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Meet the Speakers

Speaker Disclosures can be found here

Christy Albea, AuD, CCC-A has practiced as a clinical audiologist for over 18 years.  She is currently a clinical audiologist at the University of Alabama, Department of Communicative Disorders where her primary responsibilities include providing clinical services to the community and clinical supervision of students.  Dr. Albea also teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in Communicative Disorders.  Her primary areas of interest are auditory processing disorder and aural rehabilitation.

Jennie Bjorem, MA, CCC-SLP received her bachelor’s degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Saint Louis University and graduated from Truman State University with her master’s degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders in May 1999. She has a great understanding from a parent perspective as she has a young child with special needs. She is the owner of Children’s Therapy Services in Overland Park, Kansas. Jennie’s area of expertise is in early intervention birth through 5, parent education and childhood apraxia of speech. Jennie is recognized for her advanced training and expertise in Childhood Apraxia of Speech by Apraxia Kids. She presented at ASHA 2019, Apraxia Kids national conference, had over 90 hours of CAS training in 2018 and 2019 and was awarded the ASHA ACE Award for Continuing Education. Jennie travels the country speaking on the topic of CAS in her spare time. Jennie is the creator of the Bjorem Speech Sound Cues for acquisition of speech and literacy. 

Patrick Brune, M.S., CCC-SLP is a Speech Language Pathologist and has provided assessment, therapy, and consultation services for children and adults with severe speech and language disabilities for over 30 years. He worked as a clinical supervisor for Queens College, in New York, and as a related service provider for the NYC Department of Education. Patrick is a member of the Tobii Dynavox Learning Services team, providing implementation support and workshops.

Tim Boyd, MPH has served as ASHA’s Director of State Health Care and Education Affairs since July 2019. Before joining ASHA, Tim worked on state policy for the National Organization for Rare Disorders and domestic policy for the AIDS Healthcare Foundation. Tim earned his B.A. in Political Science from the University of California Santa Barbara and an M.P.H. from the George Washington University Milken Institute of Public Health.

Melissa A. Cheslock, MS, CCC-SLP is the Clinical Director at the University of Montevallo’s Communication Science and Disorders Program, George C. Wallace Speech and Language Center.  She is responsible for graduate students’ obtaining clinical requirements as specified by ASHA, as well as general clinic management.  She also supervises first and second year graduate students enrolled in the Program who provide both diagnostic and intervention services for children with a range of communicative needs, and teaches the Augmentative/Alternative Communication course to graduate students (CSD 539).  She received her undergraduate and graduate degrees at the University of South Alabama in Mobile.  She has 25 years of experience and has worked in clinical, research, and academic settings.  Melissa’s professional interests include child language, atypical development, augmentative/alternative communication, and early intervention.  Melissa has co-authored several peer-reviewed publications related to use of augmentative and alternative communication with young children and children with multiple disabilities.  She has served on a number of committees at the local and national level with regards to early intervention and augmentative communication.

Carly Chittom, BS is a current graduate student and research assistant at the Mississippi University for Women.

Sharon Cushing, AuD is a full time pediatric otolaryngologist at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada, and an Associate Professor and Clinician Investigator in the Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Toronto. She is the Director of the Cochlear Implant Program at the Hospital for Sick Children. Dr. Cushing has a clinical and surgical interest in disorders of the external, middle and inner ear, including hearing loss and vestibular dysfunction. Her research interest include vestibular and balance function and dysfunction in children, and its association with hearing loss and cochlear implantation.

Kelly Farquharson, PhD, CCC-SLP is an associate professor at Florida State University.  She directs the Children's Literacy and Speech Sound (CLaSS) Lab, with a mission to help children with speech and language impairments achieve classroom success. To that end, her work explores the linguistic, cognitive, educational, and environmental factors that contribute to child outcomes. A related line of work explores how school-based SLPs make clinical decisions and how their caseload size and job satisfaction are related to those decisions.

