Longtime supporters of the Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences Paul Rao, HESP Ph.D. ’85, and Martina Rao added a new gift of $50,000 to a fund they had previously established. Their generosity provides additional funding to an outstanding graduate student in the department each year.
Established in 2010, their foundational gift, the Paul and Martina Rao Graduate Student Fellowship for Hearing and Speech Sciences, supports an annual award for speech-language pathology graduate students who demonstrate leadership potential and show an interest in neurogenic communication disorders.
Dr. Rao has served as a visiting professor in the department for many years, and is a past member of the BSOS Board of Visitors and a past chair of the HESP Advisory Board.
Dr. Rao said the original gift was made to memorialize a friend and colleague, Dr. Carol Frattali, a visiting HESP professor. “Carol died too young at 50, and was a true icon in quality and in outcomes in our field,” Dr. Rao said.
When discussing the conclusion of that gift, Mrs. Rao wanted to make another gift, both to strengthen the department and to continue to honor Frattali.
“The greatest cause we have been involved in during our lives is supporting gifted HESP students. I want us to continue the impact on the next generation of speech-language pathologists,” Mrs. Rao said. “I may not be a Terp, but we love the department.”
The college and the department wish to not only thank the Raos for their generosity, but to affirm that Mrs. Rao is, indeed, a Terp for life.