Kiana Hines

Kiana Hines

"Graduate degrees give voices to underrepresented populations."

College: Communication Sciences and Disorders
Degree Program: Communication Sciences and Disorders
Degree: Doctorate

Award: McKnight Dissertation Fellowship (2023)

Why FSU?

I chose to continue my education in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders because I was awarded the Florida Interdisciplinary Research Fellows in Education Sciences (FIREFLIES) grant. Specifically, I was given the opportunity to integrate my knowledge as a speech-language pathologist while exploring my research interests of language and literacy alongside other colleagues in the fields of special education and developmental psychology to name a few. Lastly, I valued the experience that FSU would provide to cultivate my skills as a researcher through extensive research, methodological, and professional development training.

Motivation to pursue a graduate degree

I was motivated to pursue a graduate degree while practicing as a school-based speech-language pathologist (SLP). While working with bilingual students, I realized that there were gaps in research related to literacy development in multilingual students with developmental language disorders and intellectual disabilities. Therefore, I knew a graduate degree would grant me the opportunity to further pursue answers to the questions I developed while working as a school-based SLP. Moreover, I pursued a graduate degree to provide representation and give voices to the underrepresented populations of multilingual students and students with intellectual disabilities.

Importance and/or impact of research and work

My research will help SLPs consider features of language that can be used to better differentiate developmental language disorders from typical language development in multilingual learners. In addition, my research seeks to provide empirical data to support evidence-based interventions that will improve language, reading, and writing skills of multilingual learners with developmental language disorders and/or intellectual disability. Furthermore, my research will translate the empirical data into implementable strategies that can be used by both monolingual and multilingual SLPs.

Career aspirations

I aspire to continue my research at an R1 institute as a professor that will conduct rigorous research while mentoring future SLPs. Alternatively, I also aspire to work as education researcher for the Institute of Educational Science.

Advice for anyone considering graduate school

I encourage anyone considering pursuing graduate school to seek out a community for support. I have learned this degree requires a village to remain motivated.

Accomplishments during graduate career

I am proud of obtaining the FIREFLIES grant, receiving the McKnight Dissertation Scholarship, successfully defending my dissertation prospectus, and serving as the first author for an article publication.