American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

Language and Literacy in Elementary Schools

Conference Faculty

Barbara J. Ehren, EdD, CCC-SLP, BCS-CL, is a professor at the University of Central Florida and director of a doctoral program that focuses on language and literacy for learners who struggle. Prior to this position, she was a research scientist with the University of Kansas Center for Research on Learning, where her emphasis was on strategic reading for adolescents, collaboration among professionals in schools, and school-wide literacy initiatives in secondary schools, including response-to-intervention. Her experience includes many years in public schools as an SLP, teacher, and district administrator. She is an ASHA Fellow, serves on numerous committees and editorial boards, and is currently chair of the ASHA Advisory Board on School Issues. She has a special interest in helping school systems build more effective literacy programs for diverse learners at the school level. A recurrent theme of her work is shared responsibility for literacy acquisition. She is a frequent consultant to states, school districts, and professional associations. She has authored several publications related to language, literacy, and collaborative school practice.

Financial Disclosures:

  • Financial compensation from ASHA for this presentation

Nonfinancial Disclosures:

  • Chair of ASHA’s Advisory Board on School Issues

Marc E. Fey, PhD, CCC-SLP, has published numerous articles, chapters, and software programs on children’s speech and language development and disorders. He has also written or edited three books on child language intervention over the past 30 years. He has presented his research and analyses of child language intervention in many countries around the world. He is an ASHA Fellow and holds ASHA Honors.

Financial Disclosures:

  • Financial compensation from ASHA for this presentation
  • Book royalties from Brookes Publishing Co.
  • Grant funds from National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders

Nonfinancial Disclosures:

  • ASHA Fellow

Diane German, PhD, is a professor at National Louis University in Chicago, Illinois. She is holder of the Ryan Endowed Chair in Special Education, created to support her work in word finding. She is an ASHA Fellow and a Fellow in the International Academy for Research in Learning Disabilities. She has published and presented many articles and technical papers and has conducted many seminars in child word finding. She has authored the "Test of Word Finding, Third Edition"; "Test of Adolescent/Adult Word Finding, Second Edition"; and "Test of Word Finding in Discourse." She is also author of the "Word Finding Intervention Program, Second Edition."

Financial Disclosures:

  • Financial compensation from ASHA for this presentation
  • Royalties from Pro-Ed

Nonfinancial Disclosures:

  • None

Ron Gillam, PhD, CCC-SLP, holds the Raymond and Eloise Lillywhite Endowed Chair in Speech-Language Pathology at Utah State University, where he serves as the director of the Language, Education and Auditory Processing Brain Imaging Lab in the Emma Eccles Jones Early Childhood Education and Research Center. His research, which has been funded by the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Department of Education, primarily concerns information processing, language assessment, and language intervention with school-age children with specific language impairments. Gillam has published two books, three tests, and more than 100 articles and book chapters. He has received numerous teaching and research awards, including ASHA Fellow, the Haydn Williams Fellow at Curtin University in Western Australia, the Dads Association Centennial Teaching Fellowship at the University of Texas at Austin, the Editor’s Award for the article of highest merit in the Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research (twice), and the 2009 Robins Award for the outstanding researcher at Utah State University.

Financial Disclosures:

  • Financial compensation from ASHA for this presentation
  • Royalties from Pro-Ed
  • Grant funds from U.S. Department of Education
  • Employee of Utah State University

Nonfinancial Disclosures:

  • None

Carol Scheffner Hammer, PhD, CCC-SLP, is a professor and Chair of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Temple University, where she teaches courses on language and literacy development/disorders and diverse populations. Prior to receiving her doctorate from The University of Iowa, she worked as a speech-language pathologist, specializing in services to children and families from diverse cultures. As part of her clinical experiences, she spent 2 years serving children in Micronesia. Hammer’s research focuses on cultural and environmental influences on children’s language and literacy development, assessment of bilingual children, and promoting children’s school readiness. Her research has been continually funded since 2000 by the National Institutes of Health, Institute of Education Sciences, and Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation. Hammer is past editor of the American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology and is an ASHA Fellow.

Financial Disclosures:

  • Financial compensation from ASHA for this presentation
  • Employee of Temple University
  • Research funding from National Institutes of Health and U.S. Department of Education

Nonfinancial Disclosures:

  • None

Melissa Malani, PhD, CCC-SLP, is a practicing speech-language pathologist, professional developer, adjunct instructor at University of Central Florida (UCF), and AAC consultant for Saltillo Corporation. Malani is a clinical educator for several universities and has supervised graduate students ranging from beginning clinic to final externship experiences. She has also supervised numerous clinical fellows in the field of speech-language pathology and continues to provide ongoing clinical education to the SLPs and student clinicians she works with. Malani has participated in numerous research projects, peer-reviewed journal articles and presentations, and professional development workshops. She has been an invited author and presenter on several topics, including adolescent language and literacy, digital literacy, and augmentative/alternative communication. As an adjunct instructor with UCF, Malani teaches numerous graduate and undergraduate courses and serves as a program coordinator with community organizations to promote experiential student learning. She is an active member of ASHA, the Florida Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists (FLASHA), and the International Reading Association (IRA).

