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communication sciences disorders faculty

Meet Our Team

Experienced, knowledgeable practitioners with a passion for teaching

Our CSD faculty combine cutting-edge theory with hands-on practice to provide you with a rich, fulfilling learning experience. While they’re experts in the field, they’re also approachable, sympathetic, and dedicated to helping you achieve your goals.

Dr. James Feeney Associate Professor & Chair

Dr. Feeney has over 20 years of clinical and teaching experience, and has published and presented on topics such as Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC), AAC and literacy, AAC and individuals on the Autism Spectrum, context-sensitive interventions for individuals with traumatic brain injury (TBI), adults with developmental disabilities, and clinical supervision in speech-language pathology.

View James’ Bio

Dr. David DeBonis Professor

Dr. DeBonis has been a CSD faculty member at Saint Rose since 1992, and is a part-time audiologist at Sunnyview Hospital. He teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in audiology and research methods, and has published papers on auditory processing disorders, clinical practices, ADHD, and other CSD topics.

View David’s Bio

Dr. Robert Owens Professor

Nationally recognized for innovative research that regards children not as textbook abstractions, but intelligent young people who must be listened to and understood, “Dr. Bob” has been training SLPs for more than four decades. He specializes in language development and childhood language disorders, and has published extensively on these and other topics.

Read More About Dr. BobView Robert’s Bio

Dr. James FeeneyAssociate Professor & Chair

Dr. Feeney has over 20 years of clinical and teaching experience, and has published and presented on topics such as Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC), AAC and literacy, AAC and individuals on the Autism Spectrum, context-sensitive interventions for individuals with traumatic brain injury (TBI), adults with developmental disabilities, and clinical supervision in speech-language pathology.

View James’ Bio

Dr. David DeBonisProfessor

Dr. DeBonis has been a CSD faculty member at Saint Rose since 1992, and is a part-time audiologist at Sunnyview Hospital. He teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in audiology and research methods, and has published papers on auditory processing disorders, clinical practices, ADHD, and other CSD topics.

View David’s Bio

Dr. Robert OwensProfessor

Nationally recognized for innovative research that regards children not as textbook abstractions, but intelligent young people who must be listened to and understood, “Dr. Bob” has been training SLPs for more than four decades. He specializes in language development and childhood language disorders, and has published extensively on these and other topics.

Read More About Dr. BobView Robert’s Bio

Dr. Deirdre Muldoon Assistant Professor

Dr. Muldoon teaches graduate and undergraduate students topics in speech-language pathology (SLP), and pursues a research agenda in evidence-based practices in SLP and applied behavioral analysis (ABA). She is a consultant SLP to Albany Medical Center on the Developmental Behavioral Clinic team, and has taught and practiced in New Mexico, Dublin, and New Jersey.

View Deirdre’s Bio

Dr. John Pickering Professor

Dr. Pickering has been on the Saint Rose CSD faculty since 1993. His teaching interests include voice disorders, transgender voice and communication, motor-speech disorders, and speech-language pathology counseling; he is a noted author and speaker on transgender voice and communications issues.

View John’s Bio

Dr. Julia Unger Associate Professor

Dr. Unger’s teaching interests include fluency and fluency disorders, applied clinical research, and clinical applications. She has taught and practiced in Germany and Colorado, and published papers on topics including social justice perceptions in clinical practitioners, and the mechanisms and treatment of stuttering.

View Julia’s Bio

Dr. Deirdre MuldoonAssistant Professor

Dr. Muldoon teaches graduate and undergraduate students topics in speech-language pathology (SLP), and pursues a research agenda in evidence-based practices in SLP and applied behavioral analysis (ABA). She is a consultant SLP to Albany Medical Center on the Developmental Behavioral Clinic team, and has taught and practiced in New Mexico, Dublin, and New Jersey.

View Deirdre’s Bio

Dr. John PickeringProfessor

Dr. Pickering has been on the Saint Rose CSD faculty since 1993. His teaching interests include voice disorders, transgender voice and communication, motor-speech disorders, and speech-language pathology counseling; he is a noted author and speaker on transgender voice and communications issues.

View John’s Bio

Dr. Julia UngerAssociate Professor

Dr. Unger’s teaching interests include fluency and fluency disorders, applied clinical research, and clinical applications. She has taught and practiced in Germany and Colorado, and published papers on topics including social justice perceptions in clinical practitioners, and the mechanisms and treatment of stuttering.

View Julia’s Bio

Lottie Dunbar G'99 TBI Program Clinical Supervisor

Professor Dunbar has worked as a speech-language pathologist in outpatient neurorehabilitation, with a specialized focus on cognition, counseling needs, and the use of technology following traumatic brain injury. She has also been a clinical supervisor of graduate students from Boston University, Northeastern University, and Massachusetts General Hospital School. She has presented at the annual Neurorehabilitation conference, the Brain Injury Assn of Massachusetts, and the American Speech-Language-Hearing Assn.

