Hampton University
Hampton University Student Receives SPARC Award from American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
07/29/2021 - #13

HAMPTON, VA. (July 29, 2021) — Hampton University student, Darchayla Lewis has been selected as a recipient of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s (ASHA) 2021 Students Preparing for Academic-Research Careers (SPARC) Award!

“Congratulations to Ms. Darchayla Lewis for receiving this impressive award. This is another example of the high caliber students that Hampton University prepares every day to go out and serve our community and the world at large. I applaud the faculty and staff in the Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders for continually developing future speech pathologists to meet the needs of children and adults with communication needs," said Hampton University President, Dr. William R. Harvey.

Lewis, a rising senior majoring in Communicative Sciences and Disorders and minoring in Spanish, credits the Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders for preparing her to excel in her future profession and treat her future clients.  
“First, I have to thank God, my parents, and everyone who has poured into me in any way over the past year. Being selected to receive this grant is truly a blessing,” said Lewis. “I am so grateful to Dr. Sullivan for staying on top of me, and rooting for me through this challenging virtual year. Without her and my IMPACT, family this wouldn’t be possible. I am ready to make her and the rest of my village proud. If it wasn’t for my mentor, Dr. Sullivan, I wouldn’t have known the SPARC Award even existed. She and my other professors, Dr. Wilkerson, Dr. Jones, and Ms. Matthews, work to ensure that I and my classmates are equipped academically and culturally to provide effective treatment to our future clients. I am so appreciative of my professors and classmates for keeping the bar high in and out of the classroom.”

The SPARC Award aims to cultivate student interest in pursuing a research doctorate (PhD) in communicative sciences and disorders (CSD) and a career as a faculty-researcher in CSD. The SPARC Award provides unique opportunities by offering the following:

- Financial resources to pursue individualized mentored teaching and research activities that are associated with students’ teaching and research goals.

- Structured networking opportunities at the ASHA Convention (e.g., meeting fellow SPARC awardees, attending a reception with participants of ASHA's other research education programs).

- Formal recognition on the ASHA website.

By being named a SPARC Award recipient, Lewis will receive $1,000 to implement the plan outlined in her application.

“My research is focused on gathering data for a new mobile application that assesses speech in noise for children ages 4-12,” said Lewis. “Children grow up in noisy environments such as classrooms, social settings, etc., which can lead to deficits in their speech and language development. The data we plan to gather will provide specific information about the child’s word recognition skills in quiet and in noise to hopefully gain a clearer understanding of their potential struggles.”  

About the Hampton University Department of Communicative Science and Disorders
The mission of the Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders is to prepare undergraduate and graduate students to meet the needs of children and adults with communication impairments in a changing multicultural society. In so doing, the academic programs are designed to disseminate existing knowledge of speech, language, swallowing, and hearing disorders, and to provide clinical experiences in the prevention, assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of speech, language, swallowing, and hearing disorders.


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