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ASU student awarded scholarship to continue speech, hearing research

Ileana Ratiu
December 22, 2014

Ileana Ratiu, a graduate student in the Department of Speech and Hearing Science at Arizona State University, received a $10,000 American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation New Century Scholars Doctoral Scholarship. She was awarded the scholarship during the 2014 national convention of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, held last month in Orlando, Florida.

The New Century Scholars Research Doctoral Scholarship supports doctoral students committed to working in a higher education academic community in the field of communication sciences and disorders in the United States. This program is made possible through the foundation’s Dreams and Possibilities Campaign.

Ratiu is investigating the relationship between executive function, the part of the brain responsible for making sure tasks are completed from start to finish, and language control in bilingual individuals with a history of traumatic brain injury or concussions.

People who have suffered mild traumatic brain injury show deficits in executive functioning abilities that impact social, professional and academic performance. Executive function abilities are critical in language control in bilingual individuals, but currently there is little research on the impact of mild traumatic brain injury on executive function or language control in bilinguals.

Ratiu's dissertation project aims to show how these brain functions are impacted, and will identify bilinguals who are at the greatest risk of language control deficits following mild traumatic brain injury.

The funding from this scholarship allows Ratiu to conduct her research, including purchasing software and equipment necessary for implementing the study.

The American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation is a charitable organization that promotes a better quality of life for children and adults with communication disorders. The foundation is affiliated with the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and is part of the association’s annual convention.