My Why: Returning to the IHP

Carla (Tierney) Hendricks first graduated from the Institute in 2010 with her degree in communication sciences and disorders. Then, in 2019, she decided to return to the IHP to pursue her PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences. Carla was asked to share her why in just five questions. Read on to learn more.

What was the catalyst for your pursuing an additional degree?

I became interested in research during my time in the CSD master’s program at the IHP. I had amazing mentors who supported me in completing a master’s thesis project. I brought these skills and passion for research into my clinical role as an SLP. As a practicing clinician, I continued to engage in research activities within the hospital setting; however, I felt that I needed more formalized training to be able to lead clinical research projects. 
What has been the most positive aspect of returning to the IHP?

I have been connected to the IHP for the past 13 years through various roles and collaborations, making the Institute a familiar home. There is a supportive and positive culture at the IHP. I value the Institute's focus on interdisciplinary collaboration and care.  

What do you think that you bring with you from your first degree into this one?

Getting involved in research during my clinical training at the Institute fostered my curiosity and growth as a critical thinker. These skills have been important in my training as a researcher.  

What is it that you are hoping to achieve/do with this degree?

My long term career goal is to serve as a teacher-researcher within a hospital affiliated university. Given my roots as a clinician, it is important to me that my research supports clinical practice. My research interests are in the areas of implementation science, health service delivery, patient centered care and clinical decision-making in aphasia care and rehabilitation, generally.  
What advice to do you have for other alums to are thinking of coming back?

I believe any time you are faced with a decision about a growth opportunity you need to evaluate your long terms goals and the skills you need to reach those goals. For me, the research training in the PhD program is what I needed to progress my career.

If you think that you might be interested in obtaining your PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences but have a few questions, then alumni [at] (reach out to the Alumni Office) and we'll connect you with Carla. Or, if this vignette has inspired you to "go for it", we encourage you to reach out to the PhD department directly.