Department News, Fall 2017

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

Message From the Chair: A Year of Change



A group of students all sitting at desks in a classroom.

Our incoming MA students.

If there is a word to describe this academic year, it is “change.” The university has a new president, Dr. Thomas LeBlanc, who has been actively engaging with students, faculty, staff and alumni in order to learn about GW as he guides the university into the future. The department has a new name—the Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences—a name better suited to our mission. We have also changed the MA curriculum sequence to ensure that students’ coursework and clinical experiences are coordinated. This change has allowed us to admit more of the outstanding applicants that we have each year while also introducing some degree of flexibility for students.

Along with these changes, we have been given additional space in Government Hall, and also have a number of new faculty and staff this year. Our new personnel have allowed us to manage the increased number of students in the MA program while also broadening the range of expertise within the department. These have all been viewed as positive changes that are making our already strong MA program even stronger.

Speech-language pathology service delivery is changing, with a significant increase in demand for Telepractice, particularly for clients unable to make the trek into a clinic. You can read about this initiative in this issue.

Our undergrad program continues to be appealing to students and to attract some of the best and brightest in the university. A number of our recent graduates are now enrolled in graduate programs, including the MA programs at GW, Columbia and Mass General Hospital and the PhD program at the University of Texas at Austin.

Perhaps the greatest new development in the department has been the creation of an Alumni Council. The council helped us organize a networking event in the spring where grads shared details about their varying work environments—schools, clinics, hospitals and even industry and is planning an alumni event in the fall.

You will also read about a number of other activities and initiatives in this issue, including our work enhancing global engagement, transgender voice and faculty and student accomplishments.

The department continues to change, and create new learning opportunities for our students. I hope that this newsletter provides a taste of these changes, and that you will continue to stay connected to our alumni community.

Stay tuned!

James Mahshie, Chair

Department Spotlights

Expanding Into Telepractice



The TeleRehab suite in the Speech and Hearing Center.

The TeleRehab suite in the Speech and Hearing Center.

A service delivery method that has been explored as an alternative approach to face-to-face delivery of speech, language and hearing services is Telepractice. Telepractice refers to “the application of telecommunications technology to the delivery of [SLP] and audiology professional services at a distance by linking clinician to client/patient, or clinician to clinician, for assessment, intervention, and/or consultation” (ASHA). The use of Telepractice addresses several issues in our field. First, it can aid in reducing the impact of the shortage of speech language pathologists to treat the speech, language and cognitive issues in the clients we serve. Second, Telepractice addresses the service provision needs of patients who reside in rural areas or have limited access to services for other reasons (e.g., financial constraints, inadequate transportation, etc.). Third, Telepractice benefits include reduced healthcare costs and greater opportunity for supported self-management in the patient’s own environment.

The department has embarked on an increase in the use of Telepractice to provide experience to our grad students and services to clients of the GW Speech & Hearing Clinic. Our faculty are also conducting research on the efficacy of Telepractice for our field. Professor Comer in our clinic has provided Telepractice services for several years to pediatric clients in Ireland. Professor Bamdad in consultation with Dr. Schulz will be expanding Telepractice services across our clinical tracts starting this fall. In addition, Dr. Schulz and Professor Bamdad will be conducting a research study to investigate the efficacy of using Telepractice to assess executive functioning in patients with TBI which will also be commencing this fall.

There will also be an increase in the educational component of Telepractice in the department. We will begin incorporating graduate student training into the curriculum, expand supervisor training, and will develop a certificate program for SLP’s.

In sum, this is an exciting time for the SPHR as we embark on what is surely going to be an expanding demand for the provision of service via Telepractice. If you are ever in the area, please stop by! We’d love to show you around and talk more about Telepractice!

Helping Transgender People Find Their Voice



Adrienne Hancock talks with graduate student Alyssa Giegerich seated at a desk.

Adrienne B. Hancock (right) with speech-language pathology graduate student Alyssa Giegerich

When 15-year-old Lisa (not her real name) walked into the George Washington University Speech and Hearing Center, she looked and acted just like most other 9th grade girls. But like many transgender people, she felt there was an obstacle blocking her path to portraying her gender identity: her voice.

