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Original Article: Perspective from an Early Career Member: Feeling of being a Poster Award Winner


Melike Kahya imageBy Melike Kahya, PT, MS, PhD Candidate

Graduate Research Assistant, Laboratory for Advanced Rehabilitation Research in Simulation
NIH T32 Neurological and Rehabilitation Sciences Program Trainee
Mabel A. Woodyard Fellowship in Neurodegenerative Disorders Awardee
University of Kansas Medical Center

It was the time of the year, a couple of weeks before the ACRM 2019 Annual Conference, when everyone is busy and excited by organizing their presentation slides, printing posters, and checking the travel arrangements. I was in a similar rush and excitement when suddenly an e-mail popped up on my screen with a subject line of “ACRM Poster Award Notification”. It has notified me that I was selected for the Neurodegenerative Diseases Networking Group Early Career Poster Award for my poster entitled, “Validation of Pupillary Response Against EEG during Dual-Tasking Postural Control”. It was such a nice surprise since at the same time I was doing my final edits on my poster before sending it to print. In addition, this award was so meaningful since the data of this poster was related to my dissertation project. I was honored to receive this award.

Being a poster awardee allowed me to present my research to large audiences. During the annual conference, I had a chance to interact with many researchers and clinicians. I received valuable feedback about my work and also learned a lot from the experience of people who came up to talk to me.

I have been involved in ACRM for three years. Being a part of Neurodegenerative Diseases and Early Career Networking Groups has been richly rewarding and very helpful for progressing toward my professional goals. Involvement in these groups led me to meet with the experts in the field, to build my own network, and to gain state-of-the-art knowledge on rehabilitation research.

I am currently serving as the Communications Officer of the Neurodegenerative Diseases Networking Group. In addition, being part of the Early Career Networking Group Mentor-Mentee Matching program as a mentee helped me advance my career and facilitate my personal growth. Therefore, I am really grateful for being part of ACRM which significantly contributed to my academic and personal development and the opportunity to serve the profession.