Professor working with student on a computer

Alumni

Alumni in the Spotlight 

Isla Katz

Isla Katz (M.A. ‘16)

Isla Katz graduated in 2016 and moved to Boston, MA shortly after for a very unique entry into the working world! She was hired through EBS Healthcare and traveled to Quito, Ecuador for a three-week Spanish immersion program during the summer. Isla’s personal goals during the program were to improve her conversational and clinical Spanish skills. While in Ecuador and living with a host family, she volunteered in a clinic, enrolled in Spanish classes, and did a lot of sightseeing. When she returned to Boston, she started working at the Boston Public Schools through EBS Healthcare. Isla is currently working at Joseph Lee K-8 School in Dorchester with four other SLPs where the majority of her caseload is children with ASD. This November she will be presenting with her partner at ASHA on the research she conducted while taking Miami’s Evidence Based Practice course. In her free time, Isla enjoys running and recently ran her third half marathon in Cape Cod.


Lenin

Sam Lenzini (B.S. ‘13)

Sam Lenzini graduated in May 2013 with a major in Speech Pathology and Audiology and is currently attending Illinois State University to obtain her Doctor of Audiology (Au.D). Sam attributes her current career path to the assistance she received at Miami University. As she said, “I would not be where I am today without the guidance and early exposure to audiology that I had from Dr. Hahn, Dr. Kelly, and Dr. Marron.” Sam has worked at a variety of internship placements and is currently a 4th year extern at Audiology Associates in Santa Rosa, California. For her capstone project she developed a checklist for hearing aid function checks for a community outreach program. During her graduate experience she has also attended the Academy of Doctors of Audiology’s (ADA) annual convention through a student scholarship two years in a row. Sam said she would never have applied for the scholarship if it wasn’t for the research project she conducted with Dr. Hahn during undergrad in 2012. So far her favorite experience in graduate school was a humanitarian trip to Guatemala where her group tested over 2,500 children in four days and fit donated hearing devices to people in need. Sam is currently living in Santa Rosa and expects to graduate in May of next year.


Scheppele

Meredith Scheppele (B.S. ‘14)

Meredith Scheppele is currently a third year at the University of Texas Dallas (UTD) pursuing a PhD in Communication Sciences and Disorders, while also completing the ASHA requirements to obtain her clinical certification. In addition to working towards her PhD, Meredith completed her Masters in Applied Cognition and Neuroscience from UTD this year. As part of her professional development, Meredith has completed and presented research projects focusing on structural brain morphology and lateralization patterns on language areas in the cortex, focusing on both typically developing adolescents and those with specific language impairment. She has also worked on various projects examining aspects of language processing and related cognitive skills in children with specific language impairment and with cochlear implants as part of her lab at UTD. Meredith is now starting to look more at the functional hemispheric asymmetry of different linguistic skills to see how those may relate to language differences. Meredith recently said, “I miss everyone at Miami, and am so happy for all of the opportunities I was given during my time there. I would never have been able to be doing what I’m doing now if it weren’t for them!”


McDaniel

Lana (Schrock) McDaniel (M.A. ‘13)

Lana (Schrock) McDaniel resides in Greenfield, Ind., with her husband, Zach and son, Lennox. They welcomed Lennox into their family in April 2016. Lana works for the Charles A. Beard Memorial School Corporation in Knightstown, Ind. as the Kindergarten through 12th grade speech-language pathologist. Her caseload ranges from 75-90 students with articulation disorders, language impairments, and fluency disorders. To manage a caseload of this size, Lana switched to a 3:1 Service Delivery Model that utilizes Quick Artic therapy and inclusion language therapy. Lana and her husband volunteer as high school youth group leaders at Center Christian Church. Lana also serves on the Women's Ministry Team there. They have traveled to Texas and Mexico on short-term mission trips and have volunteered at church camps in the summer. In her spare time (ha! What spare time?), Lana enjoys baking, reading, painting, and crafting. Mostly, Lana is busy being a wife, mom, and an SLP.


More Alumni News...

 

Headshot of Allison Schaser 

Allison Schaser

After graduating with her undergraduate degree at Miami University in 2007, Allison Schaser, entered the graduate program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she earned her Master’s and her PhD. She defended her dissertation in June 2015 and moved to Portland, Oregon to work begin a post doctorate position in the Department of Neurology at the Oregon Health and Science University. OHSU is in Portland, near downtown, located on Marquam Hill, also known as "Pill Hill." She says, “It is a beautiful campus with gorgeous views of all 4 mountains, hillside hiking trails, and a glass tram that takes you up and down the hill like a ski lift!” Her position is in the Department of Neurology and she is working with an MD/PhD named Vivek Unni.  She states that Dr. Unni is a Movement Disorders Specialist and “sees patients once a week and also has a great research program”. She states that she is happy to be working with him because he appreciates the clinical side of research, as well as the basic science side. Allison says that this balance in his lab allows her to think with a translational viewpoint. The lab studies the role of the protein alpha-synuclein in neurodegenerative disorders, specifically Parkinson disease (PD).  This protein can mis-fold and has been shown to be one of the main component of lewy bodies in diseases like PD.  The mis-folding and aggregation of alpha-synuclein is also thought to be one of the main causes of cell death in PD. Her project in the lab will focus on characterizing the propagation of alpha-synuclein aggregation and neuronal degradation in a transgenic mouse line of PD. She also hopes to use the animal behavioral skills that she developed in her doctoral work to examine early clinical signs of PD in this mouse line, such as changes in the cranial sensorimotor system important for voice and swallowing, and how these changes might relate to alpha-synuclein aggregation in specific neuronal pathways.


