Current Students

Kristen Leucuta

I am a graduate student in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Idaho State University. My research topic is investigating the level of knowledge and experience SLPs have with fluency disorders, specifically cluttering. The outcome of this study has the potential to bring change to the Speech Language Pathology graduate school curriculum. My passion for this area increased significantly after participating in the 2018 NWCFD-IIISC.

I received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Kansas in 2016 where I majored in both Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences and Linguistics. Nelson Mandela says, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” I want to educate the SLP community, and the world in general, on both stuttering and cluttering. My hometown, Downers Grove, Illinois, is located twenty-five miles west of the city of Chicago. I also love dogs; golden retrievers and pugs, in particular.

Taylor Narayanan

I’m a current graduate student in Communication Sciences and Disorders at Idaho State University. Through my position as a research assistant, I manage the Neuroscience of Speech Lab where we are currently conducting research related to speech-processing as well as performance-enhancing conditions for people who stutter. Before coming to Pocatello, I completed the post-baccalaureate program at Portland State University, and prior to that, I graduated from Oregon State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and a minor in Spanish. Some of my current passions within the field include serving culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) clients. My thesis project centers on what factors contribute to SLPs’ sense of cultural competency when working with CLD clients.
Some of my favorite activities include eating tacos, eating Indian food, backpacking, playing soccer, planning the next travel adventure, and doggy snuggles.

Caleb Sanford

I’m a Communication Sciences and Disorders major with an emphasis in Pre-Speech Language Pathology. I’ve lived in Pocatello for most of my life, but have spent several years in Florida and Georgia for work as well as church service. I am a person who stutters, so I love learning about the effects and treatment of fluency disorders! I also enjoy skiing and playing tennis and ping-pong.

Brooke Swafford

I am a senior at Idaho State University. I am majoring in Communication Sciences and Disorders with an emphasis in Speech and Language Pathology. I will be attending the Graduate School of Speech and Language Pathology at Idaho State University in the fall of 2019. I work as an undergraduate research assistant in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders and assist in running participants through our research tests as well as coding data. I also work as a Resident Assistant on campus at ISU. I love hiking, playing sports, and drinking iced coffee.

Former Students

Karissa Colbrunn
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I am a second year in the Speech-Language Pathology Master’s Program at Idaho State University. My passion for the field increased exponentially after participating as a student clinician at the 2016 NWCFD-IISC. Since this experience, I have been working in the ISU Speech and Hearing Clinic’s Neuroscience lab as a research assistant, piloting an EEG study comparing brain differences between people who stutter and fluent speakers under the direction of Dr. Hudock. I also am working on an independent study regarding thought processes and stuttering.

I received a Bachelor’s degree from San Diego State University in 2015 with a major in Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences and a minor in Psychology. I’m interested in raising stuttering awareness and knowledge, both generally in the world and specifically within the field of speech-language pathology. I love spending time outdoors, especially near the water, and traveling.

Sara Spears

Sara Spears

Sara Spears is a first year graduate student studying Speech-Language Pathology at Idaho State University. Under the direction of Dr. Daniel Hudock, Sara is studying the beliefs, attitudes, and perceptions of graduate students towards individuals who stutter to fulfill her master’s thesis. Her study will evaluate the benefit of implementing a pseudostuttering experience as means of communicating the socio-emotional consequences of fluency disorders to those with fluent speech. Sara’s primary interest in this research is the potential for improving the competence of future clinicians in both treating and supporting people who stutter.

Besides enjoying her work as a graduate student and a student clinician, Sara also finds time to enjoy ISU campus life through her on-campus employment within the Pond Student Union. As a native of Southern California, she looks forward to experiencing the warmth and sunshine of her family, her native coastline, and her 1914 upright piano during her winter and summer holidays. When away from home, school and work, Sara enjoys taking long walks and listening to music. In addition to her master’s program, she is currently studying the organ.

McKenzie Jemmett

McKenzie Jemmett

My research topic is investigating covert treatment outcomes in adults following the Northwest Center for Fluency Disorders Interprofessional Intensive Stuttering Clinic that uses traditional treatment methods along with services from Counseling professionals. This area of study is very important to me because I stutter myself and employ a lot of compensatory strategies in my speech. The outcome of this study has the potential to change how clinicians view fluency treatment and I am very excited to see what will come of it!

