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Meet the Speakers

Elizabeth M. Adams, PhD, CCC-A, FAAA currently serves the Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology at the University of South Alabama as the Department Chair and serves the Pat Capps Covey College of Allied Health Professions as the Interim Director of Graduate Studies. She maintains teaching responsibilities in the Department and has ongoing lines of research in vestibular assessment, the clinical use of extended high frequency audiometry, and interprofessional education for students in the allied health professions.

Meghan Amerson, MCD, CCC-SLP serves as the Outpatient Speech Language Pathology Supervisor at Children’s of Alabama in Birmingham. She has been a speech-language pathologist at COA for 7 years with clinical interests in evaluation and treatment of articulation, resonance, and feeding disorders. Prior to COA, she worked 2 years as an SLP with Williamson County Schools in Tennessee. Meghan is a graduate of Auburn University and holds a Master of Communication Disorders and Bachelor of Science in Communication Disorders.  Meghan has been married for 6 years and enjoys spending time outside with her husband and their two Labrador retrievers, Nelli and Remi.

Taylor Baker is a 2019 graduate of Samford University with a degree in Health Science from Fort Walton Beach, Florida.


Jennie Bjorem, MA, CCC-SLP has been practicing as a pediatric speech-language pathologist for over 22 years, WOW! Over the past 10 years, Jennie has taken a special interest in childhood apraxia of speech. She currently carries a small caseload of children with childhood apraxia and travels the country presenting on the topic. Jennie has owned a private practice in Overland Park, Kansas for the past 20 years and is the owner of Bjorem Speech Publications. Jennie's goal is to publish inclusive and diverse products that speak to all children and therapists.

Margaret (Maggie) Boyd, MS, CCC-SLP, BCS-S has 26 years clinical experience as a Speech-Language Pathologist working with patient neonates to geriatrics and has been a board certified swallowing specialist for the past 8 years. She has worked with patients with a wide range of neurological disorders, spinal cord impairments, and general medical diseases resulting in various speech/language/cognitive disorders and/or dysphagia. Additionally, she has extensive experience in both flexible endoscopic and fluoroscopic evaluations of dysphagia. Maggie introduced the use of flexible endoscopy at UAB for diagnosing swallowing problems based on Susan Langmore’s FEES protocol. Spoken at the American Speech & Hearing Association (ASHA), Speech & Hearing Association of AL (SHAA), UAB Medical Speech Pathology Symposium, and in-house seminars provided for physician and nursing continuing education on various topics related to the afore mentioned. She has provided progressive supervisory experience that includes mentoring/training seasoned SLP clinicians and graduate interns/clinical fellowship graduates in the acute-care, rehab, and sub-acute care settings at UAB to use flexible endoscopy. Most recently, Maggie has been working closely with GI doctors on the use of modified transnasal esophagoscopy (mTNE) and has completed extensive independent studies of normal /abnormal esophageal anatomy/physiology as it relates to swallow function. She has committed to staying abreast of cutting-edge swallowing rehabilitation knowledge and sharing it with fellow colleagues.

Kandis Chatman, MS, CCC-SLP is the Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) at Deer Valley Elementary School in Hoover City Schools.  She was recently a Clinical Instructor at The University of Alabama in the Department of Communicative Disorders and SLP at the RISE Center. She continues to teach the Augmentative/Alternative Communication (AAC) graduate course at UA.  Kandis received her Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees from Auburn University and holds the Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. She holds Licensure from the Alabama Board of Examiners for Speech Pathology and Audiology. She serves as the Past President of the Speech and Hearing Association of Alabama (SHAA) and is currently the Ethics Chair and Chair of the newly developed Committee for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.  She has a variety of experience working in interdisciplinary clinics, university clinics, and schools.  Currently, she provides speech and language services for a variety of children including individuals with multiple abilities and complex communication needs.  Her clinical and research interests focus on AAC evaluation and treatment.