Financial Disclosures:

  • Financial compensation from ASHA for this presentation

Nonfinancial Disclosures:

  • None

Julie Masterson, PhD, CCC-SLP, is the associate provost-dean of the Graduate College and professor of communication sciences and disorders at Missouri State University. She has taught courses in research design and language-literacy development and disorders. Masterson is a trustee for the American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation and served as vice president for research and technology for ASHA and as president of the Council of Academic Programs in Communication Sciences and Disorders. She has more than 150 presentations and publications in language and literacy. Masterson is co-author of Spelling Performance Evaluation for Language and Literacy-2 (Learning by Design), Beyond Baby Talk 2: From Speech to Spelling: A Guide to Language and Literacy Development for Parents and Caregivers (Random House), and Clinical Decision Making in Developmental Language Disorders (Brooks). She is associate editor for Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools and served as associate editor for the American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology and guest associate editor for Journal of Speech and Hearing Research, Topics in Language Disorders, and Seminars in Speech and Language. Masterson is a Fellow and certified member of ASHA. She holds degrees in both speech-language pathology and elementary education and has worked as a classroom teacher.

Financial Disclosures:

  • Financial compensation from ASHA for this presentation
  • Royalties from Learning By Design
  • Employee of Missouri State University

Nonfinancial Disclosures:

  • American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation Trustee

Kim Murza, PhD, CCC-SLP, received her doctorate in communication sciences and disorders from the University of Central Florida, where she specialized in language and literacy with a focus on autism spectrum disorder (ASD). She is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Audiology and Speech-Language Sciences at the University of Northern Colorado, teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in language and literacy, evidence-based practice, and phonetics. Murza has worked privately and in the public school system as a speech-language pathologist with children and adolescents, and more recently with adults with ASD. She is currently the University of Northern Colorado Scottish Rite Program Director and a member of the Colorado Department of Education Speech-Language Advisory Council. Murza has participated in numerous research projects and co-authored peer-reviewed journal articles and presentations. She has been an invited author and presenter on several topics, including adolescent language and literacy and the Common Core State Standards. Her main research area is pragmatic language intervention and vocational support for individuals with high-functioning forms of ASD. Additional research interests include systematic review and meta-analysis, strategic learning, inference generation, disciplinary literacy, and the delivery of high-quality professional development.

Financial Disclosures:

  • Financial compensation from ASHA for this presentation

Nonfinancial Disclosures:

  • Member of Colorado Speech-Language Advisory Council

Marilyn A. Nippold, PhD, CCC-SLP, is a professor of communication disorders and sciences at the University of Oregon, where she teaches and conducts research in language development, language disorders, and stuttering. She is an ASHA Fellow and has published seven books and more than 100 journal articles and book chapters. Currently, she serves as chief editor of Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools.

Financial Disclosures:

  • Financial compensation from ASHA for this presentation
  • Grant funds from National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders

Nonfinancial Disclosures:

  • None

Tommie L. Robinson, Jr., PhD, CCC-SLP, is chief of hearing and speech and director of the Scottish Rite Center for Childhood Language Disorders at Children’s National Health System in Washington, D.C. He is also an associate professor of pediatrics at The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences. He specializes in communication disorders in children, with a specific focus on children who stutter. Robinson’s research and writings have focused on normal fluency behaviors in children and adults as well as service delivery to children from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. Robinson was the 2010 president of ASHA and has served on various boards and committees. He was ASHA vice president for quality of service in speech-language pathology (2005-2007) and participated on the Board of Ethics, Council on Professional Standards, Council for Clinical Certification, Committee on Nominations and Elections, Honors Committee, and Clinical Certification Board. Robinson received his associate’s degree from Coahoma Community College in Clarksdale, Mississippi, his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from The University of Mississippi in Oxford, and his doctorate from Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Financial Disclosures:

  • Financial compensation from ASHA for this presentation

Nonfinancial Disclosures:

  • None

C. Melanie Schuele, PhD, CCC-SLP, is an associate professor in the Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. Prior to her PhD studies, Schuele provided speech-language services in public schools and early intervention. Her training and research interests focus on school-based issues, and she conducts research in complex syntax and early literacy acquisition. Schuele has obtained nearly $3 million in training grant funding from the U.S. Department of Education to prepare PhD-trained researchers to conduct language and literacy research and to prepare master’s students for careers as school speech-language pathologists. Her research has been funded by NIH/NIDCD and the American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation. Schuele and Naomi D. Murphy co-authored "The Intensive Phonological Awareness Program" (IPA Program) published in 2014 by Brookes Publishing Company. Schuele is a frequent provider of professional development at the local, state, and national levels. She has provided extensive volunteer service to ASHA.

