Funding the Future An ASHFoundation donor shares her perspective. ASHA News
ASHA News  |   June 01, 2017
Funding the Future
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ASHA News & Member Stories / ASHA News
ASHA News   |   June 01, 2017
Funding the Future
The ASHA Leader, June 2017, Vol. 22, 64. doi:10.1044/leader.AN7.22062017.64
The ASHA Leader, June 2017, Vol. 22, 64. doi:10.1044/leader.AN7.22062017.64
When Linda Milosky was a high school student, she happened to see an advertisement for the National High School Institute in Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD), a six-week program at Northwestern University. She was already interested in biology and psychology so CSD sounded like a natural fit, even though she was not exactly sure what to expect. It took less than those six weeks for Milosky to discover her future.
That was 48 years ago. Today, Milosky—a longtime ASHFoundation donor—is an associate professor of speech-language pathology in the CSD department at Syracuse University, where she has served on the faculty for 29 years. Her area of research is children’s language development and disorders, and she has recently developed an interest in adapting single-subject designs to clinical situations “so that clinicians may further develop evidence-based practice for individual clients.”
It was the early Northwestern experience that was, albeit in an oblique and serendipitous way, the connection that linked Milosky to the work of the ASHFoundation years later. “I had a PhD student, Janet Ford, who was conducting an experiment requiring a large set of experientially controlled videos in conjunction with her work with children with language impairments. She applied successfully to the ASHFoundation’s Arlene and Noel Matkin Student Research Grant in Early Childhood Language.” The award was significant to Milosky, who had taken Noel Matkin’s class in pediatric audiology at Northwestern—her undergraduate alma mater.
“Since Janet received her award, many of my students and colleagues have also been funded by the ASHFoundation,” Milosky notes. “Because its commitment is so important to the future of our work, I’ve made an effort to increase my donation every year. I’ve also become a University Giving Ambassador to remind others of the benefits we have reaped, thanks to the support of the ASHFoundation.”
Those benefits are abundantly clear. Milosoky points out, for example, how New Investigators Research Grants have helped researchers launch projects, collect pilot data, and demonstrate to administrators that the grant recipient is capable of acquiring outside funding, an essential criterion for academic success.
Further, the ASHFoundation’s Clinical Research Grant and the New Century Scholars Research Grant provide seed money to investigators who are more senior in their careers but who want to try a new direction or a new application of their current work. Milosky especially appreciates Clinical Research Grants, because “they allow PhD-level researchers to focus on evidence-based practice that is grounded in real clinical situations. I don’t want to forget to mention the importance of the doctoral and graduate student scholarships.”
And the ASHFoundation would be remiss not to mention its additional connection to Milosky through a tribute donation in her honor. It comes with a bit of backstory: When Milosky was a doctoral student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1980, Professor Jon Miller and his colleagues at Wisconsin’s Waisman Center had just developed the Systematic Analysis of Language Transcripts (SALT), a software program that manages the process of eliciting, transcribing and analyzing language samples. The program has been continually improved since then, and has greatly improved clinical practice. Milosky has taught the program for 30 years. When Miller realized Milosky’s long-standing loyalty to SALT, he made a contribution to the ASHFoundation in her honor. Milosky was delighted, saying, “The great pleasure and gratitude that I felt to have received this distinction will sustain me in many of my professional efforts.”
Finally, as Milosky gratefully reflects on her family (including one granddaughter and another grandchild on the way), colleagues and friends, she is “confident that the work of the ASHFoundation will contribute to providing excellence in care for all those needing the support of speech, language and hearing professionals.”
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June 2017
Volume 22, Issue 6