Faculty member receives career award to advance research

October 24, 2016 | News, Research, UToday, Health and Human Services
By Josephine Schreiber

Dr. Emily Diehm, assistant professor of speech-language pathology, has received the American Speech, Language and Hearing Association’s 2016 Advancing Academic Research Career Award.



According to the association, this honor is intended to support young faculty members advance their academic and research careers in the field of communication sciences and disorders. The award is a formal mentorship program and also includes $5,000.

The award not only focuses on research, but also funds proposals that include a teaching component.

“My teaching portion of the application I wrote included a lot of discussion of a ‘flipped classroom’ as I’d eventually like to provide my students with lots of hands-on opportunities while in graduate school to learn how to conduct assessments and develop practice intervention techniques,” Diehm said.

She began researching child language and literacy problems during her undergraduate studies in 2007 and became a speech-language pathologist in 2010.

Along with child literacy problems, Diehm is researching the content and pedagogical knowledge that speech-language pathologists and teachers have with respect to dialectal variations.

“All of us speak a dialect. Linguistically, there is no single dialect that is better than the others,” she explained. “I want to make sure that teachers and speech-language pathologists are able to identify features of non-standard dialect use and provide culturally sensitive instruction.”

With a background in American Sign Language, Diehm became interested in the connection between language and literacy after she learned of low literacy rates among those who communicate through sign language.

“The long-term goal of my research would be to better identify students who are likely at risk for literacy disorders and provide appropriate interventions that target their specific deficit areas before they even begin to struggle with reading and writing,” Diehm said.

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