Lauren Calandruccio, associate professor in the Department of Psychological Sciences, has been selected as the inaugural candidate for the Louis D. Beaumont University Professorship II for her role as both an eminent scholar and teacher.
“Receiving this professorship feels surreal and I am truly humbled,” Calandruccio said.
Since joining the department in 2015, Calandruccio has contributed to the advancement of the understanding and approach to working with and rehabilitating people that are hard-of-hearing. With this professorship, she will be able to pilot innovative ideas that could lead to exciting advances in hearing science.
“It is a joy to see someone as hard-working, talented and passionate as Dr. Calandruccio receive the Beaumont Chair,” Heath Demaree, department chair, said. “She is dedicated to bettering the world through her tremendous research pipeline.”
Her most recent work centers around a grant from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association to support a mentoring program, Innovative Mentoring and Professional Advancement through Cultural Training (IMPACT), which empowers students from underrepresented groups working towards a career in speech-language pathology and audiology.
In collaboration with Hampton University, 10 undergraduate students—five from Hampton and five from Case Western Reserve University (CWRU)—are preparing for graduate school, attending virtual dinners with special guest speakers, taking virtual tours of premier research facilities and participating in a cultural empathy book club. While COVID-19 changed the initial plans for IMPACT, Calandruccio is proud of the work they’ve accomplished and hopes this program will continue for years to come.
“The research grants keep our lab funded,” Calandruccio said. “But the students are what powers my lab.”
She feels lucky to be at CWRU where both research and mentoring are highly valued, sharing that the most rewarding part of her job is working with students and having the opportunity to watch them grow intellectually, professionally and personally. Recently, three of her research assistants, who were first-generation students, were admitted into top speech-language pathology and audiology graduate schools, an achievement that brings her great joy.
“She is unwavering in her dedication to students through her superlative teaching and mentoring,” Demaree said.
As Calandruccio accompanies her superb mentoring with groundbreaking discoveries in the lab, Demaree shares that she tends to deflect well-deserved attention, working in a completely selfless manner.
“It’s nice to see that a bright spotlight can find a well-deserving target, even if that target shuns attention,” Demaree said.