Communication Science and Disorders Graduate Scholarship Winners


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The honored graduate students of 2022 are Cindy Landeros (left) receiving the Emerging Excellence Award, Melissa Leffel (center) for the Outstanding Clinician Award, and Sydnie Morgan (right) with the Outstanding Student Award.

Each spring, faculty in the university’s Communication Sciences and Disorders Program recognize three of the program’s outstanding graduate students. The three awards represent three distinct achievements, and all will be recognized at an upcoming celebration.

One award recognizes a first-year graduate student who demonstrates “emerging excellence” as a future speech-language pathologist. This recognition was awarded to Cindy Landeros. CDIS Clinical Education Coordinator Jessica Danley commented, “Cindy consistently demonstrates professionalism, preparation and a keen sense of clinical intuition. She shows an impressive ability to connect personally with her patients and build strong therapeutic relationships.

Another award recognizes a second-year graduate student who has proven to be an “outstanding clinician” during their time in the program. This recognition was awarded to Melissa Leffel. “Melissa is a detail-oriented student clinician who takes the initiative to deepen her learning at every opportunity. She asks critical questions and takes the time to reflect on difficult clinical cases. Melissa’s supervisors consistently share praise for her effective communication skills and ability to formulate clear treatment plans for her patients,” shared Jessica Danley.

The final award recognizes a second-year graduate student who has proven to be an “outstanding student” in the classroom and in clinical practice. This is the highest honor bestowed by the CDIS program. This distinction was awarded to Sydnie Morgan. “Sydnie is a curious student who goes above and beyond to serve her patients. Sydnie is always ready. She remains flexible and adaptable in difficult situations, two valuable skills in this dynamic healthcare climate. The calm and empathetic demeanor Sydnie defines her patients as comfortable and a pleasure to work with,” commented a clinical supervisor.

“The future of the profession is bright with students like Cindy, Melissa and Sydnie soon to join our professional ranks. We couldn’t be more proud of these students and are grateful to them for deciding to pursue their graduate studies with us,” commented Rachel Glade, CDIS Program Director. .


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