“When I first got to FSU freshman year, I got involved right away,” said current Florida State University senior, Korrin Sheahan. Sheahan made the most of her time at FSU by not letting a second of her college experience pass her by. Graduating in Spring 2022 with a Bachelor’s in Communication Science and Disorders, she’s involved with Best Buddies, The National Student Speech and Language Hearing Association (NSSLHA), The Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP), Kappa Kappa Gamma and more! The FSU all-star goes more in-depth regarding her involvement and the changes she has trailblazed.
Sheahan said, “I applied and got involved on campus because I thrive off that; I really like to give back to the community. Doing that especially within Best Buddies has been the most rewarding experience I’ve ever had.” Best Buddies is a nonprofit organization that helps people with intellectual and developmental disabilities get opportunities for friendship, leadership, and jobs. Sheahan worked from being a Coordinator her freshman year, to Secretary her sophomore year, Membership Director her junior year, and now reigning as President for her final year. She said, “I want to work with children with disabilities in the future. So being able to be surrounded by people and understand where they come from, I think that’s huge.”
In her current position, she oversees the goals of the chapter as far as teamwork and their Friendship Walk, an annual event that advocates inclusion for people of all abilities. Sheahan excitedly noted, “I get to work with our Jacksonville office and make sure that what is going on over there, we’re implementing here. We just expanded into Deerlake Middle School, so we’re very excited this April to have a Tallahassee walk rather than just an FSU walk!” Sheahan is excited to announce that this year’s Friendship Walk will be held “at Doak Campbell Stadium! It’s going to be the biggest Friendship Walk we’ve had yet, and we’re hoping to have a lot of community members come in! So very, very, excited about that!”
Along with all her work towards Best Buddies, Sheahan is also involved with Greek life on campus as a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma. She divulged, “Originally I absolutely had no idea what a sorority was. I said in high school, ‘I’m not joining a sorority’ because of how a lot of people take it as a stereotype.” After arriving in Tallahassee for her freshman Summer C session, she learned a lot more about the women within the chapters and what the organizations themselves stood for. She “learned that [the Panhellenic Association within Sorority Life at FSU] was more than its stereotype. There were all different types of chapters, and different types of philanthropy events… [philanthropy] stuck out to me the most as, ‘Oh my gosh, I want to get involved.’”
In 2019, Sheahan became Secretary for her sorority and in 2021 served as Vice President of Operations. From taking minutes, executing leadership retreats, coordinating leadership development, and just overall making sure everyone is on the right track, Sheahan worked hard to make her time in her sorority count. She said, “My favorite parts about being Vice President of Operations [were] the relationships I built with the members and the executive board, as well as helping [our sorority] progress in [becoming] a more inclusive chapter. I feel like I’m seen more as a mentor, and I like to take on that role.”
As well as these positions, Sheahan is also Research Chair for NSSLHA, a current UROP leader for her second year, and has taught a Freshman Interest Group (FIG) where upperclassmen educate freshmen on resources and opportunities FSU has to offer. She shared, “Research has definitely been a highlight of my experience at FSU. The research I’m involved in now is through the Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) connect lab. If someone’s nonverbal, [we can use] devices and technology” to further understand them. She also shared that her research on communication techniques has assisted her in other aspects of her life, like how to be a better understanding UROP Leader when teaching.
Along with all her responsibilities, there is also a lot of adjusting and “trying to time manage [her] schedule. That’s just been the most important factor of being able to do everything I want to do. Everything I am involved with that I put my time [into] is for a reason.” Besides everything on her plate at university, Sheahan also works part-time 20 to 30 hours a week. Instead of letting it affect her, she embraces the opportunities. “I feel like I gained something different from each organization or job that I’ve had. I’ve learned how to grow through team building, bonding and working with different people.”
Once Sheahan graduates, she plans on working towards her Master’s in Speech Pathology. “Then I’m planning to be a Speech Pathologist and practice clinically for a good amount of time until I want to go back to school to get a Ph.D., and then I’ll do research and teach!” she proposed.
When looking back at all her experiences throughout the years, Sheahan is proud of her achievements and what she’s been able to help accomplish. She would advise her younger self to “take the time to just step back and enjoy being in the moment. I felt like I was ‘go, go, go, go, go’ and like I had to get from point A to point B within the semester. Over time I realized, especially with COVID, to just enjoy the little things and take advantage of all the opportunities that FSU has to offer. I feel like I have that mindset now.”