SCSD Doctoral Student Presents Research at FAMU

Ashley PresentingEarlier this month, first-year graduate student in the School of Communication Science and Disorders, Ashley Archer, got the chance to present her research to doctoral students at FAMU.

Ashley’s research and master thesis use an innovative technology called the GaitRite to study the effect of cognitive-linguistic demands on gait for patients with Aphasia. “In other words,” Ashley explains, “how does talking while walking affect a person’s walking stability and safety.” Her research suggests that persons with aphasia, a language disorder associated with strokes or head injuries, may experience disruptions in walking while engaged in language activities. These issues can increase the risk of falling or injury. Her presentation of this research to physical therapy doctoral students at FAMU was part of a larger initiative to foster interprofessional practice among a wide spectrum of health science disciplines. Ashley also presented this research at the American Speech-Language Hearing Association in November 2019 and received a meritorious poster award.

Ashley’s faculty advisor, Dr. Elizabeth Madden, feels privileged to oversee her research. Speaking both at the conference and at FAMU “was a great experience for Ashley to talk with professionals in a related discipline and discuss effective ways that PTs and SLPs can co-treat people with aphasia,” Dr. Madden says. “Ashley is currently continuing this line of study for her master’s thesis. I am continually impressed with her curiosity, motivation, and professionalism.”

When asked about the chance to talk with other professionals regarding her research, Ashley says “I am always enthusiastic and excited for the opportunity to present my research to fellow peers and faculty. I believe the opportunity to present new discoveries can promote engaging discussions, which can lead to improved understanding and knowledge in how to better serve our patients and their families.”