Melissa A. Cheslock, M.S., CCC-SLP is the Clinical Director at the University of Montevallo’s Communication Science and Disorders Program.  She is responsible for graduate students’ obtaining clinical requirements as specified by ASHA, as well as general clinic management.  She supervises graduate students in the provision of diagnostic and intervention services for children with a range of communicative needs, and teaches the graduate level Augmentative/Alternative Communication course.  Melissa received her undergraduate and graduate degrees at the University of South Alabama in Mobile.  She has over 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.  She has co-authored several peer-reviewed publications related to use of augmentative and alternative communication with young children and children with multiple disabilities and is a LAMP Certified Professional.  She has served on a number of committees at the local and national level with regards to early intervention and augmentative communication.

Summer Ensor, BA is a second-year graduate student studying Speech-Language Pathology at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Summer also received her Bachelor of Arts in Communicative Disorders with a minor in Psychology in May 2020 from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Upon graduating, Summer hopes to begin her career as a Speech-Language Pathologist in the medical setting with a specific interest in pediatric dysphagia.

Kelly Farquharson, PhD, CCC-SLP iis a speech-language pathologist and associate professor at Florida State University. She directs the Children’s Literacy and Speech Sound (CLaSS) Lab (@classlab_FSU), which has a mission to help children with speech and language impairments achieve classroom success. Her research focuses on children with speech sound disorders and/ or dyslexia and ensuring that school-based clinicians are prepared to implement evidence-based practices for these children. Dr. Farquharson is also an affiliated faculty member in the Florida Center for Reading Research.

Brenda K. Fetter, MA, CCC-SLP, CLC is is a graduate of the University of Iowa. As a part of the Children’s Mercy Hearing & Speech Department, she is a member of the Cleft Lip and Palate Clinic, Super Q (22q) Express Clinic, Velopharyngeal Dysfunction (VPD) Clinic, Interdisciplinary Feeding & Swallowing Program and the Videofluoroscopic Swallow Study team. Brenda is a certified lactation counselor. She has over 20 years of experience treating pediatric patients with feeding and swallowing difficulties.

Ashley G. Flagge, AuD, PhD, CCC-A is an Assistant Professor of Audiology at the University of South Alabama. Her primary research interests are in the areas of music/pitch perception and vestibular function. After working clinically for several years primarily in the areas of hearing and vestibular diagnostics, Dr. Flagge co-founded the Vestibular and Balance Research Lab at USA, which currently has ongoing research projects for three dual track Au.D./Ph.D. students, with ongoing studies examining factors that affect vestibular and overall balance function.

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.

Kendrea L. (Focht) Garand, PhD, CScD, CCC-SLP, BCS-S, CBIS, CCRE is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, AL. She founded and serve as the Principal Investigator of the Swallowing Disorders Initiative Research Laboratory, and she serves as the Coordinator for the PhD Program in Communication Sciences and Disorders. Further, she holds an adjunct appointment with the Department of Neurology in the College of Medicine. Her work has been funded through the Veterans Affairs, ASHFoundation, and the University of South Alabama. You may find some of her contributions in Dysphagia, American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, and Annals of Otology, Rhinology, and Laryngology. She is currently Editor of Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups (SIG 13 Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders) and Vice Chairperson of the American Board of Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders.

David S. Geldemacher, MD, FANA, FACP is the Warren Family Endowed Chair in Neurology and Director of the Division of Memory Disorders and Behavioral Neurology at UAB. An internationally recognized expert in the diagnosis and medical treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders, Dr. Geldmacher is the author of 'Contemporary Diagnosis and Management of Alzheimer’s Dementia'. He has published more 100 articles and chapters in the scientific literature. He has been listed as one of the “Best Doctors in America” for over 20 years.

Haley Noble Godbold, AuD has been employed by Cochlear Americas since 2011, now serving as the Area Manager for Alabama and North Florida.  In this role, she provides training and education related to Cochlear Implant and Baha procedures, and assistance with the clinical care of Cochlear Implant and Baha recipients. Prior to this role, Haley spent 5 years as a clinical audiologist at Nashville ENT, where she managed both cochlear implant and Baha recipients. She received her Doctor of Audiology from Auburn University and Bachelor’s degree from the University of Alabama. Haley and her family currently reside in Fairhope, Alabama. 

