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Rising Star Award


Ph.D. students in Communication Sciences and Disorders and related fields with
• under-represented identities or perspectives, and/or
• research interests in diversity-related issues in communication sciences and disorders.

Awardee (one per year) will receive a $1,000 award and will be invited to deliver an invited lecture at Vanderbilt University Medical Center on the topic of their research in October 2022. All awardee travel and lodging expenses will be covered.

Applicants should submit their current CV and a description of their research background and current research activity (1 page). Applicants should email their materials to Robin Jones ( Application materials are due by August 1, 2022. The announcement of the awardee will occur on or before August 22, 2022.

To see the flyer, click here

2021 Rising Star Award Recipient

Congratulations to Kimberly Crespo on winning the first Rising Star Award (2021)!

Kimberly Crespo is an F31 Predoctoral Fellow and Ph.D. Candidate in Rita Kaushanskaya’s Language Acquisition and Bilingualism Lab at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She earned her M.S. in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her B.A. in Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences from Kean University in Union, New Jersey.

2021 Rising Star Honorable Mention Awardees

Jasenia Hartman is a Ph.D. candidate in the Neuroscience Training Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW-Madison). Her research interests include language processing, audiovisual integration, and cochlear implants. Hartman’s dissertation is at the intersection of auditory prosthetic research and developmental psychology. She is a recipient of the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship and the Science and Madison Graduate Research Scholarship. She also received the NIH-NIDCD Diversity Supplement Award, as part of a parent R01 grant aimed at improving speech outcomes in CI users.


Brandon Merritt is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences at Indiana University. His research focuses on gender expression and perception through voice and speech, particularly from gender-diverse speakers. He has published in the Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research and Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups.