Faculty/Staff

Courses in Speech and Hearing Science are taught by members of the faculty who bring their expertise and personal commitment to the classroom which creates a learning environment where student initiative is encouraged. Ratings by students place the courses and instructors in the Department well above campus averages.

Faculty

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Justin Aronoff, Ph.D., Assistant Professor ▼

Justin Aranoff

Email:

Office phone:

(217) 244-2154

Office fax:

(217) 244-2235

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Research Lab:

Degree

Ph.D., Neuroscience, University of Southern California, 2007

Research and Professional Interests

Professor Aronoff’s research focuses on cochlear implants, with particular interest in bilateral implantation. His work examines how information is combined across the ears and how to divide information between two ears for optimal cochlear implant performance. He developed special software that enables him to create custom processors for cochlear implants, and co-developed a new test to assess whether the processors increase spectral resolution, a key requirement for improving the ability to understand speech in noisy environments.

Pasquale Bottalico, PH.D., Assistant Professor ▼

Pasquale Bottalico

Email:

Research and Professional Interests

Pasquale Bottalico earned his bachelor’s degree in Telecommunications Engineering from Univeristà Mediterranea di Reggio Calabria (Italy), while simultaneously pursuing a degree in Opera Singing at the F. Cilea Music Academy of Reggio Calabria (Italy). In 2005, he moved to Turin where he earned his master’s degree in Telecommunications Engineering from Politecnico di Torino (Italy). For his master’s thesis, Dr. Bottalico combined his studies of engineering and music to explore musician perceptions of acoustics and the correlation with objective index from ISO 3382.
 
Dr. Bottalico earned his PhD in Metrology, studying acoustics with particular attention to the uncertainty of measurements and statistical analysis of data. For his dissertation, he investigated classroom acoustics of primary schools and its relationship with safety, examining the students and the teachers separately. Specifically, he: 1) described the speech intelligibility in the classroom, which affects students’ learning; and 2) examined how the acoustical features of a classroom can influence vocal performances. Dr. Bottalico is particularly interested in the professional voice user and singer techniques, as well as the definition and the quantification of vocal load. Other fields he is interested in are Speech Intelligibility, Room Acoustics and Musical Acoustics. Bottalico is also a professional chorister, performing under such prestigious directors as Rafael Frühbeck De Burgos, Yuri Ahronovitch, Jeffrey Tate, Juanio Mena, Gianandrea Noseda, Ottavio Dantone, Wayne Marshall, Helmuth Rilling, Christopher Hogwood, Robert King and Ivor Bolton.

Ron Chambers, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Director of Undergraduate Programs ▼

Dr. Ron Chambers

Email:

Office phone:

(217) 333-2230

Office fax:

(217) 244-2235

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Research Lab:

Degree

Ph.D., Audiology; Purdue University, 1983

Research and Professional Interests

Professor Chambers teaches coursework in the areas of diagnostic audiology at the undergraduate and graduate levels, and the applications of evoked potentials. His primary research interests are directed at basic and applied investigation of hearing, with emphasis on evoked and event-related potentials. His current projects include research into mechanisms of bone-conduction hearing, the effects of smoking on evoked potentials, cognitive and neurological indices of aging, and electric responses recorded for patients using cochlear implants.

Marie Moore Channell, Ph.D., Assistant Professor ▼

Dr. Marie Channell

Email:

Office phone:

217-300-3613

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Research Lab:

Degree

Ph.D., Developmental Psychology, University of Alabama, 2012

Research and Professional Interests

Dr. Channell's research focuses on the development of language, cognition, and social-emotional skills in individuals with Down syndrome or other neurodevelopmental disorders associated with intellectual disability (e.g., fragile X syndrome; autism spectrum disorder), particularly during middle childhood and adolescence. Her questions are framed by how skills in these domains work together to influence everyday communication in individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders.

Laura Segebart DeThorne, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Associate Department Head ▼

Laura Segebart DeThorne

Email:

Office phone:

(217) 333-2230

Office fax:

(217) 244-2235

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Research Lab:

Degree

Ph.D., Speech and Hearing Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2002

Research and Professional Interests

Dr. DeThorne is interested in causal influences on individual and group differences in child language development and potential implications for education and intervention practices. With the intent of bridging biomedical and social models of disability, Dr. DeThorne's clinical research has centered on children with autism spectrum disorder, developmental apraxia of speech, and users of augmentative and alternative technology (AAC). Dr. DeThorne teaches courses in childhood communication development, AAC, and preschool language disorders.

Tanya Gallagher, Ph.D., Professor ▼

Tanya Gallagher, Ph.D.

Email:

Office phone:

(217) 333-2131

Office fax:

(217) 244-2235

Degree

Ph.D., University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, Speech and Language Science, 1971.