View Lottie’s Bio

Jackie Klein Director of Clinical Services

Professor Klein, who has been the director of clinical services at Saint Rose since 2009, completed her bachelor’s degree in communication sciences and disorders, as well as her master’s degree in speech-language pathology, at SUNY Geneseo.

View Jackie’s Bio

Zhaleh Lavasani '14, G'16 Clinical Supervisor

Professor Lavasani, as the clinical supervisor, provides services and evaluations to preschool-aged children with speech, language, and fluency disorders. She has copresented research on rethinking conventional procedures for collecting and analyzing language samples with Dr. Robert Owens and other researchers.

View Zhaleh’s Bio

Lottie Dunbar G'99TBI Program Clinical Supervisor

Professor Dunbar has worked as a speech-language pathologist in outpatient neurorehabilitation, with a specialized focus on cognition, counseling needs, and the use of technology following traumatic brain injury. She has also been a clinical supervisor of graduate students from Boston University, Northeastern University, and Massachusetts General Hospital School. She has presented at the annual Neurorehabilitation conference, the Brain Injury Assn of Massachusetts, and the American Speech-Language-Hearing Assn.

View Lottie’s Bio

Jackie KleinDirector of Clinical Services

Professor Klein, who has been the director of clinical services at Saint Rose since 2009, completed her bachelor’s degree in communication sciences and disorders, as well as her master’s degree in speech-language pathology, at SUNY Geneseo.

View Jackie’s Bio

Zhaleh Lavasani '14, G'16Clinical Supervisor

Professor Lavasani, as the clinical supervisor, provides services and evaluations to preschool-aged children with speech, language, and fluency disorders. She has copresented research on rethinking conventional procedures for collecting and analyzing language samples with Dr. Robert Owens and other researchers.

View Zhaleh’s Bio

Melissa Spring Coordinator of the Winkler Center

Coordinator of the Winkler Center, Professor Spring began her career as a speech-language pathologist in a public-school setting, later providing outpatient pediatric services at Sunnyview Rehabilitation Center, and later through her own private practice. She has taught and supervised in the Saint Rose CSD program for several years. She teaches clinical methods at the undergraduate level, and the first practicum seminar and the language-and-hearing-loss course at the graduate level.

View Melissa’s Bio

Lynn LaVoie-Stephens Clinical Supervisor/Early Intervention & Preschool Services

Professor LaVoie-Stephens has taught and supervised at Saint Rose since 2013. Previous experience includes owning and operation of the Discovery Place Learning Center LLC, serving clients through her private speech-language pathology practice, and serving as speech-language therapist at Unity House of Troy. Her areas of interest include feeding disorders, augmentative and alternative communication, language impairment, articulation and phonological delay, and childhood apraxia of speech.

View Lynn’s Bio

Elaine Galbraith '00, G'00  Preschool Clinical Supervisor

Professor Galbraith has been a speech-language pathologist (SLP) and a clinical supervisor of graduate students at Saint Rose, as well as an SLP for the Catholic Charities Disabilities Services and the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision.

View Elaine’s Bio

Melissa SpringCoordinator of the Winkler Center

Coordinator of the Winkler Center, Professor Spring began her career as a speech-language pathologist in a public-school setting, later providing outpatient pediatric services at Sunnyview Rehabilitation Center, and later through her own private practice. She has taught and supervised in the Saint Rose CSD program for several years. She teaches clinical methods at the undergraduate level, and the first practicum seminar and the language-and-hearing-loss course at the graduate level.

View Melissa’s Bio

Lynn LaVoie-StephensClinical Supervisor/Early Intervention & Preschool Services

Professor LaVoie-Stephens has taught and supervised at Saint Rose since 2013. Previous experience includes owning and operation of the Discovery Place Learning Center LLC, serving clients through her private speech-language pathology practice, and serving as speech-language therapist at Unity House of Troy. Her areas of interest include feeding disorders, augmentative and alternative communication, language impairment, articulation and phonological delay, and childhood apraxia of speech.

View Lynn’s Bio

Elaine Galbraith '00, G'00 Preschool Clinical Supervisor

Professor Galbraith has been a speech-language pathologist (SLP) and a clinical supervisor of graduate students at Saint Rose, as well as an SLP for the Catholic Charities Disabilities Services and the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision.

View Elaine’s Bio

Grace Paster '98 Winkler Center Clinical Supervisor

Professor Paster has served as the clinical supervisor of the Pauline K. Winkler Center at Saint Rose since 2018, and has been a speech-language pathologist at various local school districts and private schools.

View Grace’s Bio

Kelly Fagan '92 Winkler Center Clinical Supervisor

Professor Fagan has worked as a speech-language pathologist in local school districts and facilities, as well as in private practice, since 1995. Her teaching interests include augmentative and alternative communication, feeding and swallowing disorders, early intervention, interdisciplinary collaboration, and autism-spectrum disorders

View Kelly’s Bio

Jessica Evans Clinical Supervisor/ Placement Coordinator

Professor Evans has been a clinical supervisor and the placement coordinator at Saint Rose since 2013. Her previous experience includes serving as a speech-language pathologist for Achievements, and working in private practice with a focus on early-intervention and preschool populations.

