Student Research News Summer 2013

Cunningham Receives SPARC Award * Hodson Completes NIH/NICD Summer Fellowship * Gomez Receives NICD Travel Award * Mamo Awarded New Century Scholars Doctoral Fellowship * White Receives NICD Grant * Wutzke Selected as Neuromuscular Plasticity Scholar * Timko Wins Diversity Award

Student Research News Summer 2013 click to enlarge Kevin Cunningham explains his poster at the Speech and Hearing Sciences Student Research Day.

Kevin Cunningham (MS Speech-Language Pathology Class of 2013) received a Students Preparing for Academic and Research Careers (SPARC) Award from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) in 2012.  He developed a research and teaching plan with Drs. Katarina Haley and Adam Jacks, presented his work at the NC Speech Language Hearing Association convention, and is working on a first-authored manuscript about the project.  He received funding to present his work at the 2013 ASHA convention in November.  Cunningham also received the 2012 Robert W. Peters Award, which recognizes UNC Speech and Hearing Sciences students who have demonstrated excellence in research.

Hannah Hodson, right, met Dr. Michael Gorga, renowned expert in audiology. at Boys Town Hospital.
Hannah Hodson (Clinical Doctorate in Audiology student) spent the summer at Boys Town National Research Hospital in Omaha, Nebraska, on an NIH/NIDCD T35 fellowship. 

Bianca Gomez (Clinical Doctorate in Audiology student) was awarded a Mentored Student Travel Award by the American Auditory Society and the National Institutes of Health (NIDCD).  Gomez’s project is titled “Energetic and informational masking of speech for Spanish/English bilingual children,” and her mentors are Drs. Lori Leibold and Lauren Calandruccio.

Dr. Sara Mamo (Clinical Doctorate in Audiology Class of 2008, current Speech and Hearing Sciences PhD student) was awarded a New Century Scholars Doctoral Fellowship worth $10,000 by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation.  Mamo conducts research under the mentorship of Dr. John Grose, Department of Otolaryngology. 

Tamira White
Tamira White (MS Rehabilitation Counseling and Psychology Class of 2013) was the recipient of a NICHD diversity supplement grant to Dr. Grace Baranek’s R01, the Sensory Experiences Project, from August 15, 2012 through June 30, 2013.  White researched issues related to caregiver strain in families with children with autism and presented a poster on her work at the prestigious New England Science Symposium at Harvard Medical School in March.  She was accepted to the PhD program in Applied Developmental Science and Special Education at UNC Chapel Hill for the fall of 2013.

Clint Wutzke with his poster at the Neuromuscular Plasticity Symposium in Florida.
Clint Wutzke (Human Movement Science PhD student) was selected as one of four Neuromuscular Plasticity Scholars from a nationwide pool of applicants to attend the Annual Neuromuscular Plasticity Symposium at the University of Florida in Gainesville, March 14-15.   Wutzke presented a poster of his abstract “Gait Training with Visual and Proprioceptive Feedback Improves Propulsive Forces in People Post-Stroke,” and had the opportunity to meet with and discuss his research with top scientists in the field.  He also attended receptions at the University of Florida President’s home and received an honorarium and certificate of excellence.

Arianna Timko
Arianna Timko, a 2013 graduate of the Division of Rehabilitation Counseling and Psychology master’s degree program, won the University Diversity Award in the graduate/professional student category in April.  The Diversity Award recognizes significant contribution to the enhancement, support, and/or furtherance of diversity on the campus and in the community.  As a student, Timko focused primarily on the holistic rehabilitation of persons with concurrent psychiatric and physical disabilities.  She was a Graduate Assistant for Interpersonal Violence Prevention at Student Wellness, working with the One ACT bystander intervention training program.  In June of 2012, Timko began research and program development for a One ACT program focused on the prevention of identity-based and sexual harassment, Beyond Bullying, which debuted in March of this year.  As a graduate student facilitator for the Buckley Public Service Scholars Program, Timko wrote and facilitated an interactive workshop on disability awareness, inclusion, and advocacy for undergraduate students through the Carolina Center for Public Service.

Student Research Days

OT student Manisha Dass
The Division of Speech and Hearing Sciences and Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy hosted student research days in the spring.  The events gave students the opportunity to share their research with visitors from across campus.  An abstract booklet of the SHS student research is available at

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