People: Current Members of the Lab at UM

Ben Munson, PI

munso005@umn.edu

Ben Munson received his M.A. in speech-language pathology and his Ph.D. in Speech and Hearing Science from Ohio State University.  He joined the faculty at the University of Minnesota in August, 2000.  He is committed to conducting research that furthers our understanding of the factors that influence typical and atypical speech and language development, and, hopefully, improves the lives of children with communication disorders.

Maria Swora Project Manager

swora004@umn.edu

Maria Swora earned her BA in Linguistics from the Ohio State University, and holds a PhD and MPH from the University of Rochester, NY. Her research interests focus around qualitative research methods and analysis, health disparities, and social and cultural aspects of health and illness. She is responsible for the day to day activities of the Learning to Talk project.  Contact her with questions about the study or participation.

Jamie Anderson, Graduate Student

breh0036@umn.edu

Jamie Anderson is a first year graduate student in the Speech-Language Pathology program. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Minnesota in Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences in the spring of 2013. This is her 5th semester conducting research in the Speech Research Lab. Her interests include early language intervention, motor speech disorders and dysphagia.

Sara Bernstein, Graduate Student

berns109@umn.edu

Sara Bernstein is a first year graduate student in the Speech-Language Pathology program. Her clinical and research interests lie primarily in the language development of children with and without communication difficulties. Sara hopes to some day work with children who have hearing loss and their families.

Jamie Byrne, Graduate Student

wennb012@umn.edu

Jamie Byrne is a Speech-Language Pathologist and a first-year Ph.D. student. She recieved her B.A. in Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences from the University of Minnesota in 2009 and her M.A. in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of Minnesota in 2012. Her primary research interests are in examining predictive factors for typical and atypical speech and language development, assessment and diagnostic criteria, and intervention efficacy.

Cara Donohue, Graduate Student

donoh082@umn.edu

Cara Donohue is a first year graduate student in the Speech Language Pathology Program. She received her B.A. in Speech Language Hearing Sciences at the University of Minnesota in May 2013.  Her primary research and clinical interests are working with children and adults who are Deaf/hard of hearing, who stutter, and who have dysphagia.  In the future, she hopes to work in a medical setting as a speech language pathologist.  Her personal...

Courtney Huerth, Graduate Student

huert020@umn.edu

Courtney Huerth is a first year graduate student in the Speech-Language Pathology MA program.  She received a BA in Spanish and Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences from the University of Minnesota in the Spring of 2013.  She is involved in the Bilingual and Multicultural Emphasis program and is interested in bilingual language acquisition.

Hannele Nicholson, Graduate Student

nich0082@umn.edu

Hannele Nicholson is a first-year Master’s student in the Speech-Language Pathology MA program. She has previous degrees in Linguistics where she studied the interface between disfluent language and eye gaze during conversational interaction.

Sarah Schellinger, Graduate Student

schel204@umn.edu

Sarah Schellinger is a Speech-Language Pathologist and a third-year PhD student. Her primary research interests involve investigating how adults perceive the speech of young children and the types of information speech-language pathologists use to conduct speech and language assessments. Sarah has presented her work at various conferences throughout the Midwest and has collaborated on a paper published in Clinical Linguistics and Phonetics.

Colleen Woyach, Graduate Student

cwoyach@gmail.com

Colleen Woyach is a first year graduate student in the Speech-Language Pathology program. During her undergraduate studies, Colleen majored in Communication Sciences and Disorders and Saxophone Performance. At UW Madison, Colleen was an RA for the Ed Neuro Lab lead by Edward Hubbard. The Ed Neuro lab studies the intersection of education and neuroscience, focusing on the acquisition of mathematics. After graduate school, Colleen hopes to work with children as an SLP and eventually wishes to integrate music therapy into her...

Rose Crooks, Undergraduate Students

Rose Crooks is a senior at the University of Minnesota majoring in Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences and Spanish Studies, and also minoring in Neuroscience. She plans to attend graduate school and become a Speech-Language Pathologist, working primarily with bilingual children. In her free time, Rose enjoys cooking, playing guitar, and going on hikes. 

Julia Eckert, Undergraduate Student

ecke0191@umn.edu

Julia Eckert is a junior at the University of Minnesota working on her major in Honors Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences.  She plans on becoming a Speech Pathologist, specializing in working with children.  She loves learning new languages; currently, Julia speaks Spanish, French, and American Sign Language.

Tyler Ellis, Undergraduate Student

ellis496@umn.edu

Tyler Ellis is a senior Honors student working toward a B. A. in Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences.  He is an undergraduate research assistant on projects in the department, and works part-time at the Minnesota Center for Twin & Family Research.  He serves as president of NSSLHA and is currently applying to the U of M SLP graduate program.  Outside of the university, he is a GED prep course instructor with the St. Paul Community Literacy Consortium, working with immigrant and refugee populations, and he...

Kerri Engel, Undergraduate Student

engel699@umn.edu

Kerri Engel is a non-traditional student with a previous degree in business and minors in Spanish and psychology.  She is enrolled in the University's College of Continuing Education, taking undergraduate courses in Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences.  She hopes to continue her education in graduate school at the U of M, where she would study Speech-Language Pathology to become a Speech-Language Pathologist, working with children.  

Colette Felion, Undergraduate Student

feli0046@umn.edu

Colette Felion is an undergraduate senior at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities campus majoring in Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences.  She plans on attending graduate school in fall 2014 and begin her exciting journey of becoming a Speech-Language Pathologist. She hopes to become an SLP in the school system or working with the geriatric population who have dysphagia.  Along with going to school and being an examiner in the Learning to Talk Lab, she works as a nurse’s aide at a nursing home in the metro.  In...

Isla Katz, Undergraduate Student

katzx159@umn.edu

Isla Katz is a senior at the University of Minnesota double majoring in Speech-Language- Hearing Sciences and Spanish. She currently serves as vice president of NSSLHA, volunteers at the St. Paul Children’s Hospital, and is a part time Spanish instructor to kindergarten through fifth graders. She plans on attending graduate school in the fall of 2014 to pursue a career as a Speech Language Pathologist working with children.

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Annie Loof, Undergraduate Student

loofx004@umn.edu

Annie Loof is a senior at the University of Minnesota majoring in Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences. She is also completing a minor in Neuroscience. She hopes to start graduate school in the fall of 2014 for Speech Pathology.  She would like to work as a Speech-Language Pathologist in a medical setting working with people of all ages.

Sarah McGowan, Undergraduate Student

mcgow130@umn.edu

Sarah McGowan is a senior undergraduate student majoring in Speech-Language Hearing Sciences with a minor in Neuroscience and Spanish Studies. Sarah works as a clinical assistant at the Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Center at the University of Minnesota. She serves as the Vice President of Autism Speaks U and is a member of NSSLHA. She volunteers at the Ronald McDonald House working as a school aide as well as the Autism Spectrum and Neurodevelopmental Disorders Clinic. She is excited to be applying to grad school to pursue a career...

Haley Webb, Undergraduate Student

webbx234@umn.edu

Haley Webb is a senior undergraduate honors student majoring in Speech-Language Hearing Sciences with a minor in Applied Psychology in Educational and Community Settings. Haley volunteers in the Minneapolis Public Schools in a first grade classroom, and tutors math and reading with College Nannies & Tutors. She can’t wait to start graduate school next fall.