 “I want to sound more like a girl,” she told Adrienne B. Hancock, associate professor in the Department of Speech and Hearing Science and a certified speech-language pathologist. Lisa explained that she was home-schooled during her transition because a teacher had bullied her at public school. Before returning to school, she said, she wanted to feel confident about her feminine voice.

Like she often does, Hancock asked Lisa what famous person she wanted to sound like. Hancock expected her to mention someone with a high, lilting tone like Taylor Swift. Instead, Lisa singled out Kari Byron, the host of TV’s Myth Busters, a woman whose voice pitch was lower than Lisa’s. She acknowledged feeling powerless since the transition began and wanting to sound cool, confident and smart—like Byron.

Hancock has spearheaded both research and clinical advances in transgender voice and communication since arriving at GW in 2005. But listening to Lisa brought a revelation to the speech-language pathologist. Most treatments focus on raising pitch and modifying speech tone and intonation patterns to align with typical adolescent female speakers, according to international standards and care and evidence-based practice guidelines. “But I listened to her additional need to express her power and confidence as a young woman,” Hancock said. Even though she was transitioning to present herself in her genuine female gender identity, Lisa didn’t want to conform to a stereotype of a young female voice—and Hancock let those wishes guide the direction of treatment. “She reminded me that cultural competence is a necessary compliment to clinical competence,” Hancock wrote in her Perspectives on Voice and Voice Disorders article “The Role of Cultural Competence in Serving Transgender Populations.”

Since switching her specialty from Parkinson’s-related cognitive deficits a decade ago, Hancock has worked in research labs, the GW Speech and Hearing Center and local transgender support groups to help transgender people understand and find satisfaction with their voice. Her research on the role of voice and communication in gender transition led to a landmark $300,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health. That project involved characterizing the physiological mechanisms of a speakers voice that facilitate a listener correctly perceiving the gender of that speaker as—in Lisa’s case—a female. More recently, Hancock and a group of undergraduate and graduate students launched Access and Barriers to Communication Services (ABCs), a project to identify barriers to voice services experienced by the most marginalized-of-the-marginalized: transgender people of color. “I want students and practicing speech-language pathologists to be able to provide services in the real world, where cultural influences of gender, age, race and class intersect,” said Hancock. “But right now we don’t know enough about all the nuances and subgroups of the transgender and gender non-conforming populations to determine if we are serving them well—or how we could serve them better.”

Hancock classifies her research as “translational”—applying foundational concepts and techniques to real-world situations. In her basic research, she might look, for example, at how the vocal folds of a transwoman achieve a feminine sound, she explained. “But then I translate that into clinical research, where I sit down face–to-face with a real live person and use my knowledge of physiology to help them get a voice that feels genuine to them.”

Individualizing Treatment

Like Lisa, transgender people often see their voice as among the most difficult characteristics to change, but also one of the most important. Hancock hears clients say they are afraid to open their mouths in public because the sound of their voice doesn’t match the person they really are. In the past, speech-language pathologists might have guided clients toward a binary view of how a masculine or feminine voice might sound. “We used to work like we were going down a checklist: raise the pitch above a certain level, change the resonate tone, work on intonation,” she noted. But over the years, therapists have moved toward a more patient-centered, individualistic approach. “It’s important with any voice clients—particularly trans clients—to understand who they are, to make sure you are giving them the voice that’s theirs, not some ideal packaged voice that I might have as a clinician. What I do now is find the right recipe for each person.”

“For a lot of our clients, having a voice that aligns with their gender identity is life-giving,” she said. “That sounds dramatic, but I’ve had people tell me that without a successful voice modification, they wouldn’t have their jobs.” Clients also routinely relay how changing their voice provided a layer of safety from discrimination and physical threats.

But how do you train a voice to align with a gender that is different from the one you were assigned at birth? It’s a long and effort-intensive process, one that’s particularly difficult for males transitioning to females. Most transgender men—people assigned the female sex at birth but identifying as male—can develop deeper voices by taking testosterone. But for transgender women, estrogen hormone treatment has little to no effect on the voice. That is why transwomen like Lisa—and, Hancock said, 10 to 30 percent of transgender men—rely heavily on voice treatment with speech-language pathologists or voice coaches.

