When Anne Marie Ruckdeschel, MA, CCC-SLP, joined the Speech-Language Pathology program (SLP) faculty at Salus in 2016, the program was still in its infancy.
 
Anne Marie RuckdeschelShe had met Robert Serianni, MS, CCC-SLP, FNAP, now the program director, at a previous position and had worked with him a few times at Chestnut Hill Hospital. When an SLP position opened at Salus, she contacted him and expressed her interest.

Getting the job enabled Ruckdeschel to have a front row seat and an integral hand in the growth of the department over the past several years. One of the aspects of her job that reinforces Ruckdeschel’s decision to come to Salus is that she gets to coach and mentor the SLP students.
 
“I’ve always loved mentoring and coaching, and I always knew that I wanted to get into higher-ed in terms of my career. This was the opportunity that fit at the time,” she said.
 
And, it’s continued to remain a good fit, particularly in the coaching and mentoring aspect of the job. Ruckdeschel said it’s both rewarding and fun when she sees that lightbulb go off in a student, which means she has helped that student in some way.
 
“When you see that, you can see that the student feels more equipped in that m
Anne Marie Ruckdeschel 2 sonsoment,” said Ruckdeschel. “Now that they understand it, they’ll be able to approach a client more readily. It’s just fun and exciting. You feel like this student has this piece now and they’re ready to go and do better things beyond that.”

Ruckdeschel earned her bachelor’s degree in English and Communications from Chestnut Hill College and her master’s degree in Speech-Language-Hearing Science from Temple University. In addition to connecting with the students and passing on her knowledge in the classroom and the clinic, she said one of attractive aspects of working at Salus is the “family atmosphere.”
 
“I really do think of our clinic and our program as pretty close-knit. In terms of being professional, we all work together and are quite helpful if somebody needs anything,” she said. “It’s just such a supportive crowd of people here. I think that speaks to the larger culture of the University. You don’t often have the niche cultures within a larger culture that doesn’t support that. I’m grateful because Salus does support that mentality and working together in a way that is supportive of our clients and our students.”
 
In her spare time, Ruckdeschel and her wife Abby stay busy raising two sons, Hank, 7, and Murphy, 5. She also participates in Toughmudders, 10-to 14-mile races that present obstacles along the way. A former soccer player, Ruckdeschel also stays physically active by chopping the family’s wood for its wood-burning stove, which she started doing 
Anne Marie Ruckdeschel chopping woodduring the pandemic.

As for her future, Ruckdeschel is happy right where’s she at now.

“I love it here and I’ve so much enjoyed being a part of the program from an early stage,” she said. “These are very vulnerable spots to be in, whether you’re a graduate student or a person who has gone through something that requires them to be in speech therapy. For me, it’s being able to meet that vulnerability and try to help that person work through that challenge. It’s rewarding and fulfilling and I’m grateful that I get to do it.”