PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR
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DR. VICTORIA S. MCKENNA, PH.D, CCC-SLP

Dr. McKenna is an assistant professor in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, and secondary faculty in the Department of Biomedical Engineering and the Department of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, at the University of Cincinnati.  She received a Bachelors degree from Syracuse University, Masters degree from the University of New Hampshire, and Doctoral degree from Boston University in the area of Speech, Language & Hearing Sciences. She completed her postdoctoral training at Purdue University and is now focusing on translational research for voice and swallowing.

DOCTORAL & POSTDOCTORAL RESEARCHERS
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BRITTANY FLETCHER M.S., CCC-SLP

Brittany is a third year doctoral student in the Communication Sciences and Disorders Department at the University of Cincinnati. Brittany completed her master's degree at the University of Louisville and undergraduate degree at Bellarmine University. She is a certified speech-language pathologist and is serving as the treatment therapist for an NIH R01 grant under the guidance of Dr. Washington. Her dissertation work in the VSM Lab, will focus on quantifying acoustic characteristics of multilingual and multidialectal speakers, with special consideration of accessibility of speech recognition software.

ANDRES LLICO, Ph.D.

Andres is a postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at UC. He received his Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Electrical Engineering from Universidad Tecnica Federico Santa Maria (Chile), and his Doctoral degree on Biomedical Engineering from Purdue University. His research interests include auditory neuroscience, cochlear implants, and signal processing.

AMNA MIRA, M.S. 

Amna is a first year doctoral student in the Communication Sciences and Disorders program at UC. Amna received her bachelor's degree in Speech-Language and Hearing Sciences from Dar Al-Hekma University in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and her masters of science degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Boston University. Amna is currently a faculty member at King Saud Bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences in Jeddah, where she was awarded her scholarships to complete her masters and doctoral studies. She is passionate about conducting research in the areas of voice and swallowing disorders, and the intersection among them across different populations like those with Head and Neck Cancer and Parkinson's Disease.

GRADUATE RESEARCHERS
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LAUREN HUMPERT

Second-year graduate student in the MA Speech-Language Pathology Program at UC. She received her bachelor’s degree from UC, and has been a member of the VSM Lab since her fourth year in undergrad. Lauren received a UC Excellence Award for her undergraduate Capstone project in the VSM Lab. She will be completing her MA Capstone Project on using smartphone technology to track chronic cough. 

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RACHEL ROBERTS

First-year graduate student in the MA Speech-Language Pathology program at UC. She received her bachelors degree from UC and has been a member of the VSM Lab since her fourth year, when she completed her honors Capstone Project in smartphone monitoring of voice disorders. Her areas of interest include voice disorders, dysphagia, and neurogenic communication disorders. 

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SAVANNAH SHANLEY

First-year MA student in the Speech-Language Pathology program at UC. She received her bachelor's degree from UC and has been a member of the VSM Lab since her fourth year. For her Capstone Project, she hosted a community-wide event on Transgender Healthcare. Her areas of interest include gender-affirming voice therapy, dysphagia, and voice disorders.  

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ANNA BIRKEMEIER

Second-year graduate student in the MA Speech-Language Pathology Program at UC. She received her bachelor’s degree from Bowling Green Status University where she completed a senior project on acoustics. Her MA Capstone Project will focus on helping patients with dysphagia access area restaurants. 

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KELLY CARRARO

Second-year graduate student in the MA Speech-Language Pathology program at UC. She received her BS from UC and has been a lab member since her four year. Kelly received a UC Excellence Award for her undergraduate Capstone Project in the VSM Lab. Her areas of interest include neurogenic communication disorders, voice disorders, and developmental language disorders. 

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HALEY DOERR

Second-year graduate student in the MA Speech-Language Pathology Program at UC. She received bachelor’s degrees from Western Kentucky University, including B.S. Communication Sciences & Disorders & B.F.A. Performing Arts. Her areas of interest include voice disorders, dysphagia, & neurogenic communication disorders.

UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCHERS
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MIN BAMFORD

Fourth-year undergrad student studying electrical engineering at UC. Her role in the VSM Lab is to develop data processing scripts and implement on-app signal processing for the voice monitoring app. She is proficient in C++ and Java, loves learning, and is interested in research. Upon graduation in 2024, Min is interested in pursuing a job or graduate program related to alternative energy.

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EMILY GELHAUSEN

First-year undergraduate student majoring in Speech-Language Hearing Sciences at UC. Her interests include voice disorders, neurogenic communication disorders, and gender-affirming voice therapy. 

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AVERY KLUTH

Third-year undergraduate student majoring in Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences at UC. Avery is completing her Honors Capstone experience for her senior year at the VSM lab. Following graduation, she is planning on pursuing graduate school to become a Speech Pathologist. Her interest areas are pediatric speech therapy and gender-affirming voice therapy. 

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NEIL MCGROGEN

Fourth-year undergraduate pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering at UC. He is proficient in Swift and Python.  He has been the lead app developer for the VSM Lab's voice monitoring app. When he graduates in 2023, he hopes to pursue a career of software engineering, consulting, or financial analysis on a team of passionate scientists.  

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OLIVIA POLNOW

Fourth-year undergraduate student majoring in Speech Language and Hearing Sciences and minoring in Psychology at UC. Olivia joined the VSM lab to explore various topics related to speech for her honors Capstone Project. After graduating in 2023, she plans on working towards her MA degree in Speech-Language Pathology. Olivia is interested in working as a medical Speech-Language Pathologist in the future.

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MARY WILKENS

Second-year undergraduate student majoring in Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences at UC. Mary joined the lab through the prestigious UPRISE Summer program at UC. Her areas of interest include gender-affirming voice therapy, voice disorders, and dysphagia. 

COLLABORATORS
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AARON FRIEDMAN, M.D.

Associate Professor

Robin Cotton & Rocco dal Vera Professional Voice, Swallowing, Airway Center

Department of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, University of Cincinnati

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RENEE GUSTIN, M.S., CCC-SLP

Speech-Language Pathologist

Robin Cotton & Rocco dal Vera Professional Voice, Swallowing, Airway Center

Department of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, University of Cincinnati.

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AMY HOBEK,
PH.D., CCC-SLP

Associate Professor

Child Language Education & Research (CLEaR) Lab

Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders,

University of Cincinnati

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REBECCA HOWELL, M.D.

Associate Professor; Chief of Division of Laryngology

Director of Robin Cotton & Rocco dal Vera Professional Voice, Swallowing, Airway Center

Department of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, University of Cincinnati

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RITA PATEL, PH.D., CCC-SLP

Associate Professor

Vocal Physiology and Imaging Laboratory

Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, Indiana University

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TOM TALAVAGE, PH.D.

Professor

Chair, Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Cincinnati

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SUDIP VHADURI, PH.D.

Assistant Professor

Mobile Artificial Intelligence Laboratory

Department of Computer and Information Technology, Purdue University

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KARLA WASHINGTON, PH.D., CCC-SLP

Associate Professor

Pediatric Language, Literacy,
and Speech Lab
Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders,
University of Cincinnati