Student Training Ground

At the GW Speech and Hearing Center graduate students, supervised by certified speech-language pathologists like Hancock and her collaborator Clinical Instructor Linda Siegfriedt, work with transgender people to adjust their speech and intonation patterns. They assist clients with daily exercises and breathing techniques to loosen vocal cords and relax neck muscles. Using software applications, students clinicians measure changes in signals listeners perceive as pitch, tone and quality of voice. Voice alignment typically takes six months to a year of regular practice, although some people don’t see results for two to three years.

“It definitely requires a lot of practice and there are a lot of ups and downs, but the women we work with at the clinic are very motivated to put in the time and effort,” said Alyssa Giegerich, a second-year speech-language pathology graduate student. “Helping them get there can be both incredibly frustrating and incredibly exhilarating.”

Hancock stresses to students that, in addition to helping transgender people overcome physiological challenges, their job is to be mindful of each client’s personal circumstances. Some, like Lisa, have a clear idea of how they want to sound—even if it doesn’t conform to society’s or even the therapist’s expectations. Others have strong emotional ties to their original voice, even as they voluntarily choose to change it. “When they lose their old voice, they lose their old identity, and often they need to mourn that loss," Hancock said. “Fortunately, they can celebrate this new identity when their voice finally matches their authentic selves.”

By the end of a successful round of therapy—whether or not the clients have met their original expectations—Hancock says more than just a person’s voice has changed. When comparing pre- and post-therapy videos, she has seen more lively facial expressions and confident body language. And she’s always struck by the clients’ intense gratitude.

“You might think that the voice is such a little part of everything going on in their lives as a result of gender transition. But when people are so grateful, I realize it fills a deep need,” she said. “I learn so much from them about coping with life. I feel honored to be able to help in return.”

This article originally appeared in the CCAS Spotlight e-newsmagazine.

New Faces in Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences



Windi Krok, Andy Clare, LaVerne Graham, Gianna hatch, Laura Barrett and Daisy Smiley

From left to right: Dr. Windi Krok, Professor Andy Clare, Ms. LaVerne Graham, Ms. Gianna Hatch, Professor Laura Barrett and Professor Daisy Smiley

With the expanded class, we’ve been busy adding to our faculty and staff as well! We’d like to introduce you to some new faces in Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences.

Dr. Windi Krok joined the faculty in the fall semester. She graduated from University of Michigan, Arizona State University and Purdue University. She specializes in child language development and disorders, specific/primary language impairment and grammar development and disorders.

Professor Andy Clare, MS CCC-SLP CBIS, arrived from Inova Mt Vernon Hospital in Alexandria, where he was working in an acute inpatient rehabilitation setting with adults with acquired neurological disorders. A Gallaudet University alumnus, he is a certified brain injury specialist, LSVT Loud clinician and Compton PESL instructor. He has lived and worked in a variety of countries including the United States, Ecuador, Japan and his native England.

Professor Daisy Smiley is a speech-language pathologist who studied at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. She has practiced in D.C., Hawaii, Maryland, New Mexico, North Carolina and Virginia and taught clinical courses at New Mexico State University and Loyola University in Maryland. Her areas of interest include apraxia, augmentative and alternative communication, inter-professional diagnostics and treatment and parent education. Daisy calls Alexandria home and when not at the office, she enjoys traveling and watching and playing sports with her husband and their two adventurous young sons.

Professor Laura Barrett graduated with her MS in speech-language pathology from Northeastern University in Boston and her BS in speech and hearing sciences from The State University of New York at Plattsburgh. Laura has been practicing for 20 years in a variety of clinical settings including public and private schools, rehab and acute care hospitals, outpatient clinics, early intervention and private practice with a primary focus in pediatrics in both Northern Virginia and the Boston area.

In addition we have two new support staff. 

Ms.  LaVerne Graham will be serving as an administrative assistant in the department office (Govt 224). She is from Washington, D.C., and worked at Howard University for seven years in the registrar's office and the Office of Admissions.

