Kidron awarded Von Drach Memorial Scholarship by the Pennsylvania Speech-Language-Hearing Association

Dr. Scaler Scott poses with Maria Kidron '13 at the conference.
Maria Kidron ’13 of Elysburg, Pa., a speech-language pathology (SLP) graduate student at Misericordia University, was awarded the 2012 Von Drach Memorial Scholarship by the Pennsylvania Speech-Language-Hearing Association (PSHA) at the 53rd annual convention in Lancaster, Pa.

The 2012 award marks the fifth straight year a Misericordia SLP student has received the prestigious $1,000 scholarship, which is awarded annually to an outstanding student from one of Pennsylvania’s 14 SLP schools in honor of Dr. Robert Von Drach. It is given to a student who exhibits strong leadership abilities, outstanding academic performance, exceptional clinical skills and scholarship within the profession.

At Misericordia, Kidron has been a member of the department’s National Student Speech-Language Hearing Association (NSSLHA) since 2008 and of the Pennsylvania Speech-Language-Hearing Association NSSLHA Chapter since 2008. Kidron has also maintained a perfect 4.0 grade point average in her academic studies, while also gaining clinical experience at the Misericordia University Speech-Language and Hearing Center and at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Dallas, Pa., as a student clinician.

“She was always so consistently prepared and adept in clinic that the parents and caregivers of these clients never failed to mention how pleased they were with her and how disappointed they were when the semester was over and clinic ended,’’ Hunter Manasco, Ph.D., assistant professor of SLP at Misericordia University, wrote in his reference letter for the award. “I oftentimes tell my students that a sign of the highest level of success in pediatric clinics is when your children get better from all the work they are doing, but then do not want to leave because they were having so much fun putting that work in.

“Maria consistently achieved this objective when I watched her in clinic,’’ Dr. Manasco added.

Kidron also has participated in numerous research projects with her mentors and presented their findings at state and national conferences. Most recently, she worked with Kathy Scaler Scott, Ph.D., assistant professor of speech-language pathology at Misericordia, and fellow MU student, Jennifer L. Lozier ‘12, to make the poster presentation, “A Comparison of Cluttering Characteristics in Three Speaking Contexts,’’ at the 2012 Pennsylvania Speech-Language-Hearing Association (PSHA) Conference in Lancaster, Pa. She also collaborated with others at the state conference to offer research on Asperger’s disorder and disfluency in preschoolers.

In 2011, she co-presented the poster presentation, “The Role of Verbal Working Memory in Children with Cluttering,’’ with Dr. Scaler Scott and Lozier at the 2011 PSHA Conference. In November 2011, Kidron traveled to San Diego, Calif., with Dr. Scaler Scott, Lozier, Sheri Block and Nina Reeves to offer the two-hour presentation, “Training School SLPs to Treat Fluency Disorders in Students with ASDs,’’ at the American Speech-Language Hearing Association’s annual conference.

Kidron worked as a lab assistant under the direction of Dr. Scaler Scott for a Misericordia University Research Grant-funded research project on cluttering. She performed tests on research participants, transcribed speech samples, analyzed data and assisted with the development of materials for presentations discussing the relationship between cluttering and the working memory.

For more information about the Speech-Language Pathology Program at Misericordia University, please log on to or call (570) 674-TALK. For more information about Misericordia University, please log in to or call (570) 674-6400. Founded and Sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy in 1924, Misericordia University is Luzerne County’s first four-year college and offers 37 degree programs in three colleges in full- and part-time formats.


Maria Kidron of Elysburg, Pa., right, a speech-language pathology (SLP) graduate student at Misericordia University, poses with Kathy Scaler Scott, Ph.D., assistant professor of speech-language pathology at Misericordia University, after receiving the 2012 Von Drach Memorial Scholarship at the Pennsylvania Speech-Language-Hearing Association Convention in Lancaster, Pa.