Doctoral Student Profiles

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Mariajosé Bosanko

Mariajosé Bosanko is currently a first-year PhD student in Communication Sciences and Disorders. She has an MA in Language Literacy and Sociocultural studies with an emphasis in Bilingual Education from The University of New Mexico and an MA in Communication Sciences and Disorders from LSU. Additionally, she works as a speech-language pathologist for East Baton Rouge Parish School System. Mariajosé is originally from Mexico City. Her research interest include: simultaneous and sequential bilingual language development, child speech and language disorders within bilingual and second language learning contexts, and evaluation of speech and language assessment tools when working with bilingual individuals and speakers of Spanish-influenced English.

 

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Deirdre Larsen 

Deirdre Larsen is a first-year doctoral student in the Department of Communication Disorders at Louisiana State University under the mentorship of Dr. Melda Kunduk. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in 2014 from the University of Montevallo and a Master of Arts degree in 2017 from Louisiana State University. Deirdre received extensive training in pediatric feeding and swallowing disorders at the LSU Pediatric Feeding Clinic as well as training in adult voice and swallowing disorders at the Our lady of the Lake Voice Center. She is currently completing her clinical fellowship at the Our Lady of the Lake Voice Center where she provides service to adults with voice and swallowing disorders and to individuals with cleft palate or other craniofacial anomalies. Deirdre’s research focuses on health and disease of special populations as it relates to feeding and swallowing disorders. Current research includes assessment and treatment approaches for tongue-tie, the influence of gastroesophageal reflux on the infant gut microbiome, and sensory changes in head and neck cancer patients undergoing radiation.  Deirdre is also the instructor for Introduction to Communication Disorders.

 

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Barnali Mazumdar 

Barnali Mazumdar is a fourth-year doctoral student in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Louisiana State University (LSU), mentored by Dr. Neila J. Donovan. Mazumdar earned her Master’s in linguistics from India. Her Master’s thesis research led to the adaptation of the Western Aphasia Battery-Revised in Bangla (a language spoken in India and Bangladesh). The limitation of aphasia test adaptation motivated her to further develop a language-specific aphasia assessment in Bangla. Currently, she is pursuing her research on Bangla aphasia test development and teaching her introductory linguistics course at LSU.

 

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Surani Nakkawita 

Surani is a doctoral student in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Louisiana State University, where she is mentored by Dr. Neila Donovan. Surani entered the doctoral program with previous work experience in Sri Lanka with individuals with developmental and acquired communication disorders. Surani’s research examines the accessibility of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) systems for people with aphasia. She is currently a research assistant for Dr. Susan Duncan in the Language Imaging and Brain Research (LIBRe) Lab.

Teaching Experience:

Introduction to Language (COMD 2050)
Introduction to Communication Disorders (COMD 2081)
Lab component for Language Development for Children (COMD 4380)

Education:

M.A. Speech-Language Pathology, University of Kansas
M.A. Linguistics, University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka
B.Sc. Speech and Language Therapy, Faculty of Medicine, University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka

 

Austin Thompson

Austin Thompson is a first-year doctoral student in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders with a research interest in speech science. Under the mentorship of Dr. Yunjung Kim, Austin’s research investigates the use of speech science to diagnose and treat individuals with dysarthria, a group of speech disorders caused by various neurological conditions (including Parkinson’s disease and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis). Specifically, he aims to link acoustic measures and their underlying articulatory gestures to inform treatment for individuals with dysarthria. In other words, he explores the connection between how we speak and what we hear. Austin earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 2016 and a Master of Arts degree in 2018 in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Louisiana State University. In his spare time, Austin enjoys spending time with his dogs, tending to his houseplants, and watching scary movies.

 

 

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Shanley Treleaven

Mathew B. Vansant

 

Lori E. Vaughn 

Lori E. Vaughn is a third-year doctoral student in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Louisiana State University. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Speech and Language Pathology and Foreign Language: Spanish from the University of Southern Mississippi and a Master of Arts degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders with emphasis in Hispanic culture from Temple University. Lori received the Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association in 2008, and has worked extensively as a clinical therapist and statewide evaluator for culturally and linguistically diverse groups of children, aged birth to three years, receiving early intervention. She opened Speech By Design, LLC in 2008 to provide speech and language services to children identified under Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals. Lori also has worked as an adjunct instructor at Xavier University of Louisiana in the Department of Speech Language Pathology. She is currently pursuing her doctorate under the mentorship of Dr. Janna B. Oetting. Primary research interests include child language development and disorders in dialect and culturally diverse populations. Research aims focus on early identification and assessment of young children with speech and language disorders and the reduction of health disparities through improved speech and language services for families from minority backgrounds. She has presented at regional conferences (SECOL ’17) and national conferences (NBASLH ’17) and (SRCLD ’18). Lori is an instructor of LSU’s Children’s Language Development Computer Lab (COMD 4380). She is also a research assistant within the Language Development and Disorders Lab.