Ms.  Gianna Hatch is our new administrative assistant in the GW Speech and Hearing Center. She is a recent graduate of Salem State University with a Bachelor of Science in psychology and a minor in mathematics. She completed her senior research thesis on the cognitive impact of concussions and sports related traumatic brain injuries. She recently moved from to the D.C. area from Massachusetts.

Connecting to Alumni



A group gathered at CCC-SLP alumni event

Students and alumni at the CCC-SLP event

During the spring, SPHR created a six-member alumni council to assist the department in several areas: student career planning guidance; establishing better connections with alumni for potential internships; gathering input on department changes moving forward; and last but not least, to better connect to our alumni and to have them (re)connect with each other.

In March, the department and council hosted a very successful “Community Career Conversation, Students Learning Program” (CCC-SLP) where alumni from various employment settings met with our current graduate students to give them a realistic idea of what it is like to work in that particular setting. The opportunity to talk with professionals in the field as they prepare for their CFs was greatly appreciated by the  students. During the upcoming year we are planning to host a second CCC-SLP event in November and an “Alumni Social” is being hosted on Thursday October 26. This event will enable alumni in and around the D.C. area to (re)connect with fellow SPHR grads over drinks and gnashes.

Please click here for event details. Also, please email us at [email protected] if you are interested in serving on the council and update your current email so that we can keep you informed about all the alumni events happening in SPHR.


Department Announcements

Faculty Kudos

  • Dr. Shelley Brundage has been recognized by the University of Minnesota as part of their Alumni of Notable Achievement program. Congratulations!
  • Dr. Cynthia Core was interviewed and featured in Globo News Americas for her work on multilingualism and the challenges of teaching Portuguese to Brazilian children living in the United States. You can view the interview  here.
  • Professor Lynne E. Bernstein received an award from the National Science Foundation to participate in its Innovation-Corps Program. As part of the project, she and Professors Silvio P. Eberhardt and Edward T. Auer interviewed over 110 individuals in the international world of hearing health. Interviewees included audiologists, individuals with hearing loss, advocacy leaders and innovators across the globe. Professor Bernstein and her colleagues also received two awards from the National Institutes of Health through its Small Business Innovation Research Program. The first award is for the development of web-based lip-reading training for adults to improve their audiovisual speech perception in noise. Under this award, they are preparing to carry out an experiment that compares several different training methods with older adults who have moderate to severe hearing loss. The second award is for improving the yield of audiological results in the clinic with the goal of improving diagnostics. This big data project is designed to develop models of the patterns of relationships among various types of clinical data. Bernstein’s lab is also carrying out research on vibrotactile pattern learning and speech perception in noise. They are using neuroimaging methods in collaboration with neuroscientist colleagues at Georgetown University.
  • The 11th Oxford Disfluency Conference took place from September 20-23, 2017. Dr. Brundage and Dr. Sharon Millard (from the Michael Palin Center for Stammering in London) served as co-chairs. The conference is one of the leading international scientific conferences in the field of stuttering. It brings together researchers and clinicians, providing a showcase and forum for discussion and collegial debate about the most current and innovative research and clinical practices. GW SPHR alumna Hannah Rowe presented her master’s thesis findings at the conference.
  • Adrienne Hancock and Linda Siegfriedt presented the current care standards for our transgender and non-binary clients at the ASHA national headquarters in Rockville, Md. The hour-long presentation, “What CSD Professionals Need to Know about Gender Diversity,” included cultural considerations of terminology and inclusive care, as well as GW’s clinical processes and evidence of positive voice training outcomes. Hancock and Siegfriedt will return to ASHA for an encore presentation in January, and a two-hour CEU webinar in the summer of 2018.

