My research focused initially on the measurement and treatment of stuttering, a complication of speech production abilities that affects up to 10% of children and about 1% of adults worldwide. That work led me to questions about what it means to select a "treatment goal" or to test an "intervention" of any sort, within speech-language pathology and across the health-related disciplines. Many of my approximately 75 total academic publications may be found in the Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research; the American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology; and the Journal of Fluency Disorders, among others.
My career began with a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of California, San Diego (1987); a year waiting tables in a ski resort; a master’s degree (1991) and a Ph.D. (1993) in speech and hearing sciences from the University of California, Santa Barbara; and 18 months of post-doctoral research about stuttering, which overlapped with my working for about a year as a speech-language pathologist in a longterm-care facility. I then began what is a still-evolving career in academia, beginning as an assistant professor at the University of Georgia in 1995. My teaching and research focused initially on the measurement and treatment of stuttering, and my research efforts were supported over the years by a total of about $4 million in grant funding from NIH (to me and to my co-investigators). I have held the rank of Professor since 2008, and I was awarded Fellowship in the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association in 2015.
From relatively early in my faculty career, I have also found myself drawn to academic coordination and leadership positions. I served as my home department's graduate-programs coordinator from 1999 to 2006; I served as department head in my home department for 6 of the 9 years between 2006 and 2015; and since 2015 I have had the privilege of serving as the head of a different department in the college. I hope that my contributions in academic leadership have allowed the people in both departments to work in mutually respectful, supportive, collaborative, and therefore productive and successful environments (and I believe there is a direct link between the first three and the last two).
My husband and I share our lives with a combined total of 8 children, two daughters-in-law, one granddaughter, two cats, two turtles, and three outdoor goldfish who dream of being koi. I ran my first marathon when I was 50 years old, and I dream of someday being in the "female, 90-94" age bracket for a nice half-marathon somewhere.