Our Team

Our Research Team, led by Dr. Malandraki, currently includes a lab manager, two doctoral students, and multiple collaborators within and outside the University. Several undergraduate students per semester are also involved in our research projects through Undergraduate Research credit hours (learn more here).

Lab Manager


Anna Szlembarski, BS


Lab Manager

Short Bio:

Anna Szlembarski earned her Bachelor of Science in Neurobiology and Physiology from Purdue University in 2023 and then came back to Purdue University a few months later to become our lab manager. She is currently working on all active research projects.

Research Assistants


Rachel Hahn Arkenberg, MS, CCC-SLP


Doctoral Student

Research interests:

  • Investigating and documenting normal central and peripheral neurophysiology of pediatric swallowing and speech
  • Developing evidence-based evaluation and treatment techniques for pediatric dysphagia
  • Using a dynamic systems approach to study the development of feeding and swallowing in context of speech, culture, and general motor development

Ching Hsuan (Freddie) Peng, MS, CCC-SLP


Doctoral Student 

Research interests:

  • Investigating the underlying neuromuscular and kinematic mechanism to optimize the application of swallowing exercises
  • Studying and implementing biofeedback to enhance the accuracy and effectiveness of swallowing exercises

Elizabeth (Ellie) Jensen


Undergraduate Student 

Involved in lab projects including:

  • Studying and implementing biofeedback to enhance the accuracy and effectiveness of swallowing exercises
  • Providing media support for various lab projects

Interested in Joining our Dream Team? 

If you are a graduate student or a prospective doctoral student and you have an interest in joining our team, please send an email and your CV directly to Dr. Malandraki at malandraki@purdue.edu.

If you are an undergraduate student and are interested in learning more about research and how to participate in our lab, please complete this application (google doc). If we have a vacancy in the lab and you qualify, we will contact you! Thank you for your interest.


  • Macy Griffis, BS
    • Undergraduate research assistant (2021-2022)
    • Macy graduated in December and is now waiting to hear where she will be attending graduate school for speech-language-pathology next fall.
  • Arica Rusco, BS
    • Undegraduate research assistant (2021-2022)
    • Arica is currently a graduate student clinician at the University of Kentucky.
  • Jennine Bryan, MS, CF-SLP
    • Undergraduate and Graduate research assistant (2018-2022)
    • Jennine is completing her clinical fellowship as an SLP at CI Pediatric Therapy Centers in Madison.
  • Samantha Mitchell, MS, CCC-SLP
    • Undergraduate and Graduate research assistant (2017-2021)
    • Samantha is an SLP at Akron Children's Hospital in Ohio.
  • Cagla Kantarcigil, MS, PhD
    • PhD student (2014-2019)
    • Cagla is now a post-doctoral research fellow at Northwestern University in Chicago.
  • Anumitha Venkatraman, MS
    • Graduate research assistant (2018-2019)
    • Anumitha is now completing her PhD with Dr. Sivasankar.
  • Paige Cornille, MS, CCC-SLP
    • Graduate research assistant (2018-2019)
    • Paige is now working at Children's Therapy Corner in Michigan.
  • Robert B. Fujiki, PhD
    • Graduate research assistant (2016-2017)
    • Robert is now completing a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
  • Valerie Steinhauser, MS, CCC-SLP
    • Graduate research assistant (2016-2017)
    • Val is now an SLP at the Jewish Child and Family Services in Chicago, IL.
  • Natalie Tomerlin, MS, CCC-SLP
    • Graduate research assistant (2016-2017)
    • Natalie is now a Clinical Assistant Professor at Northwestern University.
  • Abby Oliver, MS, CCC-SLP
    • Undergraduate research assistant (2014-2017)
    • Abby is now an SLP at a medical setting.
  • Naomi (Mia) Dreyer, MS, CCC-SLP
    • Graduate research assistant (2014-2016)
    • Mia is now an SLP in Indiana.
  • Lucia Figueiredo-Mourao, PhD
    • Post-Doctoral Researcher (2014-2016)
    • Lucia is a Professor at the Universidade Estadual de Campinas in Brazil.
  • Pratik Kashyap, BS
    • Graduate research assistant (2015-2016)
    • Pratik is a PhD student at the school of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Purdue.
  • Kausar Abbas, PhD
    • Graduate research assistant (2015)
    • Kausar is now a faculty member at the University of Management and Technology in his home country, Pakistan.