Aaron D. Fobian, PhD is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Samford University in 2008 and her PhD in Clinical/Medical Psychology from UAB in 2013, and she completed her clinical internship at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX.  Dr.  Fobian developed the Somatic Symptom Psychology Clinic at UAB in which she treats children and adults with various types of functional disorders.  Her research focuses on the development and evaluation of pediatric behavioral health interventions and she has been funded by the National Institutes of Health and the American Heart Association.  She recently published a randomized controlled trial assessing the efficacy of a novel treatment for pediatric functional neurological disorders.  Based on innovation in her research, Dr. Fobian was given the designation of 2019 Rising Star by the Association for Psychological Science.

Stephanie Frucci, EdS, CCC-SLP is the SHAA liaison to the Alabama State Department of Education. Prior to joining the State Department, she served for fifteen years as a speech-language pathologist in the Elmore County Schools and in the Marietta, Georgia Schools.  Stephanie also worked as a PRN clinician at Baptist Medical Center East in Montgomery.  She received both her Bachelor's and Master's Degrees from the University of Alabama and her Education Specialist degree from Auburn University Montgomery in Collaborate K-6 Special Education.

Caroline Gammill, SLPD, CCC-SLP, CBIS is a full-time assistant professor at Alabama A&M University in Huntsville. Her clinical experience includes a post-acute day-neuro rehab for adults with acquired brain injuries, acute care, inpatient rehab, and skilled nursing facilities. She has extensive experience assessing and treating cognitive-communicative disorders due to stroke and TBI. She received her B.A. from Harding University in Searcy, AR. She completed the M.S. Emphasis in Bilingual Speech-Language Pathology at Texas Christian University and graduated with the inaugural cohort at Northwestern University as a Doctor of Speech-Language Pathology. She is bilingual in English and Spanish and is a Certified Brain Injury Specialist through the Brain Injury Association of America. She owns Caroline Gammill, Neuro SLP, LLC, and treats clients with brain injuries in their homes. She is also a writer for The Informed SLP.

Stephanie Grear, MEd, CCC-SLP graduated from the University of Mississippi with her Bachelor of Arts in Communication Sciences and Disorders.  She went on to get her Masters of Education of the Deaf from Georgia State University and Masters of Education in Speech Language Pathology from Valdosta State University. She has worked with Deaf and Hard of Hearing children for about 10 years in classrooms and private clinics. Most recently she ran a school for Deaf and Hard of Hearing children in Chattanooga, TN prior to working for Cochlear. She covers the territory of Alabama and NW Florida offering clinical and surgical support as well as education. She currently lives in Birmingham, Alabama.

Megan-Brette Hamilton, PhD, CCC-SLP is an assistant professor at Auburn University, where she teaches courses on child and adolescent language disorders and clinical problem solving. She spent 10 years in New York City schools working primarily with African American and Latino students. During this time, she also hosted a show on Brooklyn cable where she got a taste of the diverse cultures and dialects of the city. Her research centers on the classroom experiences of African American English-speaking children and speakers of other non-mainstream dialects. Dr. Hamilton has presented her work internationally, consulted with teachers and speech-language pathologists, and maintains a website dedicated to increasing the understanding of cultural-linguistic diversity. 

Edie R. Hapner, PhD, CCC-SLP, ASHA-F is a Professor in the Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, Co Director of the UAB Voice Center and Director of Speech Language Pathology at theUniversity of Alabama, Birmingham. She has received Fellow from the American Speech Language and Hearing Association, Associate Fellow of the American Laryngological Association and Distinguished Fellow of the National Academy of Practice. She has published and presented extensively in the area of voice and voice disorders with an emphasis in aging voice and dystonia. She is the co-developer of PhoRTE voice therapy and the Medbridge Voice Curriculum.