Memorie M. Gosa, PhD, CCC-SLP, BCS-S is a pediatric speech-language pathologist, board certified specialist in swallowing and swallowing disorders, and associate professor and chair in the Communicative Disorders Department at The University of Alabama. She has approximately 20 years of clinical experience in pediatric dysphagia. Her research focuses on exploring the reliability and validity of common assessment tools and treatment techniques used in the diagnosis and management of dysphagia in pediatric populations. She has published book chapters and peer-reviewed papers on these topics and she frequently presents both nationally and internationally on the topic of pediatric dysphagia. She is also the co-editor of the recent textbook, Assessing and Managing Dysphagia, A Lifespan Perspective.

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.

Alexandria Greene, BS is a student in the Au.D./Ph.D. dual track at the University of South Alabama. Her research interests are vestibular assessment and management, as well as noise-induced hearing loss.

Lindsey Greenway, BSEd is a current first-year graduate student in the Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology program at Samford University. She obtained her Bachelors of Science in Education from the University of Georgia in 2021. Lindsey is interested in pursuing a career working within the cleft lip and/or cleft palate populations.

Meredith Hankins, MS, CCC-SLP is a Speech-Language Pathologist with United Ability in Birmingham, Alabama, where she has worked since 2006.  Prior to coming to United Ability, Meredith served at-risk preschoolers with special needs in a greater-Birmingham-area public school. At United Ability, Meredith has provided services to children and their families through its early learning, early intervention and outpatient therapy programs.  Through these programs, she has gained expertise in transdisciplinary service delivery, and nurtured her passion for training families and teachers to enhance the communication and socialization of children.  Meredith is a graduate preceptor fo local universities and speaks frequently on the topics of AAC and complex communication needs.  Meredith is a LAMP-certified provider through the Center for AAC and Autism and is a recipient of the Speech-Language Hearing Association of Alabama AAC Professional Award.  She is a member of ASHA and the AAC Committee of the Speech and Hearing Association of Alabama.

Reilly Hooie, BA is a current first-year graduate student in the Masters of Science Speech-Language Pathology program at Samford University. She completed her undergraduate degree in Communicative Disorders at the University of Alabama in May of 2021. Reilly is interested in serving the cleft lip and/or cleft palate populations.

Kendra Hudson, MS, CCC-SLP is a Senior Instructor in the Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology at the University of South Alabama.  During the past 25 years, she has worked in public schools in Alabama and Mississippi and in the university clinic.  She is currently the coordinator of Speech Pathology Clinic.  Her clinical interests include adult dysphagia, language-learning disorders, articulation disorders, and accent modification.

Margaret Johnson, SLPD, CCC-SLP is Professor and Chair of the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Samford University.  She has been practicing and teaching in the area of neurogenic communication disorders for over 36 years.  She was awarded the prestigious honor of ASHA Fellow in 2012.  Dr. Johnson’s teaching and clinical focus has been and continues with adults who have neurogenic communication disorders.

Sucheta Kamath, MA, CCC-SLP, BC_ANCDS 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.

Dominique Kennedy, MS, CCC-SLP is an experienced and licensed Speech-Language Pathologist. She is also the author of several publications. Through her private practice, she serves children and adults. She is a certified member of ASHA and has held memberships with Special Interest Groups (SIGs) Fluency & Fluency Disorders and Augmentative & Alternative Communication. She has developed educational programs, professional development courses, and workshops. She lives in south metro Atlanta with her husband and their two daughters. She enjoys fine arts, music, and culture.

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 was also recently recognized as a Board Certified Specialist in Child Language. 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.

Kathryn Wilson Linder, MA, CCC-SLP, LSLS Cert AVT is a speech-language pathologist, teacher of the deaf and Auditory-Verbal therapist, with more than 40 years of experience as an educator, therapist, and consultant in public school, private practice, home-based, and clinical settings. From 2014 until 2018, Kathryn held the position of Coaching and Mentoring Leader for Hearing First, This followed a position as Director of FIRST YEARS at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Kathryn is a founding member of the American Cochlear Implant Alliance, has been a member of the Coordinating Committee for the American Speech and Hearing Association Special Interest Group, Hearing and Hearing Disorders in Childhood and has served on the Board of Directors for The CARE Project. Kathryn has contributed to the professional literature as an author of several articles on a variety of topics. She provides professional learning opportunities both nationally and internationally and mentors professionals pursuing certification in Listening and Spoken Language practice.

