Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD) Faculty Directory

Amanda Byrd, M.S., CCC-SLP
Clinical Instructor
M.S. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2010
Research Interests:

Neurogenic speech and language disorders, aphasia, psycholinguistics, foreign accent modification, dysphagia, end of life issues in healthcare.

Jessica Caron, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
Assistant Professor
Ph.D., The Pennsylvania State University, 2016
Research Interests:

My research interests include maximizing communication competence and enhancing quality of life for individuals who have significant speech and language impairments and require augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) through: (a) improvement of literacy outcomes, (b) use of mainstream communication modalities (e.g., access to social media or mobile technology), and (c) enhancement of design and use of high tech communication methods.

Sommar Ane Chilton, M.Ed
Instructor, Penn State Sign Language Organization Adviser
M.Ed., University of Pittsburgh, 1997
Research Interests:

Deaf culture.

Kathryn D. R. Drager, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Education Professor of Communication Sciences and Disorders
Ph.D., University of Minnesota, 1999
Research Interests:

Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) for individuals with severe expressive communication disorders, autism, listeners' comprehension of synthetic speech, and assessment and intervention for individuals with severe disabilities or challenging behaviors.

Nicole Etter, Ph.D., CCC/SLP
Assistant Professor
Ph.D., University of Kentucky, 2014
Research Interests:

The use of auditory (hearing) and somatosensation (touch) to produce clear speech in adults with and without neurologic injury or disease. My work focuses on how to 1) assess changes in touch sensation through the development of unique protocols, 2) identify ways to improve sensation through training, and 3) find means of adapting our therapy paradigms to compensate for any declines in sensation to maintain clear communication in adults. For more information or to volunteer for studies, please visit:

Constance Kossan, M.A., CCC-SLP
Instructor, Clinical Supervisor
M.A., University of Pittsburgh, 1991
Research Interests:

Current clinical interests include evaluation and treatment of adult fluency disorders, cognitive/communicative disorders, voice disorders, and transgender voice. Current instructional interests include phonetics, voice, and neurogenic speech and language disorders.

Eileen Kowalski, M.S., CCC-SLP
Clinical Instructor
M.S., The Pennsylvania State University, 1988
Research Interests:

Current interests include: child articulation and phonology, child language and auditory processing disorders, child and adult traumatic brain injury and adult language disorders.

Anne Marie Kubat, M.S., CCC-SLP
Clinical Instructor and Clinic Coordinator
M.S., Indiana University of Pennsylvania, 1984
Research Interests:

Mrs. Kubat's primary areas of clinical interest are in the areas of evaluation and treatment of aphasia, language and cognitive deficits secondary to traumatic brain injury, speech and voice deficits secondary to Parkinson’s disease, and pronunciation training for individuals who speak English as a second language. In addition, she has an interest in the supervision and training of graduate student clinicians, and developing community partnerships with the university.

Ji Min Lee, Ph. D., CCC-SLP
Assistant Professor
Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2010
Research Interests:

My broad research goal is to examine and expand the foundational science and principles of speech production as well as the subsequent clinical applications for speakers with dysarthria. My research is focused on speech production to examine and develop strategies and procedures for the clinical management of dysarthria.

Specific Interests:
• Relationship among articulatory kinematics, speech acoustics, and speech intelligibility
• Identification of comprehensive production variables that predict speech intelligibility in individuals with dysarthria
• Investigating how to enhance speech production in individuals with dysarthria secondary to various neurological conditions such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and cerebral palsy.

Janice C. Light, Ph.D
The Hintz Family Endowed Chair in Children's Communicative Competence
Ph.D., University of Toronto, 1990
Research Interests:

My research is focused on improving communication outcomes and enhancing quality of life for individuals who have significant speech and language impairments and require augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) (e.g., signs, communication boards, voice output assistive technologies). Specifically, I am involved in a series of multidisciplinary collaborative research projects designed to:

  1. Enhance language development for beginning communicators who require AAC
  2. Improve literacy outcomes with individuals who require AAC
  3. Enhance the communicative competence of people who require AAC
  4. Improve employment outcomes for people who require AAC
  5. Improve the design of AAC technologies for individuals with significant speech and motor impairments

Elise M. Lindquist, M.S. CCC-SLP
Clinical Instructor and Externship Coordinator
M.S., Minnesota State University Moorhead
Research Interests:

Mrs. Lindquist’s current clinical interests include early intervention, augmentative and alternative communication, pediatric traumatic brain injury, childhood apraxia of speech, language development in children and adults with autism spectrum disorder, pediatric motor speech disorders, and the impact of sensory processing disorder on language development in pediatric patients.

Aarthi Madhavan, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
Assistant Professor
Ph.D., University of Florida, 2016
Research Interests:

My research interests lie in attempting to mitigate the negative health consequences of dysphagia (swallowing disorders) in older adults. In working toward this goal, my lab will be focused on improving assessment and screening of dysphagia in the elderly population; specifically in developing a screening tool for the early identification of swallowing difficulties in the community dwelling elderly population. This research involves close collaborations with clinicians and researchers in the fields of aging, nutrition, cognition, neuromotor abilities, and questionnaire and tool development.

Carol A. Miller, Ph.D.
Ph.D (Psychology), University of Pennsylvania, 1994
Research Interests:

My research interests are focused around typical and atypical language development, particularly children with specific language impairment; cognitive processes in communication disorders, with emphasis on speed of processing and working memory in children and adults with language disorders; and bilingual language development. I use behavioral and electrophysiological methods. Member of the Center for Language Science.

Leslie Purcell, Au.D.
Au.D., Salus University, 2007
Research Interests:

Barbara Roberts, M.S., CCC-SLP
Clinical Instructor
M.S., The Pennsylvania State University, 1987
Research Interests:

Current interests include: child articulation and phonology, child language, and Augmentative and Alternative Communication with individuals across the lifespan

Chaleece W. Sandberg, Ph.D., CCC/SLP
Assistant Professor
Ph.D., Boston University, 2014
Research Interests:

Finding ways of optimizing language therapy for adult language disorders, with a primary interest in aphasia. Specifically, exploring what neuroplastic processes are taking place during successful therapy and how to enhance these processes. Additionally, exploring how cortical reorganization due to aging affects the way we interpret the cortical reorganization that results from language therapy.

Kelly Webb, M.S., CCC-SLP
M.S., The Pennsylvania State University, 1986
Research Interests:

Krista Wilkinson, Ph.D.
Ph.D., Georgia State University, 1993
Research Interests:

Dr. Wilkinson studies early communication and language in learners with developmental and intellectual disabilities. Her main interests include vocabulary learning as well as the use of visual supports in communication and education. Dr. Wilkinson served as Editor for American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology (2014-2016) and as Editor-in-Chief for 2017.  She has also served as Associate Editor at Augmentative and Alternative Communication and the American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology.  Dr. Wilkinson is an affiliated faculty with the Child Study Center at Penn State ( and holds an adjunct appointment at the University of Massachusetts Medical School (

Diane L. Williams, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
Professor and Head, Program Director
Ph.D., Bowling Green State University, 1999
Research Interests:

My primary area of interest is in language processing, reciprocal communication, social cognition, memory, and learning in autism spectrum disorders using behavioral measures and functional magnetic resonance imaging. My work in this area is interdisciplinary in nature, therefore, I work across the fields of communication sciences and disorders, neurology, psychology, and cognitive science.

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