Boys Town National Research Hospital announced support for a program designed to improve minority representation in speech-language pathology and audiology graduate programs, clinics, and research at Hampton University and Case Western Reserve University. 

The IMPACT (Innovative Mentoring and Professional Advancement through Cultural Training) Program is “a 1-year program that will provide formal mentoring to students in communication sciences programs from underrepresented backgrounds.” According to Boys Town’s announcement, mentorship will be provided by diverse faculty at research-intensive universities and hospitals to enhance practical learning opportunities through research training, communication skills development, and formal test preparation to improve the students’ readiness in graduate school.

“The overarching goal of the IMPACT Program is to begin to train the next generation of speech-language pathology and audiology leaders who encompass inclusion, diversity, and compassion” said co-collaborators Jessica Sullivan, PhD at Hampton University and Lauren Calandrucio, PhD, at Case Western Reserve University.

Boys Town Hospital researchers, Monita Chatterjee, PhD and Daniel Rasetshwane, PhD will join students in September for a virtual “family dinner” where they will discuss their experiences as prominent scientists from underrepresented minority groups. On October 22, multiple investigators from Boys Town Hospital Research will be conducting virtual lab tours and providing an overview of what it’s like to be part of our research team.

Ryan McCreery, PhD, director of research, and Lori Leibold, PhD, director of hearing research, will be supporting IMPACT Program initiatives at Boys Town National Research Hospital.

Leibold explains that “Boys Town Hospital is committed to promoting inclusion and diversity. The IMPACT Program will give students who are traditionally underrepresented in hearing and language sciences insight into their fields of interest and prepare them to join the next generation of researchers and clinicians. We are proud to be a part of this effort, which will serve as a model for similar local programs in the future, supported by the IMPACT Program team.” The IMPACT Program is funded by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).

Source: Boys Town Research Hospital

Image: © Kadettmann –