Claire Wofford, third year doctoral candidate at the FSU School of Communication Sciences & Disorders received the New Century Scholars Doctoral Scholarship from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation (ASHF), which is designed to support strong doctoral candidates who will pursue a teacher-investigator career in an academic environment at the university/college level. In 2018, the ASHF awarded up to fifteen scholarships of $10,000 each. Claire submitted her dissertation proposal and was selected from a competitive pool of doctoral candidates in speech-language pathology, audiology, and speech science.
ASHF supports innovators and sparks innovation in communication sciences to make connection possible for everyone. The Foundation also provides resources for passionate and promising investigators exploring forward-thinking solutions and conducting groundbreaking research. Their programs are early investments in ingenuity, empowering innovators to chart new paths and equipping them to attract new resources through grants, scholarships, achievement awards, and special programs.
Claire’s dissertation uses innovative technology in an intervention study designed to increase the number of words that Spanish-speaking caregivers speak to their children. She works directly with families from dual-language, low-resource backgrounds to test the technology which uses a word counter and a free smartphone application. Claire has future plans to combine technology-based approaches with provider-delivered approaches in order to promote dual-language development and to study the ways that quality, quantity, and sources of language in bilingual homes help to promote children’s development. “My idea was to test an intervention that can have a broad impact for children who hear and speak two languages in their homes.” Claire explains, “This is a growing segment of kids that speech-language pathologists see on their caseloads, and we need more intervention studies that focus on language input, especially ones that begin in early childhood and include the caregiver. This award will help me to enhance the intervention I’m providing to families. I am truly honored to be included among the recipients of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation awards this year.”