Faculty and Staff in Communicative Disorders

To make an appointment with any of the graduate/undergraduate advisors, please contact the the CD Office in Burk Hall 114, call (415) 338-1001 or email cdinfo@sfsu.edu.

 

Photo of Phoebe BelskyPhoebe Belsky, M.S., CCC-SLP, Lecturer

Phoebe Belsky is delighted to be teaching Anatomy and Physiology of the Speech Mechanism and Neurolinguistics.  After graduating from UC San Diego with a B.S. in Cognitive Science with a specialization in Neuroscience she worked in a Memory Lab at Stanford University using fMRI technology before pursuing a M.S. in Speech Language Pathology from New York Medical College. She has worked as a medical speech language pathologist in a variety of settings and currently holds a full time position at San Francisco General Hospital. Her patients include adults with acquired and degenerative neurological disorders, cognitive linguistic impairments, dysphagia, respiratory compromise requiring a trach/vent, and head/neck cancer.

Burk Hall 146 | cdinfo@sfsu.edu | 415.338.1001

Photo of Patricia W CavanaghPatricia W. Cavanagh, M.S., CCC-SLP, BRS-S, Lecturer

Ms. Cavanagh is a Board Recognized Specialist in swallowing disorders. She has worked in various hospital and rehabilitation settings before accepting her current position at the VA Medical Center in San Francisco. She specializes in dysphagia, voice and laryngectomy work. In addition to her full-time work at the San Francisco VA, she teaches a dysphagia seminar at San Francisco State University and is a frequent presenter at FEES, videostroboscopy and laryngectomy conferences in association with UCSF and Stanford University.

Burk Hall 146 | trishcav@sfsu.edu | 415.338.1001

Photo of Mallorie Desimone

Mallorie Desimone, B.A., Administrative Office Coordinator

Ms. Desimone graduated from SFSU in May 2007 with her bachelor's degree in Liberal Studies. While a student, she worked in the Credential Services Teacher Preparation Center. She is currently the CD Program Administrative Office Coordinator.

Burk Hall 114 | mallorie@sfsu.edu | 415.338.1001

Photo of Ruth Donig WhiteRuth Donig-White, M.S., CCC-SLP, Clinical Instructor

Ruth Donig White is delighted to be supervising the child language and accent modification clinics this fall. She has been a speech therapist since graduating from SFSU in communicative disorders many years ago. She has worked in schools, serving preschool through high school age students, been the director of speech services at the Hearing and Speech Center of N. California, where she worked with toddlers, children, and adults, and has had a private practice for the last few years. Prior to being an SLP she taught high school French, German, and elementary school music. She has four grown children and two grandchildren. In her spare time she enjoys hiking, swimming, listening and playing classical music, and traveling. She is excited to work with new graduate students and looks forward to a shared new experience!

Burk Hall 138 | rdwhite@sfsu.edu | 415.338.1001

Photo of Laura Epstein

Laura Epstein, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, Associate Professor, CD Program Coordinator, School Internship Coordinator, Undergraduate/Graduate Advisor

Dr. Epstein completed her Ph.D. at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her research and clinical interests include language development and disorders, bilingual/multicultural language assessment, articulation and phonology disorders, literacy and language, and the language and processes of clinical interaction. Dr. Epstein was the recipient of the 2011 state-wide CSHA (California Speech Hearing and Language Association) Diversity Award and the 2015 District 1 Service Award. She was a CSHA Convention Program Co-Chair, along with Dr. Nancy Robinson, in 2014 and 2015. She supervises a bilingual, school-based speech-language clinic in the Mission District in San Francisco.
(More information on College of Education website.)

Burk Hall 102 | lepstein@sfsu.edu | 415.338.1058

Photo of Chris Focht

Chris Focht, Au.D., CCC-A, FAAA, Lecturer

Dr. Focht is a clinical and dispensing audiologist for the Hearing and Speech Center of Northern California (San Francisco). A graduate of the SFSU CD program (1988), he was in private practice for over 20 years and has had extensive experience working in educational settings. Dr. Focht teaches courses in Audiology, Audiometry, and Aural Rehabilitation.  He is also an academic and clinical preceptor for graduate students who are in the last year of their doctoral studies. Chris specializes in geriatric audiology and is often asked to speak at conventions and professional meetings.  He is married, with two grown children, and his hobbies include singing, baseball, and playing with 'Phoebe', his three-year-old cocker-poodle therapy dog who also comes to class and serves as his 'teaching assistant.'

