A Charles Sturt University (CSU) PhD student has been awarded a federal government Endeavour Research Fellowship to work with leading international researchers in Newfoundland, Canada.
The Endeavour Research Fellowship for Ms Sarah Masso, a PhD candidate in the CSU School of Teacher Education who works with children who have difficulty communicating, will enable her to work in Newfoundland for four months.
Ms Masso said up to 20 per cent of Australian children may have difficulty communicating, and speech pathologists work to support communication development.
"To do this, speech pathologists complete comprehensive assessment and analysis of children's communication difficulties," Ms Masso said.
"By using current technology, and adapting resources such as 'Phon' to be specifically useful for speech pathologists, I hope to support speech pathologists to use technology to improve the productivity, efficiency, and accuracy of their assessments."
Ms Masso will join Associate Professor Yvan Rose and Dr Greg Hedlund at Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada, to help them build a user-friendly interface for Phon, an innovative and comprehensive open-source analysis software that has been developed for free use by linguists.
Phon has received funding from a number of sources including R01 funding from the US National Institutes of Health (NIH), and is currently used in phonetics, linguistics, and speech pathology research and has nine language dictionaries.
"This fellowship is an amazing opportunity for me to work closely with Associate Professor Rose and Dr Hedlund, some of the world's leading developers of speech analysis software, who I met at the International Clinical Phonetics and Linguistics conference in Canada a few months ago," Ms Masso said.
"This opportunity will allow me to be a voice for speech pathologists who need efficient ways to analyse the speech of children and adults who have communication difficulties. I am very excited to be a part of an innovative team and to develop software for speech pathology practice in Australia and around the world."
CSU Professor Sharynne McLeod said, "Sarah is the third student from Charles Sturt University's Research Institute for Professional Practice and Learning (RIPPLE) to be awarded an Endeavour Scholarship/Fellowship.
"Suzanne Hopf is currently on an Endeavour Postgraduate Scholarship in Fiji. Sarah Verdon was also awarded an Endeavour Research Fellowship after her PhD, but had to decline the offer.
"The opportunities provided by the Endeavour Scholarships and Fellowships are outstanding, enabling international collaborations that can make a big difference to professional practice and children's lives."
See more of Professor McLeod's 'Speaking my languages' blog posts here.
Media contact: Bruce Andrews, (02) 6338 6084
Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews with Ms Sarah Masso.