Department News, Fall 2016

Message from the Chair
Department Spotlights
Department Announcements
Alumni Updates/Class Notes 
Donor Recognition
Support the Department

Message from the Chair


Class of 2016 group photo in graduation gowns

MA in Speech-Language Pathology Class of 2016

The Department of Speech and Hearing Science is once again very happy to be touching base with our alumni. While the message that we are off to “another good year” is by now often uttered in this newsletter, the past year was particularly productive, with the strongest evidence being our graduates. We are again pleased to see another outstanding class enter their clinical fellowship year.  Kudos to our grads! 

Our global initiatives continue with collaborative work taking place with researchers and clinicians in Nepal, Australia, Ireland, China, England and Sweden. Sylvia Campbell and Kari Comer organized trips to Nepal by a group of students this past summer. Be sure to check out their blog and the article in this edition of Hearsay.

Our faculty and students have been recognized for their accomplishments during the past year. I hope you enjoy reading about the accomplishments of our faculty and students.

This past year, one of our graduates was the beneficiary of a Lambert award. This award enabled Sara Pool to complete her graduate work and now she is a clinical fellow at the VA Hospital in Seattle. We are inspired by Sara’s story and have initiated an appeal to contribute to our student scholarship award. This will be based on need and will hopefully result in other stories like Sara’s.  Please consider  contributing to the department as part of your end-of-the-year giving. Your gifts to the department are appreciated.

We are going to be at ASHA in Philadelphia in full force.  We have a number of papers and presentations and are again going to host an alumni gathering at The Fieldhouse on Friday, 4:30-6:00.  If you are going to ASHA, be sure to plan to attend the event.  More information and registration is listed below. 

Department Spotlights

SPHR Takes Nepal



GW Speech and Hearing students and faculty pose with former Prime Minister of Nepal, Lokendra Bahadur Chand.

The students and faculty with former Prime Minister Lokendra Bahadur Chand.

This summer, 14 students participated in SPHR’s study abroad in Nepal. Led by Professor Comer and Dr. Campbell, the students took part in a variety of activities including dinner with former Prime Minister Lokendra Bahadur Chand, touring several hospitals and meeting with audiologists, speech-language pathologists and physicians as well as other cultural experiences throughout the trip. 

As part of these activities, GW students met with members of Youth Asia to discuss the field of speech-language pathology and its presence in Nepal, noting the prevalence of speech and hearing disorders and the education available to those interested in the field. In addition, the group visited a school with a newly-established “Deaf and Dumb School,” and could see the services offered to students there. The participants agreed that the experience provided them with great insight into the field of speech-language pathology and the unique challenges and successes of other cultures in implementing its practices. 

'Your Generosity Amazes Me'



Sara Pool speaking into a microphone.

Sara Pool

For Sara Pool, MA ’16—who this spring completed a master’s degree in speech-language pathology—financial obstacles made continuing her education had been an uphill battle. “Do I pay to rent my textbook, or do I buy groceries?” Ms. Pool remembered asking herself.  

But, as she told more than 400 people in April at the annual Power & Promise Scholarships and Fellowships Dinner, that changed when she received the Lambert Graduate Stipend in Arts and Sciences. Funded by Janet Lambert and her late husband Eugene Lambert, BA ’57, the award goes to a continuing graduate student who is at risk of leaving GW due to financial hardship. “Your generosity amazes me,”she told attendees at the dinner.

While at GW, Ms. Pool took advantage of a number of activities: She did a clinical externship at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, where she helped patients regain the ability to speak and swallow; she volunteered at a homeless shelter; and in September, she started a job at a Seattle veterans’ hospital.

Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Cynthia Core



Dr. Cynthia Core teaching in a classroom

This semester, Dr. Core teaches first year MA students in Articulation and Phonology.

Dr. Cynthia Core researches speech and language development in bilingual Spanish-English speaking children and children who use cochlear implants. Dr. Core’s work on bilingualism is conducted in collaboration with colleagues at GW and Florida Atlantic University and is funded by the National Institutes of Health.  Dr. Core and her colleagues are following more than 100 bilingual children longitudinally from 30 months to 4th grade in order to describe developmental trajectories that bridge the transition from home to formal schooling and to predict individual differences in children’s language abilities. Dr. Core and the research team aim to provide guidelines for clinicians and educators working with young bilinguals to identify those at risk for continuing language and academic difficulty. This study will continue through 2021 and promises to provide foundational knowledge about patterns of bilingual development that will inform educational policy and clinical practice. She is currently developing a project with colleagues at Children’s National Medical Center to study speech and language outcomes of bilingual children who use cochlear implants. As part of her research, Dr. Core runs and manages the Bilingual Language Development Lab and works with a number of graduate students on her research. Dr. Core received tenure in May 2016 and was promoted to associate professor.

