75th Anniversary: Finding Mentors, Peers and Colleagues

By Alyssa Kirkman posted 03-09-2018 12:01 PM


As we celebrate ACPA’s 75th Anniversary in 2018, we will be sharing stories from ACPA members about their ACPA experiences.  We are proud of the work our members have accomplished in support of our mission: to optimize outcomes for individuals with oral cleft and craniofacial conditions through education, support, research, advocacy, and interdisciplinary team care. Please join us in celebrating our anniversary by learning more about our members and the patients and families they serve.


Today’s story is from Kelly Nett Cordero, PhD, CCC-SLP.

"The first ACPA meeting I attended was in Seattle in 2002.  I had recently been assigned to work at a cleft palate clinic in Miami, FL and became passionate about working with this population almost immediately.  However, I knew there was so much more I needed to learn and was excited to learn about ACPA and the comprehensive Annual Meeting it holds each year. 

I was nervous attending the first meeting myself without knowing anyone, but there were many welcoming faces and lots of discussion about ‘needing to train the next generation’ (of which I felt a part).  I attended every talk I could that first year and felt like I had completed a course in this area by the end of the week.  I went back to work more excited than ever. 

Shortly after that meeting I decided to pursue a PhD in this field, and at my next meeting I talked with Karlind Moller and others about the programs available – and shortly after joined his program at University of MN.  I found so much professional support and peers looking to enter programs at the same time as well. 

ACPA helped me find my mentors and peers who are now my colleagues. I admire the passionate group of educated professionals involved in ACPA who are sincerely dedicated to this care.  I look forward to this meeting each year."

If you have a story to share, please email alyssa.kirkman@acpa-cpf.org.  Here’s to 75 more years of team care.