What Makes Our Department Special
Our Award-winning Faculty
Our nationally and internationally recognized faculty educate incoming students to become clinicians, scientists, and teachers of the future. Our top-ranked program in audiology offers a variety of didactic and hands-on opportunities.
Our Incredible Students
Our students are talented and skilled clinicians who end up working in the hospitals, clinics, schools, and in the private sector. Discover what graduate students have to say about their UW-Madison experience.
The Wisconsin Idea
UW-Madison Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders employs best practices in inclusive excellence to engage in outreach activities that directly benefit professional colleagues, students, and individuals and their families in the community.
Meet Our Faculty
Carlos Benítez-Barrera, Ph.D.
Dr. Benitez-Barrera’s research focuses on the impact of early auditory experiences on behavioral and neural outcomes of children, particularly those at risk of communication delays. Dr. Benitez-Barrera is also interested in investigating neural correlates of speech-in-noise processing in the pediatric population. His research takes place at the Waisman Center, where he directs the Pediatric Auditory Experience and Brain lab.
Melanie Buhr-Lawler, Au.D., CCC-A
Dr. Buhr-Lawler’s clinical focus is diagnostic audiology and hearing technology for people of all ages. She collaborates with her patients and their families to improve communication through personalized care.
Dr. Buhr-Lawler has 20 years of experience in the areas of cochlear implants, hearing aids, and audiology evaluations. Dr. Buhr-Lawler has special interests in hearing loss prevention and in providing hearing healthcare to underserved populations. She is devoted to clinical outreach in rural and urban areas. Dr. Buhr-Lawler coordinates UW-Madison’s Hearing Aid Recycling Program (HARP), the hearing screenings for children Dane County’s Head Start program, and the hearing evaluations for UW-Madison employees at risk for occupational hearing loss.
Dr. Buhr-Lawler has worked as a clinical audiologist at Boston Children’s Hospital, the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, and Froedtert Kenosha Hospital. She came to UW-Madison in 2010 and loves working with future audiologists and speech-language pathologists.
Dhatri Devaraju, Ph.D.
Jon Douglas, Au.D., CCC-A, CH-TM
Dr. Douglas has a split appointment between the Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders and the Waisman Center. Jon is the director of the Tinnitus & Hyperacusis Management program at the University of Wisconsin and is a Certificate Holder in Tinnitus Management and certified in Tinnitus Retraining Therapy. In addition, he provides hearing technology to help adults hear at their best, administers diagnostic hearing evaluations, and he participates in Head Start Audiology Screenings for Dane County. At the Waisman Center, Jon provides family centered care for children with different abilities, including cerebral palsy, autism spectrum disorder, Down syndrome, neuromotor differences, and other developmental disabilities. He provides audiological services for the Autism and Developmental Disabilities Clinic, Neuromotor Clinic, Newborn Follow-up Clinic, and Genetics Clinic, as well as providing consulting services at Central Wisconsin Center.
Nike Gnanateja, Ph.D.
Amy Hartman, Au.D., CCC-A
Dr. Hartman is the director of clinical education at the University of Wisconsin Madison. She is involved in all facets of Au.D. education and is committed to student training, particularly in the area of pediatric audiology. Her clinical passion is working with children with hearing loss, particularly audiologic assessments of infants and children, and central auditory processing evaluations. She is actively involved in local, state, regional and national initiatives to promote screening, early diagnosis, and treatment for children with hearing loss. She has been involved in multiple student research projects focusing on early hearing detection and intervention. She is involved in many outreach activities including out of hospital clinics for the Amish and Mennonite population in Wisconsin. Additional clinical services include hosting a dramatic play summer camp for children with hearing loss. Before working at the university, Dr. Hartman worked at a children’s hospital, in a school setting and at a large otolaryngology clinic.
Erik Jorgensen, Au.D., Ph.D.
Dr. Jorgensen’s programmatic line of research is motivated by the fact that many people with hearing loss do not seek out or find benefit from audiologic interventions. His research grows directly out of his experience as a clinician and aims to solve problems my patients commonly face in their daily lives. Ultimately, he aims to grow the number of listeners with hearing loss who utilize audiologic interventions and improve the benefit they experience when they do.
Rachel Lee, Au.D., CCC-A
Dr. Lee’s current clinical focus is diagnostic audiology across the age span, and the fitting of adult hearing aids and other assistive listening devices.
She has a strong clinical background, with expertise in vestibular and audiologic assessment, electrophysiologic testing in adult and pediatric populations, and the selection/fitting of amplification and custom hearing protection. She has previously worked at two university medical centers. She is active in service and outreach activities, with the aim of providing clinical care for those in underserved areas, as well as hearing health education to members of her community and beyond. Dr. Lee is passionate about hearing health and the education of future generations of audiologists.
Ruth Litovsky, Ph.D.
