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CSD Graduate Student Wins Minority Student Leadership Program Award

Chair Karen Doherty says Carly Maldonado brings 'national distinction' to department

Oct 17, 2014 | Article by: Georgia Popoff

Carly Maldonado


Carly Maldonado, a graduate student in Syracuse University’s Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD), is a recipient of the Minority Student Leadership Program (MSLP) Award from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).

Raised in a multicultural family in Western New York, Maldonado is a third-year student in CSD’s Doctor of Audiology/Doctor of Philosophy (Au.D./Ph.D.) dual-degree program, based in the College of Arts and Sciences.

“We’re extremely proud of Carly, whose accomplishment brings national distinction to our department, and also speaks to our commitment to training historically underrepresented minorities in the audiology and speech-pathology professions” says Karen Doherty, professor and chair of CSD, as well as Maldonado’s faculty mentor. “Carly is doing very interesting research on the early stages of age-related hearing loss, and this opportunity will allow Carly to begin developing her leadership skills early on in her career.”

The MSLP is a leadership development program targeting racial and ethnic minorities. The award provides opportunities for program participants to enhance and build their leadership skills, while interacting with leaders in audiology; speech-language pathology; and speech, language, and hearing sciences.

One such opportunity is the 2014 ASHA Convention, taking place in November in Orlando, Fla. Maldonado will join more than 12,000 attendees from all over the country for a weekend of educational events and activities.  



“The ASHA Convention will allow me to engage with others who are cognizant of the unique needs of culturally and linguistically diverse clients and have insight into how audiologists and speech-language pathologists can best serve these clients,” says Maldonado, who identifies as Hispanic.

Raised in Webster, N.Y., Maldonado developed an interest in American Sign Language at an early age and began formal study in high school. She parlayed this skill—and a general interest in audiology—into a bachelor’s degree in CSD from Nazareth College in nearby Rochester.  



At Syracuse, Maldonado maintains a hectic academic schedule, which includes clinic, course work and research. Moreover, she’s president of the Syracuse chapter of the Student Academy of Audiology. 



Maldonado hopes to someday work with adult clients in a hospital setting. With more than 48 million Americans reporting some degree of hearing loss (of whom 60 percent are in the work force or educational settings), there seems to be no shortage of jobs for people with her qualifications. 



“The joint program allows me to master the skills I need to become a clinical audiologist, while giving me the opportunity to explore uncharted territory through research,” she says. “It’s the best of both worlds.”

Housed in the College of Arts and Sciences, CSD offers graduate and undergraduate opportunities in audiology and speech-language pathology. In 2014, the department marked its 65th anniversary, as well as the 40th anniversary of the Gebbie Clinic, by moving into more spacious, modern facilities on Syracuse’s South Campus. 



“Our new space makes us better equipped to handle the challenges of and opportunities in the 21st century,” says Doherty, citing a near 100-percent employment rate for CSD’s speech-language pathology and audiology graduates. “The field has flourished, and so have we.”



ASHA is the national professional, scientific, and credentialing association for more than 173,000 members and affiliates who are audiologists; speech-language pathologists; speech, language, and hearing scientists; audiology and speech-language pathology support personnel; and students.

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Contact Information

Sarah Scalese
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sescales@syr.edu