Kym Heine, MS, CCC-SLP earned her Bachelor of Arts in Speech Language Pathology at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, and completed her Master’s degree in Communication Disorders at The Pennsylvania State University.  She holds the Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and is the recipient of multiple ACE awards for continuing education earned.  Kym has worked exclusively in the field of AAC since receiving her Masters in 1982.  She has been employed in a variety of settings to include rehabilitation centers, hospitals and outpatient clinics.  She previously owned a private practice which provided contractual services emphasizing the training of AAC facilitators in schools, group homes, residential facilities, and private homes.  Kym is a frequent presenter at conferences on topics relating to the use of speech generating devices and has presented at ASHA, ATIA, and numerous state conferences in both Louisiana and Mississippi.

Sucheta Kamath, BC-NCD, CCC-SLP, MA is an award-winning speech-language pathologist, a TEDx speaker, and a tech-entrepreneur who has created ExQ®; a cloud-based digital curriculum for the middle and high school students designed to directly personalize and build Executive Function skills through games, error analysis, and metacognitive lessons.She is host of the podcast Full PreFrontal®: Exposing the Mysteries of Executive Function; where her invited guests range from neuroscientists, researchers, educators, learning specialists, journalists, and leaders. Finally, Sucheta serves on many boards and is deeply committed to volunteerism. For the past three years, she founded and currently runs (along with her GSHA colleagues) GSHA Gives!, a free communication and Executive Function job-readiness training program for previously homeless, incarcerated,and disenfranchised men in inner-city Atlanta.

Carol Koch, EdD, CCC-SLP is a Professor and Graduate Program Director at Samford University in the Department of Communication Science and Disorders.  Dr. Koch was recently been honored with the Fellow of the Association Award from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. She has worked in pediatrics for most of her clinical career specializing in speech sound disorders, childhood apraxia of speech, autism spectrum disorders, and feeding.  Dr. Koch currently teaches courses in clinical phonetics, speech sound disorders, autism spectrum disorders, counseling, and professional issues.  She has also published the textbook, Clinical Management of Speech Sound Disorders:  A Case-Based Approach, and is a co-author on the soon to be available Bjorem Speech Sound Cues for the Contrast Approaches.

Sharon W. Lovoy, SPHR owner of Lovoy’s Team Works, Inc., is a training facilitator, executive coach, keynote speaker and intervention specialist in high stakes organizational challenges.  She has had the privilege of working with over 300 clients in the US and Canada including Mercedes Benz USI, UAB Health Systems, Southern Company, and various state and city governments.  Her work includes facilitating dialogue about difficult topics that are challenging growth and progress. She is the pro bono trainer for Sozo Children International based in Alabama whose organization’s mission is to release Ugandan children from imprisonment in orphanages that thrive on child labor, to building group homes headed by Ugandan parents in a healthy community established by the organization. A lifelong learner, she seeks out non-traditional forms of continuing education for herself such as Dialogue training from Dialogos; mediation training from CDR and Harvard; Authentic Leadership from JFK School of Management, Harvard; Emotional Intelligence, Corporate Coaching, Daring Leadership, Living Brave and Leaders Rising.

Lydia Mackay, MA, CCC-SLP is a Speech-Language Pathologist who has worked with individuals with a wide variety of communication needs for over 20 years. Her experience includes learners from birth to 22 with Autism Spectrum, Developmental Delays, Speech-Language Impairments, Visual Impairments, and Multiple Disabilities. She has specialized in Augmentative Communication, Social Communication, and Assistive Technology for over 18 years. She is passionate about teaming with families and professionals to help learners gain independence with communication and language skills at school, home, and in the community. 

M. Hunter Manasco, PhD, CCC-SLP is an associate professor at the Mississippi University for Women. He completed his PhD at the University of South Alabama and specializes in adult neurogenic communication disorders.

Morgan Mayfield, MA, CCC-SLP received a Bachelor’s of Communication Disorders and Sciences from Baylor University and her Master’s in Communication Disorders and Sciences from Wichita State University. She holds the Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and is the recipient of multiple ACE awards for continuing education earned.  Morgan is a member of ASHA – SIG 12.  She has been a practicing speech language pathologist for 24 years working in both the school and clinical setting. Just before joining PRC-Saltillo 4 years ago, Morgan owned a private practice which provided contractual services focusing on the training of AAC facilitation and use in private schools and homes. Much of her experience in both the school and clinical setting has been with children with complex communication needs implementing AAC.

