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GRADUATE STUDENT SCHOLARSHIPS

The CDF is pleased to offer the:

Rita Purcell-Robertson Scholarship ($3,000)

David H. Narburgh Scholarship($1,500)

These scholarships are designed to recognize students who have demonstrated out-standing clinical potential. These awards will be granted to current or rising graduate students in Speech-Language Pathology or Audiology enrolled in one of the following universities in Virginia: Hampton University, James Madison University, Longwood University, Old Dominion University, Radford University, or the University of Virginia. 

The CDF Scholarship has been renamed the Rita Purcell-Robertson Scholarship in memory of Rita, who was a staunch advocate for speech-language pathologists throughout the state of Virginia. Rita believed in preparing the next generation of speech-language pathologists through her work as a clinical supervisor, college professor, mentor to students and new professionals, and service to the profession through ASHA, SHAV, and CDF.  

The David H. Narburgh Scholarship was so designated to honor the singular, outstanding service of David Narburgh as member and President of the CDF Board of Trustees and as Silent Auction Chair from 1991 to 2001. From his perspective as a longtime clinician and administrator, David inspires and challenges scholarship recipients to embrace continuing education and networking across work settings as they enter the field.


 recipients of the 2017 CDF Scholarships

The CDF wishes to thank each of the scholarship applicants for their submissions. We wish all of the students well in the upcoming academic year. We expect to hear great things in the future from the newest cohort of SLPs and Audiologists as you enter the professions, becoming active participants and life-long learners.

Elizabeth Rainville, a rising second-year graduate student at Old Dominion University, has been awarded the Rita Purcell-Robertson Scholarship in the amount of $3,000.


Victoria Thomas, a rising first-year student at University of Virginia, has been awarded the
David H. Narburgh Scholarship in the amount of $1,500. 

 My name is Elizabeth Rainville and I am currently a second-year speech language pathology student at Old Dominion University. I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Special Education from the University of Vermont in 2013.  After which, I worked in the public schools as a dual role preschool teacher and special educator. It was during my time in the school system that I learned my true passion for speech language pathology! Although it has always been my plan to work with children, I look forward to exploring all options during my time here at ODU!

My name is Elizabeth Rainville and I am currently a second-year speech language pathology student at Old Dominion University. I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Special Education from the University of Vermont in 2013.  After which, I worked in the public schools as a dual role preschool teacher and special educator. It was during my time in the school system that I learned my true passion for speech language pathology! Although it has always been my plan to work with children, I look forward to exploring all options during my time here at ODU!

 Victoria Thomas is a 2017 graduate of the University of Virginia and will begin her master’s program for speech pathology at the University of Virginia this fall. During her time as an undergraduate, she studied both communication disorders and Hispanic linguistics. With a heavy interest in research, she completed an undergraduate thesis on language change in medieval Spanish in addition to contributing 2 years of work in the Child Language Disorders Lab where she served as Data Processing Manager this past year. Her clinical interests include bilingualism (primarily with Spanish speaking clients), accent modification, voice and swallowing, and in the future, she hopes to work with adults in the speech-pathology field. She is also considering pursuing a doctoral degree after completion of her master’s. Outside of the clinic and research lab, she enjoys salsa dancing, painting, and working at a local French and Spanish immersion preschool.

Victoria Thomas is a 2017 graduate of the University of Virginia and will begin her master’s program for speech pathology at the University of Virginia this fall. During her time as an undergraduate, she studied both communication disorders and Hispanic linguistics. With a heavy interest in research, she completed an undergraduate thesis on language change in medieval Spanish in addition to contributing 2 years of work in the Child Language Disorders Lab where she served as Data Processing Manager this past year. Her clinical interests include bilingualism (primarily with Spanish speaking clients), accent modification, voice and swallowing, and in the future, she hopes to work with adults in the speech-pathology field. She is also considering pursuing a doctoral degree after completion of her master’s. Outside of the clinic and research lab, she enjoys salsa dancing, painting, and working at a local French and Spanish immersion preschool.


Scholarship Recipient Interview 2017

Best of the Best:  Every year, the CDF Board not only has the privilege of reviewing scholarship applications submitted by students from CSD educational programs in VA, but then has the post-selection opportunity to interview the recipients.  And, even better, we get to pass this information on to you, our generous donors, who made these acts possible.  Elizabeth Rainville of Old Dominion University, the 2017 Rita Purcell-Robertson Scholarship awardee, and Victoria Thomas of the University of Virginia, the 2017 David H. Narburgh Scholarship awardee, share their thoughts here.

 

What does receiving this scholarship mean to you?

Elizabeth: 
I am extremely humbled to received the Rita Purcell-Robertson scholarship for the 2017-2018 academic year. Dr. Purcell-Robertson was a remarkable person and an inspiration in the field of speech-language pathology. It is an honor to be named recipient of a scholarship created in her name.  Like Dr. Purcell-Robertson, I hope to one day provide my patients with the most comprehensive and research-based care possible.  This scholarship provides me with the opportunity to have a clear focus on my academic studies and clinical fellowships, bringing me one step closer to reaching this goal.  I am grateful to the Communication Disorders Foundation of Virginia for not only the generous financial contribution that will assist me in pursuing my passion, but also for recognizing my clinical potential. 

