May Smith-Hublou, MA, CCC-SLP

Hometown: Gainesville, FL

Year I became a Gator: 2004

Department: Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences

Mentor: Karen Hegland, PhD, CCC-SLP

Research focus: My research focuses on the relationship between breathing and swallowing in neurologic diseases. I am particularly interested in how these functions, as well as their interaction, are impacted by deep brain stimulation in Parkinson disease.

What drives me: My drive comes from the clinical experience of working with people with swallowing difficulties and seeing how important safe and efficient swallowing can be to a person’s quality of life.

What I like most about the BREATHE Training Program: I love the diversity of backgrounds and ideas of researchers I have interacted with at BREATHE events. The atmosphere is very collaborative, and these events always help me broaden my perspective.

What I like about Gainesville: I love the proximity of parks, lakes, and rivers for outdoor activities. Also, for a city of its size, Gainesville has great food, museums, and events.

Why I chose BREATHE at the University of Florida: The BREATHE program offers great opportunities to connect with other researchers, to engage with research in different fields, and to explore new scientific ideas in a collaborative and supportive environment.

What makes the BREATHE Training Program unique? BREATHE offers unbeatable opportunities to hear from and network with researchers. Attending BREATHE events in the past, I have always left inspired and excited about pursuing collaborative research.

What I do for fun: I enjoy exercise and outdoor activities, particularly paddle-boarding and hiking. I try to always have a book I’m reading for fun, and I enjoy going to the movies.