Faculty & Staff
Phone: (304) 696-2988
Jennifer Baker, MA, CCC-SLP, is a clinical faculty member in the Department of Communication Disorders at Marshall University. She received her master’s degree in speech-language pathology from Miami University in 2007 and has practiced as a pediatric speech-language pathologist in outpatient rehab, public schools, and early intervention settings since that time. Her clinical interests include parent education and pediatric language disorders associated with hearing loss, autism spectrum disorders, and developmental delays. At Marshall, she provides intervention for children with hearing loss in the Luke Lee Listening, Language, and Learning Lab, supervises graduate student practicum, and provides services through the West Virginia Birth to Three Program.
Phone: (304) 696-2979
Ms. Chezik retired from the faculty after 40 years of service to the department where she served as chair and program director. Her primary area of interest is aphasia which led her to found the aphasia group at Marshall . Since her retirement she continues to serve the department through her work as an adjunct clinical instructor with the aphasia group.
Phone: (304) 696-2984
Carrie Childers, CCC-SLP, is an assistant professor in the Department of Communication Disorders within the Marshall University College of Health Professions. Since August 2013, Professor Childers has served as an instructor for two sections of CD 624: Foundations in Neurogenic Communication and Swallowing Disorders. Prior to her position at Marshall, Childers worked as speech-language pathologist for 10 years with the last four years working as a pediatric outpatient speech therapist at Madonna TherapyPlus in Lincoln, Nebraska.
In addition to being a full-time professor, Professor Childers will complete her Ph.D. in Human Sciences with a specialization in speech pathology at University of Nebraska-Lincoln in December 2013. Childers received her M.A. in speech pathology from Western Michigan University in 2000, and her B.A. in speech pathology and audiology from Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan in 1998. Since 2001, Professor Childers has had her certificate of clinical competence as a speech-language pathologist and also holds her WV Licensure in speech pathology from the WV American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.
Childer’s research interests include the exploration of accommodations and strategies for individuals with traumatic brain injuries. She hopes to extend her research initiatives with local middle and high school students and further facilitate her work with strategic brain injury screenings. Childers recently submitted a contract for an innovation grant to study and develop a four-year program to supplement her research objectives.
New to the Marshall community, Professor Childers said she has been impressed with her department’s dedication to academic excellence and their support of research endeavors. Childers looks forward to sharing her clinical research experiences with her fellow faculty, staff and students.
Phone: (304) 696-7114
Craig Coleman is an assistant professor at Marshall University. Craig is a Board-Recognized Specialist in Fluency Disorders. Prior to joining the Marshall faculty, Craig spent over twelve years serving as Clinical Coordinator and Co-Director of the Stuttering Center at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh.
Phone: (304) 696-3455
Jodi Cottrell, Au.D., CCC-A, LSLS Cert. AVEd, is the program director of The Luke Lee Listening, Language and Learning Lab (The “L”) at Marshall University in the Department of Communication Disorders. The “L” is a program which focuses on teaching listening and spoken language to hearing impaired children. She received her Master of Science degree in Audiology at West Virginia University and her Clinical Doctorate of Audiology through Salus University. In July of 2008, Dr. Cottrell became the program director and classroom teacher at The “L” where she provides auditory verbal education services to the students in the preschool program and in the parent infant program, as well as audiological services including hearing aid programming, cochlear implant mapping, and pediatric audiological evaluations. Prior to her position at Marshall she was the Director of Audiology at River Cities Ear, Nose, and Throat Specialists, PLLC for 8 years. Dr. Cottrell recently completed a mentorship program to become a certified Listening and Spoken Language Specialist through the Alexander Graham Bell Academy and now serves as the only LSLS Cert. AVEd speech language pathologist in the state of West Virginia.
