Our Team

Principal Investigator

Lisa Goffman

Lisa Goffman, PhD, CCC-SLP

Contact: lisa.goffman@utdallas.edu

Lisa is the Nelle C. Johnston Professor in Early Childhood Communication Disorders in the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences at The University of Texas at Dallas. Her research program focuses on how children, both typically developing and speech and language impaired, map motor actions to conceptual and linguistic goals. She is especially interested in how different motor, cognitive, and linguistic cues may facilitate language and speech learning in children with language difficulties.

Current Doctoral Students

Sara Benham

Sara Benham, Doctoral Candidate, Eugene McDermott Graduate Fellow

Contact: sara.benham@utdallas.edu

Sara is a PhD student interested in the interface between sound and word learning in early development, using methodologies such as network science, acoustics, and kinematic motion capture systems. Her dissertation focuses on lexical and phonological cues that support the acquisition of novel words in toddlers and preschoolers with typical and atypical language development. She is currently recruiting participants for her dissertation study!

Kathryn Kreidler

Kathryn Kreidler, Doctoral Student

Contact: kathryn.kreidler@utdallas.edu

Kate is endlessly fascinated by how children develop the abilities to use their bodies for communication—be it through speech, gesture, or alternative/augmentative means. Her curiosities evolved while working with families as an early intervention speech-language pathologist near Boston, MA. In the long term, she hopes to combine her research and clinical practice to improve service delivery for families in early intervention. Kate also harbors a deep love for cats and Ross Gay poems, which she likes to read aloud to any cat whom will (pretend to) listen.

Leah Sack

Leah Sack, Doctoral Student

Contact: leah.sack@utdallas.edu

Leah Sack is a second-year doctoral student in the Language in Motion lab. After earning her B.A. in Psychology at Kenyon College in Ohio, Leah completed her M.S. in Communication Disorders at UTD. She subsequently worked as a speech-language pathologist clinical fellow at the Callier Center for Communication Disorders. Leah now studies under the mentorship of Drs. Lisa Goffman and Christine Dollaghan. Her research interests include identification of early predictors of developmental language disorder, the interactivity among the language, speech, and motor domains, and better understanding the cognitive mechanisms that may underlie language impairment. Outside of the lab, Leah enjoys playing lacrosse, running, and getting back to the East Coast to visit family and friends!

McKenzie Scoppa

McKenzie Scoppa, Doctoral Student

Contact: mckenzie.scoppa@utdallas.edu

McKenzie is a first-year doctoral student and a recent graduate of the master’s program in speech-language pathology at UT Dallas. McKenzie’s interest in research blossomed while clinically providing intervention to children in the public school setting here in Dallas. Her research interests include understanding the motoric and linguistic underpinnings of speech production and perception. Outside of research, McKenzie enjoys going on runs with her dog, spending time with her niece and nephews, and hiking.

Postdoctoral Fellows and Research Scientists

Laiah factor

Laiah Factor, PhD

Contact: laiah.factor@utdallas.edu

Laiah Factor is a postdoctoral fellow working under the direction of Dr. Goffman. Laiah’s research centers around the embodied link between co-speech manual gesture, cognitive-linguistic development, and learning in school-aged children. Her dissertation research specifically focused on the facilitative effect of gesture and general cognitive mechanisms on foreign language lexical acquisition in children. As a member of the Language in Motion lab, Laiah is looking forward to contributing towards projects that explore the interconnected spatiotemporal nature of gesture, speech, and language across typical and disordered language development. When she is not studying gesture and child language development, Laiah enjoys spoiling her dog and cat, playing board games, as well as instructing kickboxing and weight training classes.

Sonia Singh

Sonia Singh, PhD

Contact: sonia.singh@utdallas.edu

Sonia is a Callier postdoctoral fellow with a background in cognitive science and psychology. Her research focuses on people’s ability to learn patterns and how this influences other skills such as learning syntax, musical rhythms or even sequences used in speech and motor actions. She is also interested in the different competencies that children and adults use to acquire knowledge of these sequences, depending on whether or not they have difficulty with reading and learning. Her long-term goal is to investigate the cognitive mechanisms underlying the acquisition of such sequence knowledge, across sensory domains. Beyond the lab, she is also interested in science communication for non-scientists and is an avid reader of mystery fiction.

Research Associate

Janna Berlin

Janna Berlin

Contact: janna.berlin@utdallas.edu

Janna is a research associate and has worked for Dr. Goffman for many years. She enjoys research sessions with subjects and working with the many students who are affiliated with the lab. She likes to read and hang out with her dog, Murphy and husband Carl. When possible she enjoys traveling to beautiful places for camping, hiking, and fishing.

Lab Managers

Cynthia Carcamo

Cynthia Carcamo, Speech-Language Pathologist

Contact: cynthia.carcamo@utdallas.edu

Cynthia is a Speech-Language Pathologist who specializes in pediatrics and has worked in various clinical settings. She is experienced in the assessment and treatment of Spanish monolingual and Spanish-English bilingual children. Her areas of interest include language development & disorders, phonological disorders in early childhood, and assessment.

