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American Speech-Language-Hearing Association encourages undergraduate researchers at Convention.

Professional associations can offer unique, national-level opportunities to augment and showcase campuses' undergraduate research efforts. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) is the national professional, scientific, and credentialing association for more than 173,000 members and affiliates who are audiologists; speech-language pathologists; speech, language, and hearing scientists; audiology and speech-language pathology support personnel; and students. ASHA offers a number of programs that support undergraduate research, one of which is the PROmoting the Next GENeration of Researchers (PROGENY) program. Since 2008, more than 200 undergraduates who are first authors of posters accepted for presentation at ASHA's annual convention have participated in the program. It incorporates three important elements to encourage undergraduate research: engagement, research-career development, and recognition.

ASHA pairs each participant with an active researcher in a related content area who is not affiliated with the student's home institution. This volunteer researcher visits the poster session and engages the student in a discussion about the research presented and about future opportunities.

ASHA invites the PROGENY participants to attend specific convention sessions designed for undergraduates with a burgeoning interest in research. One session includes a panel of successful researchers who highlight the different paths, research questions, and settings available for a research career in our discipline. Another event is an informal roundtable that allows the students to network with researchers and discuss topics of particular interest to undergraduates--for example, "Thinking About and Selecting a PhD Program." ASHA also recognizes the PROGENY participants' research accomplishments by posting their names on the ASHA website, congratulating them in an electronic newsletter disseminated to the academic community, and honoring them at the convention's Researcher-Academic Town Meeting event.

The program can have direct results. For example, the connections Katelyn Lippitt made during her PROGENY participation while she was an undergraduate at the University of Maryland-College Park led her to Purdue University, the institution at which she will pursue her PhD. She said of PROGENY's impact on her decision: "When I met my PROGENY match during my poster presentation, she invited me to Purdue University and arranged a visit for me. That visit really got me thinking about various areas of interest and mentors for my graduate study. Progeny took the direction I already had and gave me more concrete means of pursuing it."

In addition to PROGENY, ASHA supports undergraduate research through two award programs and by collecting data on academic programs' use of selected best practices, included in CUR's Characteristics of Excellence in Undergraduate Research.

Susan Nitzberg Lott,

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association,

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Title Annotation:CURQ Vignettes
Author:Lott, Susan Nitzberg
Publication:Council on Undergraduate Research Quarterly
Article Type:Conference news
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 22, 2015
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