Benjamin McGrew, MD, FACS after completing residency and obtaining board certification in Otolaryngology, Dr. McGrew sought to focus his career on ear surgery and cranial base surgery by obtaining additional training in the subspecialties of Otology, Neurotology and Skull Base Surgery. He was accepted into a prestigious two-year fellowship in Otology, Neurotology, and Skull Base Surgery under the direction of internationally acclaimed ear surgeons, Dr. Michael Glasscock and Dr. C. Gary Jackson, at The Otology Group in Nashville, Tennessee in association with Vanderbilt University. After completing fellowship training, he was recruited to Honolulu, HI and began his career as the only Neurotologist in the state. While in Hawaii, he performed ear surgery on patients living throughout the pacific rim including the Hawaiian islands, Alaska, Taiwan, Japan, Fiji, multiple small pacific islands, and the western coastal Unitied States. His skull base surgery experience developed further in Hawaii after he partnered in a skull base surgery program with world-renowned neurosurgeon, Dr. Takanori Fukushima. He also traveled to Japan with Dr. Fukushima, lecturing across the country on methods of Skull Base Surgery. Dr. McGrew was then recruited to the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) specifically to develop a Skull Base Surgery program in 2002. He practiced at UAB for 17 years, holding joint academic appointments in the departments of Otolaryngology and Neurosurgery. At UAB, he served as the Medical Director for the Department of Otolaryngology for more than 10 years. He trained over 100 otolaryngology and neurosurgery residents who now practice across the country. He partnered with neurosurgeon Dr. Winfield Fisher III and successfully developed a thriving Skull Base Surgery program. Together, they removed over 700 tumors of the skull base, including acoustic neuromas, meningiomas, paragangliomas, and other rare tumors. To date, Dr. McGrew has the largest cohort of surgeries for malignant cancers of the ear and temporal bone in the world. In order to restore hearing in deaf patients, he greatly expanded the cochlear implant program and brought Auditory Brainstem Implants to the State of Alabama. Dr. Fisher and he placed the first Auditory Brainstem Implant in the State of Alabama, allowing restoration of hearing by direct electrical stimulation of the brainstem in patients with deafness caused by certain types of brain tumors. Dr. McGrew has vast experience treating medical and surgical diseases of the ear. He has performed thousands of surgeries for chronic infections of the ear, cholesteatoma, otosclerosis, hearing loss, and an extensive spectrum of rare and common otologic pathologies alike. He pioneered a novel surgical technique for placing bone-anchored hearing implants with improved patient outcomes. His cochlear implant practice is one of the largest in the southeastern United States. Dr McGrew has served his community often dedicating 30% of his time for treatment of ear diseases in the indigent population through the University system and county hospital system. He also served the country’s veterans by treating ear disease through the Veteran’s Administration Hopsital systems for more than 20 years. In 2019, despite a successful, busy, and fulfilling university practice, Dr. McGrew was excited to pursue a dream to form an elite group of fellowship trained and board certified Neurotologists. A partnership between Dr. McGrew, Dr. Dennis Pappas Jr. and Dr. Grayson Rodgers began and allowed the formation of the only medical practice in the region comprised purely of fellowship trained ear surgeons with practices that focus solely on ear disease and tumors of the adjacent skull base. This unique partnership provides a combined experience of more than 75 years treating ear disease with synergy in expertise and collaboration for complex and difficult problems of hearing, dizziness, the ear, and skull base. Dr. McGrew has lectured regionally, nationally, and internationally and published numerous scientific studies in the field of Otology, Neurotology and Skull Base surgery.

Erin Margaret Milford, MS, CCC-SLP is a certified Speech-Language Pathologist with experience as a research assistant in a dysphagia laboratory and clinical experience with patients from infants to geriatrics. During her time participating and disseminating research she presented at ASHA’s 2018 conference in Boston, MA. She has worked with a variety of populations including those with neurologic deficits, traumatic injuries, and developmental diagnosis that impact speech/language/cognition and/or swallowing. She is competent in MBSImP protocol and has been implementing this for 2 years. Erin is also FEES trained and has performed them in the ICU setting for the past year. She has a passion for improving her clinical knowledge and applying recent literature to the clinical sphere.

