CLOSE

When Hannah Anderson would go to class at Missouri State University, she always saved two seats. One for her and the other for her mom.

The mother-daughter duo graduated in the spring with their undergraduate degrees in communication sciences and disorders. Due to COVID-19, the graduation was postponed, and they will both walk in the October ceremony.

After years of teaching preschool and raising her children, Julie Anderson decided she wanted to go back to college.

Others are reading: MSU will not renew lease of Q Hotel for COVID-19 quarantine

“I just knew I wanted to do something different, and I had always wanted to complete my degree,” Julie said during a video interview with the News-Leader on Monday.

Julie completed her associate’s degree through Ozarks Technical Community College before she started at MSU. Hearing from friends how much they loved speech-language pathology helped Julie decide on that as her major. Speech-language pathologists have an expertise in communication. They can help people of all ages who have communication or swallowing disorders.

“It was an immediate fit for me,” Julie said. “I started taking phonetics classes in the beginning, and I was just ready to learn more.”

Hannah was considering changing from another area college to MSU with a health science degree. Hannah said her mom’s decision to major in speech-language pathology made her change her major as well.

“This is health-based, but in a different way,” Hannah said. “Most people probably think our field is only speech. They don’t realize how in-depth that it really is. They think we’re helping kids with their ‘r’ sounds. Yes, you’re doing that, but you’re also helping them if they have language delays (and) helping adults if they have aphasia.”

More: MSU’s multi-year fundraising campaign stands at $206M, just shy of $250M goal

Going back to school was a bit nerve-racking at first for Julie.

“I graduated in 1992, so, I mean, it’s been a long time since I’ve been out of school,” Julie said.

Memorizing and studying was a lot easier when she was younger, Julie said.

“I was so thankful to have my study buddy,” Julie said about her daughter. “When there’d be a new lesson, I’d come home and pretty much start studying that day.”

“All the students were awesome,” Julie continued. “They embraced me too. I felt like a college student.”

Hannah said she was thankful for the routine of going to school with her mom.

“She’d drop me off at the door, and I’d run in to get our seats right next to each other,” Hannah said.

The women are excited to finally walk in their graduation ceremony Sunday. 

“It’s the end of a chapter,” Julie said. “I definitely found what I always was supposed to do.”

Since graduating, Hannah is continuing her education to obtain a master’s degree at MSU, and Julie is a speech-language pathology assistant for Shook Elementary in Marshfield for grades 4-5.

Read or Share this story: https://www.news-leader.com/story/news/local/ozarks/2020/10/17/octobers-msu-graduation-include-mother-daughter-duo/5973954002/