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#UofTGrad16: Alissa Varlamova

Alissa Varlamova juggled raising triplets with getting her degree in Linguistics and Mental Health. (Photo by Ken Jones)

As Convocation day approaches, we’re filled with pride at the incredible accomplishments of our students. No matter what program they’re in, no matter what their major, our students have made contributions to the campus, to the community and to the world at large. Over the next couple of weeks, we’ll highlight students who have made a huge impact already, and are poised to do even more now that they’re graduating. From an Olympic weight lifter to a social activist featured on the CBC, we’re certain that you’ll be reading a lot more about them in the future! Follow the all the U of T Convocation excitement at #UofTGrad16.


Alissa Varlamova 

Alissa Varlamova has a thing for multiples. She completed her double major in Linguistics and Mental Health while raising her children, who happen to be a set of triplets.

She plans on becoming a speech-language pathologist (SLP), in order to turn her passion for pediatric research and speech language therapy into a full-time career. Ultimately, she wants to lecture the next generation of SLPs.

“I think the world of research is amazingly innovative and leading the world of therapy with its findings. I am so proud to be on the path of becoming a ‘speechie’ and being able to contribute to the SLP community with the research I’m conducting under the mentorship of my supervisors.”

Why did you choose your program?

Originally my plan was to complete the combined program in paramedicine, and U of T was the only university that offered this program as a combination of a diploma and degree. As a child, I used to receive help from a speech-language pathologist but have forgotten as it was a very long time ago. I met one two years into my studies here and it reminded me of how much I enjoyed my speech therapy sessions and it ignited my interest in becoming one myself. I transferred into the linguistics program and never looked back.

Where do you feel most at home on campus?

In class, during an interesting lecture. I love learning something new that really holds my interest.

Quick tip for new first years?

Do not be afraid to talk to your professors. Although they might look intimidating and busy they have a lot of knowledge to offer as well as guidance. Some of those professors might go on to be your mentors and friends like they did for me; that will make all the difference in your academic careers. Don’t be afraid to politely badger them about working with them and being involved in their work, more often than not they love seeing students who are eager to help and are passionate about their field.

What was your most rewarding accomplishment during your time here?

My most rewarding accomplishment while studying is being able to raise a family and complete my academic degree at the same time. It’s not easy juggling school, and family as well as working towards admission to graduate school. However I was so lucky to have the support of my family and friends who helped me every step of the way to accomplish these goals. Raising a child isn’t easy and raising triplets is even harder! However it’s such a joy to be able to raise them and I’m thankful to have my friends and my family. Without them I wouldn’t have been able to take advantage of all the opportunities I’ve been lucky enough to receive.


Read about more graduates to watch.

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