Four Fort Hays State University graduate students have been selected to receive Masonic Fellowships in the Department of Communication Disorders for the 2003-2004 academic year.
The fellowships, awarded each academic year to two new and two continuing graduate students majoring in speech-language pathology, carry a stipend of $6,000 per year.
The fellowships are part of a grant from the Kansas Masonic Foundation to the Department of Communication Disorders and its teaching clinic, the Herndon Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic. The most recent award, $97,590, took effect on July 1, continuing a partnership that began in 1998 with the KMF's five-year grant to the department to support speech rehabilitation services to stroke survivors and other neurologically impaired adults. The total amount that the KMF has committed to clinical services and education at FHSU since 1998 is $416,542.
The intensive, two-year graduate SLP program leaves students little time for outside employment as they pursue their degrees. The fellowships have allowed some of the program's most promising students to focus on their clinical and educational experiences.
Mark Nelson, executive director of the KMF, said, "We are so pleased to be a part of the educational experience of those students who have chosen speech pathology as their life career. What a rewarding skill to possess."
The FHSU master of science program in speech-language pathology is nationally accredited and produces an average of 14 SLPs annually. After earning the MS degree, graduates are eligible for the national Certificate of Clinical Competence and Kansas licensure.
The Kansas Masonic Foundation was established in 1966 for the purpose of expanding Masonic philanthropy in the fields of charitable, educational and scientific programs. The KMF is totally funded by voluntary gifts and endowments from Kansas Masons, their families and friends.
Recipients of the fellowships are listed below.
Kara McAtee, Hays graduate student, was awarded a fellowship for the second year in a row. She is the daughter of Rod and Karla McAtee. She graduated from Hays High School and earned a bachelor of science degree in speech-language pathology from FHSU in December 2001.
Elizabeth "Liz" Cline, Lyons graduate student, was one of two new Masonic Fellows for the 2003-2004 academic year. She is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Cline. She graduated from Lyons High School and earned a bachelor of science degree in speech-language pathology from FHSU in May 2003. She will begin the master's program in the fall of 2003.
Jennifer Noffsinger, Great Bend graduate student, was awarded the fellowship for the second year in a row. She is the daughter of Clayton and Debbie Noffsinger. She graduated from Great Bend High School and earned a bachelor of science degree in speech-language pathology from FHSU in December 2001.
Katie Gentert, WaKeeney graduate student, was one of the two new Masonic Fellows for the 2003-2004 academic year. She is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Gentert, Brownville, NE. She graduated from Auburn Senior High School, Auburn, NE, and earned a bachelor of science in speech-language pathology from FHSU in December 2002. She began the master's program in spring 2003.