What places around the globe have a special meaning to you, and why?
Montreal, Canada is my birthplace and where I grew up and went to university. San Francisco is where I spent my teenage years as well as the first years of my marriage. Madrid is now home, and I have been here for 13 years.
Tell us about your proudest accomplishment.
Receiving a scholarship, once enrolled in University, based on my results. Also working full-time while raising three kids.
What are your hobbies?
Running, padel, biking, reading and playing with my kids.
What was your favourite book when you were your students’ age?
To Kill a Mockingbird
What is something that your students don’t know about you – but would impress them if they did?
I work with a neurosurgeon and participate in awake brain surgeries.
I got involved in this because of my Master’s in speech-language pathology. I was also fortunate enough to know a brilliant neurosurgeon who studied under the guru of awake brain surgery in France. When he came back to Madrid in 2009, he asked me to assist him in beginning to perform awake brain surgeries in Madrid.
I see patients between the ages of 20-something and 70-something (most often in their 30s-50s) who typically have gliomas (tumors that grow in areas of the brain where there are often speech and language functions). I assess the patients before, during and after the surgeries. The idea is for the neurosurgeon to map which areas he can remove and which areas he must preserve at the very beginning of the surgeries. The reason that the patient is sedated and then awoken is so that information about speech, language and movement can be obtained in real time and function preserved.
Amélie has given presentations about her surgery experience to Infants as well as Grades 9 and 12.