Cochlear Limited (ASX: COH) announced the winners of the 19th Annual Graeme Clark and the 10th Annual Anders Tjellström Scholarships. The scholarships, named after two pioneers of the hearing implant industry, recognize Cochlear Nucleus Implant, Cochlear Baha System, and Cochlear Osia System recipients in the United States and Canada who are said to uphold “the Cochlear ideals of leadership, humanity, and demonstrate high academic achievement.” The scholarships are to enable Cochlear recipients to further accomplish their goals through education.
“We are honored to recognize the accomplishments of these eight exceptional Cochlear recipients,” said René Courtney, Vice President & General Manager, Recipient Services, Cochlear Americas. “Our recipients are the inspiration behind our innovations in implant technology, and these scholarships are another way we help our young leaders in the Cochlear family reach their full potential as they realize their education and career ambitions. Our scholarship winners have such courageous goals for their careers, ensuring there continues to be more and more representation across society for those with hearing implants, showcasing they can bring so much to the world’s future endeavors.”
The five 2021 Graeme Clark Scholarship winners are:
- Camryn Dermott, (James Madison University) from Roanoke, Va
- Yael Lenga, (University of Illinois at Chicago) from Buffalo Grove, Ill
- Ethan Morrobel, (Rochester Institute of Technology) from Scotch Plains, NJ
- Caroline Schneider, (University of Georgia) from Atlanta, Ga
- Raymond Soto, (Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University) from St Louis, Mo
“I would not be where I am today without my cochlear implants and the decisions my parents made for me when I was a young child. I know how lucky I am that they carefully researched the options for a baby born with a profound sensorineural hearing loss,“ said Morrobel, Nucleus Implant System recipient and Graeme Clark Scholarship winner, studying mechanical engineering. “While making that decision, they had no idea at the time I would later be diagnosed, along with my brother, with Usher syndrome type 1. I am extremely grateful they made the decision to give me access to hearing as my vision slowly fades. I have had to dream big and work extra hard my whole life to do what most people take for granted. For as long as I can remember, I wanted to be a pilot; however, once I realized that being a pilot was not a realistic option for me, instead of flying airplanes, I decided I would design them.“
The three 2021 Anders Tjellström Scholarship winners are:
- Claire Boyer, (Utah State University) from Wiggins, Colo
- Alexandra Wong, (Johns Hopkins University) from Alexandria, Va
- Alysa Zhang, (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) from Lakemoor, Ill
“I was born with oval window atresia in my left ear, so the sound never makes it through, resulting in severe conductive hearing loss,” said Wong, Baha Implant System recipient and Anders Tjellström Scholarship winner, studying neuroscience. “I realized I was different when every kindergarten student silently glared at me because I interrupted story time as my hearing aid squawked like a parrot after rubbing against my hair. From then on, I dealt with my disability by hiding it away. I wasn’t brave enough to be proud of who I am. When I was 12, I had surgery for the Baha Connect System. When I left the audiologist’s office, I paused in awe, then tears slowly trickled down my face; finally, I heard the sounds that people take for granted. I am so grateful for the scientists who created these hearing technologies, and I aspire to be one of them. Nobody deserves to be left out because they are different.”
About the Scholarships
The Graeme Clark Scholarship is named after Professor Graeme Clark, the inventor and pioneer of the multichannel cochlear implant. The Anders Tjellström Scholarship is named after Anders Tjellström, the research physician in the department of otolaryngology at the Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Sweden who collaborated with Per-Ingvar Brånemark, a pioneer of osseointegration, and Bo Håkansson, to treat the first patient with a Baha device.
Each of the students will receive $2,000 per year for up to four years at an accredited college or university, providing $8,000 to each student and $64,000 in total scholarship funds given by Cochlear Americas for this year’s winners. Since 2002, Cochlear Americas has awarded $824,000 to 112 college students.
A total of 130 applications were received this year. An esteemed panel of judges helped review and select the scholarship winners.
For more information about the scholarships, visit: Cochlear.com/us/Scholarship.