Jestine Abella

Jestine  Abella

Graduate Student
University of Toronto - Department of Speech Language Pathology


Jestine received an HBSc from the University of Toronto Scarborough where she double majored in Linguistics and Psychology. She discovered her interest in Linguistics when she took a class as an elective in Linguistics. "I had come into UTSC wanting to major in English and French. After a few courses, I discovered I didn’t have the same passion for dissecting literature and media as my classmates did and wanted something more structured/objective. I ended up enjoying the scientific aspect of Linguistics – creating hypotheses, collecting data, and ultimately getting a “peek” into how the brain works in processing and producing language. After speaking to professors, I looked into speech-language pathology and discovered how rewarding it was, and how it combined my interests and skill sets into a fulfilling career. I decided to volunteer with some SLPs in the GTA and it sort of progressed from there. "

"The professors in the Centre of French and Linguistics had a big role in who I am today, because they were so supportive in a lot of ways. They provided me with encouragement and suggestions on how to succeed in my graduate school applications, and I’m extremely grateful for their advice. For example, they were happy to share their research with me, and encouraged me to think critically about the literature. They invited me to be a Research Assistant to get an understanding of the material beyond the classroom."

Jestine considers her entire graduate school experience so far as her greatest accomplishment. "I worked really hard in my undergraduate so getting that acceptance letter felt like all my hard work finally paid off! Since then, I’m really proud of my growth as a student clinician, obtaining a full scholarship in my final year, and completing a clinical practicum in the Philippines to work with families and children with developmental language disorders."