Research and Professional Interests

Dr. Gallagher’s goal is to facilitate teaching, research, and public engagement activities that promote quality of life across the lifespan. Her research interests include:

  • Syntactic and pragmatic language assessment and intervention with language disordered children at high risk for social and behavioral problems
  • In-utero fetal brain development in populations at high risk for communication disorders
  • Post-treatment effects following treatment for oro-pharyngeal cancer
  • Speech-language pathology treatment outcomes.

Pamela A. Hadley, Ph.D., Associate Professor ▼

Pamela A. Hadley, Ph.D.

Email:

Office phone:

(217) 333-1968

Office fax:

(217) 244-2235

Download Curriculum Vitae

Research Lab:

Degree

PhD., Child Language, University of Kansas, May, 1993

Research and Professional Interests

Professor Hadley teaches language development and language disorders in early childhood. Her research examines the nature of specific language impairment (SLI) in early childhood, a high incidence condition characterized by extraordinary difficulty with language acquisition in the presence of otherwise typical development.
See curriculum vitae for information about awards, academic and professional honors, publications, and professional associations and certifications.

Laura J. Hahn, Ph.D., Assistant Professor ▼

Laura J. Hahn, Ph.D.

Email:

Office phone:

217-300-3637

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Research Lab:

Degree

Ph.D., Education and Human Development, Colorado State University, 2012

Research and Professional Interests

Dr. Hahn's research focuses on early social, cognitive, and communicative development in infants and young children with neurogenetic disorders (e.g., Down syndrome, fragile X syndrome, Williams syndrome) and autism spectrum disorders. Her work examines syndrome-specific patterns of early development and developmental trajectories.

Julie Hengst, Ph.D., Associate Professor ▼

Julie Hengst, Ph.D.

Email:

Office phone:

(217) 244-6149

Office fax:

(217) 244-2235

Download Curriculum Vitae

Research Lab:

Degree

Ph.D., Speech Communication, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2001

Research and Professional Interests

Professor Hengst teaches courses in adult-onset cognitive-linguistic communication disorders, augmentative and alternative communication, and normal processes of language-use and development across the lifespan. Her research interests include:

  • Situated studies of discourse practices, especially focusing on individuals with aphasia and their routine communication partners.
  • Socio-historic and practice theories that integrate communication, learning, and development within a unified framework.

Fatima T. Husain, Ph.D., Associate Professor ▼

Fatima T. Husain, Ph.D.

Email:

Office phone:

(217) 333-2230

Office fax:

(217) 244-2235

Download Curriculum Vitae

Research Lab:

Academic Affiliations

Degree

B.E., Computer Engineering, University of Mumbai
M.S., Computer Science, North Dakota State University
Ph.D., Cognitive and Neural Systems, Boston University

Research and Professional Interests

Throughout her career, Dr. Husain has focused on auditory, speech, and language processing in the brain using neuroimaging (fMRI) and computational modeling techniques. She recently expanded her research to include the study of disorders such as tinnitus (ringing in the ear) typically associated with hearing loss. Lab Website: Auditory Cognitive Neuroscience Lab

Keiko Ishikawa, PH.D., Assistant Professor ▼

Keiko Ishikawa

Email:

Research and Professional Interests

Dr. Ishikawa's clinical and translational research focuses on understanding how voice disorders affect speech intelligibility. The ultimate goal of her research is to generate knowledge that will guide clinical decision making for directly addressing patients’ communicative ability. Dr. Ishikawa's research program lies at the interface of psycho- and physical-acoustic science, linguistics, computer science, and bioinformatics. In particular, her lab is working on the development of a novel automatic speech analysis tool and a perceptual model that incorporates environmental noise for clinical intelligibility measurement.

Cynthia J. Johnson, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Director of Graduate Studies ▼

Cynthia J. Johnson, Ph.D.

Email:

Office phone:

(217) 244-2540

Office fax:

(217) 244-2235

Download Curriculum Vitae

Degree

Ph.D., Communication Disorders, University of Minnesota, 1979

Research and Professional Interests

Professor Johnson teaches coursework in the area of normal language acquisition and language disorders, particularly in school-aged children, and phonological development and disorders in young children. Her research interests include:

  • Syntactic, narrative, and phonological development in children, both with and without speech or language disorders
  • The examination of the relationship between language competency and early writing skills

Karen Iler Kirk, Ph.D., Shahid and Ann Carlson Khan Professor, Department Head ▼

Karen Iler Kirk, Ph.D., Professor, Department Head

Email:

Office phone:

(217) 333-2230

Office fax:

(217) 244-2235

Download Curriculum Vitae

Research Lab:

Research and Professional Interests

The Kirk Speech Perception Lab investigates the factors influencing spoken word recognition and speech perception in adult and pediatric cochlear implant users. Our current interests involve developing speech perception assessments to accurately predict real-world speech recognition performance for cochlear implant users, and developing training strategies to improve cochlear implant performance outcomes.

