People

Lab-Photo-cropped

(from left to right) Bridget Walsh, Christine Weber-Fox, Barbara Brown, Anne Smith, and Janna Berlin.

Principal Investigators

anneAnne Smith, Ph.D.
Distinguished Professor of Speech, Language, & Hearing Sciences

Director, Neurophysiological Bases of Speech Production/Language and Motor Interactions
Co-Director, Purdue Stuttering Project
Contactasmith@purdue.edu
Phone: (765) 494-3799

Anne Smith is a neuroscientist who is interested in how the brain does the complicated task of producing speech. She is also particularly interested in what happens when the speech production system does not work, as is the case in stuttering. She has studied stuttering in adults, school-age children, and in preschoolers to find the factors that contribute to the onset and persistence of this problem.

christineChristine Weber-Fox, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
Professor of Speech, Language, & Hearing Sciences

Director, Neural Systems for Language Processing Lab
Co-Director, Purdue Stuttering Project
Contactweberfox@purdue.edu
Phone: (765)494-3819

Chris Weber-Fox’s research program examines neurodevelopmental aspects of stuttering in preschool children. Her longitudinal studies examine behavioral and clinical measures coupled with measures of brain activity elicited for language processing. The aims for her research are to help identify factors that contribute to the development of stuttering and also to discover physiological and clinical predictors of persistence versus recovery of stuttering in preschool children.

barb2Barb Brown, M.S. CCC-SLP, Project Coordinator
Contact
brownb@purdue.edu
Phone: (765) 496-6403

As a speech-language pathologist with many years of experience working with preschool children, I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to combine my clinical expertise with research on the development of stuttering in young children. The goal of this phase of the Purdue Stuttering Project is to develop clinical screening tools to identify children at risk for persistent stuttering, and my hope is that this will result in earlier and more effective intervention for these children.

barbJanna Berlin, Research Associate
Contact
jberlin@purdue.edu
Phone: (765) 494-3799

Janna earned her B.S. in Speech and Hearing Sciences at Purdue and has worked as a Research Associate for Professor Smith since 1993. She helps collect and analyze all physiological data connected with the Purdue Stuttering Project. She also teaches new students in the lab to do the same. When not seeing subjects in the lab she likes to walk her dog, Murphy, read and take camping trips to the western parts of the country.

bridgetBridget Walsh, Ph.D. CCC-SLP, Research Scientist
Contact
bridget@purdue.edu
Phone: (765) 494-3799

Bridget Walsh has studied speech motor control across the lifespan; in those with Parkinson’s disease, and most recently, in young children who stutter. She is interested in learning if physiological factors related to speech and language processes predict persistence versus recovery in young children who stutter. Her current research focus is on neural activation patterns during speech production using a non-invasive method of neuroimaging, Functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy.

 Graduate Students

evanEvan Usler, Ph.D. Student
Contact
eusler@purdue.edu
Phone: (765)494-3819

Evan Usler is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Speech, Language, & Hearing Sciences. He graduated from Boston University with a B.A. in International Relations and from the University of Rhode Island with graduate degrees in Information Studies and Public Administration. Interested in the neural subsystems of speech and language, how these systems develop, and how they interact with cognitive and emotional processes, he focuses on stuttering and related neurodevelopmental speech-language disorders. Outside of the lab, Evan enjoys drinking coffee, playing football, and watching holiday-themed Hallmark movies.

ranjiniRanjini Mohan, Ph.D. Student
Contact
mohan7@purdue.edu
Phone: (765)494-3819

Ranjini is a PhD student in the Dept. of Speech Language and Hearing Science at Purdue University and has been a member of the Neural Systems for Language Development Lab since 2011. She graduated with a Masters degree from Mysore University, India. Her research interests are in understanding the neurophysiological basis of language and cognitive processing in older adults. In her free time, Ranjini enjoys singing and dancing and is an ardent animal lover.

allisonAllison Hilger, Research Assistant
Contact
ahilger@purdue.edu
Phone: (765) 494-3799

Allison Hilger is a Master’s student in the Speech, Language, and Hearing Science Department with the intent of continuing her studies and earning her Ph.D. Allison earned her B.S. in Speech and Hearing Science from the University of Illinois. Her research interests are in the epigenetics of communication disorders, such as stuttering, particularly looking at the motoric abilities of people who stutter. While working on her undergraduate degree, Allison’s research work involved looking at motor stability in second language acquisition of America Sign Language. In her free time, Allison enjoys playing the piano, spending time with her nephews, and reading The Hobbit.

katieKatie Kreidler, Research Assistant
Contact
kkreidl@purdue.edu
Phone: (765)494-3819

Katie is Master’s student in the Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences department. She earned her B.S. from the State University of New York at Geneseo where she developed an interest in the cognitive neuroscience of stuttering. She is excited to pursue this interest in her research at Purdue. In addition to her interest in cognitive neuroscience, she is fascinated by how perceptions of speech and language disability vary culturally and historically. Outside of the field, Katie enjoys astronomy, entomology, and reading Cheryl Strayed.

vanessaVanessa LaFond, Research Assistant
Contact
vlafond@purdue.edu
Phone: (765)494-3819

Vanessa is currently a Master’s student in the Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences. She received her B.S. in Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences, as well as a B.A. in Sociology and minors in Art History and Women’s Studies from Purdue University. Her research and clinical interests include developmental stuttering, aphasia, Parkinson’s disease, Cerebral Palsy and Down Syndrome. She plans to graduate in August 2014 as a Speech-Language Pathologist. When she is able to have free time, Vanessa enjoys traveling, photography, watching classic movies, spending time with friends and family, as well as playing with her dog, Millie.

Undergraduate Students

eliseElise Jones, Undergraduate Research Assistant
Contact
jones442@purdue.edu
Phone: (765) 494-3799

Elise is a senior majoring in Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences with minors in Psychology and Linguistics. She has in interest in childhood developmental disorders, manifested through her volunteer experience with stuttering and autism. She hopes to continue in her education by pursuing a Master’s degree in Speech Pathology.

 

kristinKristin Lynch, Undergraduate Research Assistant
Contact
:  kmlynch@purdue.edu
Phone: (765)494-3819

Kristin Lynch is a junior in Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences with a minor in Psychology. Her research interests include how neurological planning and disorders affect speech in children, such as apraxia. She is also highly interested in how cerebral vascular accidents affect people’s speech, planning, motor skills, and how to prevent them.

 

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