Doctoral Degree Candidate: Audiology (Au.D.) '17
Growing up in a bilingual family gave Jane Grabowski an advantage in learning other languages — four other languages in addition to English to be exact. It also led her to pursue a German major in her undergraduate studies and a master’s degree in Germanic linguistics. But following stints teaching German, developing German curriculum at the college level and serving as a second language acquisition specialist at the National Foreign Language Center, Grabowski had other ideas.
Eager to combine her ear for language with an interest in language perception, she began thinking about continuing her education. “When I relocated to this area, faculty members at Towson helped me figure out the next steps,” says Grabowski, who is midway through a doctoral program that has given her valuable training in the classroom and exciting clinical and research experience in the audiology field.
“I am fortunate that faculty have supported my community outreach activities and research efforts,” says Grabowski. Those efforts include volunteering with the Healthy Hearing Initiative for Special Olympics of Maryland, hosted by Towson University each summer.
She has also taken advantage of a National Institutes of Health initiative to encourage researchers in the field. Grabowski worked on a short-term NIH research grant at the National Center for Rehabilitative Auditory Research, part of the Department of Veterans Affairs, to study how the brain stem encodes information and responds to stimuli in young and older individuals with normal hearing and those with hearing loss.
“This research could shed light on factors, such as age and hearing status, and how they contribute to understanding speech,” she says.