By Kate Hunger
When Carolyn Perez first began the Speech-Language Pathology master’s program, she had not yet felt the pull of research. But after observing the research passion of her mentor, Rocío Norman, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, Assistant Professor, and working on a research project involving traumatic brain injury, Perez was hooked.
“Research is where it’s at,” she said of the potential of research to make a difference.
Perez was one of five School of Health Professions students to receive UT Health San Antonio Student Government Association Awards in an annual ceremony last month.
Perez received the Student Research Award for her contributions to a research project on ecological validity, for which she and Norman collaborated with Tracy Floyd, M.S., OTR/L of the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Service at Brooke Army Medical Center. Perez presented a poster on the research titled, “Ecological validity in the rehabilitation of a service member with penetrating TBI” at the International Brain Injury Association’s 13th World Congress on Brain Injury in Toronto in March. The research team’s abstract recently was published in the journal Brain Injury.
“This research project also allowed me to see how important communication of patient goals and intervention methods amongst disciplines can benefit the patient and their outcomes,” Perez said.
Michael Nash, president of the Physical Therapy Class of 2019, received the Professional Student Leadership award. He called the award both unexpected and appreciated, and explained that he intentionally worked to develop his skills as a leader.
“I have been seeking out as many opportunities as I could to grow myself and also do some good and leave a mark that would benefit others,” he said.
Selina Morgan, PT, DPT, Clinical Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy, nominated Nash for the award. She said his commitment to leadership never waivered.
“Leadership should be on every level,” Morgan said, adding that she observed Nash lead in the classroom, on clinical rotation, as well as at the state level during the department’s Legislative Day and through his leadership as president of the board of directors for the national Association of Schools of Allied Health Professions – Student Assembly organization.
The following School of Health Professions students also were recognized:
• Angelica Garcia (RC) received the Student Clinical Excellence Award
• John Benavides (PT) received the Student Community Service Award
• Kim Lam (MLS) received the University Student Leadership Award