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Madeline Janney ’16 Named 2020 Young Alumna of the Year

Photo of Madeline Janney


Madeline Janney ’16 has been named the 2020 Young Alumna of the Year for her service to the university through the Young Alumni Board and her service to the community as a volunteer and caring healthcare practitioner and advocate. A native New Orleanian, Janney was drawn to Loyola by its Jesuit education model and small campus community. A member of the university’s Honors Program, Janney majored in psychology with a minor in New Orleans studies. She served as president of Loyola’s chapter of the Psi Chi psychology honor society and was the department’s student representative as well.

“By far the most impactful experience I had at Loyola was the Ignacio Volunteers program,” says Janney. “With Ignacio Volunteers, I traveled with a group of students to Belize, Central America, during the summer between my sophomore and junior year. While there, we worked with local high school and college students to teach summer camp for elementary age kids--but it was so much more than that! We prepared for months beforehand by learning about Belizean culture, fundraising for the trip, and practicing teaching skills. That experience taught me the necessity of cross-cultural experiences and cultural competence, both in and out of the classroom.” Janney returned the following summer as a team leader assisting a new group of students through the experience, and she continues to be an active Ignacio Volunteer as an alumna.

After graduating from Loyola in 2016, Janney earned a master’s degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Southeastern Louisiana University. She is now a speech-language pathologist, working primarily with adult patients recovering from stroke or traumatic brain injury and with children with developmental delays or disabilities as well. “In hindsight, I can see that all the little things during my time at Loyola added up to my current career path. My psychology background laid the groundwork for my interest in neuroscience and brain development, both of which are deeply relevant to my job now. My honors linguistics course piqued my interest in language structure and function. The writing and reading I did for every one of my courses helped me become a more effective communicator. My Ignacio Volunteers experience clarified my passion for working in a teaching role. Loyola's emphasis on social justice gave me a lens through which to see health disparities within our local community and motivates me to address this in my daily clinical practice. My Loyola education permeates every aspect of my clinical practice, which in turn allows me to better serve my patients and clients across the lifespan, from birth to one hundred!”

As a Loyola graduate, Janney has served on the Young Alumni Board for three years and is currently President of the Board. In this capacity, she has taken the lead role in organizing volunteer, admissions, and social events that allow recent Loyola graduates to stay connected to their alma mater in meaningful ways. Of her time on the Board, Janney says, “I am continuously in awe of and thankful for the opportunity to be surrounded by the smart, dedicated, and generous board members who give of their time, talent, and treasure to the young alumni community.”