Hear Say The University of Alabama Department of Communicative Disorders



The Department of Communicative Disorders at The University of Alabama exists to create and disseminate evidence-based information for the provision of the highest quality 1) education for undergraduate and graduate students, 2) clinical services for individuals in need, and 3) research for the advancement of the fields of audiology and speech-language pathology.


Our vision is to be the Southeast’s premier educational program for training in the fields of audiology and speech-language pathology; to build a world-class learning environment that promotes the discovery, dissemination, and adoption of evidence-based practices to advance the practice of audiology and speech-language pathology.


A Note from the Department Chair

Memorie M. Gosa, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, BCS-S Associate Professor and Chair

Welcome to the Fall 2023 semester at The University of Alabama (UA). I just finished my 10th year at UA. As I reflect on my time here, I am struck by how much has changed since I arrived. I’ve seen 10 graduate cohorts and 100s of undergraduate students matriculate through our program. We’ve welcomed many new faculty and clinical educators over the last 10 years, and we’ve had to say goodbye to some of our colleagues as they moved on to different opportunities. We’ve added new clinical and academic programming that keeps us on the cutting edge of the speech and hearing professions. We’ve even renovated our building to create new labs, offices, student spaces, and clinical rooms. This department has changed a lot in the last 10 years, but our mission to create and disseminate evidence-based information for the provision of the highest quality 1) education for undergraduate and graduate students, 2) clinical services for individuals in need, and 3) research for the advancement of the fields of audiology and speech-language pathology remains central to everything we do. In fact, it is our mission that drives us to continually evaluate all the components of our program, identify areas for improvement, and motivates us to do the necessary work when change is needed.

During this past academic year, the Department of Communicative Disorders continued its tradition of excellence in the fields of speech-language pathology and audiology. Some of our mission driven accomplishments from Fall 2022 – Summer 2023 are highlighted below:

· The audiology department began providing in-house services to the residents of Capstone Village and other retirement communities in Tuscaloosa once a month

· 22 new graduate students began their MS program in Speech-Language Pathology in Fall 2022

· Dr. Laura Moss re-joined our department as an instructor in Fall 2022

· Dr. Memorie Gosa gave the Keynote Address to the Association of Scientists of Speech Pathology – Speech Therapy of Greece in Athens, Greece (November 2022)

· Dr. Memorie Gosa received a meritorious poster submission award from the American Speech Language and Hearing Association (ASHA) for her co-authored poster, Patient Reported Outcome Measures for Pediatric Feeding Disorder (Feeding Skills Domain) presented at the ASHA annual conference in New Orleans, LA: November 2022

· Three CD undergraduate students received ASSURE research grants during the Spring 2023 semester: Julia Ray, Morgan Rollins, and Emma Zang- mentored by Drs. Luca Campanelli and Memorie Gosa

· Naomi Sidje & Amy Cox were both selected as recipients of the Randall Outstanding Undergraduate Research Awards in 2023; they were mentored by Dr. Hyunjoo Yoo and Dr. Paul Reed

· Dr. Luca Campanelli was named an Outstanding Undergraduate Mentor at the URCA Conference Awards Presentation

· CD graduate student, Grace Dooley, won the Student Poster Award at the UA Rural Health Conference during the Spring 2023 semester

· Dr. Marcia Hay-McCutcheon was awarded the UA Presidential Research Award in the Senior Scholar division

· We celebrated the 28 amazing students in the class of 2023 during graduation festivities in May 2023

· Dr. Paul Reed was awarded NSF grant support for his research, “What's in a grammar? A Microcomparative Study of Negation in American Englishes”

· Dr. Luca Campanelli was awarded NIH grant support for his research, “Information processing biases in adults who stutter: Behavioral and eye-tracking indices of threat-related attention allocation”

· Dr. Hay-McCutcheon continued her NIH funded work “Improving Access and Affordability of Adult Hearing Healthcare: Effectiveness of Community-based Interventions in West Central and South Alabama” project

· Dr. Evie Malaia continued her NSF funded work “RF Sensing for Sign Language Driven Smart Environments”

· Dr. Memorie Gosa, with her engineering colleague, Dr. Todd Freeborn, completed their NSF funded project “REU Site: Engineering Sensory Systems and Signal Processing for Speech Pathology” and continued their work on the Alabama Life Research Institute (ALRI) funded project “Development of a Pediatric Point of Care Device for Non-Invasive Vocal Pathology Identification”

· CD students and clinical faculty participated with nutrition and adapted athletics in the Alabama Head Injury Foundation Bright Ideas Traumatic Brain Injury Camp held at The University of Alabama during July 2023

These and other accomplishments were facilitated by embracing all the many changes that our department has thrived through over the last ten years.

As we look ahead to the 2023-2024 academic year, we are already embracing changes in our department. Dr. Rebecca Summy recently joined our faculty. She comes to us from Florida State University where she finished her PhD. Dr. Summy’s clinical and research interests include language/literacy development and disorders, screening and assessment for developmental language disorders, and graduate training in literacy for SLPs. We are also thrilled for Dr. Paul Reed who starts this year as an Associate Professor after being awarded tenure and promotion. With his promotion, Dr. Reed graciously agreed to take on the role of Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) and will begin his term as DGS in the Fall 2023 semester. Mrs. Sara Shirley is taking on the role of Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUS) in this Fall 2023 semester. Mrs. Shirley and Dr. Reed will bring their experience and enthusiasm into these roles and will continue to innovate our program through these roles. We are also welcoming 27 new graduate students in our 2024 graduate cohort. These talented students will no doubt leave their mark on our program too. I look forward to updating you about all our progress in the spring newsletter. Happy Fall friends & alumni – and as always, ROLL TIDE!

Welcome from the Clinic Director

JoAnne Payne, AuD, Clinic Director

Hello and welcome to Fall 2023 and a brand-new academic year. I am always excited for the Fall semester to begin. Not only because this time of year brings the promise of cooler weather, but also because I look forward to meeting and getting to know the new class of students as they start their graduate program. They have many new experiences ahead of them, and I am confident they will learn so much and be well prepared to accomplish wonderful things in the future.

We have been busy over the last several months with several changes to our clinical program as we continue to expand our clinical services for adult populations and learning opportunities for our students. The clinical faculty and graduate students have completed training in SPEAK OUT, an intervention program to help individuals with Parkinson’s disease “speak with intent”, and have started offering services using this program, including videostroboscopy. This summer, our clinical faculty and graduate students also completed an intensive FEES training course in preparation for providing diagnostic and intervention services for adults with dysphagia.

As always, I want to send a special thank you to all of our off-campus partners who share their time and experience to provide mentorship and learning opportunities for our students. You are such an integral part of our program and are very much appreciated. I also want to give a personal shout out to our clinical faculty here at the Speech and Hearing Center who put everything they have into this program and their students. You guys are the absolute best, and I am honored to work with you.

Here's to another great year!

Roll Tide!!

Spring & Summer 2023 Events

SHAA Convention

The University of Alabama NSSLHA Chapter was the recipient of the 2023 SHAA NSSLHA Student Membership Award.

Ray Boyd, President, was also this year's recipient of the SHAA Student Award. Ray is pictured here with NSSLHA Advisors Mrs. Mary Ray-Allen, Mrs. Sara Shirley and Dr. Christy Albea.

Emily Marshall was awarded the Loretta G. Brown annual award at SHAA. Emily is a speech-language pathologist in the public school system and serves as an off-campus clinical educator for UA graduate students.

Emily is pictured here with Off-campus Internship Coordinator Mrs. Mary Bryan.

Quest for the Cup Challenge

Gracie Wright- Team Captain

Anna Jane Brown

Ashley Hanks

Anna Mauldin

Sandra Shaw

Grace Turk

Our Clinic Director, Department Chair and many of our Clinical Educators attended.

Alabama Autism Conference

CD Ambassadors provided information about the UA Speech and Hearing Center and Department of Communicative Disorders during the conference.

Poster Presentations

Play Pals: An Evidence-Based Inclusive Preschool Model to Encourage Social Engagement and Learner Readiness for Children with Autism

Megan Fedewa

Jennifer Baggett

Dr. Laci Watkins

Dr. Angie Barber

Community Based Autism Screening: Feasibility and Predictors of Positive Screens

Presented by Grace Dooley and Alexandra Bishop

EEG Power Differences Underlying Social Anxiety and Anhedonia in Autistic Adults

Presented by Sandra Shaw

On April 7th we celebrated our department award winners at an Honors Day ceremony and reception.

CD Alumni Audrey Nyquist and Janelle Britt joined us as guest speakers.

