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Local student contributes to NDSU's Innovation Challenge

Aphasia Therapy, a team of two North Dakota State University students, won second place and $2,500 for their software collection to help with a communication disorder in the Innovation Challenge '12 competition Jan. 26.

 The team includes senior Trisha McDonald, a university studies major, and senior Amanda Beller, a psychology major from Morganville, N.J. McDonald is the daughter of Curtis and Krystal McDonald, West Fargo.

McDonald and Beller's project is therapy for people who have aphasia, an acquired communication disorder that impairs a person's ability to process language. The therapy includes a collection of software that uses word recall and association, audiovisual matching and complex sentence patterns to help rehabilitate people who have lost complex language skills.

The Innovation Challenge '12 was a new component of the third annual Innovation Week held by NDSU and the NDSU Research and Technology Park. "The success of the first Innovation Challenge '12 competition is due to the very bright and talented NDSU students who participated in the event," said Tony Grindberg, executive director of the NDSU Research and Technology Park. "The caliber of projects was outstanding and truly reflects the first-class research and innovative work being done on campus and in the park."

"Innovation Week overall and the Innovation Challenge '12 competition wouldn't be possible without the generous donation of time and talent from our presenters and judges," said Brenda Wyland, associate director of the NDSU Research and Technology Park. "This community is very fortunate to have passionate and dedicated individuals willing to give back to our future business leaders and owners of tomorrow."