Courtney Moss, CCC-SLP is a Speech and Language Pathologist residing in Atlanta, GA. She began her career in Fulton County Schools where she served as a SLP with the special needs Pre-K department. Having many children utilizing AAC, she began pursuing further education to learn more about AAC and implementation. Courtney began her career as a Solutions Consultant for AAC devices with Tobii Dynavox and now serves as an Account Manager for Boardmaker. She enjoys teaching how to utilize AAC solutions and effectively implement them across settings. 

Danielle O'Dillon, AuD is an account manager for Oticon’s Southeast region. She provides business support and training for hearing care professionals both in Alabama and Georgia. Danielle’s clinical experience includes working with adults and pediatrics in an ENT setting. She holds a B.S.Ed in Communication Disorders from Valdosta State University and an Au.D. from the University of Florida. 

Anna Grace O'Donell is a senior at Auburn University with a focus in Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences. She was awarded an Undergraduate Research Fellowship working under Dr. Aurora Weaver, Au.D., PhD. to help validate a screening app designed and developed in the Auditory Music and Perception Lab.

JoAnne Payne, AuD, CCC-A has practiced as a clinical audiologist for 33+ years in a variety of settings.  She is currently the Clinical Director in the Department of Communicative Disorders at the University of Alabama, where in addition to providing clinical supervision, she teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in CD.

Melissa Pouncey, MS, CCC-SLP graduated in 2010 from The University of Alabama with her Master of Science in Communicative Disorders. Since the day after graduation, she has been joyfully serving children in natural environments, inclusive preschool, and the outpatient program with United Ability. In 2016 and 2018, she travelled to China to train caregivers in a foster center and several orphanages in low-tech AAC and feeding for children with multiple disabilities. Melissa has been an invited presenter at Alabama’s State SHAA Convention, #TalkingAAC, and has given a TEDx Talk through Samford University. Melissa was named SHAA’s AAC Professional of the Year in 2020. Her specialties include serving in natural environments, family and caregiver training, Autism, AAC for children with multiple needs, and oral placement therapy for speech and feeding. Melissa joined the team as a LAMP trainer in 2021 at the Center for AAC and Autism. Melissa is state board certified as well as American Speech and Hearing Association (ASHA) certified. She works at United Ability in Birmingham, Alabama.

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. 

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 the role of cognition in evaluating cochlear implant candidacy.

Lynn G. Roebuck, MS, CCC-SLP began her career with United Cerebral Palsy of Birmingham in 1997 which is now known as United Ability.  She has specialized in serving children with complex communication needs and augmentative/alternative communication.  She is the 2004 Speech and Hearing Association of Alabama AAC Professional Award recipient and the 2015 Alan K. Percy Diamond Award recipient for her work with individuals with Rett Syndrome. Lynn is currently a LAMP Certified Professional.  She enjoys specializing in AAC and is an active presenter on behalf of United Ability to students, families, and professionals.   Lynn currently serves children in United Ability’s Hand In Hand Early Learning Program and the Ability Clinic.  Lynn’s special interests include working with individuals with complex communication needs, working with individuals with motor speech disorders, completing augmentative/alternative communication evaluations and treatment, and collaborating with other professionals regarding functional use of AAC systems in all environments.

Theresa H. Rodgers, MA, CCC-SLP, BCS-CL, ASHA-F, EdS(LD) is a speech-language pathologist and special education consultant with more than thirty years experience in public schools.  She was ASHA's 2020 President, is a former government CAO, and has served as president of the Council of State Association Presidents as well as the National Council of State Boards of Examiners (NCSB). Theresa has also served as ASHA's VP for Government Relations and Public Policy and chaired the ASHA Board of Ethics, Committee on Nominations and Elections and the Council for Clinical Certification.  Theresa served several terms on the Louisiana licensure board, co-authored a Code of Ethics for SLP Assistants, has been instrumental in revisions of the Louisiana licensure law and regulations, has chaired disciplinary hearings and has provided NCSB's annual training for board members for more than a decade. She co-presented a master class on ethics at the 2019 ASHA convention and presents extensively on a number of topics at state, national and international conventions.

