Casey O’Keefe, CCC-SLP, Grad ’87
Casey O’Keefe has always thought knowledge must be used to serve others. That inspired her to follow her instincts into speech pathology.
Casey received her master’s degree in speech language pathology at Marquette, where, she says, “I was taught by great leaders who knew how to foster leadership skills in others.”
She is an assistant professor in the College of Education and Leadership and a faculty member of the School of Urban Initiatives at Cardinal Stritch University, where she specializes in language and early literacy development.
“I was raised by parents who read a great deal and respected words,” says Casey, who lauds former Marquette professor Rev. Ken Gavin, S.J., for modeling the importance of service for people with differences or disabilities. Father Gavin is now the national director of the Jesuit Refugee Service.
By nature, Casey says, she sought a career that focused on public service. She is working toward a doctoral degree in Leadership, Learning and Service at Cardinal Stritch and loves learning about the complex problems, challenges and successes encountered in urban schools.
Casey won the 2008 DiCarlo Award from the Wisconsin Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology Professional Association and a 2007-08 Herzfeld Foundation grant to support early childhood professional development. She also was a nominee for Cardinal Stritch’s Teaching Excellence and Campus Leadership Award.
“Service is a way of life,” she says. “It starts with your family, and if you are fortunate, you are surrounded by people who understand it.”