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Meet Lucia Menozi

Lucia Menozi, a second-year graduate student in the audiology program at ETSU, fell in love with horses at a young age. It all began when her mother finally gave in one day, pulling over during their daily commute to let little Lucia pet the horses at a barn alongside the road. Born and raised in Chicago, Menozi found her passion that day, and it stuck as she began riding and competing shortly thereafter.  Lucia Menozi with her beloved horse, Brougey

Years later, when the time came to move more than 18 hours from home to attend college, Menozi refused to leave her passion behind.

“Everyone tries to tell you that you won’t have time for a horse, but I believe you make time for what is important to you,” Menozi says of her decision to bring her horse with her as an undergraduate student at Auburn University. “I packed up my little horse trailer. There were spots for two horses, but I put my mattress and my dresser on one side and my horse on the other.”

While earning her bachelor’s degree in psychology, Menozi regularly competed in three-day eventing – essentially equestrian triathlons – with her horse. Upon graduation, Menozi returned to Chicago, where she worked for a year in her mother’s private audiology practice in the suburbs of Chicago.

“That gave me a lot of experience,” Menozi says. “It also affirmed that audiology is what I want to do.”

Then Menozi discovered ETSU and the audiology program offered within the College of Clinical and Rehabilitative Health Sciences.

“The big thing that caught my eye about ETSU is that there is so much clinical experience. Right from the start, you are in the clinic. You get to do a bunch of hands-on stuff that you don’t get to do at a lot of other programs, and its really great,” she says. “We have such a good relationship with the (Mountain Home VA Healthcare System) and we have all these opportunities you just don’t get other places.”

So, Menozi found herself once again packing her belongings to head off to college, this time to attend graduate school at ETSU. And to no one’s surprise, Menozi didn’t make the trip alone, opting to bring along her beloved horse, Brougey.

Lucia Menozi and Brougey outside the stable on a snowy day.“I have him at a barn in Jonesborough that is just seven minutes from where I live,” Menozi says. “I am able to go spend time with him pretty much every day, except on the days when I have longer clinic and classes at night.”

While Menozi and Brougey will call this area home for the next year or two, Menozi ultimately hopes to return to the Chicago area to work in private practice there.

“That’s kind of what I have seen my whole life, with my mom, and I really like the relationship people build with you and the continuity of care,” she says.

Whether it is competing in horse events or advancing her education toward a career in audiology, Menozi says she draws her inspiration to succeed from her younger brother, Nicco, who suffers from multiple handicaps, including heart disease, lung disease and severe to profound hearing loss.

“He just has this whole life to him that not a lot of people have,” she says. “He is really special and a million times cooler than me. For everything he has gone through, he is the happiest person I have ever met.”

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