Skip to main content

Vanderbilt Pathways Award

ABOUT THE Pathways Award

Who is eligible?

Undergraduate students that will begin their senior year in 2024 and are interested in applying to graduate school in the field of communication sciences and disorders with:

  • under-represented identities or perspectives
  • a strong commitment to enhance care for the individuals we serve across a broad range of diverse backgrounds and identities, including race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, nationality, disability, and differences, among others


Awardees will receive:

  • Financial support to take the Kaplan GRE On-Demand Preparation Course
  • Shadowing opportunities in the Vanderbilt Bill Wilkerson Center
  • Opportunity to meet and discuss the application process for graduate schools with one of our faculty (e.g., how to focus one’s statement, who to have write letters of recommendation, etc.)

To apply

Applicants should submit her/his/their current resume and description of their academic background and motivation/interest in the field of communication sciences and disorders (1-page) via email to Robin Jones (  Application materials are due by April 12th, 2024.  Announcement of the awardee will occur on or before April 30th, 2024.

To see the flyer, click here

2024 Pathways Award Recipient

Congratulations to Charmaine Little and Enengy Schutt on winning the 2024 Vanderbilt Pathways Award!

I am Charmaine Little, a rising senior at Western Kentucky University (WKU). I am studying Communication Sciences and Disorders with a minor in American Sign Language. At my university, I am an active member of the WKU National Student Speech Language and Hearing Association, American Sign Language Organization, and an Area Health Education Center Scholar. Outside of school, I am also a member of the National Black Association for Speech-Language and Hearing (NBASLH). Once I graduate with my bachelor’s, I aspire to continue my education and enter graduate school, where I will earn my doctorate in Audiology. My main interest in Audiology is working with the pediatric community. Early intervention is critical to helping those individuals who are not typically developing catch up to their peers. As an audiologist, early intervention looks like providing resources, support, and information to the parent to help them make the next best decision in their child’s intervention. As a future provider and audiologist, I want to always advocate for early intervention and inform parents of their many communication options, whether hearing aids, a cochlear implant, or using sign language.


My name is Enengy (n-N-g) Schutt, and am a rising senior in the honors program at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. Currently, I’m pursuing a double BA in Psychology and Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences with a minor in Family Therapy. I currently serve as the Diversity Equity and Inclusion chair for my institution’s chapter of NSSHLA, the President of the Association of Black Psychology Students, and the Secretary of the Honors Multicultural Network. As a student, creating an environment that not only supports but informs other students of color with resources and community is a passion of mine that I carry with me wherever I go. I have also been involved in various research labs and projects on campus over the last two years, which have informed my plans for the future. From here, I plan to enter a Speech-Language Pathology program and go on to work with adults in rehabilitation from brain injuries and neurodegenerative diseases. My research and work experiences have taught me the improvements that well-constructed research can make to patient outcomes and satisfaction. I aim to earn a PhD, as well, so that I can directly contribute to this work with evidence-based studies targeting the elusive symptoms experienced by this population.

2023 Pathways Award Recipient

Congratulations to Jaya Robinson on winning the 2023 Rising Star Award!

I am Jaya Robinson, a graduating senior at Tennessee State University! As a student at a Historically Black College and University, I have promoted positive attributes regarding academia, community service, and leadership at my institution and in my community. I am studying Health Sciences with a concentration in Communication Sciences and Disorders. At my institution, I am a member of the National Black Association of Speech-Language and Hearing. My main interest in Speech-Language Pathology is working with children on the autism spectrum. Due to this population being heterogeneous, it motivates me to learn more information, approaches, and therapy methods that I can construct to each child’s strengths and weaknesses. I would like to enhance patient care, and communication abilities that can improve quality of life.