Speech-language pathology alumna Brandie (Allred) Brunni ’97, ’99, MA has a passion for special education. In January, she stepped into the role of assistant superintendent of special education for the San Joaquin County Office of Education (SJCOE).
Brunni has served SJCOE for 20 years. She started as a speech-language pathologist and in 2003 she transitioned to the role of program administrator. In 2008, she became division director for SJCOE special education programs.
She has applied the skills she gained as a speech-language pathologist to each career transition. “Speech-language pathology is both a science and an art,” Brunni said. “The science part is looking at data and being able to make decisions based on the data.” She explained the art component is working with people. In her role as an administrator she relies on “having those connections with individuals.” She emphasized the importance of active listening and being present.
Her advice to alumni who are interested in professional development is to be intentional and open to new experiences. “Stay in contact with the University, it continues to be a wealth of knowledge and support even after you graduate.” She stays connected to Pacific by interacting with fellow alumni through SJCOE. In addition, the Department of Speech-Language Pathology collaborates with SJCOE for an annual Language, Speech and Hearing symposium.
“Speech-language pathology is both a science and an art. The science part is looking at data and being able to make decisions based on the data.”
She has many fond memories of her time as an undergraduate and graduate student. “I met my dearest friend at Pacific,” said Brunni. She has stayed in close contact with Erin Clearly ’98, ’99, MA, a speech-language pathologist in Redding. Brunni was one of the charter members of the Alpha Psi sorority. Morris Chapel holds special significance. Her husband, Mark, proposed to her in front of Morris Chapel, where they were later married.
Brunni and her husband have been married for over 20 years. “We live on a vineyard in Lodi,” Brunni said. “I still live on the same property I grew up on.” They have three children: Brandon, age 12, and twins, Brianna and Bryce, age 8. “They keep us very busy, but they are the joy of our life.” Her ideal weekend would be spent with her family at their ranch, floating down the river in an innertube, “enjoying the sunshine and majestic trees.”
Her mother, Carolyn (Abrahamsen) Allred ’69 COP, earned her bachelor of arts in art from Pacific. Brunni would like her children to carry on the Pacific legacy. “My hope is that one of my children will attend Pacific.”
By Anne Marie H. Bergthold