Questions & Answers

​There are many benefits of getting involved in a research project, some of which include:

  • Learning more about a topic of interest, as you will be able to gain a deeper understanding of a topic that was covered in one of your classes or learn about a topic that hasn’t been discussed in any of your classes yet. 

  • Gaining an understanding of the research process, which can help prepare you to engage in future research and/or use research to make evidence-based decisions. 

  • Preparing for graduate school, where you might be expected to or have the opportunity to complete a research project and will likely read journal articles for classes and clinical experiences. 

  • Building relationships with faculty members and/or other student researchers, which can build your collaboration skills and expose you to multiple perspectives.
  • Contributing to the field of communication sciences and disorders, especially if you research project is presented at a conference or becomes published in a journal.

​The first step to getting involved in a research project is to contact a possible research advisor. To figure out who to contact, you should consider what topics you’re interested in researching. The research projects listed below and the research interests listed on the speech-language pathology and audiology faculty pages will give you some of idea of who to contact based on your research interests. Once you figure out who to contact, you should schedule an appointment with that individual to see if they are willing to supervise a research project or if they would like any assistance on a research project.

​There are two possible roles that you could serve as a student researcher: (1) lead researcher on your own project or (2) research assistant. 

(1) Lead Researcher: If you’re wanting to conduct your own research project under the supervision of a faculty member, you would collaborate with your supervisor to design the study and submit any proposals necessary to conduct the study (e.g., IRB proposal or Honors proposal). You would likely take the lead in data collection and data entry. To analyze data, you would likely collaborate with your faculty supervisor. You would be responsible for taking the lead in writing up your results, with your supervisor reviewing your work and making suggestions for revisions. If you choose to submit your research for presentation or publication, you would also collaborate with your supervisor in preparing those documents. Many students present their research on campus (e.g., SRCEE, Honors Exhibition, CHP Research Symposium) or at a state/national conference (e.g., MSHA, ASHA, AAA), and some might submit a manuscript for publication in a research journal. 

(2) Research Assistant: If you are a member of a research team and are assisting with ongoing research, you could assist with any phase of the research process: (1) searching for literature, (2) reviewing literature, (3) designing the study, (4) collecting data, (5) entering data, (6) analyzing data, (7) writing up results, and/or (8) presenting findings.

Many students present their research at different events at CMU, including: 

In addition, you could also submit applications to present your research at venues outside of CMU. Some of the most common places outside CMU that students present at include: 

  • MSHA Conference 
  • ASHA Convention 
  • AAA Conference


Alisha Lodewyk

  • Advisor: Rebecca Affoo, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, Megan MacPherson, Ph.D. CCC-SLP, Mark Lehman, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
  • Title: Normative acoustic voice data of healthy college-aged adults living in Michigan

Claudia Packan

  • Advisors: Rebecca Affoo, Ph.D., CCC-SLP & MaryBeth Smith, M.A., CCC-SLP
  • Title: Oral Health Training in Speech-Language Pathology Graduate Programs in Michigan

Jessica Serene

  • Advisors: Rebecca Affoo, Ph.D., CCC-SLP & MaryBeth Smith, M.A., CCC-SLP
  • Title: CMU Graduate Student Perceptions of Oral Health

Emily Fabus

  • Advisor: Natalie Douglas, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
  • Title: Environmental Modifications for People with Dementia

Stephanie Lingo

  • Advisors: Megan MacPherson, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, Rebecca Affoo, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, Mark Lehman, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
  • Title: The Relationship Between Physical Health Status and Acoustic Measures of Voice

Taitum Male

  • Advisor: Natalie Douglas, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
  • Title: Job Satisfaction in Long-Term Care Settings Before and After Implementation of Montessori for Aging and  Dementia

Olivia Payton

  • Advisor: Shannon Palmer, Au.D., Ph.D, CCC-A
  • Title: Revision of the NU-CHIPs Pediatric Speech Recognition Test

Kendra Peffers

  • Advisor: Natalie Douglas, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
  • Title: Implementation of the Montessori Philosophy of Care at Isabella County Medical Care Facility: Impacts on Residents with Dementia

Ellen Wegener

  • Advisor: Natalie Douglas, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
  • Title: Agitation in People with Dementia Before and After Implementation of Montessori for People with Dementia