Financial Disclosures:

  • Financial compensation from ASHA for this presentation
  • Grant funding from NIH, IES, and ASHF
  • Employee of Vanderbilt University

Nonfinancial Disclosures:

  • None

Janet Sturm, PhD, CCC-SLP, is a professor in the Department of Communication Disorders at Central Michigan University. Sturm has been working in general and special education classrooms for more than 25 years. Her research and development work focus on writing instruction for students with disabilities, computer-supported literacy, measurement of writing of beginning writers, and classroom communication. She has numerous peer-reviewed publications in speech and language as well as literacy journals. Sturm served as the principal investigator for two National Institutes of Health grants titled "FirstAuthor: A Writing Process Software Tool," with the objective of producing an innovative, integrated writing software tool that supports beginning writers across the writing process and is accessible to students with severe speech and physical impairments. The "First Author Writing Software" was published by Don Johnston Incorporated in spring 2013. Sturm recently completed the "First Author Writing Curriculum" for students with significant disabilities, which draws upon a writing process approach and integrates cognitive strategy instruction and social interaction training. She serves on the Council for Exceptional Children Committee on Speech and Language Learning Disabilities in Children, in the Division for Communicative Disabilities and Deafness, and is a consulting editor for the Journal of Augmentative and Alternative Communication.

Financial Disclosures:

  • Financial compensation from ASHA for this presentation
  • Royalties from Don Johnston Incorporated

Nonfinancial Disclosures:

  • Issue Editor/Author of Topics in Language Disorders

Kathleen Whitmire, PhD, CCC-SLP, BCS-CL, is the president of SDG Enterprise, an educational consulting firm. She previously served as director of educational programs for the National Center for Learning Disabilities and director of school services for ASHA. She also held positions at Syracuse University, The College of Saint Rose, University of Maryland at College Park, and Towson University. She began her career as a school-based clinician. A nationally-certified speech-language pathologist, Whitmire is a board-certified specialist in child language and an ASHA Fellow. She is a sought-after presenter at the international, national, and state levels, and has published more than 30 articles and chapters. She sits on the editorial boards of Topics in Language Disorders and Communication Disorders Quarterly, and serves on the Communication Sciences and Disorders Research Group Board and the Specialty Board for Child Language. Whitmire received her MA, MS, and PhD from the University of Rochester.

Financial Disclosures:

  • Financial compensation from ASHA for this presentation

Nonfinancial Disclosures:

  • Vice President of Communication Sciences and Disorders Research Group Board
  • Various activities to expand the research base of our professional services

JoAnn Wiechmann, EdD, CCC-SLP, has 24 years of experience, primarily in Texas, as a speech-language pathologist in the public school setting. She provided speech-language therapy services for ages 3–21 for 10 years and has been working at the administrative level for the last 14 years. She has supervised the speech-language therapy program and developed quality speech-language therapy services that span the ASHA Roles and Responsibilities of School-Based SLPs. In addition to working in the school setting, Wiechmann is a published author of "Artic Lab: RtI for Speech Pathologists," "Language LAB: Response to Intervention Program for Teaching Grammar, Vocabulary, and Storytelling," and "SLP Supervision in Texas, Supporting Excellence in Practice." She is a frequent provider of professional development on topics such as RTI; the use of cross-battery cognitive assessment for the identification of learning disabilities and language impairments; evaluation practices and writing quality FIE reports; and linking state standards, state assessment demands, and language therapy.

Financial Disclosures:

  • Complimentary registration from ASHA for this presentation

Nonfinancial Disclosures:

  • Member of ASHA’s Schools Ad hoc Committee
  • Member of ASHA’s SIG 16 Committee

Lyndsey Zurawski, SLPD, CCC-SLP, is a speech-language pathologist with experience in the public school setting and private practice. Recently she completed her doctorate in speech-language pathology from Nova Southeastern University. In the past 9 years, she has focused on literacy, curriculum-based therapy, inclusion, and, more recently, Common Core State Standards within the school setting. Recently, Zurawski presented a program with ASHA staff titled "Collaborative Solutions for the CCSS," presented at the annual ASHA Convention, and has been a guest speaker at Florida Atlantic University and Nova Southeastern University. Additionally, Zurawski is a former participant of the ASHA Leadership Development Program for early career professionals. She also writes for her own blog called "Speech to the Core."

Financial Disclosures:

  • Financial compensation from ASHA for this presentation
  • Employee of School District of Palm Beach County, Florida

Nonfinancial Disclosures:

  • Creator of the Speech to the Core blog for SLPs
  • Developer of Inclusion Mentoring and Training Program (IMAT)

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