14 Oct UND features freshman and Grand Forks resident Olivia Taylor as Leader in Action
Red River High School grad and UND freshman Olivia Taylor exemplifies UND’s Leaders in Action identity by turning hearing disability into drive to help others
College freshman Olivia Taylor, who graduated from Red River High School in Grand Forks, is the University of North Dakota’s latest Leader in Action.
Taylor’s hearing disability — which inspired her to pursue audiology — and her drive to help the community through her involvement in local charities make her the type of inspiring, high-achieving student who characterizes the University’s Leaders in Action brand.
“Hearing is a gift,” Taylor said. “I don’t think a lot of people understand that. I want to give that gift to people or help them get that gift.”
Taylor learned she had hearing loss in both ears in 3rd grade. But this did not stop her from participating in musicals with her great uncle’s opera company, from learning to play the violin, from singing and ballet dancing.
In the 10th grade, Taylor was fitted with hearing aids, which expanded her world. Before getting the small devices, she would hear her voice “through the bones, like vibration to the bones.” Now, she can “improve faster or sound clearer, because I can make the connection better in voice lessons.”
Because of the positive impact her audiologist has had on her life, Taylor is studying communication sciences and speech pathology at UND, along with music. When not in the classroom, she volunteers and fundraises for a number of nonprofits, including the Hearing Improvement Kids Endowment Fund, the Salvation Army, Special Olympics and Job’s Daughters, among others.
Taylor’s Leader in Action story appeared in the advertorial pages of select Forum Communications newspapers this weekend, Oct. 12 -13.
You can watch and read more about Taylor at UND.edu/leaders.
About UND’s Leaders in Action:
Leaders in Action serves as the tagline of UND’s brand identity. Implemented in 2017, the phrase reflects the character and caliber of students the University attracts and prepares for the current and future demands of the state, nation and world.
About University of North Dakota:
The University of North Dakota is the chief opportunity engine for North Dakota and UND students. Founded in 1883, six years before North Dakota was granted statehood, UND is among the nation’s premier regional public research universities and is at an exciting point in its 136-year history.
Classified as a “Doctoral University: Higher Research Activity” institution by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, UND is characterized by a solid foundation of the liberal arts, high quality students and faculty, a diverse curriculum, a widely recognized program of graduate education and research, law and medical schools praised for quality and innovation, rich cultural resources, and an outstanding record of alumni support. Its major academic divisions include Arts and Sciences, Aerospace Sciences, Business and Public Administration, Education and Human Development, Engineering and Mines, Nursing and Professional Disciplines, Medicine and Health Sciences, Law, Extended Learning and the School of Graduate Studies. Long a provider of distance education, UND is developing a robust online presence.
Learn more at UND.edu.
All attached photos by Mike Hess/UND photographer.
David L. Dodds
Director of Communications
Division of Marketing & Communications
University of North Dakota