I am from Parma, Idaho.  I love to read, dance, play racquetball, cook, and run.  I am really interested in autism, children with cochlear implants, sign language, and fluency disorders related to counseling.

Emily Erickson

Emily Erickson

I am a graduate student in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Idaho State University. I am particularly interested in the sender/receiver dynamics of communication and her research is focused on the impact that stuttered speech may have upon the communicative interaction. I am examining graduate student clinicians self-reported and physiological responses to fluent and disfluent speech before and after the Northwest Center for Fluency Disorders Interprofessional Intensive Stuttering Clinic (NWCFD-IISC). In addition to examining listeners’ responses, we are also examining evaluators’ responses to the student reactions to the videos, in hopes of truly exploring the sender receiver dynamics involved with communication.

I grew up in Lander, Wyoming and received  B.A. in English Literature from Montana State University.  In my free time, I love to cook, travel, and play in the outdoors

Courtney Bull

Courtney Bull

Hi I’m Courtney Bull, a second year graduate student in Speech-Language Pathology. I’m currently researching “Male and female reactions to typical and atypical speech with and without disclosure of a communication disorder” for my thesis. This study aims to identify potential gender differences in emotional and physiological reactions when observing typical and atypical speaking patterns, as well as how a disclosure statement of a speech disorder affects those reactions. Stuttering treatment programs often encourage clients to disclose their speech disorder to unfamiliar listeners, however this has yet to be adequately examined. By better understanding listeners’ reactions to people with communication disorders we as professionals can be better equipped to counsel our clients on how to deal social dynamics.

When I’m not doing schoolwork or working, I love spending time with my family, friends, and visiting my boyfriend in Boise. I also enjoy sports, working out, and reading in my free time.

Christian Keil

Christian Keil

My thesis is on the effects of pantomime speech and silent reading on stuttering in multi-syllabic positions. Participants were asked to read seven 300-syllable length powerpoint slides under seven different conditions and the amount of stuttering was measured against baseline results. Participants silently read (without articulation) or silently produced a syllable in the initial, medial, or final syllable position in 8-12 length phrases. This study seeks to explore spatiotemporal planning mechanisms in people who stutter and is based on previous findings of 90% reductions during whispered or pantomime speech strategies.

Christian Keil is from Hayward, California and received his bachelor’s degree from BYU-Provo. While there he was captain of the BYU swim team and has played rugby at both the collegiate and club level.

Hailey Krieger

Hailey Krieger

Hi my name is Hailey Krieger. I am a second year graduate student in the Speech Language Pathology program. My thesis is looking at the effect of synchronous and dyssynchronous speech signal presentation has on the frequency of stuttering. This research is formulated on the principles of the McGurk Effect. When presented audio of /ba/ and a video of /ga/ over 80% of humans perceive /da/ demonstration neural convergence of the gestural percepts. As humans exhibit differential neural processing during the perception of synchronous and dyssynchronous audiovisual presentations it is of interest to examine this effect on stuttering inhibition.

I moved to Bremerton, Washington in May after I graduated, where I work as a Speech Language Pathologist with the pediatric population. I enjoy activities and sports that are outdoors, riding 4-wheelers, and spending time with my family.

Gina Pretzer

Gina Pretzer

I am a second year doctoral student at The University of California, Merced, in the Cognitive and Information Sciences department under the advisement of Dr. Anne Warlaumont. I am a 2014 graduate (M.S. in Speech-Language Pathology) of Idaho State University where I was a research assistant in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders for Dr. Dan Hudock and Dr. Heather Ramsdell-Hudock.

At ISU, my research focused on listener’s perceptions of typical and atypical speech. We measured the participants’ heart rate and skin conductance rates while they watched videos of speakers, and then compared these biofeedback results with the results of their empathy scales and mood questions. I am currently working with Dr. Hudock to write up this study for publication.

At UCM, my current research is centered around prelinguistic vocal development. I am particularly interested in how the development of different domains (e.g. cognition, language, gross motor skills, fine motor skills, social-emotional interaction) potentially influence each other. I am also very interested in how infant-adult interactions impact speech and language development.

Outside of school, I am an avid reader and baseball fan.  I also love singing, baking, and traveling. I plan to begin my Clinical Fellowship after this upcoming fall semester. I hope to continue collaborating with Dr. Hudock and the NWCFD.

Curriculum Vitae