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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 speech-language pathology 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
Kathryn Basco, M.A., CCC-SLP
Kathryn recently relocated to her hometown of Madison and has been working at American Family Children’s Hospital and UW Health Middleton Rehabilitation Clinic. She has 30 years of clinical experience in a variety of medical and educational settings. Kathryn established a private practice in the Chicago suburbs in 2001 and was a credentialed evaluator and provider for the Illinois Early Intervention program. She is experienced in evaluating and providing intervention and support to families of infants, children and adolescents with receptive and expressive language delay, autism spectrum disorders, developmental delay, articulation and phonological disorders, fluency disorders, traumatic brain injury, hearing impairment, motor speech disorders, childhood apraxia of speech, sensory-integration disorders, oral-motor and sensory based feeding disorders, and medically complex/medically fragile children.
Kathryn was an adjunct faculty member of Elmhurst College from 2005 – 2018, where she worked as a clinical educator and taught courses in clinical practicum, language development, articulation and phonological disorders, language problems in children, fluency, phonetics, counseling, and traumatic brain injury. She has presented to students, teachers, and other professionals on topics such as family-based intervention, parent coaching, facilitating language in the natural environment, return to learn protocol for children and adolescents with mild traumatic brain injury, and assessment and interventions for pediatric feeding disorders.
Kimberly Caul, M.S., CCC-SLP
Kimberly worked as a clinical Speech Language Pathologist in the medical and school settings for 12 years, serving a diverse client population of children, adolescents, adults and geriatrics. She worked in medical settings across nine years of her clinical practice, which included work at an inpatient traumatic brain injury (TBI) rehabilitation center, skilled nursing facilities, and inpatient and outpatient in the hospital setting. She continues to work in skilled nursing facilities for a number of rehab companies in southern WI.
Kim provided speech and language services in the educational setting for ages Pre-K to 21 years of age for three years, as well as supporting needs in Assistive Technology (AT) and Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) in the Fox Valley area through CESA 6 (Cooperative Educational Service Agency, region 6). She currently maintains the role of SLP Coordinator for the CESA 6 region, which includes conducting school-based evaluations and supporting district needs in AT and AAC; as well as facilitating quarterly SLP Networking Meetings for the CESA 6 region.
Kim’s clinical interests include the areas of AAC, AT, communication and language disorders resulting from neurological injury, developmental disorders, social communication disorders and behavior management. In the UWSHC, Kim sees clients of a variety of age and communication disorder groups, with services including cognitive-communicative therapy, voice therapy, accent modification training, and intervention for speech sound, language and pragmatic disorders. Kim also supports clients with neurodegenerative disorders through the voice and message banking process. Group, individual and teletherapy options are available.
Kim is the medical off site placement coordinator for graduate students in their 2nd year, as well as instructor of the CS&D 713 Medical Speech Language Pathology course.
Michelle Ciucci, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
Dr. Ciucci’s research interests include sensorimotor control for voice and swallowing, dysphagia (swallowing disorders), and Parkinson disease. Dr. Ciucci has a joint appointment in the Department of Surgery-Division of Otolaryngology and is a faculty member in the Neuroscience Training Program. She conducts basic, translational, and clinical science research for voice and swallowing disorders.
Elizabeth Delsandro, M.S., CCC-SLP
Elizabeth has over 25 years of diverse clinical experience. She has worked in outpatient medical settings, specifically two centers of excellence in developmental disabilities, the Kennedy Krieger Institute (Baltimore, Maryland) and the Waisman Center (Madison, Wisconsin). Most recently, Elizabeth has provided diagnostic and consultation services in the Newborn Follow-up Clinic, Autism & Developmental Disabilities Clinic, Down Syndrome Clinic, and Feeding Team at the Waisman Center. Additionally, Elizabeth worked in the public schools as a direct service provider, assistive technology trainer, and an autism consultant. Elizabeth’s clinical interests include early intervention, language and social communication disorders, social emotional and behavior management.
Alyson Eith, M.S., CCC-SLP
Alyson joined the clinical faculty team at the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders in August 2014. Previously, she worked in school and community-based settings for 14 years with a diverse client population of children, adolescents, and adults. Alyson’s clinical interests include the areas of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC), Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), Fluency, and working with individuals who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Her approach to intervention involves functionally relevant therapy objectives, use of evidence based practice, and promoting self-advocacy. Alyson supervises clinical practica involving children and adults with severe and complex communicative disorders.
Susan Ellis Weismer, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
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.
Katie Hustad, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
Dr. Hustad’s research centers around children and adults with significant speech intelligibility problems associated with dysarthria. Her work has three main themes: 1) identification of variables that influence speech intelligibility, including factors related to the listener, the communicative context, and the speaker; 2) augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) interventions to enhance communication effectiveness for individuals with reduced speech intelligibility; and 3) longitudinal development of speech, language, and communication in young children with cerebral palsy. Most of her research takes place at the Waisman Center, where she works closely with several clinical programs including the Communication Aids and Systems Clinic.