Yvonne Henderson Saxon, JD Attorney Yvonne Saxon 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 33 years

Candace Scearce, MS, CCC-SLP is a Speech-Language Pathologist who completed her undergraduate coursework at The University of West Georgia and her graduate coursework at Nova Southeastern University. Candace has worked in private and public schools in Texas, Louisiana and Alabama before she began serving deaf and hard of hearing students at the Alabama School for the Deaf. She is currently serving preschool and kindergarten students as the full-time SLP in the Listening and Spoken Language Program at ASD. Candace recently began her third and final year as part of the Hearing First Coaching & Mentoring Learning Experience and is working towards earning her designation as a Listening and Spoken Language Specialist Certified Auditory-Verbal Educator (LSLS cert. AVEd).

Dianna Jill Mize Smith, AuD is director of the Hearing and Speech Department at Children's of Alabama. Smith grew up in Birmingham, completed her undergraduate and graduate work at Auburn University (1998, 2000), and completed her Doctorate in Audiology (AuD) at the Arizona School of Health Sciences in 2007. Smith has spent her career at Children's in several roles including audiology supervisor, diagnostic audiologist and cochlear implant audiologist. She collaborates with physicians, staff, and the community in her roll at Children's, has presented on the state and national level, currently serves on several American Academy of Audiology (AAA) and ASHA committees as well as the SHAA Board. 

Rachel Smith, AuD, CCC-A is a Field Training Audiologist at GN ReSound. She obtained her Bachelor of Science degree from East Tennessee State University and went on to earn her Doctorate in Audiology at Auburn University. Following completion of her Au.D., Rachel worked clinically for several years at an Ear, Nose & Throat Clinic in GA and at the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center in Charleston, SC. She currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia. Her territory includes AL, GA, TN, LA, and MS.

Elizabeth Stewart, PhD, ATP is a Solutions Consultant for Tobii Dynavox specializing in Augmentative and Alternative Communication. She graduated from Auburn University in 2003 and began a twelve-year career as a middle school special education teacher. While in the classroom, Elizabeth developed an interest in assistive technology and continues to develop her skills and expertise in this area. She has also worked as an adjunct professor at The University of Alabama in the Department of Special Education and Multiple Abilities and as an academic liaison with CrossingPoints.

Victor Sung, MD is originally from Houston, TX and completed his undergraduate degree in Neuroscience from Vanderbilt University. He completed medical school at UT-Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas and completed neurology residency and movement disorders fellowship at UAB. He joined faculty in the UAB Department of Neurology, Division of Movement Disorders and has the rank of Associate Professor with Tenure. He is the Director of the UAB Huntington's Disease Clinic, Co-Director of the UAB School of Medicine Neuroscience Module, and is the Director of the Birmingham VAMC Deep Brain Stimulation Program. Dr. Sung received the President's Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2019 and received the A.B. Baker Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award from the American Academy of Neurology for 2021. He serves on the National Board of Trustees of the Huntington's Disease Society of America, currently serving as Chair of the Board from 2021-23.

Lyn S. Turkstra, PhD, CCC-SLP is Professor and Assistant Dean for the Speech-Language Pathology at McMaster University. She has contributed to national and international practice guidelines for TBI rehabilitation and is co-author of the text, Optimizing Cognitive Rehabilitation. Her research focuses on improving communication outcomes for adolescents and adults with TBI.

Kimberly Ward, AuD, CCC-A is an Associate Professor and Audiologist at the University of Southern Mississippi. Dr. Ward currently serves on ASHA’s Healthcare Economics Committee (HCEC) and has previously served as chair of ASHA’s Medicaid Committee. She is honored to be a past president of the Educational Audiology Association and a past president of the Mississippi Speech-Language-Hearing Association. She has received the Mississippi Speech-Language-Hearing Association's Clinical Achievement Award and numerous mentorship and teaching awards through her university. She continues to serve on leadership boards and committees for numerous state and international philanthropic and professional organizations. Her clinical and research interests include cochlear implants, scholarship of teaching and learning, pediatrics diagnostic evaluations, and educational audiology service provision.