2023 Award Winners

Undergraduate Awards

Mary T. Hamner Endowed Scholarship- Amy Cox, Abigail Orr and Sarah Teague

Joe T. McCrary Endowed Scholarship- Aine Buchau, Madison Glatz and Julia Ray

Edward Ervin Guy Jr. Endowed Scholarship- Journi Alford

Barbara Kucharski Award for Undergraduate Clinical Excellence- Perry Courtney

Outstanding Undergraduate Research Award- Katherine Babin

Graduate Awards

Mary T. Hamner Endowed Scholarship- Anna Jane Brown and Ashley Hanks

Edward Ervin Guy Jr. Endowed Scholarship- Anna Mauldin

Dr. Eugene B. Cooper Memorial Award- Hayley Griesser and Gracie Wright

Crystal Cooper Award- Caroline Doehring

Scott-Harris Award- Alexandra Bishop

SHAA Award- Ray Boyd

Outstanding Graduate Research Award- Grace Dooley

The department hosted its first Spring Egg Hunt and Picnic this year. Prizes, food and a little competition made for big fun!

Graduate Class of 2023

We are so excited to welcome the Class of 2025!

Upcoming Events

Arts & Sciences Parents Weekend

Halloween Costume Contest

Holiday Brunch

CEU Event for Off-campus Clinical Educators

A Farewell to the Gulf Coast Queen

The close of 2023 will bring with it the end of an era for Mrs. DeLaine Stricklin, but also the beginning of many new adventures! After over 40 years in the field DeLaine will be retiring from The University of Alabama in December, and leaving some pretty big shoes to fill. She has been a clinical educator and instructor at The University of Alabama Speech & Hearing Center since 2010 and is the founder of ALLP (Alabama Language and Literacy Program).

Change is nothing new for DeLaine. She began her college career with a change that led her to where she is today. She entered Northern Louisiana University as a first generation freshman with a Journalism major and a potluck roommate pairing. This roommate was a speech-language pathology major and they both had classes in the same building. For the first few weeks of class DeLaine would listen and observe while she waited for her roommate to finish. Soon the professor approached her about changing her major, informed her that she could change to SLP with her scholarship, and she never looked back.

DeLaine received her Bachelor's degree in 1981 and her Master's degree in 1982 from the University of Southern Mississippi and she has been a lifelong learner since. She describes her life as a tree. The roots being the foundations for everything: college education, mentors, family, spirituality and continuing education. The trunk offering flow and reflection, rings of growth and building stability. The branches showing all of the opportunities she has been able to experience such as working in schools, hospitals, private practices and rehabs, learning different skills and programs, working with students and colleagues, living all over the South and so many others. Everyone has a tree. Some are palm trees and stay on the same path and some, like DeLaine, are live oaks with many branches constantly growing up and out.

"The key is to be a lifetime learner and have an open mind. There are so many opportunities and I felt fortunate to be able to transition areas within the field at any time with continuing education. I have never been bored, I have never woken up and not wanted to go to work."

Throughout her career DeLaine has worked with a variety of populations in many different settings. After graduating with a focus on adults, the only opening available was in the schools. She had students at the elementary, middle and high school and this position taught her that collaboration is key to survival. She also credits this experience with teaching her organizational techniques and how to manage a large caseload. After working in the schools for a few years she also began working with home health adults outside of school hours and this was a great networking opportunity with local physicians. She later transitioned to full-time home health and then in 1985 she was asked to be a part of a new Rehabilitation Center at the major hospital in town. From there she began work with adult dysphagia which led to pediatric TBIs and the NICU environment. Her career continued to evolve as she worked on an ICU unit followed by a rehabilitation center and then a medically fragile pediatric daycare. She worked at a level 3 trauma hospital for 10 years and then opened a private practice in Jupiter, FL in 2004. In 2005, she began working for the county schools and focused on language-based literacy. In 2010 she came to The University of Alabama to bring literacy and pediatric dysphagia to the program.

"The highlight of my time at UA has been being so fortunate at the end of my career to be able to share my knowledge with my future colleagues and seeing when a spark hits! The support has been incredible my entire time here. My low will be the day I walk out of the clinic on my last day."

DeLaine's lifelong focus has been enhancing children's ability to read. She began her career working with children and though she has enjoyed working with many ages in many settings, she has come full circle to end her career making a difference through her work with the Alabama Language and Literacy Program at the Speech and Hearing Center.

One of DeLaine's favorite quotes is “If you can’t read, the only thing you can do is enjoy the picutres not the whole picture. Knowledge is the key to understanding.” -Mr. T

DeLaine is called the Gulf Coast Queen because she has lived in every state along the gulf coast! From Louisiana to Texas to Mississippi to Georgia to Florida, ending up in Alabama. She says moving has taught her how to make friends anywhere and once you are on her Christmas card list you are on it for life.

