Clinical Faculty in Speech-Language Pathology

Jennifer Dahman, MS CCC-SLP/L, Clinical Assistant Professor, has been a practicing Speech-Language Pathologist since 1996 and is certified through the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA). She is also licensed through the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation and the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE). Prof. Dahman received her Master’s Degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Southwest Missouri State University. Throughout her professional career, she has served clients in a variety of settings including schools, hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, and outpatient clinics. As an instructor with the Speech and Hearing Science Department, she supervises student clinicians working with children and adults. Prof. Dahman enjoys working with clients of all ages who struggle with language and literacy deficits and speech disorders.

 

Abby FranzAbby Franz, MS CCC-SLP/L has been in the field of speech-language pathology since 2004 and is certified through the American Speech-Language Pathology Association (ASHA). Mrs. Franz received her Master's degree from Illinois State University. She has worked in a variety of settings including a preschool, hospital, nursing home, and home health agency. For the past several years, she has worked at OSF Medical Center in Urbana, IL, where she works in both the acute inpatient and outpatient settings. She has a particular interest in the areas of dysphagia and aphasia. In addition to ASHA certification, she is licensed by the Illinois State Board of Education and the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation.

 

Debbie Harper, MA CCC-SLP/L has more 25 years of experience in the field of speech-language pathology and is certified through the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA). She is also licensed through the Illinois and Indiana Departments of Professional Regulation. Mrs. Harper received her Master's degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. She has worked in a variety of settings including hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, outpatient clinics and early intervention. She has a particular interest in the areas of dysphagia, head injury, and developmental delay. Within the last few years, Ms. Harper has become certified to perform fiberoptic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing (FEES) studies. She performs these studies at hospitals, skilled nursing homes, LTACs, and memory care centers. In her role as clinical instructor, Mrs. Harper supervises graduate students at one of the SHS department’s outreach sites and on-site clinic. Mrs. Harper enjoys working with clients of all ages who struggle swallowing impairments and speech deficits.

 

Clarion MendesClarion Mendes, MA CCC-SLP/L serves as the Director of Clinical Education for the Department of Speech and Hearing Science and is a Clinical Assistant Professor. She has been a Speech-Language Pathologist since 2009. Prof. Mendes received her Master's degree in Speech-Language Pathology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She has worked in multiple medical settings, and currently supervises and instructs graduate clinicians in the fields of voice, including transgender individuals seeking voice modification, and neurological conditions affecting communication. Her professional interests include voice, gerontology, dysphagia, and communication disorders associated with neurological conditions. She is a member of the ASHA special interest groups for Gerontology, Dysphagia and Supervision and is the current treasurer of the Eastern Illinois Speech-Language and Hearing Association. In addition to ASHA certification, she is licensed by the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation. Additionally, Prof. Mendes is a certified practitioner of Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT) and is an approved member of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH).

 

Jaime OlsonJaime Olson, MA, CCC-SLP/L serves as the internship coordinator for our MA SLP students. She has more than 6 years in the field of speech-language pathology and is certified through the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA). Ms. Olson received her Master's degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She has worked in a private school for children with severe emotional and behavior disorders and within our department as a research coordinator for a professor emerita’s various grants. Ms. Olson has interest in the areas of swallowing and its disorders, speech-language development and intervention, and the dynamic interaction between behavior and communication skills in children and young adults. She enjoys collaborating with other professionals and clients’ family members in order to best serve the whole individual. In addition to ASHA certification, she is licensed by the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation.

Staci Wright, MS CCC-SLP/L has been a speech-language pathologist for more than 24 years. She has extensive experience providing mentoring to graduate students in who are providing cognitive-linguistic, speech, and dysphagia services in skilled nursing home settings. In addition to a long-term career providing SLP rehabilitation to a geriatric population, Ms. Wright also has experience working in home health and school settings. Ms. Wright brings her skills as a clinical educator to students to a new setting by joining the clinical faculty at the University of Illinois, Speech-Language Pathology clinic, serving clients and their families across the lifespan. She is certified by ASHA and licensed by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.