Faculty & Staff

B.A. Speech-Language Pathology from University of Kansas
M.A. Speech-Language Pathology from Kent State University
Ph.D. Speech-Language Pathology from Case Western Reserve University

Research Interests:
My main research interests lie in the areas of Child Phonology (speech-sound acquisition) as well as early reading abilities. I am also interested in research that evaluates the clinical process in speech-language pathology. At the Ph.D. level I was very interested in studying individuals who have clefts of the lip and palate and the unique sound patterns that they exhibit.

Honors or Recognition:
I received the Walker-Allen Fellowship in 2008, the Outstanding Research Mentor Award in 2008, the Order of Omega Golden Apple Award in 2006, and the William O'Donnell Lee Advising Award in August 2003. I am a member of Phi Kappa Phi and Omicron Delta Kappa.

How do you involve undergraduate students in your research?
I involve students in undergraduate research through the McNair program and through the undergraduate research stipends that are offered to students through the university. Sometimes these projects are unique ideas developed by the student and sometimes they relate more directly to my current research. I have worked with undergraduate students on a one-on-one basis as well as students working as research teams in conjunction with other students. I have co-mentored many undergraduate research projects with other CMDS faculty which is particularly rewarding.

What do you like best about teaching at Truman?
One of the things I like best about teaching at Truman is the challenge that the students provide. Truman students are clearly dedicated to learning. They are bright, motivated and challenge faculty to stay current and knowledgeable in their fields. I like teaching at Truman because through the process, I never stop learning. In addition, there are so many possibilities at Truman for faculty to develop their own interests and to pass those interests on to students. I have taught a JINS (Junior Interdisciplinary Writing Enhanced) course about the face and its role in communication which is incredibly fun and different each time I teach it. In addition, I also co-teach a Marathon Training course in which students develop the strength and endurance to participate in a long-distance running event while learning the importance of goal-setting and the psychological aspects of competing in endurance events. It just doesn't get any better than that!

What do students seem to like most about your classes?
I aim to make learning highly applicable to what students will be required to do once they leave Truman. My classes require a number of "hands-on" activities and projects, rather than just written tests. My students often remark that I require much more than just "remembering, I require thinking and doing". As a teacher this is important to me. I want students to feel as though they have learned what is important when they leave, not just that they learned.

What graduate schools are some of your former students attending?
Graduate students from the CMDS program go on to a number of different universities across the country. Some of them are attending other major universities in Missouri such as Fontbonne and St. Louis University. Others travel greater distances and have chosen to attend Howard University, Penn State University, University of Wyoming, University of Kansas, University of Minnesota, University of Nebraska, University of Wisconsin at Madison, and University of Colorado, Boulder.

What do you like best about living in Kirksville?
One of the best things about Kirksville is the people. Kirksville is an inviting, welcoming community where people care about others. I have made it a point to be involved in the community, serving on the Kirksville R-III school board for 9 years and being a member of the local Rotary and Quota Clubs. Kirksville is a community in which people recognize the value of friendships, community, and helping others.