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Riney Recipient of Truman State University Award

 By Emily Bontrager 

Carissa Riney, 23, has been named Truman State University’s 2023 Outstanding Graduate Student in Communications Disorders. 

This award has one recipient each year and is awarded to outstanding students who have dedicated themselves to academics. 

Carissa graduated from Clark County R-1 High School in 2018. Her parents are John and Melissa Bevans of Kahoka, Missouri. 

After graduating from high school, Carissa chose to attend Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri. 

“I decided to attend Truman because one, they had the career path that I was wanting to go into, and I also knew they had a master’s program I could go into,” she said. 

“It was close to home and it also had a really good reputation when it came to academics as well.” 

In December of 2021, Carissa graduated from Truman State with a Bachelor of Science degree. She majored in Communication Disorders and had two minors in Disability Studies and Psychology. 

“I started researching careers and I came across speech-language pathology. I was super interested in it and I actually went, and job shadowed Samantha Allen,” Riney explained. 

“Whenever I did that, I thought it was super cool and interesting.” 

Carissa decided to stick with speech-language pathology, and she has loved it ever since she attended her first class. 

In December of 2023, Carissa will graduate with a master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology. 

Carissa has worked hard to obtain this degree and she is excited that she won the 2023 Outstanding Graduate Student in Communications Disorders. 

“The thought never really crossed my mind that I could win an award like this, so I was very excited to hear the news that I did win. I’m just super grateful that I did,” Riney said. 

This summer Riney will be interning at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri and in the fall, she will be at the Kirksville Primary School in Kirksville, Missouri. 

“I love kids and I’ve always liked pediatrics, so that could potentially be an area that I see myself going into. I know that this summer will be pretty telling as to if I want to be in a medical setting and if I want to work with adults,” Riney explained. 

Carissa would like to thank her husband, Zeb, for supporting her. She would also like to thank her parents, brothers, and all of her friends and family who have encouraged her along the way. 

“They have definitely been big rocks in my life for me to be able to lean on them and just talk to them about things,” Riney said. 

The Academic Honor Awards ceremony will recognize Carissa and other outstanding students on May 12 at 5:00 p.m. in the Student Union Building Georgian Rooms on campus.