Aurora J. Weaver, AuD, PhD, CCC-A, F-AAA is an Assistant Professor for the Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences at Auburn University in Auburn, AL. She received her Bachelor's degree in Hearing, Speech, and Language Sciences, her clinical doctorate in Audiology (Au.D.), and Ph.D. in Hearing Science from Ohio University, in Athens, OH. As the Lead Researcher in the Auditory and Music Perception Lab, Dr. Weaver has studied the following areas: Developmental Psychoacoustics, Fundamental Central Auditory Processes, and Diagnostic Audiology. Her recent work explores tablet-based tools to facilitate Universal pre-school hearing screenings. Dr. Weaver values the connections and experiences involved in serving on the Board of Directors for the Educational Audiology Association (EAA) as well as,  teaching first, second, and third-year doctoral students at Auburn University.

Anna 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, Anna gained experience working in many different settings including public schools, telepractice/teletherapy, residential treatment facilities, acute care, rehabilitation, and private practice with patients across the lifespan with various speech, language, and swallowing disorders.

Amanda Weydeck, AuD is an audiologist and Oticon Pediatrics Account Manager. She received her Doctorate of Audiology from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center with a Pediatric Aural Habilitation concentration. Upon graduation, she worked exclusively at pediatric medical centers serving the birth-21 population. She joined Oticon in 2015 and provides account management and training for pediatric hospitals and school systems throughout the Southeast.

Kathryn Williams, CScD, CCC-SLP, CLC is a speech-language pathologist, and stress management coach and consultant with certifications in compassion fatigue and mindfulness. She has owned a private practice in Santa Rosa, CA for the past 10 years. In 2020, she received her doctorate from Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions, where she investigated the impact of stress among speech therapists in the medical setting due to her own experience with compassion fatigue.

Laura Willis, MCD, CCC-SLP is a Clinical Professor and SLP Clinic Coordinator at Auburn University. She enjoys working alongside graduate students in the university clinic to provide high-quality services to clients and their families. Mrs. Willis has taught undergraduate and graduate courses, as well as leading an annual study abroad program. Prior to joining the faculty at Auburn University, she was a speech pathologist at the Roosevelt Institute in Warm Springs, Georgia. She has presented numerous local, regional, and national presentations, co-authored a textbook, and been published in national journals. 

Larry Andrew Wise, AuD, MBA, CCC-A, F-AAA is an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences at Auburn University. He provides clinical teaching and supervision for doctor of audiology student clinicians during practicum experiences at the AU Speech & Hearing Clinic. His interests include pediatric and adult hearing aid dispensing, auditory processing disorders, and tinnitus assessment. He teaches graduate courses that cover electrophysiological testing and auditory processing assessment. Prior to Auburn University, Dr. Wise worked as an Audiologist at a regional hospital in Georgia, as a Research Audiologist, and as an Audiologist in the Department of Defense.

Beth Walker Wooten, MEd, CED, LSLS Cert AVT has been teaching and learning from children with hearing loss and their parents for over 35 years, working in schools, clinics, homes, and through tele-intervention. She is currently a practicing LSL specialist, coordinator of Hearing First's Professional Learning Community, a LSL mentor, and educational consultant in private practice.

J. Scott Yaruss, PhD, CCC-SLP, BCS-F, F-ASHA is a Professor of Communicative Sciences and Disorders at Michigan State University. In addition to conducting research on the development of stuttering, Dr. Yaruss has extensive experience working with children and adults who stutter in a variety of clinical settings. Dr. Yaruss has authored or coauthored more than 300 papers, articles, chapters, or booklets on stuttering. He is co-author of the Overall Assessment of the Speaker’s Experience of Stuttering (OASES), as well as Early Childhood Stuttering Therapy: A Practical Guide, School-Age Stuttering Therapy: A Practical Guide, Minimizing Bullying in Children Who Stutter, and other guides published by Stuttering Therapy Resources. (www.StutteringTherapyResources.com).

The Speech and Hearing Association of Alabama is managed by Prime Management Services
Phone: (205) 823-6106 (ask for SHAA) · Mailing Address: 3416 Primm Lane, Birmingham, AL 35216
Info@AlabamaSHAA.com

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