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Lee accredits her success to a path paved by God

By Larshell Green
On June 13, 2017

Shanna Caprice Lee recently graduated with a master’s degree in communication sciences and disorders. Lee won a fellowship to Howard University in Washington, D.C. She believes her success is due to her strong faith in God and dedication to her career. Courtesy of Indy Photography

Shanna Caprice Lee, a recent university graduate student in communication sciences and disorders, has recently been awarded the Frederick Douglass Fellowship to Howard University in Washington, D.C. The award includes a full tuition waiver and a yearly $20,000 stipend. 

In order to receive the fellowship, Lee was required to submit three letters of recommendation, a five-page scholarly academic or research writing sample, undergo an interview and state how the opportunity would benefit her career.

The purpose of the award is to assist doctoral-level students who will soon join Howard University Graduate School in the fields of arts and humanities and social and behavioral science. 

Lee also obtained her bachelor’s degree at the university in communication sciences and disorders and is thankful for the newly earned fellowship. 

“It is a complete honor to be one of the recipients to win the fellowship,” said Lee. “All the glory belongs to God. I hope to gain research and, or teaching experience that will supplement my future career goals.”

Professor of Communication Sciences and Disorders Dr. Lillian Stiegler praised Lee, naming her in the top two percent of students that she has worked with in her 23 years on staff at the university.

“From her undergraduate days until the present, Caprice’s intellect and work ethic have been prized and respected by our entire faculty,” said Stiegler. “She is always thoughtful and thorough in her work and has the persistence to stick to tasks until they are not simply completed, but beautifully so. I also want to emphasize that no matter what the task is, Caprice shows up.”

Stiegler is confident in Lee’s ability to complete the fellowship successfully. 

“I have no doubt that Caprice will be successful in your program, or that the faculty will enjoy working with her,” said Stiegler. “I feel that we have been lucky to have her with us for her undergraduate and graduate programs.”

Lee admits that her personality is a reflection of her upbringing in the small town of Monroe, Louisiana. She is often referred to as an “old soul,” a trait she believes she developed from her parents Charley and Lucille Lee, grandparents and aunts. 

“I was raised with a collaborative effort of many people,” said Lee. “I was taught to be respectful, to be honest, to love, to be diligent, to share, to be obedient and to treat others as I wanted to be treated.”

Due to being a member of a family with similar career goals, Lee admits that she made a decision about her career in her teens.

“My caring and compassionate nature is what facilitated my interest in the health care field,” said Lee. “I come from a family of several rehabilitation specialists, two of which are speech- language pathologists.”

After being offered an academic scholarship by the university and gaining knowledge of the CSD program, Lee felt that divine intervention influenced her final decision. 

“I feel like the Lord led me to the school that was fit especially for me,” said Lee. 

After officially becoming a Lion, Lee wasted no time getting involved in several campus events and competitions such as the Miss Black and Gold Pageant by Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., the 2016 Miss Southeastern pageant, Sustainability Day and The Big Event.

Lee also worked at the Rec Sports and Wellness Student Activity Center as a control desk worker and equipment issue attendant. As a graduate student, she worked for the Center for Student Excellence and the Sustainability Center.

As another opportunity to advance her knowledge of her career in communication sciences and disorders, Lee got the opportunity to participate in the American Speech- Language Hearing Association’s Minority Student Leadership Program class of 2015. 

Stiegler believes that Lee’s personal and professional attributes will benefit her during the program. 

“She is highly curious about her chosen field and delights in broadening her knowledge base,” said Stiegler.  “She is emotionally mature, flexible and even-tempered. I have honestly never seen her show the signs of stress that are so common among graduate students. She communicates very well orally and in writing. She seems to love discussing interesting topics and clinical situations. She is highly organized and detail-oriented and has impeccable leadership skills. I admire the way she treats others with dignity and respect. She is warm and friendly and collaborates well with absolutely everyone, fellow students, faculty, administrators, clients and their families.”

In her upcoming years, Lee plans to fulfill roles as a wife and mother and establish a scholarship for college, all while continuing on a path in which she can serve God.

“Praying specifically and strategically allows me to allow God to ultimately make my decisions easy,” said Lee. “I let him decide.”

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