A second-year graduate student in the Communication Sciences and Disorders program at Chapman University has won a national leadership award from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).

Jessica Barron (M.S. ’17) will formally receive the Minority Student Leadership Program Award and participate in three days of pre-professional training during the organization’s national convention in Philadelphia this November.

“It’s a really big honor to represent your university, but also to be acknowledged by an association that’s nationwide,” Barron said.

The award honors students who demonstrate outstanding community service and academics and are members of minority groups underrepresented in the field of communication science and speech disorders. The award was given to 40 students out of more than 200 applicants.

Barron joins in many of the community service activities performed by students in the Crean College program, including the Special Olympics and local speech and hearing screenings. In addition, she’s a member of a nonprofit dance team that raises money to benefit charities that service children with disabilities and interned with the Starkey Hearing Foundation.

That brand of community service dovetails with the clinical outreach Chapman students experience, Barron says..

“All of the clinic opportunities are outside of the school. We’re in the community. At some schools the clinical work is more facilitated and sterile. We’re in raw situations, and I feel like it gives you a lot more flexibility and knowledge,” she said. “You get a lot of exposure to syndromes and conditions you might not otherwise be exposed to. It allows you to think on your feet and problem-solve.”

Display image at top/Jessica Barron takes a break at the Rinker Health Science Campus in Irvine, where the CSD program is located.