Margarita Kaushanskaya, Ph.D.
Dr. Kaushanskaya is a Professor in the Department of Communication Sciences Disorders of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She graduated with a BA in Linguistics and Psychology from the University of California, Berkeley. She then moved to the Midwest, and got both her M.A. in Speech-Language Pathology and her Ph.D. in Communication Sciences and Disorders at Northwestern University. Dr. Kaushanskaya leads and supervises research that goes on in the Language Acquisition and Bilingualism Lab.
Dr. Kaushanskaya’s research focuses on second-language acquisition and bilingualism in children and adults. She directs the Language Acquisition and Bilingualism Laboratory, housed in Goodnight Hall and the Waisman Center. The overall goal of her research program is to uncover the cognitive mechanisms that underlie language learning across the lifespan. The work in the Language Acquisition and Bilingualism lab examines the effects of bilingualism on learning and memory in children and adults; the interplay between linguistic and cognitive factors in shaping language proficiency of bilingual children and adults; and the nature and the developmental trajectory of language impairment in bilingual children.
Heather Krug, M.A., CCC-SLP
Heather has worked with a diverse client population throughout her 14+ year career as a clinical speech-language pathologist. She has experience in acute medical settings, inpatient rehabilitation units, schools, outpatient clinics, and private practice. She finds work with children, adolescents and adults equally compelling and rewarding. Before coming to UW-Madison in 2013, Heather’s most recent job involved working with Veterans with traumatic brain injury at a VA in Tennessee. Additional clinical interests include acquired neurogenic communication disorders such as aphasia and dysarthria, as well as communication needs related to voice, accented English, reading, literacy, and dyslexia. She is interested in clinical functional outcomes, self-advocacy, compensations, self-determination, group therapy, community re-integration, and best practices in clinical supervision, mentoring and instruction.
Kimberly Mueller, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
Dr. Mueller’s research focuses on understanding the neural mechanisms and behavioral aspects of speech and language changes across the spectrum of normal aging, preclinical Alzheimer’s disease, Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI), Alzheimer’s disease (AD) dementia, and other forms of dementia. Her work utilizes naturalistic speech-language samples as one means of analyzing and understanding subtle changes to communication. Dr. Mueller is also interested in the design and testing of identification methods of early cognitive change in the presence of AD biomarkers, and multimodal therapeutic interventions to address cognitive-communication difficulties in MCI and dementia due to neurodegenerative disease.
Nicole Rogus-Pulia, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
Courtney Seidel, M.S., CCC-SLP
Courtney joined the Department of Communicative Disorders in September 2015 with a joint appointment in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. She is responsible for coordinating practica at outside school sites as well as supervising students in the University of Wisconsin Speech & Hearing Clinic (UWSHC). Courtney also supervises the Dane County Head Start speech and language screenings. She has experience working with children and adolescents in school, private practice, and home-based settings. Courtney’s clinical interests include the areas of diagnostics, school-based services, and assessment of bilingual children. She has been an invited speaker at a number of school districts as well as state conventions. Courtney was awarded the Wisconsin Speech Language Pathologist of the Year in 2016.
Audra Sterling, Ph.D.
My work focuses on the cognitive and language development of individuals with developmental disabilities. In particular I am interested in children with fragile X syndrome, autism, and Down syndrome. The long term goals of my research seek to understand the contributions of both biology (as represented by genetic syndromes, e.g., FXS) and environment (as represented in this case by parenting) in the development of language and cognition in children with developmental disabilities.
The current study in my lab focuses on the language development of boys with fragile X syndrome as well as boys with idiopathic autism. Fragile X syndrome is the most common inherited cause of intellectual disability and shares a striking number of similarities in terms of the language and behavioral phenotype with autism. Approximately 25-45% of males with fragile X also have a co-diagnosis of autism. The current study aims to describe the language profile of children with fragile X and children with autism, with a particular focus on syntax and morphology. I am also interested in the impact of autism on fragile X, and how this is similar and/or different to language in idiopathic autism. Additionally the study is also examining the best methods for assessing language in fragile X and autism. Very little is known about assessment and intervention for language development in fragile X, and the results of this study have important clinical implications in terms of designing and implementing the most effective treatments in this population.
I have several other projects focused on other areas of language and cognitive development in developmental disabilities, including the language and cognitive development of females with fragile X syndrome, adult language in idiopathic autism, and best assessment measures for autism in other clinical populations (i.e., fragile X).
Susan Thibeault, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
Dr. Thibeault’s translational research investigates molecular and genetic factors that are the basis of normal vocal fold tissue and its vibration. Dr Thibeault studies vocal fold injury and wound healing as a disordered model. Specifically, Dr Thibeault’s lab has two main areas of study — tissue engineering of the vocal fold lamina propria and laryngeal immunology. The lab has developed unique primary and immortalized human cell lines, in addition to vibrational bioreactors to aid in the research pursuit.
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.