American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

Tiffany Hogan

PhD Candidate, Department of Speech-Language-Hearing

University of Kansas

Certificate of Clinical Competence, Speech-Language Pathology

Tiffany Hogan 2006    Ph.D., University of Kansas
            Speech-Language Pathology

1998    M.S., Central Missouri State University
            Speech-Language Pathology

1997    B.S. Central Missouri State University
            Speech-Language Pathology

I chose an academic/research career because:
I enjoy the scientific process and wish to contribute to the scientific base of our field. I also love teaching and interacting with students.

Note: Tiffany initially completed this profile while a doctoral student at the University of Kansas. She completed her PhD recently and we have added an update to reflect her new position.

What do you do in your career as a teacher, scholar, and/or researcher?
I am currently a PhD candidate at the University of Kansas, a research intensive setting. On a daily basis I am collecting data for my dissertation study that examines the link between vocabulary development and early reading skills in preschool children. In addition, I am writing articles for publication, preparing power point presentations for upcoming conferences, working with my professors and peers on new studies/grant proposals, and starting to think about my dissertation results and their implications. Everyday is something new!  UPDATE: I am currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Arizona, a research intensive setting. On a daily basis I am writing articles for publication, preparing power point presentations for upcoming conferences, formulating studies and grant proposals, developing courses, and having discussions with peers and students. Everyday is something new!

How did you get to the position you have today?
After completing my master's degree in speech-language pathology, I was tired of school and ready to begin my clinical career. I started at Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri primarily treating preschool children with speech and language impairments through their outpatient clinic. It was in my first year there that I became interested in the reading-language connection. I worked with a colleague to start a phonological awareness/pre-reading stimulation group for our preschool clients at risk for reading impairments. Around the same time, I became involved in a research study of language and reading at a local foreign language immersion program. As an extension of these experiences I started to seriously consider a career in academia; I had always loved the scientific process and liked the idea of teaching. During my third year at Children's Mercy, I began part-time as a graduate student at the University of Kansas. When I obtained a graduate assistantship a year later, I left my clinical position for full-time student status. I took classes for 3 years before I applied for a grant to work on my dissertation. That grant will end in May of 2006 and I will start as an assistant professor at the University of Arizona next August (2006). UPDATE: I successfully defended my dissertation and have moved on to the next step of my career as an assistant professor at the University of Arizona.

What were the key factors in your academic/research career decision(s)?
I have always been curious about the influence of the environment and genetics on individual development (the classic nature versus nurture conundrum). It was this curiosity that drew me to the fields of psychology and speech-language pathology. When I was in graduate school at Central Missouri State University my professors often told me that I should pursue a PhD. I was flattered by their comments but didn't take them seriously. No one in my family had ever earned a doctoral degree so the concept was foreign. Once I started working and saw that there were many unanswered questioned in our field, I thought about my professors' encouragements and began thinking about a life in academia (e.g., Could I do the work? Could I afford to go back to school? How would this affect my plans for a family?). With the support of my family, I decided to "go for it"; it was the best decision I ever made.

What do you like most about your career?
I like my ability to contribute to the research base of our field by answering questions about reading and language. I love the variety of activities each day.

What do you like least about your career?
It is difficult to find the time to do all that I would like to do. I wish I could spend more time with colleagues discussing our research findings and their implications for the field.

Who are your heroes/heroines?
I have many mentors in my life including my mom who is also a speech-language pathologist. She went back to college when I was young. I learned through her hard work and dedication that anything can be accomplished if you put your heart into it. She and my father also instilled in me a sense of wonder about the world and a love for learning.

What advice would you give to an undergraduate or master's student who expressed an interest in an academic/research career in communication sciences and disorders?
I would tell him/her to know where his/her passions lie; these passions will drive his/her career. Seek out research and teaching experiences as soon as possible; talk to doctoral students and attend workshops addressing the PhD shortage. Take statistical coursework early and hone your writing skills. Set your sights on the degree and don't let "life" get in the way of your ability to achieve your goals.

What was the best thing about your Ph.D. program?
The teacher-peer and peer-peer interactions have been invaluable. They have been my greatest learning tool and I believe they will set the stage for collaborate work in the future.

If you did your Ph.D. program or your early career years all over again, what would you do differently?
I would have made the effort to live in Lawrence (the home of the University of Kansas) instead of commuting from Kansas City. Driving an hour each way was difficult and likely hindered my ability to take advantage of many activities, both socially and professionally.

How do you find balance between your professional activities and your personal life? What do you do to relax?
I enjoy spending time with friends and family, reading a good book, watching movies, and playing volleyball.

What will you be doing 5 years from now? 10 years from now?
I plan to be a professor at a research-based university mentoring graduate students and continuing to answer questions about the relationship between language and reading.

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