NMSU College of Education student wins national scholarship

An undergraduate student at New Mexico State University’s College of Education has been awarded a scholarship by the American Speech and Hearing Association.

Lauren Renken, a Communication Sciences student who will graduate from NMSU in the spring, is a recipient of the 2016 Students Preparing for Academic-Research Careers Award. The goal of the award is to foster students’ interest in careers in academia.

Renken will attend the 2016 ASHA convention in Philadelphia in November, and a reception exclusively for ASHA’s research education program awardees, participants and faculty. During the convention, Renken will also present her research on hearing development in children.

“This is a very significant recognition of the quality of this student’s work, her potential for a bright career in Communication Sciences, and also a nice compliment to her faculty mentor, assistant professor Srikanta Mishra,” said Robert Wood, interim head of the Department of Special Education and Communication Disorders in the College of Education.

Renken said the award provides opportunities for students to participate in mentored teaching and research activities before they begin graduate studies.

“I will have the hands-on opportunity to experience teaching at the college level,” Renken said. “In a very real sense, it will help me prepare for a career in academic education and research. This award will enable me to travel to Philadelphia to present my research before professionals and fellow students in my field.”

Renken said she learned about the award through Mishra, who she describes as an “amazing” mentor.

“He has helped guide me through the research process and has generously provided not only his expertise, but also numerous opportunities for me to learn and to grow,” Renken said. “For my research on hearing development in children, Dr. Mishra has generously provided the laboratory setup and resources that I have needed. He has helped me through the processes of deciding the direction of my studies and of my research.”

Mishra said Renken’s award will bring national recognition to the Communication Disorders program at NMSU.

“Lauren came to work in my lab during her junior year, and she has shown tremendous growth in the past year,” Mishra said. “She is very enthusiastic and has the potential for a successful career in academia.”


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