Though she may not be coming to the office every day, DeLaine will not be slowing down in the slightest after December. She and her husband Bill will be celebrating 45 years of marriage in February and are looking forward to checking off their bucket list items. They enjoy traveling, hiking, camping and spending time with their family. They have 2 sons, William and Andrew. William and Lauren live in Colorado with their 2 year-old daughter Addison and another on the way! Andrew and Sabin recently moved to North Carolina. DeLaine is excited to spend a lot more time visiting her children and grandchildren. She is happiest with her hands in the dirt and has big plans for her garden and greenhouse.

The department will not be the same without DeLaine, but we all wish her well in retirement!

Carly Blankenship and her fur baby, Sadie! He may look calm, but don't be fooled; he's a menace and eats everything in sight!

Carly Blankenship is an undergraduate student from Huntsville, Alabama planning to graduate in December 2023. She has made the most of her undergraduate experience in CD completing research in Dr. Cheimariou's lab and learning at the Speech and Hearing Center through the Clinical Practicum course. Carly presented her lab work "Cognitive Control Ability Mediates Predictability Effects in Sentence Reading: An Eye-Movement Study" at the Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity conference this past spring. Her favorite class has been Neuroscience for CD because she was able to hold a human brain in class; "definitely a very life changing experience" she said! Carly is fascinated by the connection between neuroscience and communicative disorders.

Carly has a personal connection to the field which has fueled her to work hard and persevere through challenges. Her uncle had ASD and later in life he also experienced aspiration pneumonia. Carly wants to honor her uncle by achieving her career goal of helping patients receive the care they need through advocacy! Carly says if she could invent something to better our profession, "it would be something that could make FEES procedures more comfortable for some patients."

Carly's childhood dream job was to be a pilot and an author! There's no doubt she will soar in her future career and currently she aspires to someday write a book related to the field that will help educate others. She wants to make a difference in the world by bringing awareness about the field to rural communities and families in need!

Would you like to be featured in the student spotlight? We welcome undergraduate and graduate students to complete this Student Spotlight form for the chance to appear in an upcoming newsletter!

Alumni Spotlight

Janelle Britt

Janelle Britt graduated from The University of Alabama with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communicative Disorders in 2011 and a Master of Science degree in Speech-Language Pathology in 2013. She is a speech-language pathologist and the owner of Theraplay Pediatric Sensory Gym, which opened in 2019. Theraplay is a pediatric private practice offering speech and occupational therapy services. They have facilities in Cullman and Gardendale, Alabama. Janelle's areas of passion are working with children with autism and other developmental delays. She is passionate about AAC and has undergone trainings in LAMP and PECS. Janelle is PROMPT certified which allows her to work with children diagnosed with apraxia.

Janelle loves the connections she makes with patients and their families.

"I especially love working with early language clients or late talkers and seeing them communicate independently for the first time. It is an amazing feeling to be able to teach a skill and then watch the patient and their families utilize it independently."

Janelle's advice to students and new clinicians is follow your passions, but always be willing to learn new skills. "I went into my degree and career with a passion and desire to work with autistic children. I continue to have that passion and have learned many skills that enhance my clinical expertise; however, I have really enjoyed engaging in and learning new treatment strategies for populations I was not as familiar with. I believe this stretches us as clinicians to not only learn but to effectively treat and care for our patients with various needs."

Janelle enjoys spending time with her husband and four children. They love being on the lake, traveling, and being involved with their local church.

#momof4 #pediatricSLP #JesusOverEverything

Audrey Nyquist

Audrey Nyquist graduated from The University of Alabama with a Bachelor of Arts dual degree in Communicative Disorders and Spanish in 2011 and a Master of Science degree in Speech-Language Pathology in 2016. She is currently employed at Theraplay Pediatric Sensory Gym in Cullman, AL where she works with children ages birth-18 and specializes in speech sound development, early language development (primarily Spanish speakers or dual-language learners), fluency, feeding disorders and AAC.

Audrey truly enjoys the caregiver education component of therapy.

"Teaching parents ways to carry-over strategies at home and making it feel easy to attain is very important to me as a young mom. Most parents are already overwhelmed with parenting tasks and multiple children. I also love when parents come in to tell me that their child told them 'I love you' for the first time or finally said 'mama/dada'!"

One piece of advice Audrey would share with students or new clinicians is to be flexible and remember how important play is for children! Spend time figuring out how the parent's goals fit in with the child's needs and what life looks like at home to help with parent buy-in. Have fun!

#boymama #wanderlust #naturelover

Research Faculty Spotlight

Luca Campanelli, Ph.D.