Dr. Litovsky’s research focuses on how people are able to hear in complex, noisy environments, and the contributions of the binaural auditory system (having two ears). The work has several main themes: 1) How we hear speech in noise (the “cocktail party” effect); 2) How we localize sounds; 3) How people with cochlear implants can operate in these conditions, and whether bilateral implants provide benefits beyond unilateral implants. Most of this research takes place at the Waisman Center, where she directs the Binaural Hearing and Speech Lab, working closely with children from the Waisman Center Early Childhood Progarm. She also collaborates with numerous clinics nation-wide that provide cochlear implants to children and adults.
Additional Resources & Information
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Campus Life/Life in Madison
Madison Visitors Guide
Where to stay? What to eat? We’ve got your back. Destination Madison publishes an official Visitors Guide filled with ideas of things to do, upcoming events, restaurants and more.
Living in Madison
Madison, with a population of over 250,000, offers the amenities of a big city with the benefits and warmth of a strikingly beautiful college town. The Wisconsin Union Theater, the Overture Center for the Arts, the Kohl Center, and other facilities provide endless opportunities for students to enjoy national and local cultural events.
Campus Area Housing
Campus Area Housing, a service of the Campus and Visitor Relations office, is UW-Madison’s official resource for individuals searching for privately-owned housing rentals in the campus area, downtown, and greater Madison area. The listing service provides a searchable database where individuals may use a filtered search for rental housing specified to their individual needs.
With more than 45,000 students representing 50 states and 134 countries, our community is diverse, energetic, and constantly in motion. Jump around with 80,000 Badgers fans at Camp Randall Stadium and witness athletic feats from our 23 Big Ten varsity teams. Join one of the nearly 900 student organizations—or start a new one. Stroll down Madison’s vibrant State Street and experience the largest farmers’ market of its kind as you walk around Capitol Square. Relax over live music and a stunning sunset at the Memorial Union Terrace. Build a lifelong community of kinship and support.
Memorial Union Terrace
Grab a chair and soak up the sun on the historic Memorial Union Terrace. The years have passed, the space has grown and even the chairs have changed. But through it all, the Terrace has remained a favorite spot for UW students, faculty, staff, Union members and anyone else looking to enjoy sunny day or beautiful evening in the summer, spring or fall.
Madison: Home of the Badgers Video
International Student Services
International Student Services (ISS) serves UW-Madison students on F and J visas by providing holistic support through advising on immigration, personal, and cultural matters, and by organizing events and activities to support students’ engagement and development within the campus community.
Multicultural Student Center
The primary mission of the Multicultural Student Center is to collaboratively strengthen and sustain an inclusive campus where all students, particularly students of color and other historically underserved students, can realize an authentic Wisconsin Experience.
Black Cultural Center
Black Cultural Center (BCC) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison serves Black students (including African-American, Caribbean, Afro-Latinx, and African Diaspora) by facilitating opportunities for academic and social support, co-curricular programming, and community building.
The BCC welcomes all students and centers the voices, experiences, and dynamic lives of Black undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. The Black Cultural Center exists to acknowledge the specific and particular realities of Black communities at UW-Madison, while also connecting communities to the larger Wisconsin Experience and fostering a sense of belonging.
Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Funding
The Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Funding is your resource for social networking, learning, and professional development. Housed within the Graduate School at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, we focus on the needs of underserved graduate student populations such as graduate students of color and first-generation graduate students.
Bouchet Graduate Honor Society
The Edward Alexander Bouchet Graduate Honor Society commemorates the first African American to earn a doctorate degree from an American university (Physics, Yale University, 1876). The Bouchet Society seeks to develop a network of scholars who exemplify academic and personal excellence, foster environments of support, and serve as examples of scholarship, leadership, character, service, and advocacy for students who have been traditionally underrepresented in the academy—exemplifying the spirit and example of Dr. Bouchet.
Gender and Sexuality Campus Center
The Gender and Sexuality Campus Center provides education, outreach, advocacy, and resources for UW-Madison student communities and their allies to improve campus climate and their daily intersectional experiences.
Veteran Services & Military Assistance Center
The Veteran Services & Military Assistance Center supports the Wisconsin Experience of military-connected students by fostering personal transitions and pursuit of academic success.
The University of Wisconsin–Madison is committed to creating an accessible and inclusive campus experience for all members of the campus community. The University has a rich history in providing access to individuals with disabilities and strives to continue this strong tradition through an established network of programs and resources that highlight disability, accessibility, and accommodations for students, employees, visitors, and guests.
McBurney Disability Resource Center
We view disability as an important aspect of the diversity of UW-Madison and are committed to creating an accessible and inclusive educational experience for students. We do this by partnering with students, faculty, and staff to design accessible environments and to provide academic accommodations so that students can engage, explore and participate in the Wisconsin Idea. Whether you are a student or instructor, are new to campus or are already quite familiar, have a long history of accommodations or are just exploring disability-related accommodations for the first time, we invite you to learn more about the Center and to contact us with any questions you may have.