Department Announcements

Faculty Kudos

  • Kari Comer was given the Outstanding Young American Award by the Junior Chamber of Commerce. She received the award in the Academic Leadership and Accomplishment category.  She is one of 10 individuals nationally who received this recognition this year.
  • In May of this year, Dr. Shelley Brundage was honored with the inaugural CCAS Dean’s Research Excellence Award for Mentoring. 
  • Dr. Adrienne Hancock received the Award for Excellence in Graduate Faculty Mentoring from the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences this past spring.

Current Students


Rozana Saklou and other members of the Saudi Student Association at the Eid Al-Adha celebration.

Rozana Saklou (center) at the Saudi Student Association's celebration of Eid Al-Adha.

Two of our current graduate students, Samreen Anwar and Bhairvi Trivedi, have been accepted to participate in ASHA’s Minority Leadership Program and will be attending the ASHA conference in Philadelphia this November.

Sebastian Corrales, a high-school student who has attended GW through the GWU Early College Program, assisted with translating Spanish interviews in Dr. Shelley Brundage’s lab. Sebastian received both his associate’s degree and his high school diploma this spring.

Rozana Saklou, SPHR senior and founder and president of the GW Saudi Student Association, led the Muslim celebration of Eid Al-Adha at GW on September 13, 2016. Following the Saudi national anthem and remarks from Rozana and the cultural attache from the Saudi Arabian embassy Mohammed Al-Eissa, the celebration featured poetry, an illusionist, stand-up comedy and delicious food. SPHR professors Adrienne Hancock and Malathi Thothathiri participated in the celebration.  Rozana's vision is to introduce the Saudi culture to the GW community and support Saudi students during their tenure at GW. Rozana worked hard to formalize this group in 2014. There are over 180,000 Saudi students studying at universities in the United States. According to Mr. Al-Eissa, there are over 300 Saudi student associations, and GW's is one of only 24 with female presidents.

Department Achievements

CHAMP Camp—the Childhood Apraxia and Motor Planning Camp—completed its fifth consecutive year over the summer at the Speech and Hearing Center.  CHAMP is an intensive speech therapy camp that provided both individual and group therapy over the course of nine days. Our first-year students participated in the program as clinicians. The camp ran from 9-12:30 p.m. daily. In the course of one day, each camper received two individual and two group therapy sessions. 

Department Events

GW Speech and Hearing Alumni Reception

Will you be in Philadelphia during the 2016 ASHA Conference? If so, then please join us for an alumni reception to be held in conjunction with the annual ASHA Convention. We’ll be gathering at Field House Philly which is located inside the Philadelphia Convention Center.


Mingle with old friends, reconnect with GW Speech & Hearing faculty and network with fellow alumni and professionals! This event is open to all GW Speech and Hearing alumni and there is no charge to attend.  Light appetizers and your first drink are included.  Additional food and beverage will be available to purchase.


GW Speech and Hearing Alumni Reception
Friday, November 18 | 4:30 – 6 p.m.
Field House Philly
1150 Filbert Street
Philadelphia, Pa.

Click here to Register.     

And be sure to check out these sessions, featuring GW faculty:

Title: Lipreading Training Revisited: Updated Concepts & New Results
Presenters: Silvio Eberhardt (coauthors: Lynne Bernstein & Edward Auer)
Date: Saturday, November 19, 2016
Time: 10:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
Session Format: Technical Research
Code: 5730

Title: Production of Contrastive Stress by Children With Cochlear Implants: Acoustic Evidence
Presenters: James Mahshie, Kimberly Preminger & Lauren Ciemniecki
Date: Saturday, November 19, 2016
Time: 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Session Format: Poster Session
Code: 9268 
Poster Number: 562

Title: Do I Sound Transgender? It Depends Who You Ask
Presenters: Sara Pool, Adrienne Hancock & Shelley Brundage
Date: Thursday, November 17, 2016
Time: 1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Session Format: Poster Session
Code: 8191
Poster Number: 485

Title: Transgender Voice: Treatment Outcomes From Two Service Delivery Models
Presenters: Adrienne Hancock, Linda Siegfriedt, Natalie Goldstein & Rachel Friedman
Date: Friday, November 18, 2016
Time: 10:30 a.m.  - 11:30 a.m.
Session Format: Seminar 1-hour
Code: 1395

Title: Acoustic Contributions to Perception of Female Sexual Orientation & Gender Performance
Presenters: Mary Hanson, Adrienne Hancock & Cynthia Core
Date: Saturday, November 19, 2016
Time: 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Session Format: Poster Session
Code: 7705 
Poster Number: 240

Title: Transgender Male Voice During the First Year of Testosterone 
Presenters: Kayla Childs, Adrienne Hancock & Michael Irwig 
Date: Saturday, November 19, 2016
Time: 12:30 p.m.  - 2:00 p.m.
Session Format: Poster Session
Code: 9379 
Poster Number: 673

Title: ASHA-PAHO Collaboration: Guyana - Road Toward Sustainability
Presenters: Gloria Weddington, Pamela Wiley, Keisha Lindsay, LaShundra Collins, Samantha Kleindienst, Erin Mercer, Kari Comer & Sulare Telford 
Date: Friday, November 18, 2016
Time: 8:00 a.m.  - 10:00 a.m.
Session Format: Seminar 2-hours
Code: Session Number: 1314

Title: Short-Term Summer Study Abroad (STSSA) Nepal: Maximizing Outcomes for Students & the Host Culture
Presenters: Kari Comer & Sylvia Campbell 
Date: Thursday, November 17, 2016
Time: 1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Session Format: Seminar 1-hour
Code: 1081

Title: Executive Function Profiles in Autism, Down Syndrome & Sex-Chromosome-Aneuploidy & Their Correlations With Language Functioning
Presenters: Gregory Wallace & Nancy Lee
Date: Saturday, November 19, 2016 
Time: 4:00 p.m.  –  5:00 p.m. 
Session Format: Seminar 1-hour
Code: 1807 

Title: Assessing & Treating Deficits in Social Perception in TBI Survivors: A Single-Subject Design Study
Presenters: Michael Bamdad, Shelley Brundage, Shelley Frenkel & Eleni Ziogas (coauthors: Whitney Mislock, Emily Corbett & Rebecca Goldenberg)
Date: Saturday, November 19, 2016
Time: 9:30 a.m.  - 11:00 a.m.
Session Format: Poster Session
Code: 7684 
Poster Number: 219

Title: About Anomia: Model-Based Deficits & Targeted Treatment
Presenters: Craig Linebaugh
Date: Friday, November 18, 2016
Time: 8:00 a.m.  - 10:00 a.m.
Session Format: 2-hour seminar
Code: 1330

Alumni Updates/Class Notes

Renee Blaker, BA ’68, at the age of 70, is still working in her private practice as a speech-language pathologist. She has enjoyed a rewarding and exciting career.  Even though she went on to obtain a master’s degree, she learned most of her skills from the superb professors at GW.

Byrna Bornstein, BA ’78, still loves this work after over 35 years. She has a private practice in Westwood, Mass., and she’s gone on several medical missions in the Philippines and Peru.

Lisa Boxbaum, BA ’13, after working in the field for a few years, is now returning to school to pursue her master’s in communicative sciences and disorders at New York University.

Shreya Chaturvedi, BA ’16, will be attending a MS-PhD speech language pathology program at Boston University.

Anna Cohen, BA ’10, works in the Adult Inpatient Rehab department at Staten Island University Hospital of Northwell Health. She looks back fondly on her language development classes now that she is watching each stage in real time with her 2-year-old daughter!

Laura Crouse, BA ’16, is about to start graduate school at The University of Rhode Island for speech language pathology.

Ruchi Gadodia, MA ’15, is working at a charter school system in the San Francisco Bay Area called KIPP Bay Area.  She delivers speech and language services for students in Pre-k through 12th.

Patricia Gaffney, BA ’01, is faculty in the Doctor of Audiology program at Nova Southeastern University.  Her expertise is vestibular assessment and treatment.  She recently won the College of Health Care Sciences Excellence in Teaching Award.

Sabra Gelfond, MA ’85, ’88, is a practicing speech & language pathologist serving as the executive director of a private clinic that offers speech and occupational therapy and services for children with special needs, especially autism spectrum.

Rebecca Goldenberg, BA ’16, will be attending Temple University for her master’s in speech language pathology!

