The student news site of the University of Northern Iowa

Northern Iowan

The student news site of the University of Northern Iowa

Northern Iowan

The student news site of the University of Northern Iowa

Northern Iowan

Speech pathology students remember classmate

Donations for the memorial tree can be directed toward the above Venmo account.

Amelia Folkedahl, a second-year graduate student in UNI’s speech pathology program who passed away on Nov. 9, 2023, is being remembered by her peers through the creation of a memorial tree.

Amelia grew up in Decorah, Iowa, and after graduating with her bachelor’s in communication sciences and disorders from UNI a semester early, she returned home before starting her master’s. During her undergraduate, she was active in her sorority, Alpha Phi, serving as the vice president of marketing and a recruitment guide. While in her master’s program, she was a youth swimming and speech instructor. She also studied abroad in the summer of 2023 in Turks and Caicos, where she worked with children who had speech and language issues.

Her friends and family remember her as a bright and optimistic person. Amelia’s  first-year mentee in the speech pathology program, Samantha Ehler, reminisced about her.

“She always had a smile, even though she was so busy and stressed, she always had time for you. She was never bothered by anything that we would need. She cared to ask how we were doing, how our day was, she made you feel really known and valued,” Ehler said.

Caia Munson, who attended the same church as Amelia and was assigned to observe her during her undergraduate, echoed similar thoughts.

“She was always optimistic despite the amount of stuff she had on her plate. She wasn’t a big complainer. She joked about a lot of things. She had incredible style. She was always wearing fun clothes and bright colors and patterns,” Munson said.

The idea of the memorial tree established itself soon after her passing when the graduate students in her cohort created a Google Doc with ideas for a way to honor Amelia.

“People were just brainstorming any idea that we can think of to honor her and remember her, and it was my idea that was chosen as the one we’re going to see all the way through,” Ehler said.

To raise money for the tree, a public Venmo link was sent out. Additionally, the UNI chapter of the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association has contributed to funds for the tree. The location of the tree hasn’t officially been chosen yet, but Amelia’s peers hope it will be outside of the Communication Arts Center.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All Northern Iowan Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *