Faculty and Staff

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Department Faculty

Shubha Kashinath

Shubha Kashinath, Ph.D.

  • Florida State University
  • Associate Professor and Department Chair 
  • Areas of Interest: Autism Spectrum Disorders,  Family-Centered Intervention, Personnel Preparation, Treatment Efficacy
  • Office: MB 2109
  • Phone: (510) 885-3090
  • E-mail: shubha.kashinath@csueastbay.edu
  • View Faculty profile

Dr. Shubha Kashinath is an Associate Professor in Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, and the Department’s Continuing Education Administrator. She received an M.S. in Speech and Hearing Sciences from the University of Arizona and a Ph.D. in Communicative Sciences and Disorders from Florida State University. Dr. Kashinath’s research is focused on efficacy of communication interventions for individuals with autism across the lifespan, caregiver focused interventions, and personnel preparation  in speech language pathology.  She has over 20 years of clinical experience serving families of young children with disabilities.

Elena Dukhovny

Elena Dukhovny, Ph.D.

  • U.C. Berkeley and San Francisco State University
  • Associate Professor, on sabbatical Fall 2019
  • Areas of Interest: Alternative and Augmentative Communication, Working Memory, Bilingualism
  • Office: MB 2115
  • Phone: (510) 885-2631
  • E-mail: elena.dukhovny@csueastbay.edu 
  • View Faculty profile

Dr. Elena Dukhovny is an Associate Professor in Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences. She received an M.A. in CSD from Northwestern University and a Ph.D. in Cognition and Development, with emphasis in Special Education, from University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Dukhovny is a licensed clinical speech-language pathologist who has worked in school-based, private practice, non-profit and university settings since 2002, with a focus on Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC). Her recent research has focused on developing effective support systems for para-educators who work with users of speech-generating devices (SGDs).  Previously, she has also explored the effects of SGD interface design on procedural learning and therefore on fluency of language production via SGD.   

Michelle Gravier

Michelle Gravier, Ph.D.

Dr. Michelle Gravier received her M.A.-SLP and Ph.D. from San Diego State University and the University of California, San Diego and completed her postdoctoral fellowship at the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System. Her clinical experience and research focus are in adult acquired language disorders with a specialty in neuroimaging.  She has practiced in a variety of medical settings, most recently VA Pittsburgh’s Program for Residential Aphasia Treatment and Education (PIRATE). Dr. Gravier’s research aims to: (1) identify factors that determine which individuals with aphasia are good candidates for restorative language treatments and non-invasive brain stimulation, and (2) examine the relationships between structural and functional brain plasticity, language treatment, and aphasia recovery.

Eve Higby

Eve Higby, Ph.D.

  • City University of New York
  • Assistant Professor
  • Areas of Interest: Bilingualism, Language Production, Neurolinguistics, Psycholinguistics, Cognition, Aging
  • Office: MB 2113
  • Phone: (510) 885-4372
  • E-mail: eve.higby@csueastbay.edu 
  • View Curriculum Vitae

Dr. Eve Higby received a B.A. in Spanish from Florida International University and a Ph.D. in Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences, with a concentration in Cognitive Science, from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. She also completed a three-year postdoctoral fellowship in Psychology at the University of California, Riverside. Her research sits at the intersection of linguistics, psychology, cognitive neuroscience, and communication disorders. She has studied language production and comprehension in bilinguals and older adults and the role that various aspects of cognition play in regulating language. She has also studied the neural underpinnings of language and cognitive processes using EEG and structural brain imaging (MRI).

Katrina Nicholas

Katrina Nicholas, Ph.D.

  • University of Arizona, Tucson
  • Assistant Professor
  • Areas of Interest: Intervention efficacy, developmental psycholinguistics, late language emergence, developmental language disorders, and multicultural and multilingual issues
  • Office: MB 2119
  • Phone: (510) 885-4025
  • E-mail: katrina.nicholas@csueastbay.edu 

Dr. Katrina Nicholas has a Ph.D. in Psychology with an emphasis in Developmental Psycholinguistics and a clinical Master of Science degree in Speech Language Pathology from the University of Arizona. Dr. Nicholas has over a decade of experience working with young children in a variety of research and clinical settings. She is a licensed and certified pediatric speech-language pathologist, having worked closely with culturally and linguistically diverse families in early intervention services in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her main research focuses on applying principles of learning and memory to improve treatment techniques for children with late language emergence and developmental language disorders.

Pradeep Ramanathan

Pradeep Ramanathan, Ph.D.

  • University of Minnesota
  • Associate Professor
  • Areas of Interest: Voice Disorders (professional voice users), Cognitive Neuroscience, Adult Neurogenic Cognitive and Communicative Disorders
  • Office: MB 2111
  • Phone: (510) 885-7557
  • E-mail: pradeep.ramanathan@csueastbay.edu 
    • Dr. Ramanathan is on sabbatical for the 2020-2021 academic year. 
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  • B.R.A.I.N. Lab

Dr. Pradeep Ramanathan holds bachelor’s and master's degrees in Physics, and worked as an engineer in Silicon Valley for several years before pursuing a clinical Master’s degree and subsequently a Ph.D. in Speech-Language Pathology at the University of Minnesota.  At a level one trauma center in Minneapolis, he worked primarily with individuals with aphasia, TBI, and swallowing disorders, and there helped found one of the country's first intensive aphasia programs.  From 2002 to 2008, Dr. Ramanathan worked at the Lions Voice Clinic at the University of Minnesota Medical Center, treating adults with voice disorders.  He then joined the faculty at the University of Connecticut.  He also worked with the Brain Injury Alliance of Connecticut to establish the UConn’s first TBI support group and to organize NSSLHA fundraising events for TBI.  Dr. Ramanathan joined the faculty in 2015. 

Department Lecturers 2020-2021

Rachel Agron

Rachel Agron, M.S.

Rachel Agron is a speech-language pathologist who specializes in the care of patients with voice, upper airway and swallowing disorders. She has special interests in the study of voice production, transgender voice and communication needs, functional voice disorders, neurogenic voice disorders, and alaryngeal voice restoration. Ms. Agron works at the Veterans Affairs Northern California Health Care System where she helped develop its voice assessment and management program. She also works at the University of California San Francisco Voice and Swallowing Center. She is passionate about community outreach, and enjoys mentoring student clinicians to promote a greater understanding of how to address and treat voice and upper airway disorders. .

Jennifer Erpenbeck

Jennifer Erpenbeck, M.S.

Jennifer Erpenbeck, MS CCC-SLP, received her Bachelor’s degree in Speech and Hearing Sciences and her Master’s degree in Medical Speech-Language Pathology from the University of Washington. She completed her Clinical Fellowship at the West Los Angeles VA Medical Center. Jennifer is now a Senior Speech Language Pathologist at the Stanford Voice and Swallowing Center. Her clinical and research interests include the evaluation and treatment of patients with swallowing, voice, and upper airway disorders. Jennifer belongs to the National Foundation of Swallowing disorders, Dysphagia Research Society, and American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, and participates in that organization’s special interest groups for Voice and Swallowing Disorders.  

Elise Gregoire

Elise Gregoire, Au.D.

Dr. Elise Gregoire obtained her doctorate in Audiology from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in 2010. Dr. Gregoire works as a clinical audiologist in Berkeley, California, performing diagnostic hearing evaluations and treatment for patient's with hearing loss. Dr. Gregoire's expertise is in the neurological function of the auditory system and treatment options for adult hearing disorders. In addition to her work as a clinical audiologist, Dr. Gregoire also serves as an advisor for biotech companies in the San Francisco Bay Area who are developing technologies in the area of sound.

Robin Hauge

Robin Hauge, M.S.

Robin Hauge has been involved in support to children and families for over 30 years. Her expertise is in providing education to families and children to support communication efforts. Her experiences include hospital-based work, early intervention services, school-based programming and parent education. She has been actively involved in providing parent education to families, including Hanen programs, as well as developing and teaching a 12-week parent course, Positive Parenthood. This parent program enables parents to support their complex special needs children in an attuned and compassionate way. Robin's approach is to work with a child's individual strengths and build capacity in the child to foster ongoing development. She loves teaching and supporting the development of future Speech Language Pathologists, and is excited to be returning to Cal State East Bay to teach courses at the graduate level.

Julie Hicks

Julie Hicks, M.A.

Julie Hicks, M.A. CCC-SLP, is a speech-language pathologist at the Stanford Neuroscience Health Center.  Her clinical and research interests include management of communication and swallowing disorders associated with neurodegenerative conditions.  Julie completed her undergraduate degree in Linguistics and Psychology at UCLA and her graduate degree at the University of Florida.  She has previously worked for the VA Palo Alto Healthcare System and Norman Fixel Institute for Neurological Diseases in Gainesville, Florida.  She has presented at state, national and international conventions on rehabilitation for patients with movement disorders. She has supervised clinical interns and student volunteers since 2015.

Claire Ibrahim

Claire Ibrahim, M.S.

Claire Ibrahim graduated with the M.S. degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Cal State East Bay in 2009 and has worked as a Speech-Language Pathologist with Oakland Unified School District and Kaiser Permanente.  She also provides speech therapy to adult clients in their homes.  She has supervised graduate student interns in the schools since 2012 and returned to Cal State East Bay as a Clinical Supervisor and intermittent Lecturer in 2016. Her areas of interest include clinical supervision, child language and literacy, bilingual and multicultural therapy, and stroke rehabilitation.

Mary Beth Mason

Mary Beth Mason, Ph.D.

Dr. Mary Beth Mason is a Full Professor and Founding Program Director of the Speech-Language Pathology program at Thiel College in Greenville, PA.  She has been a faculty member in higher education for over a decade, and has served other institutions as Contributing Faculty, Department Chairperson, Graduate Program Head, and Program Director. Dr. Mason has several peer-reviewed publications in the area of adult neurogenic communication disorders, including articles in Aphasiology and Communication Disorders Quarterly. She has given numerous presentations at state, national, and international conferences, and has been invited to speak at the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) annual convention. Dr. Mason is also very active in professional service, having served as the Pennsylvania Speech-Language-Hearing Association (PSHA) President and Vice President for Convention Planning and Program, and currently serving as Vice President for Membership and Ethical Practices. Outside of professional interests, she enjoys living in Edinboro, PA with her children and pets.

Emily Root

Emily Root, M.A.

Emily Root graduated with a B.A. in Language Disorders from UC Santa Cruz and a Master's Degree from New York University in Speech-Language Pathology.  Since 2004, Emily has owned a private practice in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey, where she specializes in treating children and young adults who stutter. Emily is currently working on her Board Certification in Fluency Disorders and is recognized by the Stuttering Foundation of America as a provider for Stuttering therapy in New Jersey.  Emily teaches Fluency Disorders in New Jersey, as well as online at San Francisco State University, and is excited to be joining Cal State East Bay.

Heather Starmer

Heather Starmer, M.A.

Heather Starmer, M.A. CCC-SLP, BCS-S is an Associate Professor in the Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery at Stanford University and the Director of the Head and Neck Cancer Speech and Swallowing Rehabilitation Program at the Stanford Cancer Center.  Her clinical and research interests include prevention and rehabilitation of speech, voice, and swallowing deficits associated with head and neck cancer.  Heather completed her undergraduate training at San Francisco State University and her graduate work at the University of Pittsburgh.  She is a board certified specialist in swallowing disorders.

Department Clinical Staff

Shelley Simrin

Shelley M. Simrin, M.A.

  • San Francisco State University
  • Director of Clinical Services, Lecturer
  • Areas of Interest: Speech and Language Diagnostics, Child Language, Aphasia
  • Office: MB 1097A
  • Phone: (510) 885-4762
  • E-mail: shelley.simrin@csueastbay.edu

Shelley Simrin has been the Director of the Speech Language Hearing Clinic at Cal State East Bay since 1987. She received her B.A. in Psychology from U.C. Berkeley and her M.A. in Communicative Disorders from San Francisco State University. She considers herself a “generalist.” After spending several years exclusively working with children as an itinerant clinician or a Communication Handicapped classroom teacher, she shifted her focus to adults.  She provided treatment to adults with neurogenic disorders, secondary to strokes, head injuries, and other medical conditions in a variety of settings─ critical care, acute rehabilitation, outpatient, skilled nursing and home health.  This generalist perspective coupled with her extensive background in supervision provides a strong foundation for the Cal State East Bay Speech-Language Pathologist training program. Her areas of interest include: diagnostics, linguistics, adult and pediatric language impairments, and counseling clients or families. Shelley was the 2011 recipient of the California Speech-Language-Hearing Association's Outstanding Service Award.

Jenny Rosenquist

Jenny L. Rosenquist, M.A.

  • California State University, San Diego
  • Clinical Supervisor and Coordinator of Autism Spectrum Disorder Services, Lecturer
    • Eligible for a 3-year contract (6/29/2020)
  • Areas of Interest: Clinical Supervision, Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Office: MB 1088
  • Phone: (510) 885-4278
  • E-mail: jenny.rosenquist@csueastbay.edu

Jenny Rosenquist joined Cal State East Bay in 2007 as a full-time Clinical Supervisor and intermittent lecturer. She received her B.A and M.A. degrees in Communication Disorders from San Diego State University. After 7 years of working with adults in various levels of rehabilitation, including outpatient, acute care and skilled nursing, she spent the next 9 years working with infants and toddlers with developmental delays and Autism Spectrum Disorders. During this time she worked extensively with families and caregivers in the home environment, and frequently supervised interns and clinical fellows in both the home and classroom. Since joining Cal State East Bay, she has expanded her interests to include accent reduction, treatment of adult acquired speech and language disorders, early childhood communication disorders and most recently, as the Coordinator of the SLP-A Program. She continues to provide speech therapy to both pediatric and adult clients through private practice and home health agencies.

Ellen Bernstein-Ellis

Ellen Bernstein-Ellis, M.A.

  • University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Clinical Supervisor and Director-Aphasia Treatment Program
  • Areas of Interest: Neurogenic Communication Disorders, Group Treatment of Aphasia, Life Participation Approach to Aphasia, Communicative Access
  • Office: MB 1564
  • Phone: (510) 885-3336
  • E-mail: ellen.bernstein-ellis@csueastbay.edu
    • Ellen is on leave for the Spring 2021 semester.

Ellen Bernstein-Ellis is currently the Director of the Aphasia Treatment Program at Cal State East Bay and developed the Aphasia Tones© choir in 2009, a Life Participation singing group. She received her B.A. and M.A. degrees from UC Santa Barbara. She received her initial clinical training at the Martinez VA Medical Center with Dr. Robert T. Wertz where she was a clinician investigating teletechnology as a means to provide aphasia therapy. She worked at Easter Seals Outpatient Rehabilitation Center in Oakland and was the primary clinician on Dr. Roberta Elman’s Efficacy of Group Treatment study. She facilitated conversation groups at the Aphasia Center of California for over 10 years and helped to develop the Book Connection, a program focused on making popular literature accessible for individuals with aphasia. Her area of expertise is group treatment for neurogenic communication disorders. Ellen is the 2014 recipient of a Certificate of Recognition from the American Speech-Language Hearing Association for Special Contributions to Higher Education, and the 2019 recipient of the Innovator Award from the professional organization, Aphasia Access.

Leah Huang

Leah Huang, M.S.

  • California State University, East Bay
  • Clinical Supervisor
  • Areas of Interest: Autism Spectrum Disorders, caregiver training, teacher collaboration
  • Office: MB 1099
  • Phone: (510) 885-3241
  • E-mail: leah.huang@csueastbay.edu 

Leah Huang is a dually certified Speech-Language Pathologist and Board Certified Behavior Analyst. She received her undergraduate degree from Biola University in Communication Disorders and her graduate degree in Communicative Sciences and Disorders from California State University, East Bay. From early intervention and accent modification therapy to pragmatics and social skills training, Leah has worked in both private practice and schools. She has presented at both state and national conventions on clinical supervision, assessment and treatment of social pragmatic language disorders, and special education collaboration. 