Current Students

  • Congratulations to Sierra Downs, Alyssa Giegerich, Kristen Davis, Dara Yazdani, Emily Chessher, Michael Ferguson and Dr. Adrienne Hancock! Their poster at GW Research Days ("Access and Barriers to Communication Services for Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Individuals") won awards in Graduate Presenter in Social and Behavioral Sciences and the Diversity and Inclusion Prize for Graduate Presenters.
  • We had five students successfully complete master’s theses in spring 2017:

Sierra Downs: “Access to Voice and Communication Services for Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming People of Color.”
Ellen Wiebke: “Effects of the Life Participation Approach to Aphasia on Functional Communication and Quality of Life: Self and Proxy Ratings.”
Anna Schnizler: “Aberrant Eating Behaviors in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Their Correlates.”
Bhairvi Trivedi: “Cortical Correlates of Subclinical Behaviors Associated with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Antisocial Disorders.”
Hannah Rowe: “Rates of Typical Disfluency in 30-month-old Spanish English Bilinguals and Monolinguals.

Department Achievements

  • CHAMP Camp—the Childhood Apraxia and Motor Planning Camp—completed its sixth 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. In the course of one day, each camper received two individual and two group therapy sessions.
  • Our department is going abroad again! Over spring break, Kari Comer and Cynthia Core will lead a team of graduate students to Querétaro, Mexico. This course will expose students to the skills necessary to become culturally rich speech therapists. In addition to the rich cultural events and encounters, students will have the opportunity to meet with local professionals, visit service delivery sites, observe and collaborate with local service providers and evaluate the scope of speech-language pathology in Mexico. Students will also participate in a language course to learn Spanish terminology specific to SLP.
  • On September 10-11, SPHR welcomed Dr. Edy Strand for a presentation and workshop on “Diagnosis and Management of Childhood Apraxia of Speech!” Presenting to students, speech language pathologists and parents, Dr. Strand emphasized clinical thinking and decision-making as central to the processes of selecting and implementing any treatment approach for CAS. Discussion reinforced the important role families play in treatment of CAS, including tools to help families understand and manage the disorder.
  • The department’s strategic plan includes a significant effort to provide students and faculty with the opportunity to engage with speech, language and hearing professionals in other countries. In the spring, Drs. James Mahshie and Greg Wallace, along with Clinic Director Michael Bamdad, visited and presented their research at a number of university and hospital sites in Shanghai and Nanjing, China. Efforts are currently underway to establish an ongoing relationship with a number of universities in China as a result of this visit. In addition, Dr. Cynthia Core and Professor Kari Comer will be taking a group of students to Mexico in the spring to learn more about how services are delivered in that country.
  • In April 2017, the department hosted a talk by Kimberly Acquaviva entitled “Diversity and Inclusion: What Speech Pathologists and Audiologists Need to Know.” Dr. Acquaviva examined how diversity and inclusion relate to clinical and educational practices and the link between inclusive care and patient/client outcomes. Attendees came away with greater knowledge about ways in which to use strategies for making the intake, care delivery and documentation process more inclusive and respectful of patient diversity.

Upcoming Events

ASHA Convention

A few of our faculty members will be presenting at the ASHA convention which will be held November 9-11 in Los Angeles, Calif. Read below for a list of those presentations!

Topic Area: Cultural and Linguistic Issues
Session Number: 7112 Poster Board 242
Title: Perception of Pragmatic Based Communication Differences Between Self-Identified Heterosexual & Homosexual Males
Session Format: Poster
Day:  Thursday, November 9, 2017
Time:  3:00 PM - 4:30 PM
Authors: Michael Ferguson (Author who will be presenting at the session), Michael Bamdad (Author who will be presenting at the session)

Topic Area: Telepractice
Session Number: 7037 Poster Board 167
Title: A Preliminary Study to Validate the Assessment of Executive Function in TBI via Telepractice 
Session Format: Poster
Day:  Thursday, November 9, 2017
Time:  11:00 AM - 12:30 PM
Authors: Geralyn Schulz (Author who will be presenting at the session), Michael Bamdad (Author, but will NOT be presenting at the session)

Topic Area: Voice and Alaryngeal Communication
Session Number: 1429
Title: Cultural & Clinical Considerations for EBP with Transgender & Gender Non-Conforming 
Session Format: Seminar 2-hours
Day: Friday, November 10, 2017
Time: 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Author(s): Adrienne Hancock (Author who will be presenting at the session), David Azul (Author who will be presenting at the session)

