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Jersey Garoutte

Jersey Garoutte Communication Sciences and Disorders Major

About Jersey

Year: Sophomore
Major: Communication Sciences and Disorders
Hometown: Pueblo, CO
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Qiang Li
Research Recognition: Outstanding Undergraduate Scholar

Learn more about the Outstanding Undergraduate Scholar Award

Describe your research

"F0 Resetting in Person's with Parkinson's Disease" aims to investigate the prosody deficit in people with hypokinetic dysarthria secondary to Parkinson's Disease. Hypokinetic dysarthria is a specific communication difficulty that impacts over 90% of persons living with Parkinson's Disease. It impacts speech significantly, therefore leading to a poor quality of life. 20 participants with Parkinson's Disease and hypokinetic dysarthria and another 20 age and gender matched controls were recruited. With the help of these individuals, we were able to analyze their speech samples and draw conclusions about the prosody deficits in-between groups. With more research, our findings hope to spread awareness and education of hypokinetic dysarthria and improve the overall quality of life to those living with it.

What was it like sharing your research?

I have never participated in such a collaborative and amazing experience. I was able to broaden my horizons in multiple areas while also being able to learn so much from other students and all my instructors. I am extremely grateful for the amount of support I have received from my mentor, Dr. Li, and Fort Hays State University itself. Research has allowed me to build relationships with fellow students, graduate students, and department chairs who have all supported me along the way. My research has become something I am deeply passionate about, and I look to discuss it with my peers as much as possible! Not only this, but also being able to venture to places such as the annual ASHA (American Speech-Language Hearing Association) and KSHA (Kansas Speech Language-Hearing Association) conventions, along with virtual conventions like the Kansas Undergraduate Research Day. These have allowed me to experience areas and new people that I would have never been exposed to prior. The ASHA and KSHA conventions had such a wide base of knowledge allowing me to visit presentations online and in-person, it was basically impossible to not learn! The Kansas Undergraduate Research Days was a great opportunity to learn about other research that is not particularly within my field. It was amazing to see the students of our future excelling in so many programs and made me hopeful for the forthcoming generations. It was also gratifying to know others were interested in our research, the online interaction allowed me to view and reply to those who had questions about our research.

What are your future career goals?

I plan on completing my bachelor’s degree in communication sciences and disorders, then completing my master’s degree in the speech-language pathology program! My experiences with research have brought me an inexplicable passion to learn paired with the desire to help others. One of the things that drew me to this program was the necessity of communication in all aspects of life and all cultures, research has allowed me to meet people from all around the world and gain their knowledge as well. I would say it entirely solidified any question in my mind that this path was right for me, I look forward to my future in the program every day.

Why should other students get involved in research?

My participation has introduced me to a variety of different topics, allowed me to build relationships with fellow students and graduate students, connected me more with my department, and brought me to new places I could have never even imagined; all while under the mentorship of Dr. Li. Dr. Li is so passionate about creating research to help the future and it has truly been life-changing being able to learn under him. Along with this, my student engagement has increased tremendously. I am extremely interested in every class now, no matter what the topic, and this has shown directly in my grades. I also feel more connected to my school and have a strong sense of pride for FHSU and what I am representing. I cannot recommend it enough that other students get involved in any way that they can at FHSU!