Third-year Doctor of Audiology student Meredith Braza.
Third-year Doctor of Audiology student Meredith Braza.

The Association of Schools Advancing Health Professions (ASAHP) has selected third-year Doctor of Audiology student Meredith Braza as a recipient of its 2020 ASAHP Scholarship of Excellence Award.

ASAHP offers the scholarship as a means of recognizing outstanding individuals who excel in their academic programs and have significant potential to assume future leadership roles in the allied health professions. Each of the 12 students who were selected for the award this year will receive a $1,000 scholarship.

Selection of the award recipients was highly competitive. First, 126 allied health institutions across the country were allowed to nominate one of their students. These applications were then reviewed by a select group of ASAHP members, such as past-presidents or members of the board of directors, who made the final selection.

Braza expressed her appreciation for the award and shared, “The clinical and educational experiences most valuable to me at UNC have been those involving teamwork with representatives from disciplines other than my own. I have concluded that interdisciplinary collaboration is the future of holistic, family-centered care and I am grateful for ASAHP’s support of my continual growth in this area.”

Braza is a 2019 American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Audiology/Hearing Science Research Travel Award recipient, and currently works as a research assistant in the Speech Perception and Auditory Research Lab and as student researcher at the Children’s Cochlear Implant Center at UNC.

Hannah Siburt, AuD program coordinator said, Meredith’s dedication and motivation to continue improving hearing healthcare through clinical care, research and service make her very well deserving of this award. Last year, she expanded the impact of her participation in the rural health service-learning course by collecting data on the benefit of the inter-professional education experience and presenting this at the 2019 ASAHP Conference.”

Brenda Mitchell, associate professor in the Division of Speech and Hearing Sciences, also recognizes Braza’s commitment to the field. “Meredith is very deserving of this prestigious award. She serves as a DAHS student ambassador and recently completed a NIH-T35 summer research experience at Boys Town National Research Hospital,” said Mitchell.

Braza’s future plans are to focus on audiology research.My career goal is to apply my knowledge of pediatric audiology to public health by conducting interdisciplinary research on the overlap between infant and family mental health and hearing loss. I firmly believe a role in clinical research will allow me to empower families while investigating strategies to better support attachment following a hearing loss diagnosis,” said Braza.

Stephen Hooper, Associate Dean of Medicine and Chair of the Department of Allied Health Sciences added, “I am extremely excited for Meredith as she represents the best of our best! She truly represents the excellence across our constellation of students and I am extremely proud of this national recognition and accomplishment for her.”

Hannah W. Siburt, AuD, PhD, CCC-A is an assistant professor in the Division of Speech and Hearing Sciences. The division is housed in the Department of Allied Health Sciences.

Brenda Mitchell, PhD, is the associate chair of the Department of Allied Health Sciences Office of Student Services and AHEC Operations.

Stephen Hooper, PhD, has served as associate dean and chair of the Department of Allied Health Sciences since 2013.