Burk Hall 103 | cfocht@sfsu.edu | 415.338.1001

Photo of Teresa GrayTeresa Gray, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, Assistant Professor, Undergraduate/Graduate Advisor

Dr. Gray completed her Ph.D. in Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences at Boston University. Her expertise is in the areas of aphasia, traumatic brain injury, and bilingualism. She supervises on- and off-campus adult neurogenic clinics and teaches the graduate level seminars on adult language disorders. She is also the director of the Gray Matter Lab. Her research interests focus on bilingual aphasia and language access, the mechanisms of control in linguistic and non-linguistic contexts in bilingual aphasia, and the role of language rehabilitation and its short-term and long-term effects on functional communication. (More information about Dr. Gray on the College of Education website)

Burk Hall 103 | teresag@sfsu.edu | 415.405.3488 | https://graymatterlab.sfsu.edu

Photo of Linda KennyLinda Kenny, M.A., CCC-SLP, Lecturer

Linda received her MA Degree in Speech Language Pathology from Kean University in New Jersey. She has experience providing services to children and adults in a variety of settings. Prior to her appointment as lecturer at SFSU, Linda worked for the Speech Pathology Group as a clinical supervisor. Additionally, Linda has been a clinical supervisor at Towson University in Maryland, a preschool speech pathologist in Anne Arundle County (MD) and a Rehab Director for a subacute care center in San Francisco. Linda is a Hanen Certified "It Takes Two to Talk" and "More Than Words" trainer. As a Hanen certified trainer, she provides training to parents/caregivers of preschoolers to become their child's primary language facilitator. Linda is a Past President of the Maryland Speech Language Hearing Association.

Burk Hall 103 | lkenny@sfsu.edu | 415.338.1001

Photo of Flo Kimmerling

Flo Kimmerling, M.S., CCC-SLP, Lecturer and Clinical Instructor

Ms. Kimmerling's lifelong fascination with language began as an undergraduate at Northwestern University, followed by a Master's degree in psycholinguistics and reading at Harvard's Graduate School of Education. After serving as a high school English teacher and reading specialist for several years, she worked as a teacher of "minimally brain damaged teenagers" (what learning disabled children were called in the 70's) and then completed her M.S. in Communicative Disorders at SFSU. In addition to teaching at SFSU, she works privately in the area of language-learning disorders and serves on the staff at the Scottish Rite Center for Childhood Language Disorders.

Burk Hall 146 | flokimm@sfsu.edu | 415.338.1001

Sophia Lo, M.S., CCC-SLP, Lecturer

An alumnus of the SFSU community, Sophia Lo received her Masters in Communicative Disorders at San Francisco State University after completing her undergraduate education at the University of California, San Diego. In addition to teaching at SFSU, Sophia Lo is a Speech-Language Pathologist at the Palo Alto Unified School District. Practicing in the school setting is a natural transition from her previous work- a Chinese as well as Spanish language teacher at the Harvard-Westlake School. Outside of her professional career, you can find Sophia enjoying time with her family and friends exploring the globe.

Burk Hall 103 | sophialo@sfsu.edu | 415.338.1001

Photo of Blair Menn

Blair Menn, M.A., CCC-SLP, Lecturer & Clinical Instructor

Mr. Menn received his graduate degree from Northwestern University in 2003. Fluent in Spanish, he joined the CD faculty in Fall 2007. He supervises clinics in adult neuorgenic disorders, advanced diagnostics, and accent modification. He also teaches a course in dysphagia.

Burk Hall 138 | bmenn@sfsu.edu | 415.338.1001

Photo of Blair Menn

Mollie Mindel, M.S., CCC-SLP, Lecturer

Ms. Mollie G. Mindel is a SFSU graduate from the Communicative Disorders department, with a prior B.A in Cultural Anthropology. She participated in the AAC specialization program, Project CLLASS (Collaborating for Language, Literacy, and Augmentative Systems in Schools) with a focus on children with Autism. In reflection of her other area of interest, she wrote her Master's thesis on the issues of disproportionality of African American children in special education within the San Francisco Bay Area. Post-graduation, she has continued to pursue both areas of interest. She presented on her thesis work at ASHA 2013 and CSHA 2014, as well as various districts across the extended Bay Area. Additionally, she is participating in a two-year AAC specialization program through her current employer Speech Pathology Group. Previously she had been working in Berkeley Unified School District (both elementary school and high school), focusing on incorporating a collaborative team approach within the district's full-inclusion model. Currently she is working at Cameron Preschool in West Contra Costa Unified School District, and is the preschool AAC specialist. When she is not working she enjoys spending time with her family, cooking with friends, and traveling the world.

Burk Hall 208 | molliemindel.slp@gmail.com | 415.338.1001

Photo of Julie Oeser

Julie Oeser, M.A., CCC-SLP, MBA, Lecturer & Clinical Instructor

Mrs. Oeser received her BA and MA from the University of the Pacific and her Executive MBA from Golden Gate University. Her experience includes public schools, acute care, rehab, SNF, private practice, home health and health care administration. She is the current Co-President of the San Mateo County Speech, Language and Hearing Association and is the recipient of CSHA's District 4 Outstanding Achievement Award. Her passions include ethics, advocacy, mentoring graduate students and parenting three children.

Burk Hall 146 | joeser@sfsu.edu | 415.338.1001

Photo of Marcia Raggio

Marcia Raggio, Ph.D., CCC-AU, Professor, Undergraduate/Graduate Advisor

Dr. Raggio earned her BA and MS degrees from the Communicative Disorders Program at San Francisco State University. She earned her PhD in Auditory Neuroscience from the University of California, San Francisco. Her primary area of research is in the cortical representation of peripheral electrical stimulation provided by cochlear implants. Dr. Raggio was appointed to the California state licensing board for audiologists and speech-language pathologists (SLPAHADB) by Governor Gray Davis, and served under Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. She was recently reappointed to the board by Governor Jerry Brown.  She currently serves on the Government Relations Committee of the American Academy of Audiology and is the Legislative Liaison for the California Academy of Audiology. She has published numerous research articles, and has given many presentations at the state, national, and international levels. 

Burk Hall 104 | mraggio@sfsu.edu | 415.338.7653

Photo of Marcia Raggio

Kelly Rinehart, M.A., CCC-SLP, Clinical Instructor

Kelly earned her Bachelor’s degree in speech-language pathology at Miami University and her M.A. at The University of Iowa. She began working as an AAC Specialist in 1999. She worked at The Bridge School for 11 years and continues to serve as the co-director of the Building Bridges Camp and Training Institute. Currently, she is an associate with ACTS (Augmentative Communication and Technology Services), providing AAC assessment and intervention for children and adults as well as presentations and trainings regarding the support of complex communication needs and AAC. At SFSU, she is the clinical supervisor of the Child AAC Clinic. In addition to her work as an SLP, she is an actor and a teaching artist.

Burk Hall 208 | krinehart@acts-at.com | 415.338.1001

Photo of Nancy Robinson

Nancy B. Robinson, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, Professor, Interim Associate Dean, Adult Internship Coordinator, Undergraduate/Graduate Advisor

Dr. Robinson completed her master’s degree in speech and hearing sciences at Portland State University in 1975 and Ph.D. in special education at the University of Washington in 1987. For many years, she worked at the University of Hawaii with the Center on Disability Studies with a team of faculty and students in health, education, and social science who developed interdisciplinary education models to support individuals with disabilities and their families. With Dr. Gloria Soto, Dr. Robinson co-directed two personnel preparation grants funded by the US Department of Education/Office of Special Education Programs, focused on preparing SLPs and Special Educators to provide AAC services to children and families. In 2013, she was awarded Fellows of the Association by the California Speech, Language and Hearing Association. (More information on College of Education website.)

Burk Hall 505 | nancyr@sfsu.edu | 415.338.1031

Photo of Maryam Salehomoum

Maryam Salehomoum, CCC-SLP, Lecturer & Clinical Instructor

Ms. Salehomoum completed her master's degree in speech-language pathology at CSU Long Beach. She then developed clinical expertise in the areas of autism and hearing impairment in the SF Bay Area before returning to CSU Long Beach as a full-time instructor for several years. Ms. Salehomoum has returned to the SF Bay Area and currently works part-time with speech and hearing impaired children and adults interested in accent reduction. She has a passion for continuing education and growth, and welcomes the opportunity to exercise such a philosophy in both the clinical and teaching realms.

Burk Hall 146 | msalehom@sfsu.edu | 415.338.1001

Photo of Patti Solomon-Rice

Patti Solomon-Rice, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, Assistant Professor, Clinic Director, Undergraduate/Graduate Advisor

Dr. Solomon-Rice received a Doctor of Philosophy degree from the Joint Doctoral Program in Special Education through the University of California at Berkeley and San Francisco State University.  She received a Master of Arts degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from the University of Montana and a Bachelor of Science degree in speech-language pathology and audiology from the University of Wisconsin at Madison.  She also holds a Master of Business Administration degree from SFSU.  Her research interests are in the area of augmentative and alternative communication, focusing on language development and early intervention services.  In California, Dr. Solomon-Rice was appointed to the Speech-Language Pathology, Audiology, and Hearing Aid Dispensers Board in 2012.  She also completed a two-year term on the CSHA Board of Directors as the Commissioner on Professional Development and Continuing Education in 2012.  Nationally, she will begin a 4-year term on the Board of Ethics in 2013.  She is also the Continuing Education Content Manager for ASHA’s Special Interest Group 10 Issues in Higher Education and is a peer reviewer for ASHA’s Special Interest Group 12 Augmentative and Alternative Communication.  She previously served as chair of ASHA’s Continuing Education Board. (More information on College of Education website.)