View Jessica’s Bio

Grace Paster '98Winkler Center Clinical Supervisor

Professor Paster has served as the clinical supervisor of the Pauline K. Winkler Center at Saint Rose since 2018, and has been a speech-language pathologist at various local school districts and private schools.

View Grace’s Bio

Kelly Fagan '92Winkler Center Clinical Supervisor

Professor Fagan has worked as a speech-language pathologist in local school districts and facilities, as well as in private practice, since 1995. Her teaching interests include augmentative and alternative communication, feeding and swallowing disorders, early intervention, interdisciplinary collaboration, and autism-spectrum disorders

View Kelly’s Bio

Jessica EvansClinical Supervisor/ Placement Coordinator

Professor Evans has been a clinical supervisor and the placement coordinator at Saint Rose since 2013. Her previous experience includes serving as a speech-language pathologist for Achievements, and working in private practice with a focus on early-intervention and preschool populations.

View Jessica’s Bio

Colleen Fluman Coordinator of Early Intervention and Preschool Services

Professor Fluman has taught at Saint Rose for more than a decade, has been coordinator of early-intervention and preschool services at the Pauline K. Winkler Center since 2014, and has been a speech-language pathologist (SLP) at the Winkler Center since 2012. She has also served as an SLP at various facilities and agencies in the Capital District, as well as in Virginia.

View Colleen’s Bio

Julie Hart Director of TBI Medicaid Waiver Services/ Clinical Supervisor

Professor Hart has been the director of TBI Medicaid Waiver Services at the Pauline K. Winkler Center since 2010, in which capacity she teaches courses on adult language disorders, anatomy and physiology for speech and swallowing, neuroanatomy for speech pathologists, and medical speech-language pathology. Prior to this, she had taught at Saint Rose since 1997. Other experience includes serving as a speech-and-swallowing or speech-language pathologist for numerous Capital District healthcare facilities since 1989. She has published research on counseling techniques, traumatic brain injury, and meditation in adults with aphasia, among other subjects.

View Julie’s Bio

Nina Benway Clinical Supervisor

The creator and director of Saint Rose’s IGNITE program, Professor Benway has teaching interests including phonetics, clinical phonology, phonological awareness, language variation, and childhood speech-sound disorders. She has published or copublished, often with Saint Rose CSD or psychology faculty, research on speech-sound disorders, the integrity of language testing, advocacy for children with speech-language disorders, and acoustic and perceptual changes in transgender individuals.

View Nina’s Bio

Colleen FlumanCoordinator of Early Intervention and Preschool Services

Professor Fluman has taught at Saint Rose for more than a decade, has been coordinator of early-intervention and preschool services at the Pauline K. Winkler Center since 2014, and has been a speech-language pathologist (SLP) at the Winkler Center since 2012. She has also served as an SLP at various facilities and agencies in the Capital District, as well as in Virginia.

View Colleen’s Bio

Julie HartDirector of TBI Medicaid Waiver Services/ Clinical Supervisor

Professor Hart has been the director of TBI Medicaid Waiver Services at the Pauline K. Winkler Center since 2010, in which capacity she teaches courses on adult language disorders, anatomy and physiology for speech and swallowing, neuroanatomy for speech pathologists, and medical speech-language pathology. Prior to this, she had taught at Saint Rose since 1997. Other experience includes serving as a speech-and-swallowing or speech-language pathologist for numerous Capital District healthcare facilities since 1989. She has published research on counseling techniques, traumatic brain injury, and meditation in adults with aphasia, among other subjects.

View Julie’s Bio

Nina BenwayClinical Supervisor

The creator and director of Saint Rose’s IGNITE program, Professor Benway has teaching interests including phonetics, clinical phonology, phonological awareness, language variation, and childhood speech-sound disorders. She has published or copublished, often with Saint Rose CSD or psychology faculty, research on speech-sound disorders, the integrity of language testing, advocacy for children with speech-language disorders, and acoustic and perceptual changes in transgender individuals.

View Nina’s Bio

Sarah Coons Instructor and Supervisor

Professor Coons has taught at Saint Rose since 2001. Among her teaching interests is providing speech therapy to children and young adults. She has presented to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association on using college students in RTi programs.

View Sarah’s Bio

Victoria Vestal Coordinator of Insurance & Administrative Services

View Victoria’s Bio

Sarah CoonsInstructor and Supervisor

Professor Coons has taught at Saint Rose since 2001. Among her teaching interests is providing speech therapy to children and young adults. She has presented to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association on using college students in RTi programs.

View Sarah’s Bio

Victoria VestalCoordinator of Insurance & Administrative Services

View Victoria’s Bio