Topic Area: Cultural and Linguistic Issues
Session Number: 7454 Poster Board 290
Title: Access to Communication Services for Transgender & Gender Non-Conforming People of Color
Session Format: Poster
Day: Friday, November 10, 2017
Time: 3:30 PM - 5:00 PM
Authors: Sierra Downs (Author who will be presenting at the session), Alyssa Giegerich (Author, but will NOT be presenting at the session), Kristen Davis (Author, but will NOT be presenting at the session), Dara Yazdani (Author, but will NOT be presenting at the session), Emily Chessher (Author, but will NOT be presenting at the session), Michael Ferguson (Author, but will NOT be presenting at the session), Adrienne Hancock (Author who will be presenting at the session)

Other Events

Speech and Hearing Alumni Gathering (D.C.)
Thursday, October 26, 2017 | 6 - 9 pm
Click here for more information and to register. 

Innovation and Creativity with CCAS Dean Ben Vinson and Corcoran School Director Sanjit Sethi (Los Angeles)
Open to all CCAS alumni.
Tuesday, November 14, 2017 | 6:30 - 8:30 pm
Click here for more information and to register. 

Innovation and Creativity with CCAS Dean Ben Vinson and Corcoran School Director Sanjit Sethi (Bay Area)
Open to all CCAS alumni.
Thursday, November 16, 2018 | 6:30 - 8:30 pm
Click here for more information and to register. 

Alumni Updates/Class Notes

Laura (Mock) Anikhindi, MA ’15, is currently working as an SLP for Fairfax County Public Schools. She and her husband just bought their first home this past summer and will be welcoming their first child (a boy!) this October!

Melanie (McNutt) Blanks, MA ’16, is currently a speech language pathologist for KIPP LA Schools. She is currently finishing up California State University-Northridge's Assistive Technology Certification Program.

Lisa Boxbaum, BA ’13, is currently pursuing a master's degree in communicative sciences and disorders at New York University.

Jaime Branaman, MA ’17, is completing her clinical fellowship year at The Ivymount School in Rockville, Md. She has the privilege of working with middle schoolers in the Multiple Learning Needs Program.

Karen Brock, BA ’74, is continuing to enjoy retirement after 30-plus years as an educational audiologist.

Kristin Budd, MA ’17, is starting a new job as a speech language pathologist for Manheim Township School District in Lancaster, Penn., where she will serve students in two elementary schools.

Judith (Katz) Cicale, MA ’77, has worked as a field training audiologist for GN ReSound since 2006. She  lives in Gainesville, Fla., and enjoys her two daughters and her grandchildren in her free time.

Christine Cohick, MA ’17, started working at a SNF in June!

Sierra Downs, MA ’17, is currently working full-time as a clinical fellow in speech language pathology at Cooper River West, a skilled nursing/subacute medical facility in Pennsauken, N.J., and volunteering for a local laryngectomee support group in Edison, N.J.

Molly Dresner, BA ’11, authored the book The Speech Teacher's Handbook: A Parent's Guide to Speech & Language (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2017).

Stephanie (Goldstein) Glazier, MA ’98, is a speech-language pathologist who works with young children with a variety of language disorders. As a hanen instructor, Stephanie is contracted by The Hanen Centre to lead It Takes Two to Talk® certification workshop.

Linda (Steinberg) Goldberg, BA ’78, is working as a speech pathologist with Catholic Health Services of Long Island.

Camille Herring, BA ’15, has completed her two-year commitment to Teach For America. She is now applying to attend graduate school for speech pathology.

Junerose Juan, MA ’10, says: “Take initiative and ask for exposure/experience to what is difficult.” His CF was part time and completed in 2012; however in 2015 he became the lead clinician of his office. Now he is learning more programmatic changes and procedures for the next skillset.

Shannon O'Brien, BA ’14, is returning to graduate school for speech at Columbia University’s Teachers College after three years of working at the intersection of dance and disability as a performer and arts administrator.

Terry Perl, BA ’67, MA ’72, credits his GW education as the foundation of a successful human services career. For 40 years he was CEO of an international not for profit supporting 18,000+ people with disabilities. Since retiring in 2011, he is an active volunteer in Tucson.

Deborah (Gullatt) Peterson, BA ’73, MA ’74, has been retired from Fairfax County Public Schools since 2004 after 30 years of service. She became certified as a scuba diver in 2015 and has been traveling and diving every four months!

Joanna Pfister, MA ’14, is working as a bilingual (Spanish/English) speech-language pathologist with the Framingham Public Schools in Massachusetts.

Sara Pool, MA ’16, is working as an acute care speech-language pathologist and is the chairperson for the WSLHA Clinical Practice Committee in Seattle, Wash.

Angela Robinson, BA ’97, MS ’17, worked in the speech field for many years. This year, she graduated from GW with a master's degree in education & human development, special education: emotional and behavioral disabilities.

Karen (Hougum) Rosenthal, MA ’06, is the director for BAYADA Home Health Care in Montgomery County, Md. BAYADA provides therapy and nursing services in large assisted and independent living communities in order to keep its clients aging in place.

Jaryl Sciarappa, BA ’83, MA ’85, has spent 32 years specializing in swallowing disorders and tracheostomy care, sprinkled with a climb up the managerial ladder. At that time Joan Regnal, her voice professor, pointed out the error of her ways, stating it was a “waste of a good clinician.” Jaryl gracefully stepped off the ladder, returning to earth to happily serve the geriatric population, mentoring SLP’s in the SNF setting and growing the skill sets of graduate clinicians for the University of Rhode Island. Jaryl currently resides in Narragansett, R.I.

Stacie Rubin Smith, BA ’82, is the manager at South Miami Hospital Child Development Center, but her favorite part of the day is not managing the department, but providing therapy. Her passion is working with children and teens who have autism.

Chiara Scarpelli, BA ’14, is a speech-language pathology clinical fellow at a charter school in East Harlem, N.Y.

Sara (Schweitzer) Sokolowski, BA ’02, is living in West Orange, N.J., with her husband and two daughters. She is the assistant director of Sinai School at Joseph Kushner Hebrew Academy.

Adrienne Watkins, BA ’12, exhibits her passion for social justice and education in her role as assistant dean of students at an all-girls public school in St. Louis, Mo. In 2017, she completed a degree in educational leadership from Columbia University.

Katherine Winters, BA ’13, MA ’15, is pursuing her PhD  in communication sciences and disorders at The University of Texas at Austin after working in a variety of adult and pediatric acute care, rehabilitation, and outpatient settings in the DMV area.

Liza Zeif-Forman, BA ’14, MA ’16, is an ASHA-certified, N.Y. state-licensed and TSSLD certified speech-language pathologist. Liza works with preschool children at Central Park Early Learning Center in New York.

Donor Recognition


The Department of Speech and Hearing would like to gratefully acknowledge the following generous donors who made a gift to the department from July 1, 2016 – June 30, 2017.


Lydia S. Barber ~

William L. Blumberg, BBA ’71, MBA ’75

Virginia N. Bridges, BA ’63

Dr. Shelley B. Brundage +

Alicia M. Dillingham, MA ’05

Annette S. Duffy +

Debra L. Gagliano, BA ’02

Myra B. Gondos, BA ’69

Alison T. Green, BA ’11

Janet M. Gritz, BA ’65, MA ’66

Lauren Anne Johnson, MA ’90

Rebecca H. Katz, BA ’15

Christy Lynn Kavulic, EdD, MA ’97, MPH ’03, EdD ’05

Benjamin G. Kornblum, MS ’10, BBA ’10

Courtney G. Kornblum, MA ’11

Joan Haag Osborn, BA ’51

William S. Rosenthal, MA ’66

Maria H. Roumel, BA ’68, MA ’70

Lewis G. Rovegno #

Adrienne D. Schlossberg, BA ’65

Michele K. Shields, MA ’76

Cynthia Ruth Weitz, MA ’73


+ Faculty/Staff
# Parent
~ Student

Support the Department

Gifts to the Department of Speech and 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.

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.

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