“Where are they now?” Checking in with recent graduate, Dr. Christine Holyfield

Dr. Christine Holyfield, Assistant Professor of Communication Disorders at the University of Arkansas

As we recruit new students for the AAC Leadership Project, we wanted to take this time to also feature the successes of current and past students.  

Today, we would like to highlight Dr. Christine Holyfield, who was part of the AAC Leadership Project from 2014-2017. 

Christine is now an Assistant Professor of Communication Disorders at the University of Arkansas.  In her position, Christine fulfills various roles and responsibilities, including research, teaching, mentoring honor student research, and service.  She is currently teaching a required graduate AAC course and an elective graduate course on learning language with multiple disabilities. Christine has continued to develop her strong research line and is currently evaluating AAC intervention strategies and technology options for individuals with IDD, particularly those who are pre- and early-symbolic communicators.
When asked how the AAC Leadership project prepared Christine for her current position, she shared:
I had the opportunity to become intricately familiar with the current AAC evidence base and with sound research methodologies. That knowledge I gained continues to guide my research planning and decision making. Most importantly, I learned about being an effective AAC researcher and teacher by observing from and interacting with many of the foremost leaders in AAC research and teaching in the field today.
Christine’s advice to those who are considering to apply for the grant: 
If you are passionate about supporting those who require AAC, integral roles for contributing that support include helping build the evidence base and helping prepare future speech-language pathologists. If those are roles you choose, the AAC Leadership Project is an exceptional opportunity to prepare you for them.
Many thanks to Christine for sharing her experience and advice!
The AAC Leadership Project is a doctoral fellowship program, funded by the U.S. Department of Education (H325D170024). If you would like more information, click here.   

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