Student Profile: Tammar Truzmont

Helping Those Who Lost Their Words

Tammar Truzmont, PhD student

Tammar Truzmont is only 29 and already knows a thing or two about starting over. Tammar graduated with honors from the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders and began working as a speech therapist in a geriatric facility. Soon thereafter, she was caught by surprise when her younger sister suffered a debilitating stroke. Wanting to ensure that she received the best rehabilitative care, Tammar turned to the world of research to find answers.
She enrolled in the University’s PhD degree program, and took part in a research study on the efficacy of rehabilitative treatment in patients with post-stroke aphasia - an acquired language disorder following brain damage.
The study, conducted under the direction of Prof. Tali Bitan from the Psychology Department and Dr. Michal Biran from the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, uses MRI and fMRI methods to measure brain changes in patients during word retrieval and restful states. It is a firstof its kind conducted with Hebrew speakers.

“The exciting results from our pilot study are generating interest among language pathologists. I have had the privilege of presenting our findings in a number of national and international conferences,” notes Tammar, who was recently honored with the University’s prestigious Presidential Scholarship.
Tammar was raised in an ultra- Orthodox family in Jerusalem with 15 siblings. As a young adult, she chose to leave the religious community and received little support from her family. She was determined to get her degree in speech therapy, but faced financial hardships and huge gaps in her secular education.
“The University of Haifa helped me land on my feet and pursue a career that I love,” recalls Tammar.  Today she is a volunteer advocate for ‘Out for Change’, an organization offering emotional support,  legal advice andassistance in bridging educational gaps to former Haredim. “My goal is to pass on to others the knowledge and goodwill I was so fortunate to receive.”

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