Kimberly Moran

Kimberly Moran, Speech-Language Pathologist

Contact: kimberly.moran@utdallas.edu

Kimberly is a Speech-Language Pathologist with over 20 years of clinical experience. She specializes in working with young children, ages 2-5, who have language, articulation, and social communication disorders. Kimberly has spent the past six years working at the Callier Center clinic, where she runs the Preschool Language Development Program, an intervention setting for children with communication disorders as well as a training program for first-year student clinicians. Outside of her career, Kimberly loves running and training for triathlons, cooking meals for her family, and cheering for her three kids at all their various sporting and theatre events!

Current Masters and Undergraduate Students

Isabelle Berry

Isabelle Berry

Contact: isabelle.berry@utdallas.edu

Isabelle is a first-year master’s student at The University of Texas at Dallas. She earned her BS in speech-language pathology at TCU before moving to Dallas this year. She is most interested in typical and atypical language development in children, and she is looking forward to developing her knowledge and skills through her involvement in this research lab! Outside of research, Isabelle likes to jump rope, bake, and play the piano.

Samantha Glickman

Samantha Glickman, SLP Clinical Student

Contact: samantha.glickman@utdallas.edu

Samantha is a speech-language pathology master’s student at The University of Texas at Dallas. Originally from Chicago, she earned her BA in linguistics, with a particular interest in phonetics and psycholinguistics. She now works on phonology projects at the Language in Motion lab. Samantha attributes her love of language to listening to international versions of Disney songs.

Julia LaFond

Julia LaFond

Contact: jml170006@utdallas.edu

Julia LaFond is an undergraduate in the speech-language pathology program at UT Dallas. She joined the lab in Fall 2019 and plans to pursue a master’s degree in communication disorders. She is interested in motor learning, phonology and atypical language development. Outside of research, she enjoys growing vegetables at the community garden and swing dancing.

Grace McBride

Grace McBride, SLP Clinical Student

Contact: grace.mcbride@utdallas.edu

Grace is a master’s student at The University of Texas at Dallas studying to become a speech-language pathologist. She emphasized in linguistics in her undergraduate studies and also has a few years of experience in direct patient care; she looks forward to combining her interest in language with clinical tools which improve treatment outcomes. She is very much looking forward to working with the children and families who are a part of this research lab. When she is not working or studying she finds time to run, travel, write, and cook fancy meals for social gatherings.

Isabella Meyers

Isabella Myers

Contact: isabella.meyers@utdallas.edu

Isabella Myers is an undergraduate studying child learning and development, and speech pathology and audiology with a premed focus. She worked in a cellular communication lab at The University of Texas at Austin studying stomatal response in Arabidopsis plants. She spent the summer getting her EMT license and working with children with special needs.

Paige Pennington

Paige Pennington

Contact: paige.pennington@utdallas.edu

Paige is a first-year master’s student at The University of Texas at Dallas, specifically within the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences’ communication disorders graduate program. Her choice to pursue the field of speech pathology can be attributed to her undergraduate studies at Miami University (Ohio), from which she graduated this past May with her BS in speech pathology & audiology. During her time there as a student clinician and supplemental instructor, she developed a strong interest in acoustics and ASL and hopes to explore the role acoustics play in language production and DLD. She is also interested in early intervention language learning, especially that of atypical development. Paige is excited to expand her horizons in the lab as well as Dallas itself!

Recent Graduates of the Lab

Allison Gladfelter

Allison Gladfelter, PhD, CCC-SLP

Contact: agladfelter@niu.edu

Allison is an assistant professor at the University of Northern Illinois. Allison is primarily interested in the study of language development in children with an autism spectrum disorder, specific language impairment and typical language development. Her research explores the factors that influence how children learn words, specifically in the areas of phonological aspects of words, prosodic patterns, and semantic richness in the learning context.

Peter T. Richtsmeier

Peter T. Richtsmeier, PhD, CCC-SLP

Contact: prichtsm@okstate.edu

University: Oklahoma State University
Lab: Phon Farm

Peter is an assistant professor at Oklahoma State University. He studies how children learn to produce speech accurately.

Meredith Saletta

Meredith Saletta, PhD, CCC-SLP

Contact: meredith-saletta@uiowa.edu

Meredith is an assistant professor at the University of Iowa. She utilizes production-based methodologies, including transcription, articulatory kinematics, and analyses of postural stability and timing, to investigate the fundamental mechanisms of human communication and learning. In populations such as adults with Parkinson’s disease, there is a clear relationship between language and motor factors; in children with specific language impairment and reading disabilities, this relationship may not be immediately obvious.

Janet Vuolo

Janet Vuolo, PhD, CCC-SLP

Contact: vuolo.4@osu.edu

Janet Vuolo is an assistant professor in the Department of Speech and Hearing Science at The Ohio State University. Janet’s research focuses on the relationship between language and motor impairments in children with a developmental language disorder, speech sound disorder, and childhood apraxia of speech.


LouAnn Gerken
Psychological Sciences and Linguistics, University of Arizona

Sebastien Helie
Psychological Sciences, Purdue University

Jun Wang, Speech Disorders and Technology Lab, UT Austin

Howard Zelaznik
Health & Kinesiology, Purdue University

Student and Research Associate Collaborators from the Goffman Lab, Purdue University