Photo caption: Malini Laxman, Kelley Ngo and Aasha Brooks pose with their scholarship certificates from the Georgia Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation.
story by Claire Miller
Communication sciences and disorders master’s students Aasha Brooks, Malini Laxman and Kelley Ngo are 2023 recipients of the Georgia Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation Scholarship.
This scholarship program awards funding to graduate students in speech-language pathology programs in the state of Georgia to cover tuition, books and supplies, according to the foundation’s website.
Brooks is a first-generation, non-traditional student who earned her bachelor’s degree in speech communication from Georgia State University. As a graduate student in the communication sciences and disorders program, her goal is to promote the recruitment and retention of individuals from multilingual and multicultural backgrounds in the field of speech, language and hearing sciences. Brooks is a member of the National Black Association of Speech Language and Hearing, Georgia State’s Black Graduate Student Association and the Georgia Speech-Language-Hearing Association – organizations that serve as platforms for the engagement, mentorship and support for underrepresented groups in the field. She was also a 2021-2022 Early SPOTs Scholar.
Ngo earned her bachelor’s degree in communication sciences and disorders from the University of Georgia and is a second-year graduate student in the communication sciences and disorders master’s program. She is a graduate research assistant for Assistant Professor Ai Leen Choo in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders Stuttering and Bilingualism Lab. She, Laxman and Choo co-authored a research paper entitled, “Factors Related to College Major Selection in Communication Sciences and Disorders: Application of the Theory of Planned Behavior,” which they presented at the Georgia Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s 2023 convention in Savannah, Ga. Ngo hopes her research will help diversify the field, provide services that are culturally responsive and match the U.S.’s growing demographics.
Laxman earned her bachelor’s degree in biological sciences from Georgia State in 2019 and is a second-year graduate student in the communication sciences and disorders master’s program. Her research interests include bilingualism, racial/cultural diversity and serving clients from low socioeconomic backgrounds. Laxman served as a research assistant in the Stuttering and Bilingualism Lab, where she worked with Choo to improve diagnostic procedures for individuals who are bilingual and present with a fluency disorder. She is also a member of Georgia State’s chapter of CommunicAID+ Nation, an organization that empowers individuals with communication disorders and their families by providing resources and support.
Brooks, Laxman and Ngo were honored during the Presidential Reception at the Georgia Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s annual convention in February.
For more information about the master’s program in communication sciences and disorders, click here.