UCF’s Doctor of Philosophy in Education (Ph.D.) – Communication Sciences and Disorders Track program has exceptional students engaged in research focused on language and literacy. Learn about their backgrounds and interests below. Learn about the program.
Ruth Gorlin, M.A., CCC-SLP is a doctoral candidate in the University of Central Florida’s Communication Sciences and Disorders PhD Language and Literacy Track. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Education from the University of Florida and her Master of Arts degree in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of Central Florida. Her research is focused on helping early childhood educators apply naturalistic conversational techniques when communicating with children to foster an environment rich in language and emerging literacy experiences. She is currently a clinical educator in the UCF Communication Disorders Clinic, providing clinical education to pre-service speech-language pathologists in the Listening Center as well as in the community at local preschools, where pre-service speech-language pathologists provide speech-language-hearing screenings. Her research interests include language acquisition, language disorders, emergent and early literacies, and high quality professional learning.
Kimmerly Harrell, CCC-SLP is a doctoral candidate. She has a BS and MS in Communication Sciences and Disorders and a EdS in Curriculum and Instruction. She has served as a clinical educator in the UCF Communication Disorders Clinic and as also served as an undergraduate instructor. She is an experienced secondary school speech-language pathologist whose research interest is language and literacy in culturally and linguistically diverse adolescents. She has been actively involved in designing and implementing Bridge Builders Academy, a special collaboration for rising ninth graders between the CSD Department and Evans High School.
Erika Nicsinger Timpe is a Ph.D. candidate who is currently completing her dissertation in the area of Augmentative and Alternative Communication. She is investigating the effects of communication partner instruction by preschoolers with AAC needs and their parents. Prior to entering the doctoral program, Erika was a special educator with experience and interest in children with complex communication needs who use augmentative and alternative communication devices (AAC). Her research interests include emergent and early literacy, AAC, and data-based decision making for professional learning.
Mary Mitchell, CCC-SLP is a second year doctoral student. She earned her B.S.Ed. from the University of Virginia and M.S. from James Madison University. Before entering the doctoral program at UCF, she served as a speech-language pathologist in K-12 settings for nine years in Ohio and Oregon. Mary currently serves as the Scholar in Residence with the Nemours BrightStart! program. Mary plans to further explore evidence-based language and literacy interventions in schools with specific foci on collaborative service delivery models, written language, professional learning, and culturally responsive instruction.
Pamela J. Resnick, M.A., CCC-SLP is a Clinical Educator in the Communication Disorders Clinic at the University of Central Florida and is a doctoral candidate in the Education-Communication Sciences and Disorders PhD program. Pamela received her Bachelor of Arts from the State University of New York at Buffalo and Master of Arts in Speech-Language Pathology from New York University. Her clinical and research interests include Augmentative-Alternative Communication (AAC) for individuals with complex communication needs in the following areas: developmental disorders, language and literacy acquisition, acquired neurogenic communication disorders, and Clinical Education.
Joanna H. Spielvogel, CCC-SLP is a loyal Knight! She earned both her Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts degrees from UCF in the field of Communication Sciences and Disorders. Her thesis won the 2011-2012 Award for the Outstanding Master’s Thesis in the College of Health and Public Affairs, Curriculum Vocabulary Acquisition of Fourth Grade Students Using a Language Sensitive Teaching Approach. Joanna also won first place at the College of Education and Human Performance 2015 Graduate Research Forum, Vocabulary Instruction for 4th Grade Students in the General Education Classroom Using a Language-Sensitive Protocol. Her research areas of interest are vocabulary, morphological awareness, word-level reading disability, spelling, and professional learning.
Cheran Zadroga, MA, CCC-SLP is a PhD candidate at the dissertation phase of her program. In addition, she works for Orange County Public Schools as a speech-language pathologist at an elementary and high school. Her research interests include preschool and school age language and literacy assessments and interventions, high quality professional learning, and the roles and responsibilities of school based speech-language pathologists.