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SHP Student Awarded Highly Competitive Scholarship

Jacob McKinley, an MHS student in Communication Science and Disorders Department at the MU School of Health Professions, has been awarded a Graduate Student Scholarship by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation (ASH Foundation).

The $5,000 scholarship is awarded by the ASH Foundation to master’s and doctoral students. Jacob is a 2nd year master’s student engaged in master’s thesis research under the joint supervision of Mili Kuruvilla-Dugdale and Maria Dietrich, assistant professors in the CSD department.  

 “I feel very proud to have been selected for this scholarship among the many outstanding graduate students pursuing degrees in speech-language pathology.” Said Jacob. “The scholarship will allow me to focus on my growth as a clinician and emerging researcher as I participate in full-time clinical externships and complete my master’s thesis.”Jacob’s research focus is on a multiple speech subsystem analysis approach to predicting age-related speech intelligibility decline in older adults.

The ASH Foundation assists students in launching research careers in an increasingly competitive environment, with an aim to facilitate new and innovative directions in the field of communication sciences and disorders. Up to 15 highly competitive general Graduate Student Scholarships are awarded across all areas of studies, many of which go to doctoral students.

“Jacob’s successful involvement in lab research, his Master’s thesis, and conference presentations is testament to his commitment to an academic career.” said Maria Dietrich, Assistant Professor in the CSD department at SHP. “Jacob combines excellent academic and interpersonal skills with intellectual curiosity and a motivation to improve clinical practice, which naturally drives him toward innovative interdisciplinary research projects.” 

“Jacob is very deserving of this scholarship not only because of his academic excellence but also because of his ambitious pursuit of a research thesis on a topic that is of high relevance to the ASHA.” said Mili Kuruvilla-Dugdale, Assistant Professor in the CSD department at SHP. “Jacob is exactly the type of outstanding student that ASHA likes to invest their resources in.”

Dr. Judith Goodman, Department Chair of the CSD Department added, “We are so proud of Jacob and his outstanding advisors for the mentorship that they provide. The results of their efforts help reduce the burden of communication disorders on people and their families.”