Student Research


Undergraduate students majoring in communication sciences and disorders are afforded numerous opportunities to participate in research. Those in the Honors in Major program write a senior honors thesis, which is an original piece of theoretical or applied research conducted under the supervision of an appointed faculty advisor. Examples of recent projects include the role of socioeconomic status on the language output of 3- to 6-year-olds during a naturalistic museum study, the role of listener familiarity in storytelling content, language changes in individuals with Parkinson’s disease following Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LOUD), and network analysis of neural plasticity following Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) for chronic pain. In addition to thesis research, undergraduate students are invited to volunteer in research labs and/or receive course credit (INCO 590/790) for participating in ongoing studies in their interest areas.

Students pursuing the Honors designation are encouraged to seek support for their honors thesis through the Hamel Center for Undergraduate Research.  Several forms of support exist such as through Undergraduate Research Awards (URA) and Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships (SURF). Students present their work with a poster or oral presentation at the Undergraduate Research Conference in the spring.

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At the graduate level, students selecting the thesis option will conduct original research leading to a publishable product. Students develop and implement their thesis projects under the guidance and supervision of a committee of faculty members headed by a committee chair. Examples of recent projects include a delayed treatment group investigation of the Treatment for Establishing Motor Program Organization (TEMPO) in children with childhood apraxia of speech, exploring prosodic features of speech in childhood apraxia of speech, analyzing Cinderella narratives in healthy adults and those with traumatic brain injury (TBI), and examining brain network modularity in mild traumatic brain injury. 
In addition to thesis research, graduate students are invited to collaborate with research faculty on studies in their interest areas.

Graduate students present their work at the Graduate Research Conference in the spring.