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GVSU helps student merge passions of singing and speech-language pathology

  • Lucy Finkel

Posted on July 27, 2018

There are those who know from a very young age what their passion is in life — Lucy Finkel said she has always wanted to be an opera singer.

When it came time for college, the Lansing native auditioned at multiple universities and was accepted into several music programs, including the University of Michigan, DePaul University and Grand Valley.

"I knew Grand Valley was the place for me," said Finkel. "I felt a connection here that I didn't feel anywhere else, plus Grand Valley's music program would provide opportunities the others wouldn't in the areas of practice, performance and mentorship."

Finkel graduated from Grand Valley in 2005 with a bachelor's degree in music and earned a master's degree in music in 2007 from New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. 

She then headed to the Big Apple where she worked as an opera singer for five years. "Living and working in New York was an awesome experience," Finkel said. "I loved the culture and the challenges of auditions, but I wanted to contribute to the world and connect with people."

So, Finkel returned to Michigan to explore other career options and found she could merge her talent and passion by returning to Grand Valley as a speech-language pathology graduate student. 

"I have a love for the human voice and a love to help others find theirs," she said. "Music has meant so much to me and now learning about the therapeutic piece of vocal hygiene and health, I'm excited to work to help others reclaim their voice."

Finkel was a featured speaker at the July 17 dedication for the university's newest health building, Raleigh J. Finkelstein Hall, located on Grand Valley's health campus in downtown Grand Rapids.

Finkel said the collaborative spaces in the new building and the compassionate faculty will help her and others pay it forward by becoming skilled clinicians.

Find out more about her story in this video.