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Brandon NguyBrandon Nguy

2020 Recipient of the McMurtry Family Undergraduate Research Award
Hometown: South Brunswick, New Jersey
Major: Communication Science
Project Mentor: Assistant Professor Will Evans

What is the purpose of your research project?

My project hopes to address an issue of representation of participants in aphasia studies. By looking back at the aphasia literature from the past decade, we can see if the people we have been testing in our studies truly represent the people whom we are trying to treat in the real world.

Why did you choose to investigate this particular topic?

The results of this project could have a tremendous impact on current and future aphasia research. If there are discrepancies in who we have been treating compared to the real world, then this issue must be addressed to make sure our research and treatments are as effective as possible. In addition, as someone who was born with a physical disability, I want to make sure that everyone is represented in aphasia, or any, research to make sure that our studies can benefit as many people as possible.

What are your future career goals?

One of my career goals is to become a Speech-language Pathologist In the upcoming future. Another career goal I have is to become a director of a research facility that specializes in communication disorders so that I can learn more about them and their treatments.

Why did you choose Pitt SHRS?

Pitt SHRS consists of some of the top leading researchers and medical professionals in the health field. To have the opportunity to work and learn from these individuals was something that inspired me to choose Pitt SHRS as I continue to move along with my career goals.

Did you attend an SHRS summer program? If so, can you tell me which one and what influence it had on you?

During summer 2019, I had the opportunity to participate in the BrainCURE program (Brain and Communication Undergraduate Research Experience) at SHRS. From this research experience, I learned a lot about the current issues researchers are trying to solve in my field and the skills you need to become a great researcher. These include having great leadership, being able to communicate properly with others and to be able to take constructive criticism appropriately. If you are interested in neuroscience and/or communication disorders, then BrainCURE would be a great fit for you!

What does this award mean to you?

It is truly an honor and privilege for me to be the recipient of this year's McMurtry Family Undergraduate Research Award. To have this incredible opportunity shows me how much I have grown, both in my academic career and as a person. Without this award, I would not have been able to move further along with my career goals and to be able to help others in the field of aphasia research.