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ASHA Names CSULB’s Heidi Kim 2012 ASHA Minority Scholars Award Recipient

ASHA Award Winner Heidi Kim

The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) recently selected Ms. Heidi Kim, a graduate student in the Department of Communicative Disorders at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB), as one of only 30 recipients of its 2012 ASHA Minority Scholars Award.

The scholarship is supported by the ASHA Foundation’s Minority Scholarship Fund.  The fund is used to promote diversity by opening networking and leadership opportunities to minority students pursuing their graduate studies in the field of speech, language, and hearing.  The ASHA Minority Scholars Award pays for Heidi’s attendance at the ASHA’s annual national convention, which is being held in November in Atlanta, Georgia this year.  While there, Heidi and the other 2012 ASHA Minority Scholar award recipients will attend a leadership program that develops management skills and provides mentoring and professional networking opportunities.

A first-generation Korean American, Heidi completed her undergraduate studies in psychology and Asian American studies at UCLA and then obtained her teaching credential.  She began teaching at a school in Koreatown in downtown Los Angeles.  It was at the school that she saw children in special education courses being pushed to the margins.  As a speech-language pathologist, she wants to give those children access to the same opportunities and curriculum afforded to children with normally developing speech and language.

The field of speech, language, and hearing is deeply personal to her.  In 2004, she experienced an arteriovenous malformation (AVM) stroke and completely lost her ability to speak.  This highlighted to her the fact that “communication is so essential.”  Heidi, by firsthand experience, “knows how awful it is to not communicate with people.”  While recovering in the hospital, she witnessed the importance of diversity and bilingual skills in the field of speech-language pathology.  Heidi saw her parents’ difficulty in grasping the situation of her medical issue and hospital stay because of the language barrier. 

Heidi wanted to help people communicate and saw her future in speech-language pathology.  When researching communicative disorders graduate programs, she found CSULB’s Communicative Disorders program to be incredibly unique in its focus on culturally and linguistically different clients.  Heidi cites Dr. Carolyn Conway Madding, Chair of the Department, as a driving force in her graduate education.  Dr. Madding’s expertise in cultural and linguistic difference and her clinic that focuses on cultural and linguistic differences are invaluable resources to Heidi.  When she graduates, Heidi hopes to represent the department and university by working as a speech-language pathologist in local school districts. 

About the Department of Communicative Disorders

The Department of Communicative Disorders, in the College of Health and Human Services, has been granting undergraduate and graduate degrees since 1954. California State University, Long Beach is a large urban university founded in 1947. Located in the southeast corner of Los Angeles County, the campus borders Orange County to the east.

The department is fully accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Speech-Language Pathology of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) and by the State of California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. Students graduating from the master's program receive all of the academic and clinical practicum requirements for Clinical Certification by ASHA, licensing by the State of California, and are eligible for the Clinical Rehabilitative Services Credential issued by the State of California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.

To learn more about the department and its clinics, please click here.