Event Helps Callier Students Hone Research Ideas

March 13, 2009

UT Dallas students looking for expert advice on future and current research projects got what they were looking for at the first Callier Promotion of Academic and Clinical Excellence (PACE) student research forum on Friday, March 6.

Undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences presented a total of 24 posters on such topics as newborn hearing screenings, electrophysiology, cochlear implants, autism spectrum disorders and infant-directed speech.

The event was hosted by the UT Dallas Callier Center for Communication Disorders and was held at the center’s Richardson location on the UT Dallas campus.

PACE, which was developed by Callier Center researchers, provides an avenue for students to gain valuable research experience and showcase their completed projects, works in progress and future projects.

“The PACE forum is great for students because it provides a non-intimidating environment for us to present our ideas and data to faculty,” said Kristen Kruse, a second-year doctor of audiology (Au.D.) student. “I presented an idea for a future project, and the faculty have helped me identify what my next steps should be and where I should dig for more information.”

Dr. Jeffrey Martin, assistant professor in the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, spearheaded the creation of PACE to showcase the work of UT Dallas students.

“Our aim was to provide a fun atmosphere where students and faculty could interact and discuss new, ongoing and completed research projects,” said Martin. “PACE provides an opportunity for Callier Center faculty to honor the valued efforts of our undergraduate and graduate students.”

Rebecca Breshin, a second-year Au.D. student, presented her research idea focusing on children with bilateral (both ears) cochlear implants who also use FM systems. She prepared the poster specifically for the forum and hopes to begin working on the project in the summer. Her faculty mentor is Dr. Christine Dollaghan.

“I chose my topic because I work with two clinicians who have differing viewpoints on using FM systems with bilateral cochlear implants,” said Breshin.

Breshin works closely with the children she hopes to include in her future research. As part of her clinical rotation in the Au.D. program, she visits students with hearing loss in the Plano Independent School District (PISD).  The Callier Center has a contract with PISD to provide audiology services to students enrolled in the Plano Regional Day School Program for the Deaf.

Along with Dr. Laura Veazey, who directs Callier’s audiology services for PISD, Breshin assists with the auditory testing of students and the selection and maintenance of hearing aids and FM systems.

“UT Dallas and the Callier Center provide a wonderfully unique environment for our students, both from a research and clinical perspective,” said Martin. “The first Callier PACE student research forum was a tremendous success for everyone involved, and we look forward to hosting the event again in the future.”


Media Contact: Debra Brown, UT Dallas, (214) 905-3049, debra@utdallas.edu
or the Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, newscenter@utdallas.edu

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Dr. Jeffrey Martin talks with Marco Jurado, a second-year Au.D. student,  about his poster presentation.

Rebecca Breshin stands in front of her poster presentation.

Rebecca Breshin, a second-year Au.D. student, presented her research idea focusing on children with bilateral cochlear implants who also use FM systems.

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