Kathryn Morphew awarded the USF Seckel-West Fluency Scholarship


As part of USF’s Fourth Annual “Speech Party” outreach event for children who stutter and their families – Kathryn Morphew was presented with the USF Seckel-West Fluency Scholarship, a newly-established award aimed at supporting graduate students interested in specializing in childhood stuttering. Kathryn is using the scholarship money to complete two studies at USF, as part of her doctoral research rotation. In one study, Kathryn is investigating the efficacy of an internet-based treatment for a child who stutters. This study may help to inspire new (tele-practice) treatment options for people who stutter in the Greater Tampa Bay region. Kathryn’s second research project, also funded by the Seckel-West Scholarship, is an experimental investigation of how efficiently children who stutter access their “mental dictionaries”, in real-time, as they prepare to produce speech. This investigation utilizes a cognitive neuroscience approach to the study of lexical retrieval in children who stutter. Kathryn’s goal is to publish this investigation in a leading research journal along with her advisor, Nathan Maxfield, Assistant Professor at USF. Results of the study may help to inform new diagnostic and treatment approaches in childhood stuttering. Results will also be used as pilot data for a forthcoming large-grant application. The CSD program at USF is very fortunate to collaborate with, and have the support of, Sheryl and Gabe Hunter, Prescott and Sandy Seckel, and Valerie West (donors of the Seckel-West Scholarship) and other families of children who stutter in the region.