Burk Hall 101 | psolomon@sfsu.edu | 415.338.7652

Gloria Soto, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, Professor, Graduate College of Education Dean of Research, Undergraduate/Graduate 

Dr. Gloria Soto is a Professor in the Department of Special Education. She teaches graduate coursework in special education, cultural diversity, augmentative communication and curriculum-based language and communication intervention.Her area of professional expertise is in augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). Her areas of research interest include applied educational issues such as multiculturalism, collaborative teaming, inclusive education and professional preparation, as well as more basic areas such as narrative language in AAC, language development through augmented means and the impact of graphic symbol use on language development. She is a frequent speaker at national and international conferences related to communication intervention and special education. She has published numerous articles and book chapters. (More information on College of Education website.)

Burk Hall 271 | gsoto@sfsu.edu| 415.338.1757

Photo of Sara Spencer

Sara Spencer, M.S., CCC-SLP, Clinical Instructor

Ms. Spencer has worked as a speech pathologist in hospitals, schools and private practice for over 30 years. She has been supervising at SFSU for many of those years. She was the recipient of the 2010 CSHA Award for Outstanding Achievement. She lives in the Bay Area with her husband and two sons.

Burk Hall 146 | shs94116@msn.com | 415.338.1001

Photo of Renata Tabellion

Renata Tabellion , M.S., CCC-SLP, Lecturer

Mrs. Tabellion received her Master of Science degree from the Communicative Disorders Program at San Francisco State University in 2002. She has since worked in a variety of speech-language intervention settings to include private and hospital-based clinics, early intervention programs, school districts and home-based programs for children with autism. In 2011 Mrs. Tabellion joined the CD Faculty at SFSU and in 2012 she founded Speech L.O.F.T., a family-inclusive practice in Belmont, California. As part of her quest to help people improve their communication skills Mrs. Tabellion has served as VP of Education for a local chapter of Toastmasters International and is currently VP of Communication and Membership for Opening Doors - the Belmont Redwood Shores Special Education PTA. Mrs. Tabellion is married and has two boys who are being raised trilingual (English, Portuguese and French).​

Burk Hall 103 | renata@tabellion.org | 415.338.1001

Loran Tolbert pictureLoran Tolbert , M.S., CCC-SLP, Lecturer & Clinical Instructor

Loran Tolbert M.S. CC-SLP, has enjoyed treating adults with communicative disorders since 2007. She is a former graduate from the SF State CD program and is now teaching Introduction to Human Communicative Disorders to undergraduates in the Fall. When not teaching she delivers speech therapy to adults in skilled nursing facilities, residents’ homes, and at a non-profit called the Aphasia Center of California. Loran received her B.S. from Florida State University in 2005. In her free time, Loran participates as a professional dancer in an Oakland based company, Ross Dance Company. She has been a company member for 5 years.

Burk Hall 115 | ltolbert@sfsu.edu | 415.338.1001

Photo of Betty Yu

Betty Yu, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, Associate Professor, Undergraduate/Graduate Advisor

Betty Yu earned her Ph.D. in Special Education from the Joint Doctoral Program at UC Berkeley and San Francisco State University, M.A. in Speech-Language Pathology from New York University, and B.A. in Linguistics from UC Berkeley. Before joining the faculty at San Francisco State, she practiced as a speech-language therapist primarily serving young children and their families in minority communities. Her research interest is in how children's language development interfaces with the development of sociocultural competence. Her current research focuses on the communication experiences of children with autism spectrum disorders and their families within bilingual contexts (visit the Autism & Heritage Language Learning Research website). She is a member of the Conversation Analysis Research in Autism (CARA) research group. She teaches courses related to language development, atypical language development, cultural and linguistic diversity, intervention in young children, and counseling in Communicative Disorders. The emphasis of her clinical instruction is on the provision of family-centered services to support communication development in children on the autism spectrum. She is the co-director of Project Common Ground, a project funded by the U.S. Department of Education to prepare speech-language pathologists to work effectively with diverse children on the autism spectrum. She supervises the Autism Spectrum Communication Clinic. She is the current Chair of the ASHA Asian Pacific Islander Caucus. (More information on SFSU Faculty Site.)

Burk Hall 105 | bettyyu@sfsu.edu | 415.338.3429