Dr. Luca Campanelli is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communicative Disorders at The University of Alabama, where he directs the Psycholinguistics Laboratory. The laboratory is equipped with an eye tracker and an electroencephalogram (EEG) system. He received a PhD in Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences from the City University of New York (CUNY) and trained as a postdoctoral researcher at Haskins Laboratories (Yale) and the University of Georgia. He is an active member of the scientific community, having provided reviews for many prestigious scientific journals, including Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, Journal of Experimental Psychology, and Scientific Studies of Reading (SSR), to name just a few. Dr. Campanelli serves as a Review Editor for the journal Psycholinguistics, and is a Founding Editorial Board member and Associate Editor of 'Language Communication', a special section of Frontiers in Communication. Under Dr. Campanelli’s mentorship, his students have received four research awards in just the last two years. Additionally, he was recently recognized for "Outstanding Mentorship of Undergraduate Students Research for 2022-2023" by the University of Alabama. He has received several research grants, the most recent of which is a collaboration with Dr. Naomi Eichorn at the University of Memphis. This project, funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), is a half a million dollar grant for studying information processing and attentional mechanisms in adults who stutter. The project's funding spans from July 2023 to June 2026. Dr. Campanelli’s research interests include language processing in children and adults, cognitive underpinnings of speech and language processing, working memory, bilingualism, computational modeling of brain and cognition, and Bayesian statistics.

Dr. Campanelli's current research projects are listed below.

  • Role and interaction of memory and probabilistic expectations in language processing. This project was initially funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Collaborators: Dr. Julie Van Dyke, Dr. John Hale, Dr. Klara Marton.
  • Information processing biases in adults who stutter, funded by NIH. Collaborator: Dr. Naomi Eichorn.
  • Processing of syntactic and semantic information during reading in poor comprehenders. This project is funded by the NIH. Collaborators: Dr. Julie Van Dyke and Dr. Nicole Landi.
  • Bilingual advantage in 8 to 12 year old children. Collaborator: Dr. Klara Marton.
  • Perception of American English consonants /v/ and /w/ by Hindi speakers of English, funded by the PROMP Institute. Collaborator: Dr. Vikas Grover.

Clinical Faculty Spotlight

Sara Shirley, M.S., CCC-SLP

Sara Shirley earned her Bachelor of Arts degree and her Master of Science degree from The University of Alabama. She is a speech-language pathologist, and she specializes in the area of acquired neurogenic cognitive-communicative disorders. She began her career by working as a speech-language pathologist in skilled nursing facilities and hospitals across West Alabama. She served as an off-campus clinical educator for graduate student clinicians while working in these various medical facilities, and she joined the faculty of The University of Alabama Department of Communicative Disorders in 2016. She currently serves as a clinical educator and instructor for the department. As a clinical educator, she works with graduate and undergraduate student clinicians as they provide individual and group therapy services to adults with cognitive-communicative changes following medical events such as strokes and traumatic brain injuries. She also teaches an undergraduate course – CD 422 – Acquired Neurological Disorders.

In addition to her work in the clinic and classroom, Sara serves as the UA Speech and Hearing Center’s HIPAA Security Officer and one of the UA Chapter of the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association’s (NSSLHA) faculty advisors. She has also recently taken on a new role in the department and is now the Director of Undergraduate Studies.

One of Sara’s favorite things about being a speech-language pathologist on a university campus is seeing student clinicians grow in their clinical skills while making a positive difference in the lives of the clients they are working with. She is grateful to be in a position that allows her to advance the field of speech-language pathology by playing a part in the training of new clinicians and providing speech therapy services to individuals with various cognitive-communicative needs at the same time.


Memorie M. Gosa, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, BCS-S 

Dr. Memorie Gosa was recently named a College of Arts and Sciences Leadership Board Fellow. This prestigious award acknowledges the College's most promising or accomplished teacher-scholars, as well as those who have brought distinction to both the College and the University. We are proud of Dr. Gosa for this achievement!

Marcia Hay-McCutcheon, Ph.D.

Dr. Marcia Hay-McCutcheon received the UA Presidential Senior Scholar award celebrating a "sustained program of excellence as measured by significant contributions to their academic field," one of the highest research honors for faculty at UA! Her work is an exemplary example of excellence!

Paul Reed, Ph.D.

Congratulations to Dr. Paul Reed upon receiving tenure and promotion this spring! We are proud of Dr. Reed for this accomplishment!

Welcoming Our Newest Faculty Member: Dr. Rebecca Summy

Dr. Summy and her family at her the commencement for her Ph.D.

