May 4, 2016

Whitney N. Yarber, Communications Specialist

Elizabeth Melton Honored with Clare Philips Martin Scholarship

Pictured is Elizabeth Melton.

VALDOSTA – Elizabeth Melton is Valdosta State University’s 2016 Clare Philips Martin Scholarship recipient.

“I am so excited to receive the 2016 Clare Philips Martin Scholarship,” said the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders graduate student from Marietta. “The Clare Philips Martin Scholarship will allow me to complete my final semester of graduate school, and I am deeply grateful for that. Because of this scholarship, I will soon be able to go out and ‘do good’ on behalf of the university that has given me so much.”

Named for the wife of the late Dr. Sidney Walter Martin, who served as VSU’s fifth president from 1966-1978, the Clare Philips Martin Scholarship is presented to a student with a minimum grade point average of 3.5 who is active in both on- and off-campus activities and organizations and has earned a total of 60 academic credit hours or more.

Melton earned a Bachelor of Science in Education in communication sciences and disorders from VSU’s James L. and Dorothy H. Dewar College of Education and Human Services in May 2013.

“During my time as an undergraduate student, VSU taught me the importance of scholarship, community involvement, and philanthropy,” said Melton, who served as a recruitment counselor for the College Panhellenic Council, president and philanthropy chairwoman of the Psi Lambda Chapter of Chi Omega, and a member of the Order of Omega Honor Society and Sigma Alpha Pi: The National Society of Leadership and Success. “The skills that I learned early on have allowed me to grow both personally and professionally over the past six years.”

A regular on the Dean’s List, Melton was the recipient of the College Panhellenic Council’s 2012 Outstanding President of the Year Award, the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders 2013 Outstanding Undergraduate Researcher Award, the Best Poster Award for the College of Education and Human Services at the 2013 Undergraduate Research Symposium, the Order of Omega National Honor Society Award, and the National Society of Leadership and Success Award. She was also selected by faculty, staff, and administrators to represent the university in the 2013-2014 Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges.

Following the completion of her undergraduate degree, Melton worked as a summer camp assistant at the Atlanta Speech School, as well as a development and communications coordinator at the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Association of Georgia in Atlanta.

She said it was the meaningful relationships she developed with the patients living with ALS, along with their families, that deepened her desire to become a speech-language pathologist (SLP).

“Growing up, I always knew I would choose a profession that involved helping others,” said the daughter of Ernest Melton and Diane Loder. “Witnessing individuals being deprived a full life due to a condition we know little about, in terms of treatment, was an eye opener. I realized there is so much I can do to truly make a difference in the lives of the individuals I treat. The majority of the individuals I will encounter are those who must adapt to significant cognitive and physical changes that were not present prior to disease or injury.”

As a graduate student at VSU, Melton serves as a clinician in the on-campus Speech and Hearing Clinic, which offers hearing evaluations, communication and cognitive evaluations, and therapeutic services to men, women, and children from the South Georgia area.

She is a member of the Georgia Speech-Language-Hearing Association and the National Student Speech-Language-Hearing Association; an ambassador for VocaliD, a voice company that leverages voicebank and proprietary voice blending technologies to create a unique vocal persona for any device that turns text into speech; and the recipient of the 2015 Graduate Research Scholarship, which was presented by her thesis advisor, Dr. Mary Gorham-Rowan, professor in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders.

Melton also holds a Lee Silverman Voice Treatments Global Inc. Certificate, allowing her to provide innovative therapy solutions to improve communication and movement in individuals with Parkinson’s disease and other neurological conditions.

Melton expects to graduate with a Master of Education in communication sciences and disorders in July 2016.

“As a future SLP, I will strive to provide each patient I treat with the necessary skills they need to reintegrate as smoothly as possible into their everyday life,” she said.

On the Web:

Valdosta State University’s 2013-2019 Strategic Plan represents a renewal of energy and commitment to the foundational principles for comprehensive institutions.

Implementation of the plan’s five goals, along with their accompanying objectives and strategies, supports VSU’s institutional mission and the University System of Georgia’s mission for comprehensive universities.

The story above demonstrates VSU's commitment to meeting the following goals:

Goal 1: Recruit, retain, and graduate a quality, diverse student population and prepare students for roles as leaders in a global society.

Goal 3: Promote student, employee, alumni, retiree, and community engagement in our mission.

Goal 4: Foster an environment of creativity and scholarship.

Goal 5: Develop and enhance Valdosta State’s human and physical resources.

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