Phone: (304) 696-2980
Loukia Zikkos Dixon, M.A., CCC-S, received her Master of Arts degree in Speech Language Pathology and Audiology from Marshall University. In subsequent years, she worked as a speech language pathologist at the Geiger Easter Seal Speech and Hearing Center in Ashland, Kentucky where she served a variety of clients in evaluation and treatment ranging in ages from infancy to geriatrics, in settings such as outpatient clinic, acute care/rehabilitation, long term care facilities, Head Start, elementary, middle, and high school, and home health services. Her experiences branched out to clinical supervision of graduate clinicians as well as clinical fellows. Her ties with Marshall University continued to strengthen as she served many roles between 1994 and 2003 as an adjunct clinical supervisor, temporary full-time assistant professor, and service provider to an area Head Start. In August of 2003, Mrs. Dixon took a full time teaching position in the Marshall University Department of Communication Disorders, where she currently teaches undergraduate courses in diagnostic processes, phonetics, and communication science lab. She provides clinical education to graduate students in the Marshall University Speech and Hearing Center. In addition to academic and clinical teaching, she is one of the speech language pathologists in the Luke Lee Listening, Language, and Learning Lab, a program that focuses on teaching listening and spoken language to hearing impaired children and she contributed to the reestablishment of a clinical practicum site in “the L” in the spring semester of 2010. Professor Dixon has over 20 years of experience in the field of communication disorders and received tenure status in April of 2010.
Phone: (304) 696-3246
Susan Thomas Frank,PhD, CCC-SLP, is an assistant professor in the Department of Communication Disorders where she teaches courses related to language development and childhood language disorders. She received a BA degree in speech pathology from Marshall University, a MA in speech-language pathology from The George Washington University, and received her PhD from the University of Kentucky. She has been a practicing speech-language pathologist for 30 years. Currently Professor Frank is a candidate for the PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of Kentucky. Her areas of research interest include the prevention of literacy failure in children with language disorders and how interest in research is promoted during undergraduate education experiences. Professor Frank is an active member in the Community of Research Practice (CORP) in the Department of Communication Disorders where she works with graduate and undergraduate students on developing their research identities.
Lisa Fry, Ph.D. is an adjunct professor in the Department of Communication Disorders. Dr. Fry received her Masters Degree in Communication Disorders at Marshall in 1992 and her doctorate in Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of Kentucky in 2008. Her doctoral work focused on the study of the voice and its disorders. Her research has focused on laryngeal muscle biology, vocal aging, and the effects of various voice therapies on voice production. The results of her work have been published in several peer-reviewed journals in the field and presented at national and international venues for voice specialists. In 2009, she co-authored the text Voice Therapy: Clinical Case Studies, 3rd ed. with her doctoral mentor, Joseph Stemple.
Dr. Fry taught full-time at Marshall from 2002 to 2010, teaching courses in Voice and Research Design and facilitating a weekly forum for undergraduate and graduate student researchers. Since leaving full-time teaching in 2010, Dr. Fry has continued to assist graduate and undergraduate researchers by serving on thesis committees and by assisting students in research design, analysis, and presentation. Dr. Fry continues to teach undergraduate and graduate courses in her areas of interest as needed by the Department.
Phone: (304) 696-3460
Johnna Gaunch is the teaching assistant in The Luke Lee Listening, Language and Learning Lab (The “L”) at Marshall University in the Department of Communication Disorders. The “L” is a program which focuses on teaching listening and spoken language to hearing impaired children. She received her B.A. in Communication Disorders from Marshall University.
Phone: (304) 696-4319
Kelly Harlow, MA, CCC-SLP, is an Assistant Professor in the Communication Disorders Department in the College of Health Professions at Marshall University. She is a member of American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and a member of West Virginia Speech and Hearing Association. Professor Harlow serves on the Autism Training Board for the state of West Virginia. She has worked in the field of communication disorders in a variety of settings for over 20 years before coming to Marshall University. Her past experiences have included hospitals, long term care facilities, home-health, pre-school settings, and outpatient clinics. It was during her clinical work that she became interested in the disorder of autism. Her interest grew and naturally evolved to a specialized expertise in the autistic child. She also has expertise in the areas of child speech and language disorders and pediatric dysphagia. Her duties at Marshall have included teaching and advising as well the clinical teaching of Marshall’s graduate clinicians within the university’s speech and hearing clinic. She teaches classes at the graduate and undergraduate level concentrating on phonetics, developmental speech and language disorders, augmentative/alternative communication, and pediatric dysphagia. She has been a member of one of the tri-state’s first multidisciplinary clinics for the diagnosis of autism. She conducts a pragmatic group at Marshall University for children and adolescents who have social communication issues. Her scholarly efforts include studies in the area of augmentative and alternative communication strategies and autism.
