The American Academy of Audiology’s Foundation is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2021 Jerry Northern Scholarships in Pediatric Audiology, awarded to students who show exceptional promise as clinical audiologists with a focus on the specialty of pediatric audiology.
The recipients each received a $10,000 scholarship and a $500 travel stipend to attend the Academy’s annual conference. We look forward to acknowledging these outstanding students at AAA 2022 + HearTECH Expo in St. Louis, Missouri.
The AAA Foundation will accept applications for the 2022 Jerry Northern Scholarships in Pediatric Audiology between January 15, 2022, and May 31, 2022. The scholarships will be awarded to full-time graduate students enrolled in audiology (AuD, PhD, AuD/PhD) programs and in good standing at U.S. universities during the 2021–2022 academic year.
Congratulations to the 2021 Recipients
Click the name of the recipient to read more about their education and professional goals and visit the scholarship page for more information.
Meredith Braza is a fourth-year doctor of audiology student at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a current pediatric audiology extern at Boston Children’s Hospital.
As a graduate student, Meredith earned a Certificate in Developmental Disabilities and received training through the Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) fellowship and a U.S. Office of Special Education Services grant, all with a focus on developmental disabilities in children who are deaf/hard of hearing. She also completed a T35 Short-Term Research Traineeship at Boys Town National Research Hospital and served as a graduate research assistant in the UNC Speech Perception and Auditory Research at Carolina Lab. In her future career, Meredith seeks to conduct clinical research on the integration of pediatric audiology services in the interdisciplinary team and greater public health initiatives. She is humbled by this recognition and is inspired to continue striving to push pediatric audiology forward.
I am incredibly grateful for this scholarship. The generous award will allow me to focus all my energy on personal and professional growth as I complete my fourth-year audiology externship. I am also appreciative of the funding to further my knowledge at the AAA 2022+HearTECH Expo, one of the premier learning opportunities in audiology. In the long-term, this honor inspires me to become a leader and innovator in our field, pushing the boundaries of what it means to provide evidence-based, unbiased, culturally sensitive audiologic care.
Alicia Gonzalez is a fourth-year doctor of audiology student at The Ohio State University. She is currently completing her externship at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio.
Prior to beginning her AuD, Alicia received her undergraduate degree from Grand Valley State University in Michigan. While at Ohio State, Alicia was heavily involved in the university chapter of the Student Academy of Audiology, serving on the executive board for two years.
In her third year, Alicia was the audiology Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) trainee at Ohio State. Through the LEND training program, she found her love for interdisciplinary practice and providing care to children with neurodevelopmental disabilities (NDD). Alicia has a variety of clinical interests in pediatric audiology including implantable devices, children with multiple medical needs, tinnitus, ototoxicity monitoring, and interdisciplinary care.
Upon graduation in May 2022, Alicia aspires to be a pediatric audiologist providing care as a member of an interdisciplinary team.
I am incredibly grateful to have received the Jerry Northern Scholarship in Pediatric Audiology. This generous award will allow me to focus on learning and enhancing my skills throughout my externship, as the financial burden has been lifted.
Through the travel grant for AAA 2022, I will have the opportunity to travel to St. Louis to continue to learn and grow as a future audiologist. Conferences are an excellent way to expand knowledge in interest areas, stay up to date on new advancements in the field, and network with other professionals; I’m grateful for this continuing education opportunity.
Aside from the financial support this award provides, it also has a level of recognition and reassurance that pediatrics is a population I am meant to work with. I have always had a love for pediatrics and being chosen by the selection committee for this scholarship internally solidifies that I have qualities to be a successful pediatric audiologist.
When I was informed, I was chosen as a recipient, Dr. Northern personally highlighted aspects from my application materials. This was an incredible feeling to have such a well-known pediatric audiologist recognize my work. I’m honored to be a recipient of this award and I am thankful for the financial and professional opportunities it will bring.
As a PhD student in Vanderbilt’s Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences, Emily Thompson currently collaborates with the VU Auditory Development Laboratory team, under primary faculty mentorship of Dr. Anne Marie Tharpe. She earned her previous degrees from the University of Connecticut (Honors BA, 2015) and Vanderbilt School of Medicine (AuD, 2019), after pursuing a graduate-level pediatric specialty concentration in management of childhood hearing loss and completing fourth-year externship training at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
In addition, Emily served as a Vanderbilt Kennedy Center Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) Program Trainee, NIH-funded T35 Research Fellow, Special Olympics Healthy Hearing volunteer, VUMC newborn hearing screener, Vanderbilt SAA executive board officer, and National SAA philanthropy committee member.
Emily’s personal research interests and future career aspirations share a clinically translational focus, encompassing pediatric audiology, aural rehabilitation, and early intervention within an interdisciplinary framework. By leveraging electrophysiological techniques and assistive technology, Emily’s dissertation study and subsequent postdoctoral work aims to investigate the intersection of auditory brain development and behavioral outcomes in youth with listening challenges, specifically evaluating speech perception, language/communication, and cognitive skills.
I sincerely appreciate the generous support provided through this AAA Foundation’s Jerry Northern Scholarship in Pediatric Audiology Scholarship, which facilitates fulfillment of my personal career goals in myriad aspects.
Throughout my doctoral studies, I have cultivated a personal motivation to mentor junior colleagues in various environments, both via digital learning platforms and interactive classroom instruction, with particular interest in topics such as pediatric audiology, aural (re)habilitation, counseling, and professional ethics.
Within my current role as a third-year PhD student and recently licensed AuD, I endeavor to become a respected clinical supervisor, trusted practitioner, and dedicated researcher- educator in a collaborative academic medical center setting.
Equipped with this invaluable AAA Foundation support and determined to inspire future generations of clinician-researchers for the duration of my doctoral journey, I intend to seek ongoing opportunities to impart my knowledge, distribute educational resources, and advance evidence-based practice in the realm of pediatric audiology and hearing science (e.g., local community functions, undergraduate healthcare career fairs, volunteer activities, presentations for area schools, clinician roundtables, grand round forums, etc.).
Through active engagement in student-led initiatives sponsored by the Academy and the Vanderbilt Graduate School, I will continue exchanging novel ideas, diverse perspectives, and effective strategies with fellow peers, which could better inform our field’s research trajectory, encourage empowered leaders, and benefit other colleagues’ scholastic experiences.
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