Ms. Sydney Bassard and Ms. Logan Douglass, both master of speech pathology students in the department of communication sciences and disorders (COMD) at the University of South Carolina Arnold School of Public Health, have been named recipients of the 2018 Students Preparing for Academic-Research Careers (SPARC) Award. Sponsored by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, these annual awards are given to only 11 students across the nation.
The SPARC program is part of the Association’s effort to enhance clinical research by fostering students’ interest in pursuing doctoral degrees and academic careers in COMD, where there is a shortage of faculty/researchers. Ms. Bassard and Ms. Douglass will each receive a $1,000 stipend to support research and mentoring activities. They will continue to work closely with their shared mentor, COMD assistant professor Dr. Krystal Werfel, who also mentored and/or assisted with the application process for previous SPARC winners Ms. Emily Metze (2017), Ms. Sara Straley (2016) and Ms. Stacey Sangtian (2015).
Ms. Bassard plans to use the SPARC award’s stipend to attend the 2019 American Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s national convention where she will present the findings of her master’s thesis. After her graduation the same year, she would like to gain experience working with children with hearing loss, perhaps as part of a cochlear implant team, before possibly returning to school to earn a PhD.
Ms. Douglass plans to present her master’s thesis research findings at a major conference — the 2019 Symposium for Research in Child Language Disorders. She will use the award stipend to help fund this research.
[Photo: Ms. Sydney Bassard (left) and Ms. Logan Douglass (right)]