"After several years away from the University and Tuscaloosa, I am thrilled to be back and begin as an Assistant Professor in this department. Broadly, I am interested in language and literacy, with a particular interest in developmental language disorder. My dissertation focused on screening for DLD, and I am eager to continue this work. I am also interested in how school-based SLPs can play an integral role on the literacy teams in schools and how graduate programs can prepare future clinicians in written language. When I am not at work, I am spending time with my husband Zack, who is an accountant for UA's Center for Economic Development, and our two children, Lewis (5) and Bonnie (6 months). I look forward to getting to know all of you and am excited to work together to help improve language and literacy outcomes for students in this community." -Dr. Summy

Student Organization Highlights

Undergraduate Ambassadors

2023-2024 Undergraduate Ambassadors for the Department of Communicative Disorders, led by Mrs. Candace Cook

Michaela Stambaugh

Rachel Frick

Hannah Collinsworth

Lauryn Stahl

AJ Olliff

Gracie Lee

Lauren Rosen

Madison Cowart

Anna Parker

Kelsie Ruiz

Gracie Parker

Anna Bochnak

Caroline Thigpen

Baylee Jaynes

Julia Bradley

National Student Speech Language Hearing Association (NSSLHA)

NSSLHA Officers 2023-2024

President: Jordan Jahosky

Vice President: Macy Helton

Graduate Treasurer: Julia Ratynski

Undergraduate Treasurer: Abby Orr

Graduate Secretary: Hayes Graf

Undergraduate Secretary: Morgan Rollins

Graduate Social Chair: Grace Singley

Undergraduate Social Chair: Mary Caroline Stephens

Graduate Philanthropy: Emma Engelage

Undergraduate Philanthropy: AJ Olliff

Graduate T Shirt/Fundraising: Anna Claire Gresham

Undergraduate T Shirt/Fundraising: Lauryn Stahl

Graduate Diversity Chair: Baylor Belich

The UA National Student Speech Language Hearing Association (NSSLHA) chapter had a wonderful spring semester! We added a new student officer position to our executive board - Diversity Chair. Key responsibilities of the student in this role include providing the other NSSLHA officers and members with resources on diversity, equity, and inclusion. The Diversity Chair also works to actively engage in promoting an equitable, accessible, and inclusive environment within our NSSLHA chapter. We are excited about this addition to our team and we look forward to the positive impact that this role will have on our organization!

Our first meeting of 2023 was in February with guest speaker, Jenny Bjorem, M.A., CCC-SLP. Jenny is a Childhood Apraxia of Speech Specialist and she provided an insightful presentation about her journey as an SLP and her approaches to therapy for children with apraxia of speech. During the meeting, we announced our Selma School Drive to help support schools in Selma that were affected by a recent tornado. In total, we had over 300 items donated, including 1,248 crayons, 79 sticks of glue, and 663 pencils. Later that month, we held a Mardi Gras Social where our members could connect, participate in games and activities, and snack on famous Mardi Gras foods, including fresh beignets and king cake.

The March meeting welcomed Meredith Avren M.Ed., CCC-SLP, also known as Peachie Speechie. Meredith presented on her specialty, the /r/ sound, titled “R Sound Basics, Tips for Eliciting the Most Menacing Sound.” We took advantage of the beautiful spring weather and held a Walk & Talk Social at the Tuscaloosa Riverwalk, where members and their pets took a relaxing stroll. The Blenz Smoothie Bowl food truck was there for members to enjoy a refreshing smoothie or acai bowl after their walk.

Our final meeting of the semester was in April with guest speaker Demi Fritz, CCC-SLP from SLP Resume. Demi shared helpful tips related to constructing resumes and personal statements for graduate school applications, clinical fellowship year applications, and other post-graduate applications. We celebrated the end of a successful semester with a social at Bowlero. Members rolled into summer with bowling, arcade games, and great food!

Operation Smile Club of Alabama

The Operation Smile Club had a fantastic year and a wonderful spring semester! They hosted percentage nights at Taco Mama and Blendz Bowls to help support their smile fund and were able to share their passion for Operation Smile with the community. They ended the year with a presentation from UA's Master of Speech Language Pathology Program, Ray Boyd. Ray spoke to the club about his own journey with a cleft lip and palate, which was a very enlightening experience for members.

Newly elected officers are President Kelsey Porter, Vice President Brae Howell, Secretary Bailey Weaver, and Treasurer Ashton Dickey. OpSmile is so excited for the fall semester and events they have planned! From percentage nights, button and T-shirt sales, and service projects, the members will be busy serving Operation Smile and making a difference for people with cleft lip and palates worldwide! Stay connected with UA Operation Smile on Instagram @uaopsmile and find opportunities for more information and membership there!