Alt Family

Beth and Jeff Alt

Miami Mergers Beth (Richards) Alt and Jeff Alt completed their Master’s in Speech Pathology in 1997. Jeff completed his undergraduate degree from Miami in 1996. Beth and Jeff were married in August of 1999 and now have two children – Madison and William. Beth is a full-time speech-langauge pathologist in the Winton Woods City School district (Cincinnati, Ohio) and Jeff is a part-time speech-langauge pathologist the Mason City School district (Mason, Ohio). Jeff just released his first chapter book in a National Park Series for kids,The Adventures of Bubba Jones Time Traveling through the Great Smoky Mountains (appropriate for kids ages 8-12).  Jeff  has had several award-winning adult non-fiction hiking/travel books published. Find out more about Jeff’s books and career at www.jeffalt.com


Headshot of Meredith Kline  

Meredith Kline

Meredith Kline graduated from Miami University’s Speech Pathology Master’s program in 2013. She completed her clinical fellowship at the Cincinnati VA Medical Center (CVAMC) focusing mostly on outpatients with head and neck cancer as well as working with acute inpatients. She currently works full-time as an acute Speech Pathologist at Miami Valley Hospital (MVH), a level I Trauma hospital.  She states, “choosing Miami University for graduate school was one of the most best choices I made for my education and career. I was able to work closely with the professors and expand my knowledge of subjects interesting to me.  At Miami University, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to be a student intern at both the Cincinnati VA Medical Center and Miami Valley Hospital.  These opportunities allowed me to make great relationships at both those facilities in order to pursue my clinical fellowship at the CVAMC as well as start my career at MVH. I am proud to be a Miami University alumni!”


Headshot of Nicole Etter  

Nicole Etter

Nicole Etter graduated from Miami in 2007 then moved to Lexington, Kentucky to complete her master’s degree at the University of Kentucky. There she had the opportunity to work with Dr. Joe Stemple as her thesis advisor as they studied the quality of life impact of voice disorders on an aging population. Nicole loved UK so much that she decided to stay to pursue her doctorate. She made the switch from voice to motor speech disorders and began working with Dr. Richie Andreatta on projects related to sensorimotor control in speech production in healthy young, aging and disordered populations. While completing her PhD, Nicole earned her Certificate of Clinical Competence working at a local acute and rehabilitation hospitals. From UK, she moved to the University of Sydney to work with Dr. Kirrie Ballard during a short post-doctoral fellowship. Dr. Ballard and Nicole are collaborating to study how lip and tongue somatosensation may be impaired in individuals with apraxia of speech following stroke. In January 2015 she moved from warm and sunny Sydney to a very snowy and cold Pennsylvania State University to start a tenure track position in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders. At Penn State she has had the opportunity to start her own lab - Orofacial Physiology and Perceptual Analysis Lab (OPPAL) and teach master’s level classes in Dysphagia and Motor Speech Disorders. 


Geer Family 

Stephanie O'Connor

Stephanie (Klei) O’Connor completed her Master’s in Speech Pathology at Miami University in 2004. She then started her career at Atrium Medical Center and worked there for 6 years. After that, she decided to make a career change so she could have summers off to be with her children. She began working for Butler County Educational Service Center doing preschool speech therapy. This is her 6th year with BCESC. She still works at the Atrium Medical Center PRN, because she could not give up working with adults and wanted to keep those skills sharp.  Currently she is placed in a school in Harrison, Ohio working with preschoolers (ages 3-5) and is the case manager in charge of all IEPs for the program.  Stephanie says, “I love it!! I get paid to play all day long!!!” Stephanie has also provided supervision for Miami graduate students during their extern placements both at Atrium Medical Center and in the preschool setting.  


Headshot of Stephanie O'Connor  

Tiffany Geers

Tiffany Geers completed her undergraduate degree from Miami University in 2002 and her Master’s in 2004. She now works for Fairfield City School district at West Elementary. Tiffany provides services for a wide range of students with language disabilities, phonological/articulation, selective mutism, apraxia, fluency, social deficits, and autism spectrum.  West Elementary has approximately 735 students in grades preschool-4th grade. Tiffany has provided her services as a supervisor for graduate students during their school placement experience for several years. 


Headshot of Brittany Krekeler  

Brittany Krekeler

Brittany Krekeler completed her undergraduate degree in the Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology in 2013. After graduation, Brittany entered the MA/PhD program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She recently defended her Master’s thesis this past spring. Her thesis expanded the Connor lab rat model of aging and tongue exercise to investigate the muscles of mastication. She found differences in oral processing in the young adult versus old rats, indicating a required amount of processing in the old rats. Currently, she is processing the tissues harvested from that experiment to see if differences exist at the biological level in terms of protein concentration and cross sectional area of muscle fibers. 


Please keep in touch!

We sincerely love to hear from our alumni.  Too often, we lose track of our former students.  Please contact us and share information about your “life after Miami.”  We love to share your success stories with our current students. 

Please consider providing support to our department.  We are always looking for more clinical practicum supervisors for our graduate students and many of our students are interested in completing their summer 10-week externship outside of the region. Our undergraduate students are always eager to hear about opportunities for internships and volunteering in their hometowns. 

Financial support directed to our department provides research and conference travel opportunities for our students.  We have also been able to purchase new and updated instrumentation from the support of our donors.