The Jennifer Leigh Kynkor Foundation is proud to have endowed a permanent scholarship at Miami University (OH), after awarding 4 scholarships since 2004 to deserving Miami University (OH) students. Please read the information below to find out about the scholarship, its history and recipients. In addition, you can find out how to make tax-deductible contributions to the scholarship as part of your annual giving or Foundation support.
The Jennifer Leigh Kynkor Scholarship
was formally endowed
at Miami University (OH)
December 13, 2007
The Jennifer Leigh Kynkor Foundation began in 2004 to forever honor Jenny’s memory and to create a permanent legacy through college scholarships to students who are pursuing Jenny’s own educational and career aspirations. Namely, working with autistic children as a Speech Pathology professional. On December 13, 2007, we reached an important milestone by permanently endowing a scholarship in Jenny’s name at her beloved Miami University (OH). This first scholarship will be awarded in 2008. Jenny’s scholarship is in the College of Arts and Sciences, and will be given to a student pursuing a degree in Speech Pathology with emphasis on autism. This scholarship is currently the only one of its kind at Miami University (OH).
This would have been Jenny’s,
she will help others fulfill their dreams.
The Jennifer Leigh Kynkor Scholarship has been fully endowed. However, we will still be accepting donations to build the overall scholarship value from any interested parties who wish to participate. Your tax-deductible contribution will be greatly appreciated. Follow the links below to make your contribution.
Division of University Advancement
Miami University
725 E. Chestnut Street
Oxford, OH 45056
Attn. Jennifer Leigh Kynkor Scholarship
As alumni of Miami University (OH) many of you make annual contributions to the general fund. Now, you can earmark your contribution specifically to the Jennifer Leigh Kynkor Scholarship if you so choose.
Make sure to Designate your donation: Jennifer Leigh Kynkor Scholarship

Christina Xidas

CHRISTINA XIDAS 2017 Jennifer Leigh Kynkor Scholarship Awardee

The Jennifer Leigh Kynkor Scholarship will be awarded to two outstanding young women this year.  Christina Xidas is very excited…in her words, “I am Christina Xidas and I received the Jennifer Leigh Kynkor Scholarship!”  She added, “I want to say I am so honored to be given this scholarship and so thankful!”  Christina is already looking ahead to when she will begin her professional career as a Speech Pathologist and considering all those she will be assisting.  Her interest in speech pathology started with her Mother, who works at Miami Valley Hospital (Dayton, OH).  Knowing Christina’s desire to work in a “caring profession,” she suggested this path.  Up next was observing a speech language pathologist at Miami Valley Hospital and she fell in love with the cognitive and language tools speech pathologists utilize.  Summer camps came next, where Christina worked with children having a variety of disabilities.  She carried that love of children forward through her work with Big Brothers Big Sisters and Girl Scouts.  Christina has a great future plan in place and will be yet another outstanding professional who has a strong connection to Jenny’s Dream!


Katie Young

KATIE YOUNG 2017 Jennifer Leigh Kynkor Scholarship Awardee

Katie Young, like Christina, is also a Miami University undergraduate who will be completing her graduate studies at Miami,  as well.  In Katie’s words, “I am so very honored and grateful to have been awarded the Jennifer Leigh Kynkor Scholarship.”  Katie is studying speech pathology and will also be granted a double-minor in Child Studies and Family Relationships.  A career that directly impacts the lives of children and their families has been her goal for some time.  Katie had the opportunity to work with a child on the autism spectrum for the first time during a summer internship and that led her to choosing this career path.  The young boy she worked with “taught me the importance of inclusion, patience and the power of communication.”  Katie went on to working in a preschool classroom setting and another young person with ASD at Miami’s speech clinic.  The word “passion” is one we often hear from our scholarship recipients, including Katie.  “I have seen the positive impact communication has on the quality of life of these young children.  I am honored and extremely humbled to be awarded the Jennifer Leigh Kynkor Scholarship and spend my life helping children and their families live full, active lives.”  The goals of this scholarship are being fulfilled each and every year through outstanding young women like Christina and Katie!

Celia Gaier

Celia Gaier 2016 Jennifer Leigh Kynkor Scholarship Awardee

In Celia's words, she is honored to have been selected to receive this scholarship and "looks forward to celebrating Jennifer's legacy by helping enhance the lives of children with ASD."  Celia completed her undergraduate studies at The Ohio State University and has returned to Miami for her second year of graduate school. The field of speech-language pathology first entered her life when her younger brother went to speech therapy for his articulation.  She saw how excited her parents became as his speech improved and communicating became easier.  During her first year of graduate school at Miami she started to work with a child with ASD for the first time.  This child revealed how compassion, patience and positivity can make a world of difference in the lives of children with ASD.  That year of exposure has come to a close but she realized how grateful she was for learning so much about these they think, learn and perceive the world. Her upcoming externships will provide even greater opportunities to with with children and expand her role in the lives of these special children and their families.  Celia is another example of the passionate, committed and eager crop of future health care professionals that are entering the ASD profession and will continue to shine a bright light on the JLKF scholarship program and Miami University's Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology.


Taylor Rickman

Taylor Rickman 2016 Jennifer Leigh Kynkor Scholarship Awardee

Taylor is a second year student in Miami University's graduate speech pathology program.  She obtained her undergraduate degree in speech pathology, with a minor in child studies from Miami previously.  Taylor knew she wanted to work with children from high school but found a deeper interest in ASD while working on her undergraduate degrees.  It was then that she volunteered at Cincinnati Children's Hospital in a weekly pragmatics group for first graders with ASD and truly fell in love with the children she was working with.  Upon graduation, her interest and experience pushed Taylor to accept a full time position as a behavioral aid, working with children with Autism, specifically those with severe behavioral needs.  There, she became ABA certified and realized this was her passion.  Taylor spent eight months in this position before moving back to Oxford and entering graduate school.  She has been working one-on-one with a boy at Miami University's speech and hearing clinic for the entire academic year.  Working now as a true clinician, she is seeing her future career develop.  Taylor will be a tremendous asset to children and families with ASD once she completes her graduate studies.  We are very proud to include Taylor in our growing scholarship community and look forward to the incredible career that is just around the corner.

Carissa Schwiebert
Carissa Schwiebert

Carissa Schwiebert 2016 Jennifer Leigh Kynkor Scholarship Awardee

Carissa Schwiebert is our newest awardee and is a first year graduate student in the Speech-Language Pathology Program at Miami.  As an undergrad, Carissa volunteered at a speech and hearing clinic, working with children who have Autism.  That led her to a desire to pursue a career in the field.  She became an Analytic Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapist and has already worked with children that have intellectual disabilities.  Like Jenny, Carissa chose her career while still in high school when tutoring elementary school children with learning disabilities.  She received her undergraduate degree in Speech and Hearing Science with a minor in Disability Studies from Ohio State.

Previous Award Winners
2015 Bethany Clouse
2015 Morgan Dewey
2014 Kaitlyn Drouillard
2014 Lana Dennison
2013 Kelley Miller
2012 Ashley Lynn Stephen
2011 Jamie Bifro
2010 Mindy Cavendish
2009 Ashley Singer
2008 Kaitlyn Galish
2007 No Award Presented
2006 Katie Carter
2005 Katie Carter
Updated:8-3-2016 Jennifer Leigh Kynkor Foundation
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