Alabama Autism Advocates

Alabama Autism Advocates is a student organization that aims to advocate for and raise awareness of ASD across campus while also raising funds and resources for rural communities in Alabama. This past year, we supported Fyffe Special Services Center in DeKalb County, Alabama. These funds were raised by hosting percentages nights at local restaurants, social media bingo boards, and fundraising events such as our Autism Acceptance Walks. As well as these fundraising events, we had some fun social events such as our Sensory Bag drives, Kahoot Trivia nights, and our many holiday socials. This past year we were able to present Fyffe Special Services with a check for approximately $1,800! They plan to use these funds to purchase items that they need in their classrooms for students with ASD.

We have started a monthly event known as ASD Together. This event provides young autistic adults with the opportunities to socialize together and meet new individuals in our community. Recently, we hosted an ASD Game Night and a guided painting party! We are thrilled to host more ASD Together events and can’t wait to meet new people.

Delaney Miller – President

Maggie Tubbs – Vice President

Nevaeh Chandler– Marketing Chair

Kate Billings – Treasurer

Megan Walters – Secretary

Follow us on Instagram to stay updated on upcoming events! @AlabamaAutismAdvocates

Research News

Newly Awarded Grants

Dr. Luca Campanelli

  • Funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a project entitled 'Information Processing Biases in Adults Who Stutter: Behavioral and Eye-tracking Indices of Threat-related Attention Allocation' received a grant of $553,162. (PIs Naomi Eichorn and Luca Campanelli). The project funding spans from July 2023 to June 2026.

Dr. Paul Reed

  • Funded by National Science Foundation (NSF), a project entitled 'What’s in a grammar? A Microcomparative Study of Negation in American Englishes'. (Frances Blanchette, Cynthia Lukayenko, Jessi Grieser, and Paul Reed)

Faculty Presentations

Spring 2023

  • Campanelli, L., Van Dyke, J. A., & Landi, N. (2023, March). Syntactic and semantic processing in poor comprehenders: Evidence from eye-tracking, computational modeling, and scanpaths analysis. 36th Annual Conference on Human Sentence Processing (HSP), Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.
  • Richter, C., Dahlman, A., Campanelli, L., Siegelman, N., Mahaffy, K., Van Den Bunt, M., Kearns, D., Landi, N., Sabatini, J., Pugh, K., & Hoeft, F. (2023, March). The impact of computer-assisted technology on literacy acquisition during COVID-19-related school closures. Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) Biennial Meeting, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA.
  • Wolfman, M. A., Campanelli, L., & Hale, J. T. (2023, March). Lexical-semantic expectation modulates retrieval interference in relative clauses. 36th Annual Conference on Human Sentence Processing (HSP), Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.
  • Malaia, E. A., Krebs, J., Roehm, D. (May 31 – June 2, 2023) Visual boundaries in sign motion: processing with and without mouthing cues. XVI International Symposium of Psycholinguistics, University of the Basque Country, UPV/EHU, Spain.
  • Hay-McCutcheon, M. J., Hubbard, A. F., Brothers, E. (2023, March). Community Health Advisor Training for Improving Access to Hearing Healthcare. Poster Presentation at the American Auditory Society Meeting, Scottsdale, AZ.
  • Gosa, M.M. (May 31, 2023). Oral Feeding Milestons in the First Three Years of Life; Oral Clinical Presentation to LeBonheur Early Intervention and Development (LEAD), Memphis, TN.
  • Gosa, M.M. (April 11, 2023). From Breastfeeding to Birthday Cake- Oral Feeding Milestones in the First Three Years of Life; Oral Clinical Presentation for the Building Best Practices Conferences by Tennessee Early Intervention Services- Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
  • Gosa, M.M. (March 29, 2023). Pediatric Feeding Disorder (PFD): Assessment & Treatment Update; Oral Clinical Presentation for the Pediatric Nutrition Intensive Course sponsored by UAB/Children’s of Alabama- Birmingham AL. 
  • Gosa, M.M. (March 22 – April 3, 2023). Diet Modification & Pediatric Dysphagia- Controversies & Consensus; Oral Translational Presentation for the Rethinking Pediatric Feeding and Swallowing ASHA Online Conference; Virtual.
  • Gosa, M.M. (January 31, 2023). A Systematic Process for Weaning Children with Aspiration from Thickened Liquids; Translational workshop presentation to Children’s Rehabilitation Services of Alabama (CRS) – Birmingham, AL.