Greg Ollick, Sr., MA is the founder of Med-Acoustics, Inc. which has been a distributor of audiology equipment in the Southeast since 1978.  He earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Electronics Engineering (BSEE) at the Wallace Cook Institute for Electronics Engineering.  He has over 40 years of experience in the design, sales, installation, marketing and support of audiological instrumentation.  Greg is also an engineering and product design consultant for Grason-Stadler and InterAcoustics, and he has consulted for several other major manufactures on equipment design and specification projects, including auditory evoked potential, real ear measurement, VNG and otoacoustic emissions. Greg is an active member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the Biomedical Engineering Society, and is past chairman of the Technical Standards Committee of the National Association of Special Equipment Distributors. Since his semi-retirement, Greg has earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Theological Studies and a Master’s Degree in Theology from Saint Joseph’s College of Maine.

Taylor Paige, AuD is a PhD student at the University of South Alabama, Mobile.  Her research interests lie in hearing conversation, tinnitus, speech in noise testing and military applications.

JoAnne Payne, AuD, CCC-A has practiced as a clinical audiologist for 32+ years in a variety of settings.  She is currently the Coordinator of Audiological Services at the University of Alabama, Department of Communicative Disorders, where in addition to providing clinical services and clinical supervision, she teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in Communicative Disorders.  Dr. Payne has also participated in faculty research projects, primarily in the areas of tinnitus and hyperacusis.  

Kathryn Pegan, AuD is an audiologist and Clinical Trainer for Phonak. She received her bachelor’s degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from the University of Texas at Austin in 2003 and her Doctorate of Audiology from the joint program at the University of California, San Diego and San Diego State University in 2008. Prior to joining the Phonak team, Kathryn worked in several settings including non-profit, hospital, and private practice, and worked with pediatric to geriatric populations. Kathryn resides in Athens, Georgia with her husband and two children.

Esther Phillips-Ross, MA, CCCSLP/L is an Assistant Professor in Communicative Sciences and Disorders (CSD) at Alabama A&M University and serves as the Director of Clinical Education for the CSD Program.  Ms. Phillips-Ross received her formal graduate education from the Ohio State University, in Speech and Hearing Sciences. Ms. Phillips-Ross has worked in varying scopes of practice in the area of speech-language pathology for 24 years, and has interests in the areas of literacy and ethical practices. Ms. Phillips-Ross has presented at the state and national levels on supervision practices in CSD and student professional/ethical behavior. In addition to directing the onsite CSD Clinic, Ms. Phillips-Ross serves on a number of University committees (i.e. Faculty Senate Executive Committee, Faculty Development Committee, Faculty Mentoring Committee, and others) at AAMU where she believes a voice needs to be heard and a difference made. 

Lesley Puckett, BS is a current graduate student and research assistant at the Mississippi University for Women.

Mary Ray-Allen, MEd, CCC-SLP serves as Clinic Director at The University of Alabama Speech and Hearing Center. With 24 years of clinical experience, her interests include language interventions in adults with aphasia and related disorders, psychosocial/functional approaches to intervention, and the effectiveness of social approaches to aphasia intervention. She is the project director for Bama Perks, a simulated coffee shop that is housed within The UA Speech and Hearing Center that offers a unique social environment for individuals with aphasia to practice and enhance their communication skills. Bama Perks was featured in the March '17 ASHA Leader. She received her BS from The University of Georgia and her Master's degree from Valdosta State University. 

Paul Emory Reed, Jr., PhD is an assistant professor in the Department of Communicative Disorders at the University of Alabama.  His research interests primarily center on sociophonetics, i.e., how the way we talk signals aspects of who we are, and also phonetics more broadly, particularly the phonetics/phonology interface. Much of his sociophonetic work focuses on the English varieties in the American South, with a special focus on Appalachian English varieties.

