PARISH - Family ties has led to success for Altmar-Parish-Williamstown alumna Riley Corcoran.
Taking inspiration from her mother, a former special education teacher, Corcoran will be pursuing her doctorate of audiology from Northwestern University. Ultimately, she would like to follow in her mother’s footsteps, helping others.
Not wanting to go directly into the “family business,” Corcoran shadowed many different types of professionals in college before landing on speech pathology. During her time at Ithaca College, where she obtained a bachelor’s degree in communication sciences and disorders with a double minor in education and deaf studies, she realized she could combine her love of speech with sign language. That’s when she found audiology, a field designed to help individual’s quality of life.
In addition to crediting her mother with her success, Corcoran also noted that the Altmar-Parish-Williamstown Central School District played a key role in preparing her for her career. She said teachers like Mr. Mason, Mr. Knight, and Mrs. Mercurio made a significant impact in her life.
“They were so dedicated to the success of their students and wanted to provide us with the tools to be successful global citizens and through that came the truth,” said Corcoran. “They all provided such delicate care and support to their students while also engaging in thought-provoking conversations that led to many laughs.”
Corcoran said one of the most important lessons she learned came all the way back in elementary school.
“Know what’s right, choose what’s right, and do what’s right. Don’t just know it, show it,” Corcoran said.
She has embraced that philosophy through her work with the Big Brothers Big Sisters program and as president of Ithaca College’s chapter of the National Student Speech Language and Hearing Association.
With all her real-world experience, Corcoran encouraged APW students to take their time and said that life has a way of figuring itself out.
“Give yourself the space to say, I don’t know what I want to do but I am figuring it out as I go. Life is not a straight line but often a zigzag so embrace those turns and have a little fun while you’re doing it,” Corcoran said.