Erin Goodman, MA ’16, is completing her CF with PHILLIPS Programs at the PHILLIPS School - Fairfax, a therapeutic day school for students with developmental, academic and social/emotional needs.

Jacqueline Gorman, MA ’74, was employed as an SLP in the Middletown, R.I., schools for 28 years, retiring in 2007. Following several months of volunteer teaching in Swaziland, she returned to Rhode Island where she is currently working in home health rehab. She is relocating to Prescott, Ariz., in January.

Heather Gross, BA ’15, pursuing her master's degree in speech-language pathology at Columbia University. Her goal is to become a voice therapist for professional voice users. She’s been involved with the Stuttering Association for the Young and leading aphasia groups!

Melanie Hudson, MA ’79, began a three-year term in January 2016 on the board of directors of the American Speech-Language Hearing Association as chair of the Speech-Language Advisory Council.

Billie Laub, BA ’75, MA ’76, just retired from Charles County Public Schools.

Whitney Mislock, MA ’16, is currently a speech language pathology clinical fellow at HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital in Aldie, Va.

Sara Pool, MA ’16, is a speech-language pathology clinical fellow at the Puget Sound VA Medical Center and is working towards a leadership position within our profession's state organization.

Chiara Scarpelli, BA ’14, completed her MS in speech pathology at Columbia University in May. She is now living in Melbourne, Australia, for six months while working in the Aphasia Lab at La Trobe University.

Laurie Shpilsky, MA ’14, is currently working as a speech-language pathologist and program manager at a skilled rehabilitation facility in Warminster, Penn.

Beth Stone, MA ’72, is a speech/language pathologist, working with autistic children ages 18 months-5 years through Humboldt County Office of Education Special Beginnings program. She is producing a documented dance film on autism.

Mindy Strugatch, BA ’75, MA ’76, after an incredibly rewarding career as an SLP in the public schools (35 years), is now enjoying a part-time career as a clinical supervisor/adjunct at Kean University in New Jersey supervising graduate students in the Department of Communication Disorders.

Carla Traub, MS ’14, is practicing in a SNF and absolutely loves it! She truly enjoys working with this population.

Rene Utianski, BA ’08, CCC-SLP, is currently a clinical fellow in speech-pathology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. She is conducting research on neurodegenerative diseases, with a focus on primary progressive apraxia of speech.

Ben Watson, BA ’77, completed a PhD at the University of Connecticut.  He spent the last 24 years at New York Medical College where he was the founding chair of the MS in Medical Speech-Language Pathology (1998-2012) and is now vice dean, School of Health Sciences and Practice.

Meissa Wexler Gurfein, BA ’91, is living and working in New York City as a speech-language pathologist.  She is in private practice specializing in pediatric communication disorders.

Ellen Zane, BA ’73, is currently the vice chair, Board of Trustees, GW University, and recently appointed to the board of directors of Boston Scientific Corporation.

Donor Recognition

The Department of Speech & Hearing would like to gratefully acknowledge the following generous donors who made a gift to the department from July 1, 2015 – June 30, 2016.
Sandra Henegan Alston, BA ’77, MA ’78

Virginia N. Bridges, BA ’63

Dean T. Cafora**

Shreya Chaturvedi, BA ’16

Elisa A. Cimento, BS ’16

Alicia M. Dillingham, MA ’05

Elleana J. Goldman, MA ’15

Meghan E. Hovey, BA ’09

Leslie H. Lehner, BA ’70

Nancy A. Lucas, MA ’77

William S. Rosenthal, MA ’66

Michele K. Shields, MA ’76


* Friend

** Parent

+ Faculty/Staff

~ Student

Support the Department

Gifts to the Department of Speech & Hearing allow us to provide support for faculty and student research and travel, graduate student fellowships, and academic enrichment activities including guest speakers, visiting faculty, and symposia. Each gift, no matter how large or small, makes a positive impact on our educational mission and furthers our standing as one of the nation's preeminent liberal arts colleges at one of the world's preeminent universities.

Your gift to the Department of Speech & Hearing will be considered a part of Making History: The Campaign for GW, a comprehensive, university wide philanthropic effort to raise funds in support of GW’s vision and priorities.  To learn more, please visit GW's giving website.

You can make your gift to the department in a number of ways:

  • Securely online. 
  • By mailing your check, made out to The George Washington University and with the name of the department in the memo line, to:

The George Washington University

2033 K Street NW, Suite 300

Washington, DC  20052

  • By phone by calling the GW Annual Fund at 1-800-789-2611.