Dania Rishiq, PhD is an Assistant Professor of Audiology at the University of South Alabama. She received her doctoral degree in Speech and Hearing Science from the University of Tennessee in May 2013. Her field of specialty is physiological and neural correlates of auditory perception. Her recent research interests include speech-evoked auditory brainstem response, role of attention in audiovisual speech recognition, pediatric speech in noise tests, and cochlear implant candidacy.

Yvonne Henderson Saxon, JD is a native of Mobile, Alabama. She is a 1981 graduate of Blount High School, a 1985 graduate of Hampton University, and a 1988 graduate of the University Of Alabama School Of Law. Attorney Saxon is employed by the Alabama Attorney General's Office as an Assistant Attorney General in the Criminal Appeals Division. She has served as General Counsel for the Alabama Board of Examiners for Speech Language-Pathology and Audiology for 24 years.

Kathleen Smith, MA, CCC-SLP is a speech-language pathologist with over 26 years experience.  Kathleen graduated from Louisiana Tech University with her masters degree.  Kathleen serves as the clinical coordinator for the Alabama Neurology Associates multidisciplinary ALS clinic in Birmingham, Alabama and is a Multiple Sclerosis Certified Specialist.  Kathleen has worked in a variety of settings and primarily has worked with adults.  Kathleen currently specializes in outpatient rehabilitation of complex neurological patients including those with strokes, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's Disease and ALS.

Neela Swanson, BA is ASHA's director of health care policy for coding and reimbursement. She is a resource for ASHA members regarding coding and reimbursement and works with the ASHA Health Care Economics Committee, American Medical Association CPT Editorial Panel and Relative Value Update Committee, ASHA members and other specialty societies as an advocate for Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) and International Classification of Diseases (ICD) coding issues related to audiology and speech-language pathology.

Aurora Weaver, PhD, AuD, CCC-A, F-AAA is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication Disorders, Lead Researcher, Auditory and Music Perception Lab at Auburn University.

Anna K. Webb, MS, CCC-SLP received both her Bachelor of Arts in communicative disorders and her Master of Science in speech language pathology from the University of Alabama. She currently serves as an instructor and the Director of Clinical Education in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama. Anna began her career as a speech-language pathologist completing her clinical fellowship training in public schools, providing assessment and treatment for school-aged children and later worked to provide team-based educational diagnostics for referred preschool students in the public school system. Prior to joining Samford, Webb gained experience working in teletherapy, serving K-12 students enrolled in online schools. 

Amanda Weydeck, AuD, FAAA is the Pediatric Account Manager for Oticon, Inc. serving Texas, Alabama and the Florida Panhandle. Prior to joining Oticon, Mandy worked as an audiologist in pediatric medical centers serving the birth-21 population. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Speech Language Pathology from Texas Christian University, a Master of Arts in Audiology degree from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville and a Doctor of Audiology degree with a Pediatric Aural Habilitation concentration from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center.

Elizabeth Zylla-Jones, MS, CCC-SLP is a Clinical Professor in the Department of Communication Disorders at Auburn University, Auburn, AL.  Ms. Zylla-Jones received a master’s of science in speech-language pathology from Purdue University in 1982. Ms. Zylla-Jones has been employed at Auburn University since 1991, where she provides clinical teaching and supervision for master’s degree students during practicum experience at the AU clinic. She also serves as the speech-language pathology clinic coordinator overseeing clinic scheduling and external placements.  Clinical interests include early intervention, autism and pediatric dysphagia. She has made numerous presentations at local, regional, state, and national professional meetings, specifically in the area of clinical education and supervision. Ms. Zylla-Jones currently serves a peer reviewer for SIG-11 Perspectives in Administration and Supervision. She has previously served on the Coordinating Committee for SIG-11 and as a CAA Site Visitor.

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