Portrait picture of Sophia Kanenwisher

Sophia Kanenwisher, M.A.

  • University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
  • Interim Aphasia Treatment Program Director, Lecturer
  • Areas of Interest: Aphasia, Motor Speech Disorders, Dysphagia
  • Office: MB 1099H
  • E-mail: sophia.kanenwisher@csueastbay.edu 

Sophia Kanenwisher received her Bachelor's degree in Communicative Disorders from San Diego State University and her Master's of Arts in Speech Language Pathology from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. She has experience working across the continuum of care as a medical SLP, particularly in inpatient rehabilitation at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center in Oakland. For nine years, she served as the Clinical Education Coordinator for the SLP department at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center. Her duties included coordinating the volunteer and graduate internship programs and mentoring SLPs in their professional development. Sophia also volunteers as a site visitor for the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech Language Pathology (CAA). In this role, Sophia travels to university campuses to conduct accreditation reviews on behalf of the CAA.

Anna Krajcin

Anna Krajcin, M.S.

Anna Krajcin received both her Bachelor and Master of Science in Communication Disorders from Missouri State University. She has extensive experience providing pediatric speech and language therapy to children with a variety of disorders, including Autism Spectrum Disorder. Anna has provided hundreds of instructional workshops to professionals and families throughout the U.S and in Eastern Europe, where she has established three preschools in Bosnia that continue to provide speech, language and behavior intervention to children. In 2016, she became a dually certified Board Certified Behavior Analyst.

Department Administrative Staff

Marianna Wolff

Marianna Wolff

  • Department Administrative Support Coordinator
  • Office: MB 1099A
  • Phone: (510) 885-3233
  • FAX: (510) 885-2186
  • E-mail: marianna.wolff@csueastbay.edu

Marianna Wolff graduated from Cal State Hayward (now Cal State East Bay) with a degree in Music - Vocal Performance emphasis.  She completed a Preliminary Single-Subject teaching credential in 1995 and a Certificate in Theatrical Production Basics in 2001. She has worked for the campus since 1995, first for the Music Department and then transferring to this department in 2004.  Her background in music has led to many interesting discussions with faculty and clinical staff in how the study of music and the singer’s voice align with the discipline of speech language pathology. 

Emeritus Faculty

Rhoda L. Agin, Ph.D.

  • University of Illinois
  • Professor Emerita, and Consulting Professor at Ariel University Center, Israel
  • Areas of Interest: Voice Disorders, Disorders of the Orofacial Complex, Cultural Diversity
  • E-mail: rla@ragincomm.com
  • Faculty web page

Jan R. Avent, Ph.D.

  • University of California, San Francisco & Santa Barbara
  • Professor Emerita
  • Areas of Interest: Adult Neurological Disorders, Clinical Research
  • E-mail: jan.avent@csueastbay.edu

Robert C. Peppard, Ph.D.

  • University of Wisconsin, Madison
  • Associate Professor Emeritus
  • Areas of Interest: Voice Disorders, Head and Neck Cancer, Cleft Palate, Multicultural Issues, Speech Science
  • E-mail: robert.peppard@csueastbay.edu

William S. Rosenthal, Ph.D.

Robert A. Veder, Ph.D.

  • University of Washington
  • Professor Emeritus
  • Areas of Interest: Audiology, Aural Rehabilitation

We are saddened to report the passing of Robert A. Veder on September 21, 2018. Dr. Veder was one of the department's founding faculty, and the first and long-time Chair of the Department.

Former Faculty

Nidhi Mahendra, Ph.D.

Norma S. Rees, Ph.D.

  • New York University
  • Professor and President of the University (1930 - 2013)
  • Areas of Interest: Child Language (pragmatics), Reading Disorders

In honor of Dr. Rees' exceptional contributions to the profession of Speech-Language Pathology and to California State University, East Bay, the department renamed its clinic the Norma S. and Ray R. Rees Speech, Language and Hearing Clinic in May of 2014.