In 2017, the Robin Shari Parker HAPPI Foundation proudly established an endowed scholarship fund to support Nova Southeastern University students earning their MS in Speech Language Pathology who demonstrate strong interest in the study of autism spectrum disorders. The Board members and friends of the Robin Shari Parker HAPPI Foundation raised $30,000 through a major event, HAPPI Hours, held on March 30th, 2017. A scholarship review committee was selected and 27 strong applications were reviewed for the first award to be announced in January, 2018.
Plans are beginning for another Robin HAPPI Parker Foundation event to assure continued support of the scholarship fund.
Carly Finocchio is the second recipient of the Robin Shari Parker HAPPi Foundation scholarship. Carly completed her bachelor's at Florida State University and majored in Communication Science and Disorders. She is now in her final year of Nova Southeastern University's Speech-Language Pathology master's program.
Her clinical hours include a private practice, skilled nursing facility, children's hospital, and a neurological outpatient program. These unique settings have provided her with clinical experience across communication disorders and various populations. As her academic career comes to a close, she hopes to work with children who are on the autism spectrum within the military community.
Lauren Lagunovich is the first recipient of the Robin HAPPi Parker foundation scholarship. She is a graduate student in the Speech-Language Pathology online program at Nova Southeastern University and is her final year of the program. Lauren has earned a cumulative grade point average of 4.0. She has had clinical experience in the assessment and treatment of autism spectrum disorders, articulation disorders, feeding issues with young children, fluency disorders, dysarthria, Parkinson’s Disease, aphasia, auditory processing and expressive and receptive language disorders. Her passion is working with clients who are on the autism spectrum.
Lauren is currently working on a project to prepare new graduate student clinicians beginning their first clinical experience or externship. The goals of this project are to: provide suggestions to new clinicians on group treatment strategies in schools; address different types of behaviors school children may present; and develop skill in utilizing augmentative communication with students in schools."
Lauren resides in South Brunswick, New Jersey and is an online student. In her spare time, she is the proud coach of the local high school dance team. Her personal background in dance has lent itself to leading the team to the state championships for the last several years. In her spare time, Lauren enjoys exercising, golfing, and traveling.