Cochlear announces 2023 winners of annual scholarships

February 24, 2023

Media Contact

Cara Lippitt, Sr. Marketing Communications Manager
Cochlear Americas

Cochlear announces 2023 winners of annual scholarships

The Graeme Clark, Anders Tjellström and new Vocational Scholarships recognize exemplary leaders throughout the hearing loss community

Scholarship Winners 2023

Lone Tree, Colo. (Feb. 24, 2023) — Cochlear Limited (ASX: COH), the global leader in implantable hearing solutions, announced today the winners of the 21st annual Graeme Clark, the 12th annual Anders Tjellström, and 1st annual Vocational Scholarships. The Academic Scholarships are named after two pioneers of the hearing implant industry and recognize Cochlear™ Nucleus® Implant, Cochlear Baha® System and Cochlear Osia® System recipients in the United States and Canada who uphold the Cochlear ideals of leadership, humanity, and demonstrate high academic achievement. New in 2023, Cochlear has introduced the Cochlear Americas Vocational Scholarship. Recognizing that recipients have many different paths to successful careers, this scholarship is for students attending technical, vocational or trade schools.

“All of the applicants are exceptional in many ways,” said René Courtney, Vice President & General Manager, Recipient Services, Cochlear Americas. “This year’s selection process was challenging, and we are in awe of the achievements and aspirations of our applicants. We recognize that many of our recipients choose different paths forward and as a result we are excited to launch a new Vocational Scholarship this year to support even more recipients as they reach for their dreams.”

The four 2023 Graeme Clark Scholarship winners are:

  • Emily DeMieri, (Baylor University) from Pensacola, FL
  • Blessed Mbogo, (Gallaudet University) from Silver Spring, MD
  • Gavin Morrobel, (Rochester Institute of Technology), from Scotch Plains, NJ
  • Selena Zou, (Queen’s University), from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

“The mental awakening that followed my acquisition of Cochlear technology played a role in my developing of a simple philosophy that anything can be earned if my actions express my desire and reflect the passion I speak of,” says Blessed Mbogo, Cochlear Nucleus Implant Recipient.

“Without technology, I would not be able to hear. Without technology, I would not be able to participate in so many aspects of my life – music, sport, education, and more – that are essential for me to connect with and give back to my community. Without Cochlear technology, I would not have come so far, nor experienced so much,” says Selena Zou, Cochlear Nucleus Implant Recipient, “without Cochlear technology, I would not be so empowered.”

The three 2023 Anders Tjellström Scholarship winners are:

  • Peri Finkelstein, Osia recipient, (Adelphi University) from West Hempstead, NY
  • Mia Freeman, Osia recipient, (Indiana University), from Indianapolis, IN
  • Anna Nack, Baha recipient (Rochester Institute of Technology), from Sterling, VA

Anna Nack, Cochlear Baha System Recipient says her Baha Sound Processors are her superpower. “With the confidence empowered by [Baha Sound Processors], I am still overwhelmed by my accomplishments, like how being a lone female in my high school’s engineering club was daunting,” Anna explains. “I told myself – ‘I’ve made it so far! I refuse to quit. I’m a deaf orphan who will be a biomedical engineer. I have a voice. I will succeed!”

The 2023 Cochlear Americas Vocational Scholarship winner is:

  • Franco Di Paolo, (Lynn University), from Miami, FL

Franco Di Paolo, Cochlear Nucleus Implant Recipient, shares “growing up with a cochlear implant has been a unique experience and has helped me learn self-advocacy skills that will help me to overcome challenges in the years to come.”

About the Scholarships

The Graeme Clark Scholarship is named after Professor Graeme Clark, the inventor and pioneer of the multi-channel cochlear implant. The Anders Tjellström Scholarship is named after Dr. 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. The Cochlear Americas Vocational Scholarship is new this year. Recognizing that Cochlear recipients have many different paths to successful careers this scholarship was created for students attending technical, vocational, or trade schools.

Academic scholarship winners will receive $2,000 per year for up to four years at an accredited college or university, providing $8,000 to each student. Vocational scholarship winners receive $2,000 per year for up to two years. This adds up to $60,000 in total scholarship funds given by Cochlear Americas for this year’s winners. Since 2002, Cochlear Americas has awarded $1,024,000 to 128 college students.

A total of 167 applications were received this year. An esteemed panel of judges helped review and select the scholarship winners:

Christine Epstein, Au.D., CCC-A
Presbyterian Ear Institute, Albuquerque, NM

Ariana Farhad, MS, CCC-SLP, LSLS Cert. AVT
MA Program Director, Professor of Practice, Michigan State University, Communicative Sciences & Disorders

Erika McCarty Walsh, MD
Assistant Professor, Director, Division of Otology and Neurotology, University of Alabama, Birmingham

Jane Osher, Au.D.
Pediatric Audiologist II, Pediatric Rehabilitation & Development, Advocate Children’s Hospital

Sarah Spencer, MS, CCC-SLP, LSLS Cert AVT
The Auditory-Verbal Center, Inc., Macon, GA

For more information about the scholarships, visit


About Cochlear Limited (ASX: COH)

People have always been Cochlear’s inspiration, ever since Professor Graeme Clark set out to create the first multi-channel cochlear implant after seeing his father struggle with hearing loss. Since 1981, Cochlear has provided more than 700,000 devices in more than 180 countries, helping people of all ages around the world to hear. As the global leader in implantable hearing solutions, Cochlear connects people with life’s opportunities, and welcomes them to the world’s largest hearing implant community.

Cochlear has a global workforce of more than 4,500 people, with a passion for progress, who strive to meet the needs of people living with hearing loss. The company continually innovates to anticipate future needs, investing more than AUD$2 billion to date in research and development to push the boundaries of technology and help more people hear.



Please seek advice from your health professional about treatments for hearing loss. Outcomes may vary, and your health professional will advise you about the factors which could affect your outcome. Always read the instructions for use. Not all products are available in all countries. Please contact your local Cochlear representative for product information.

Views expressed are those of the individual. Consult your health professional to determine if you are a candidate for Cochlear technology.

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