in Adapted Curriculum. I am currently working on my Masters in Reading Education. I have a huge passion and interest in working with students with high-intensity needs. What I am most looking forward to about iSHINE is learning new strategies when working with students with high-intensity needs, but most importantly, just getting to do what I enjoy most!

Madison Lee

Madison Lee, Reading Education

Hello! My name is Madison Lee and I am from Charlotte, NC near Matthews. I am a first-year graduate student at Appalachian State University in Reading Education. I received my undergraduate degree from Appalachian State in Special Education Adapted Curriculum. During my student teaching, in my final semester, I was placed in a wonderful classroom where I was working with students with severe/profound disabilities and I focused a lot on reading instruction with them individually and in small groups. It was an amazing experience and a great learning opportunity. I am looking forward to continuing similar experiences and growing in my practices with iSHINE, I am also excited for gaining more tools, skills, and knowledge to help me grow in those practices. I am thankful to be a part of the program and the opportunities that it will bring.

Tonya MooreTonya Moore, Reading Education

Hello! My name is Tonya Moore and I am thrilled to be an iSHINE Scholar! I received my undergraduate degree from Appalachian State in Special Education-General Curriculum and immediately fell in love with the required reading courses. The reading clinic practicum and my experience as an Undergraduate Research Assistant for Dr. David Koppenhaver piqued my interest in teaching students who struggle with reading. After the study, I knew I wanted to pursue a Masters in Reading Education, but I first wanted to gain a few years of experience in the classroom. I have spent the past four years teaching students with a diverse range of abilities and needs in Ashe and Watauga counties. I love teaching and my teaching experiences have piqued a special interest in teaching students with Emotional Behavior Disabilities who struggle in the area of reading and writing. I love seeing my students excited about learning and this has inspired me to return to Appalachian to gain my Masters in Reading Education. The iSHINE project will allow me to gain new tools and resources to better engage my students in improving their literacy skills, better advocate for my students, and better support families and fellow teachers during our collaborations. I am so thankful to be a part of this incredible program!

Caitlin PhillipsCaitlin Phillips, SLP

Hello! My name is Caitlin Phillips and I am a first-year graduate student in the Speech-Language Pathology program at Appalachian State University. I became interested in supporting children with high-intensity needs when my younger cousin was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder at an early age. Since then, speech therapists have greatly improved the quality of life for that sweet boy I hold so close to my heart and given us the gift of bonding with him on a level that may have never been possible without them. I have experienced firsthand the emotional connection that the ability to communication creates for the family of a child with high-intensity needs. My goal is to one day facilitate that connection for other children and their families. The iSHINE program is the perfect place for me to gain knowledge and experience with individuals that need extra support when communicating and connecting with others. I’m excited and look forward to all the opportunities iSHINE has to offer!

Elizabeth TiddyElizabeth Tiddy, SLP

My name is Elizabeth Tiddy and I am so excited to be apart of the iSHINE program this upcoming year! I graduated in May from Appalachian with my Bachelors in Communication Sciences and Disorders and jumped at the opportunity to continue my education at my favorite place. Throughout undergrad, I worked with children and adolescents with special needs and diverse abilities and knew that was the demographic I wanted to work within my future. I am passionate about changing the perception and stigma surrounding those with diverse abilities and am hoping that the iSHINE program can equip me with the resources to do this as a Speech-Language Pathologist.

Olivia VarnerOlivia Varner, SLP.

Hi everyone! My name is Olivia Varner and I am a first-year graduate student at Appalachian for Speech-Language Pathology. Originally from Lexington, North Carolina, I am excited to be able to spend an additional two years in my favorite place on earth, Boone, NC! I became interested in working with individuals with autism and intellectual disabilities after becoming a part of the Theatre & Therapy project at Appalachian three years ago. This incredible program brought together two seemingly different fields of study and used theatre to create a context for improving communication and confidence. After being immersed in Theatre & Therapy, I fell in love with this population and would like to devote my time as a speech-language pathologist advocating for individuals with intellectual disabilities and autism. I am looking forward to iSHINE and the unique opportunity I will be given to, not only attain knowledge and skills working with individuals with a wide range of disabilities, but also to collaborate with individuals from complementary disciplines. I am so thankful for this opportunity and cannot wait to see what this incredible program will have in store.