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Derek Isetti ’08 Receives A $10,000 Scholarship at National Meeting of Communication Professionals

Feb 5, 2014

Derek Isetti '08 received a $10,000 American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation New Century Scholars Doctoral Scholarship during the recent 2013 Convention of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), held November 14-16 in Chicago, Illinois.

The New Century Scholars Research Doctoral Scholarship supports doctoral students committed to working in a higher education academic community in the field of communication sciences and disorders in the United States. This program is made possible through the American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation's (ASHFoundation) Dreams and Possibilities Campaign.

Isetti is currently a doctoral student studying speech and hearing science at University of Washington in Seattle. He received his master of science in speech-language pathology from Pacific in 2008 and his bachelor of arts in drama from University of California, Irvine. After receiving his bacherlor's Isetti worked as a Broadway performer for 10 years. "There is currently a television show on NBC entitled "Smash" which chronicles the making of a new Broadway musical. I mention this because for most of my life, this was no television drama; this was my world."

On Broadway, Isetti was an understudy for John Stamos in the musical "Cabaret" and was suddenly asked to take the role as the lead man when the original cast member suffered a hemorrhaged vocal fold. Prior to this incident Isetti knew little about voice disorders.

When Isetti decided to pursue his education in speech pathology, his initial goal was to work with the performing community and other professional voice users. During his time at Pacific Isetti realized that "great professors are often performers in their own right" which motivated him to pursue the doctor of philosophy with the potential to make a huge impact on the community and profession.

Isetti is passionate about working with patients who suffer from spasmodic dysphonia (SD). "I am especially interested in how the knowledge of diagnosis and information about a disease might alter these listener impressions to facilitate smoother interactions with communication partners." The scholarship will help further his research on SD and support his dissertation research on workplace barriers faced by individuals with voice disorders, and how severity of symptoms may differently affect hiring outcomes.

"Thank you so much. I am grateful, but just as important, I am proud to represent an organization whose mission has always been to serve others," said Isetti.

The ASHFoundation is a charitable organization that promotes a better quality of life for children and adults with communication disorders. The ASHFoundation is affiliated with ASHA and is part of the Association's annual convention─the most comprehensive development conference for speech-language pathologists, audiologists, and speech, language and hearing scientists.

About the American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation
ASHFoundation's mission is to advance knowledge about the causes and treatment of hearing, speech, and language problems. The ASHFoundation raises funds from individuals, corporations, and organizations to support research, graduate education, and special projects that foster discovery and innovation in the field of communication sciences.

About the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
The national professional, scientific, and credentialing association for more than 166,000 audiologists, speech-language pathologists, and speech, language, and hearing scientists. Audiologists specialize in preventing and assessing hearing and balance disorders as well as providing audiologic treatment, including hearing aids. Speech-language pathologists identify, assess, and treat speech and language problems, including swallowing disorders.