Ian Mertes, Ph.D., Assistant Professor ▼

Ian Mertes, PhD

Email:

Office phone:

217-300-4756

Office fax:

(217) 244-2235

Download Curriculum Vitae

Research Lab:

Degree

Ph.D./Au.D., Speech and Hearing Science/Audiology; University of Iowa, 2014

Research and Professional Interests

Dr. Mertes studies the ascending and descending auditory pathways in individuals with normal hearing and with hearing loss. He uses a combination of otoacoustic emissions, auditory electrophysiology, and perceptual measures. The long-term of goals of his research program are to determine how sound perception is driven by the interconnections between the peripheral and central auditory systems, to delineate the effect of hearing loss on these interconnections, and to determine the impact of potential treatments such as auditory training when these interconnections are impaired.

Brian Monson, PH.D., Assistant Professor ▼

Brian Monson, PH.D.

Email:

Office phone:

(217) 300-6212

Download Curriculum Vitae

Research Lab:

Degree

PhD, Speech, Language, and Hearing Science, University of Arizona, 2011

Research and Professional Interests

Dr. Monson's research interests center around auditory neurodevelopment and the development of speech/voice perception.  His research program aims to answer a fundamental question in neuroscience:  How does experience with the environment affect auditory neurodevelopment and perception?  His work focuses on two major themes: (1) auditory neurodevelopment in preterm infants, and (2) the contribution of very high-frequency hearing capability and hearing loss to speech/voice perception for both children and adults.  In each case, the long-term goal is to improve the auditory experience for individuals who face communication difficulties.

Raksha Anand Mudar, Ph.D., Associate Professor ▼

Raksha Anand Mudar, Ph.D.

Email:

Office phone:

(217) 333-4718

Office fax:

(217) 244-2235

Download Curriculum Vitae

Research Lab:

Degree

Ph.D., Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Texas at Dallas, 2008

Research and Professional Interests

Dr. Mudar investigates the effects of normal cognitive aging and brain diseases including Mild Cognitive Impairment, Alzheimer's disease, and frontotemporal dementia on higher order semantic functions. She uses a combination of behavioral methods, event-related potentials, and functional magnetic resonance imaging in her research.

See curriculum vitae for information about awards, academic and professional honors, publications, and professional associations and certifications.

Matthew Rispoli, Ph.D., Associate Professor ▼

Matthew Rispoli, Ph.D.

Email:

Office phone:

(217) 333-2230

Office fax:

(217) 244-2235

Download Curriculum Vitae

Research Lab:

Degree

Ph.D., Developmental & Educational Psychology, Teachers College, Columbia, 1986

Research and Professional Interests

Dr. Rispoli's general area of expertise is developmental psycholinguistics — how children acquire language and how their linguistic abilities develop. His areas of research include the development of grammar and sentence production.
See curriculum vitae for information about awards, academic and professional honors, publications, and professional associations and certifications.

Instructors

Susan Dramin-Weiss, Instructor, B.A. ▼

David M. Gooler, Ph.D., Instructor ▼

Email:

Office phone:

(217) 333-2230

Office fax:

(217) 244-2235

Download Curriculum Vitae

Research Lab:

Academic Affiliations

See curriculum vitae for professional associations and certifications.

Research and Professional Interests

David Gooler’s research has focused on investigating neurophysiological and perceptual processes for encoding complex sounds, such as speech. His research has investigated neural mechanisms of echolocation in bats, neural processing of call recognition in frogs, and perception of speech in noise by human listeners. Common to each of these areas of research is the recognition that we seldom listen to sounds in isolation. Instead we must perceive complex sounds, such as speech, as part of a sequence of sounds and often under noisy conditions.
 
As people age or for those who are hard-of- hearing, difficulties understanding speech can develop that extend beyond poor hearing sensitivity. One cause of this difficulty may be an altered ability to detect changes in acoustic features of speech over time. To better understand how sounds are processed over short time intervals by human listeners, the lab uses electrophysiological measures (auditory evoked potentials) to investigate neural detection of sounds. Current research focuses on the use of the P50 auditory cortical response in the assessment of sensory gating in clinical subpopulations, as well as parametric studies to identify optimum stimulus and recording parameters for the P50 response and for evaluating the nature of sensory gating.

Clinical Faculty

Learn more about the staff in the Speech-Language Pathology Clinic

Learn more about the staff in the Audiology Clinic

Emeritus Faculty

Undergraduate Advising

Graduate Advising

Support Staff

  • Stefanie Cole, Administrative Aide
  • Robert Duchene, Clerical Assistant
  • Andrea Paceley, Graduate Secretary