2023 AIM Grant Awardee Announced


by Conner Allen, graduate assistant


SUMMARY: The Graduate School announces the awardee of the 2022-23 AIM (Advancing Intelligent Minds) Development Grant in addition to an honorable mention. The AIM Development Grant was established to support the recruitment and retention of exemplary graduate students who are currently underrepresented in their academic field of study.

We are pleased to announce our AIM Development Grant honorable mention and awardee for the 2022-2023 academic year!

The Graduate School offers AIM Developmental Grants to assist graduate students with gaining practical experiences or conducting scholarship in the student’s field of study. The AIM grant is particularly designed to support graduate students from underrepresented backgrounds. Recipients of this grant must propose to develop a tangible product, such as a performance, publication, presentation, or scholarly document. Projects must be completed within one academic year. This year, the maximum grant award is $500. Selected recipients receive awards for full or partial funding.

Faith FrostThe 2022-2023 AIM Developmental Grant honorable mention goes to Faith Frost. Faith is a second-year doctoral candidate in the Communication Sciences and Disorders program. She studies the social communication skills of autistic individuals through a strengths-based and neurodiversity-affirming lens. She is currently studying how autistic adults interpret indirect requests, and hopes to expand her research to be used by teachers, employers, and others who are consistently in contact with adults who are autistic. She remarks,

“Very little research has been conducted on how autistic individuals interpret indirect requests, despite it being well-known that individuals on the spectrum often have difficulty interpreting indirectness. The ability to interpret indirect requests is crucially important in environments where requests are often made, such as the classroom or the workplace. At best, an incorrect interpretation of a request is a simple misunderstanding; at worst, incorrect interpretations of requests can cause the individual to be wrongly labeled as anti-social, defiant, or incapable”. This is why her research is absolutely crucial for autistic individuals and those who interact with them.

She intends to use the AIM grant to expand her research, fund incentives for participants, and finish her project. Here is what Faith has to say about the grant and her research:

“I feel very honored to have been awarded the AIM grant. Currently, less than 18% of individuals with a Research Doctorate in Communication Sciences and Disorders are non-white. Funding provided by the AIM Grant will help me to accomplish my goal of earning a PhD and becoming a role model for students from minority backgrounds like myself.”

We can’t wait to see the outcome of your research, Faith!

TitleDoruntina MaliqiThe AIM Development Grant 2022-2023 awardee is Doruntina Maliqi. Doruntina is studying Communication and Advocacy. Her work focuses on youth activism in her home country, Kosovo. The goals for Doruntina’s research project are multifold. She hopes to: 1) gain a deeper understanding of the intricacies of youth activism within Kosovo's digital landscape, with a focus on the challenges, risks, and strategies of online engagement; 2) investigate the potential of digital technologies to foster social justice and progressive social change, specifically within the context of youth activism in Kosovo.; 3) augment the existing body of literature on youth activism in the digital age; and 4) examine the influence of digital media on civic engagement and social movements.

She is particularly interested in youth activism in online and public spaces. Doruntina intends to use the AIM grant to kickstart her research this summer. Here is what Doruntina has to say about the value of the AIM grant and her research,

“The AIM grant will [help me to]... achieve… my professional and academic goals by providing the necessary financial support to conduct [my] proposed research project, covering costs associated with data collection, analysis, and the dissemination of results.”

We are so excited to see the results of your research, Doruntina!

Congratulations to both Doruntina and Faith on this fantastic accomplishment.

Be on the lookout for next year’s call for applications!

Funding for students like Doruntina and Faith contributes to the positive graduate student experience. Donations to the AIM Development Grant for future students are appreciated. 

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Published: Friday, May 12, 2023

Last Updated: Tuesday, February 20, 2024

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