Dr. Trelani earned an HonBA in Psycholinguistics from the University of Toronto Scarborough. Following that, she received her Master of Science and Doctorate in Speech Language Pathology Research from the University of Toronto.
Being an Early Literacy Specialist in Ontario, Dr.Trealni wanted to identify the most cost-effective methods that would make the greatest impact on promoting early language and literacy for young children, particularly for those children who are considered statistically at-risk for poor academic outcomes. "I soon realized that there was considerable research that I, as a practitioner, was unaware of and I had a number of ideas on how to build on existing early literacy research based on my professional experience."
Having the courage to return to university after a number of years is what Dr. Trelani considers as her biggest accomplishment. "I was a mature student when I returned to UTSC to complete my undergraduate degree after a number of years of being away. I was nervous that I would not be able to learn at an advanced academic level but I was also concerned about ageism. I did not find either. In fact, I found that a number of the faculty in Linguistics (now the Centre for French and Linguistics) encouraged my academic interests and gave me the support I needed to consider graduate school. Specifically, Dr. Rena Helms-Park supervised an Independent Study that I completed for undergraduate credits, the first research project that I designed and administered. This opportunity enabled me to see myself as a researcher. Dr. Helms-Park also continued to support me in graduate school by participating as a member of my Supervisory Committee for both my master’s and doctoral degrees."
Dr.Trelani advises students to reach out to faculty in their department early in the undergraduate years. "Ask about opportunities to volunteer in their lab or with their research projects. Learn about research in your field. These learning experiences are incredibly valuable for a multitude of reasons particularly with your choices of graduate programs. "