Megan MacPherson

2007 ASHFoundation Graduate Student Scholarship, 2008 New Century Scholars Doctoral Scholarship  

Advancing With Confidence

When Megan MacPherson was completing her Research Statement as part of the application for a faculty position at Florida State University (FSU), she was feeling well prepared. She knew her doctoral training at Purdue University provided an excellent foundation and springboard for future success, thanks in part to two other impressive achievements, her 2007 ASHFoundation Graduate Student Scholarship and her 2008 ASHFoundation New Century Doctoral Scholarship.

As it turned out, her confidence was well placed. She got the job.

Once she arrived at FSU, says MacPherson, "The development of my research was certainly facilitated by my experience at Purdue and the funding from the ASHFoundation. I felt my work and ideas were supported and, as I refined my research questions and objectives, I thought seriously about how my work could contribute to our knowledge base and our patients."

MacPherson’s research focuses on the effects of cognitive, linguistic, and motoric factors and autonomic nervous system function on speech motor control and learning in individuals along the aging continuum with typical and disordered speech production. Using articulatory kinematic, electromyographic, psychophysiologic, and acoustic methods, MacPherson aims to elucidate how these factors interact and contribute to the alterations in speech motor function seen with healthy aging and neurogenic diseases such as Parkinson’s disease. Ultimately, she hopes that her work will contribute to advances in the assessment and treatment of neurologically based communication disorders.  

MacPherson’s ASHFoundation funding has, she says, “definitely made me feel part of the research community” and of the larger community as well when she was invited to Indianapolis to speak to the public service-oriented Psi Iota Xi about her funding from the ASHFoundation. “When people understand the important work of the ASHFoundation,” MacPherson believes, “the community of those involved in and supporting the communication sciences and disorders will be widened even further and our work will have a greater impact on those who need our services.” 

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