Student Presentations

Spring 2023

  • Herring, A., Van Dyke, J. A., Landi, N., & Campanelli, L. (2023, April). Examining the mechanisms behind poor reading comprehension using eye-tracking. Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity (URCA) Conference, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA.
  • Matter, M., Molinari, S., Marton, K., & Campanelli, L. (2023, April). Investigating the executive functioning advantage in bilingual children. Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity (URCA) Conference, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA.
  • Ray, J., Marton, K., & Campanelli, L. (2023, April). The bilingual advantage in children across a continuum of proficiency. Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity (URCA) Conference, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA.
  • Shaw, S., Babin, K., Malaia, E. (February 24, 2023) EEG power differences underlying social anxiety and anhedonia in autistic adults. Poster presented at the 22nd Annual Alabama Autism Conference, Tuscaloosa, AL.

Student Awards

  • Julia Ray (Mentor: Dr. Luca Campanelli). The Bilingual Advantage in Children Across a Continuum of Proficiency. ASSURE (Arts and Sciences Support for Undergraduate Research) Grant 2023.
  • Emma Zang & Morgan Rollins (Mentor:Dr. Memorie Gosa). Establishment of Norm Referenced Standards for the Test of Masticating and Swallowing Solids in Children (TOMASS-C): A Pilot Project. ASSURE (Arts and Sciences Support for Undergraduate Research) Grant 2023.
  • Amy Cox (Mentor: Dr. Paul Reed). Comparing and contrasting forced aligned acoustic models for vernacular speech. Randall Outstanding Undergraduate Research Awards 2023.
  • Naomi Sidje (Mentor: Dr. Hyunjoo Yoo). Infant-directed speech in response to infant speech-like vocalizations vs. cries. Randall Outstanding Undergraduate Research Awards 2023.


  • Dr. Memorie Gosa was featured in the ASHA LeaderLive. The feature discussed Dr. Gosa's research and how an ASHFoundation grant helped her reach early research goals. https://leader.pubs.asha.org/.../leader.FQ.28052023.np/full/

Clinic Happenings

The Crimson Circle

The Crimson Circle is a communication support group for previous and current clients of the Adult Neurology Clinic at the UA Speech and Hearing Center. The group’s mission is to enhance the overall well-being of individuals with communication deficits through education, connection with others, and community engagement.

The Crimson Circle typically meets twice a semester, with one meeting consisting of informational content and one meeting connecting to socialization, giving back to others, or community engagement. A recent highlight from the group was the inaugural Crimson Circle Creativity Exhibit. This event was held in April of 2023 at the UA Speech and Hearing Center and consisted of each member of the Crimson Circle displaying one of their creative talents/interests with the Department of Communicative Disorders faculty, staff, and students. Client displays included artwork, recipe and book reviews, and music. It was a wonderful experience for all involved!

If you know an individual that would benefit from receiving treatment related to aphasia or other acquired neurogenic cognitive-communicative disorders, please contact The University of Alabama Speech and Hearing Center at 205-348-7131 for additional information.

Mr. Ed M. Bice, M.Ed., CCC-SLP, a Clinical Consultant with IOPI Medical, visited the Dysphagia in Adults graduate course in March to share with students the importance of clinical problem solving and to teach about the benefits of using the Iowa Oral Performance Instrument in the management of clients with swallowing difficulty.
The Pediatric Feeding and Swallowing Program held a Food is Fun camp this summer where they learned about new foods through sensory exploration and learned new eating and drinking skills with structured guidance. Using food as a learning tool and play is a great way to expand dietary diversity!
Our CD graduate students and several faculty members received flexible endoscopic evaluation of swallowing (FEES) training this summer. The training was provided by SA Swallowing Services (SASS) and completed at the UA Speech and Hearing Center. The training was a wonderful experience for our students and faculty, and we are excited about incorporating the use of FEES in our clinic in the future!
A group of CD undergraduate and graduate students participated in the Alabama Head Injury Foundation (AHIF) Bright Ideas TBI Camp in July. The camp was a three day event that provided resources to TBI survivors and their caregivers. It was a great interdisciplinary experience for our students as they were able to collaborate with other students and faculty members from the Department of Human Nutrition and Hospitality Management and Adapted Athletics. It was a highlight of the summer!

The Speech and Hearing Center started the Fall semester with a generous donation from UA's Delta Zeta sorority. We are so thankful for this gift and Delta Zeta's continued support of our clinic, clients and students.