Phone: (304) 696-3641
Nancy Heffernan is the Administrative Associate for the Department of Communication Disorders. She came to Marshall in 1998 with ten years of extensive experience in medical office management as well as insurance coding and billing. Within the Marshall University Speech and Hearing Center (MUSHC) she serves as the patient account liaison, which includes patient scheduling, financial counseling, billing, and collections. She provides oversight in medical office procedures, policies, and guidelines as well as ensuring that all HIPAA guidelines are adhered to. In addition, Nancy acts as the fiscal manager for the Department of Communication Disorders.
Phone: (304) 696-2985
Pamela Holland, MA, CCC-SLP, is an Assistant Professor and currently serves as Director of Clinical Education in the Department of Communication Disorders in the College of Health Professions at Marshall University. She has a master’s degree from Marshall University. She coordinates graduate clinical placements within the community and facilitates clinical educational opportunities for speech-language pathologists in the Tri-State area. She teaches courses which encompass service learning pedagogical strategies. Professor Holland was named Volunteer of the Year in 2006 by Huntington’s City Mission and was the recipient of the Pickens-Queen Teacher Award in 2007. She was the first speech-language pathologist for the Scottish Rite Childhood Speech and Language program, an entity within the Marshall University Speech and Hearing Center. Her clinical expertise is childhood speech, language and feeding disorders and currently she provides services for the West Virginia Birth to Three Program whereby development is fostered within children’s natural environment. She served on the West Virginia Interagency Coordinating Council and presently serves on the West Virginia Speech-Language Hearing Association Board as the Marshall University representative. Professor Holland was appointed the Director of the Service Learning Program at Marshall.
Phone: (304) 696-3577
Sandra Kemper, M.S. CCC-SLP, is an assistant professor in the Department of Communication Disorders at Marshall University. She received her master's degree in speech-language pathology from Fort Hays State University in 2003. Since that time, she has provided speech-language therapy services across the age span and in a variety of settings. Her expertise areas include autism, augmentative and alternative communication strategies, and pediatric speech and language disorders. She currently supervises student clinicians and teaches undergraduate courses focusing on developmental speech disorders, student lab experiences, and clinical education of graduate students.
Phone: (304) 696-2981
Tricia Leonard, MA, CCC-S, received both her Bachelor of Arts degree and Master of Arts degree in the field of Speech Language Pathology from Marshall University. She has worked in various settings including long term care, early intervention, home health, outpatient and the public schools. Since working at Marshall University, her primary role has been clinical education of graduate students who provide services to children and adults with communication disorders at the MU Speech and Hearing Center. She teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses involving field experiences and student teaching experiences. Currently Professor Leonard provides speech/language services to preschool children at Sybene Head Start, which often serves as a clinical practicum site for graduate clinicians. Her clinical interest is in the area of pediatric speech and language disorders. Professor Leonard provides speech, language, and swallowing services at River Park Hospital and speech/language services at Sybene Head Start. Both of these facilities often serve as clinical practicum sites for graduate clinicians.
Phone: (304) 696-2983
Karen L. McComas, EdD, earned a BA (1977) and MA (1978) in Speech Pathology and Audiology at Marshall University. She worked as a speech-language pathologist in the public school systems of Carter County, Kentucky, and Lincoln County, West Virginia, from 1978-1986. She joined the faculty of Marshall University in August of 1986, teaching and supervising in the undergraduate and graduate programs. In 2011, she earned a doctoral degree, majoring in Curriculum and Instruction with an area of emphasis in social inquiry. Dr. McComas's teaching areas include research methods, phonological disorders, and fluency disorders. Her research interests include investigations into the development of research identities in women and an ethnographic study of a community of research practice.
Phone: (304) 696-3634
Karen McNealy serves as Chair and Program Director of the Department of Communication Disorders. She holds an undergraduate degree in Speech and Hearing from Marshall University, a master’s degree in Audiology from the University of Tennessee and she completed her doctoral degree in Audiology at Salus University. She teaches courses in audiology, aural rehabilitation and speech science. Dr. McNealy has an interest in program development which supports the clinical education of students while serving community needs. She is actively involved with the Scottish Rite Speech Language Program at Marshall, the Luke Lee Listening, Language and Learning Lab at Marshall, and a new program the Pat and Dolly Oshel Parent Education Program all which are housed in the Marshall University Speech and Hearing Center.