 

Victoria:  To me, receiving this scholarship means I have the ability to continue my strong interest in research.  I have been a research assistant in the Child Language Disorders Lab at the University of Virginia for the past two years and have acquired a keen insight into the intricacies of research as well as a thorough understanding of the SALT software.  However, as an undergraduate, I received course credit for participating in the research and served as a substitute teacher at a local preschool on the side as my job during the academic year.  Given the intense demands of graduate school, I knew that I would not be able to work at the preschool as freely once beginning the program.  Thus, receiving this scholarship means that I can continue to work in the research lab, which I am very passionate and excited about, as the scholarship makes up the income I would have gained had I been able to continue work at the preschool.

 

Although your educational preparation is not yet complete, what areas of the field appeal to you as possible career choices?  Why?

 

Elizabeth:  I have always been passionate about working in pediatrics.  The current research and evidence-based findings are allowing clinicians to provide more thorough and comprehensive therapy to our youths than ever before.  These findings, along with their success, make it a very exciting time to be involved in the pediatric world.  There is something particularly special about supporting our youngest population as they become more confident in themselves.  There are a number of reasons why I truly admire the field of speech-language pathology; one reason in particular is that we are blessed with the opportunity to work with individuals of all ages and abilities.  Although it is my plan to work with children, I look forward to exploring all of my options while I finish my educational experience.

 

Victoria:  The areas of the field that appeal to me most are accent modification and bilingualism through which I’ve developed a heavy interest in becoming a bilingual speech pathologist.  This stems from a long history of studying foreign language and working with ESL individuals.  I’ve worked with individuals from Cuba and the Middle East, teaching oral and literacy skills for English, and also served as a volunteer to International TAs at my university to work on classroom skills and presentation, which included a strong focus on intelligibility in the second language.  These early experiences sparked my passion for helping others develop strong communication skills in the language that worked for them, something that I would like to continue with Spanish, my third language, as a future career choice--as studies in Hispanic Linguistics are tied with bilingual speech pathology.  I would love to marry them together if at all possible! 

In light of the many technological and research advances as well as cultural changes taking place in today's world, what new avenues do you think our field might pursue in the years ahead?

Elizabeth: Current research, coupled with modern technology, will result in significant changes in our future healthcare industry. Advances will provide clinicians with the ability to diagnose and treat patients while using cutting-edge treatment options, from minimally invasive procedures to artificial implants.  While our role will continue to focus on rehabilitation, I believe that speech therapy within the medical setting will have a new responsibility to evolve as technology becomes more advanced. 

 

Victoria:  While there has been a clear increase in the prevalence of technology and the breadth of research in speech pathology, I think one of the next areas of pursuit could be a more solid shift towards greater emphasis on education regarding working with multicultural/multilingual clients.  The number of these individuals in the US is constantly increasing across the lifespan; therefore, I could see the field putting more focus on education in this area, beginning at the graduate level.

 

Thank you both for your impressive answers, your words of wisdom!  They reflect the kind of intellect and dedication that individuals in our field will need to meet challenges in the years ahead.  You represent our future.  And we are grateful for that.

 

— Judy Rassi, Contributor


CDF Wall of Scholars

Rita Purcell-Robertson Scholars      

 2017: Elizabeth Rainville, ODU
 2016: Taylor Miller, JMU
 2015: Erin Griffin, UVA

David H. Narburgh Scholars

2017: Victoria Thomas, UVA
2016: Megan Bell, RU
2015: Claire Bridgeforth, JMU
2014: Nikki Davis, LU
2013: Lauren Michelle Harris, JMU
2012: Mary (Molly) Mattare, UVA
2011: Nicole Marie Gabriel, JMU:
2010: Ye-Kyung An, JMU
2009: Andrea Brewer, LU
2008: Catherine Hrivnak, UVA
2007: Kendall Carwile, ODU
2005: Jennifer Bertram, ODU
2004: Adrienne Lindsay Watson, JMU
2003: Tatiana Richardson, HU
2002: Jill Stubblefield, JMU

CDF Scholarship Recipients

2014: Julie Sadoff, UVA
2013: Whitney Morris, RU
2012: Rachel Ritter, ODU
2011: Elizabeth Schottinger, UVA
2010: Beth McHose, ODU
2009: Stephanie Martin, UVA
2008: Heather Donald, UVA
2007: Elena Jones, UVA
2005: Carrie Lopez, UVA
2004: Julie Kane, JMU
2003: Michelle Hilton, JMU
2001: Amy Stone, JMU
2000: Victoria Cardwell, RU
1999: Victoria Cardwell, LU
1998: Susan Aicardi, JMU
1997: Shiree Harbick, JMU
1996: Marie Duell, UVA
1995: Michelle Hebert, ODU
1994: Amy Tomlinson, RU
1993: Catherine Baer, ODU
1991: Joan Daley, UVA; Cynthia Hackworth, RU
       Deborah Kline, ODU; Melissa Laing, JMU
       Marissa Thomas, HU
1990: Jackie Batkins, JMU; Janice Buck, RU
          Lisa Jane McKenna, UVA; Victoria McIntosh, ODU
          Anna Parsells, HU