Alumni

Madelynn Adams (2019-2020)

I worked in Dr. Strong’s lab as a senior undergraduate student at Central Michigan University. I am currently heading into graduate school at Western Michigan University. I look back on my time in lab and remember how it helped me make more social connections with my peers and graduate students. I appreciated learning how to read and understand research and this skill makes me feel extra ready to tackle graduate school and my future career as a SLP. I loved transcribing videos from the songwriting project and being able to explore how that intervention could significantly improve quality of life. I was also proud to work with my group on our own research project for MSHA utilizing Aphasia Threads and heating more stories from SLPs, families and people with aphasia about what they need to feel successful.

Katie Arcy (2017-2019)

Currently, I am a speech-language pathology graduate student at Arizona State University. I worked in Dr. Strong’s lab during my undergraduate career at Central Michigan University. During my time with Dr. Strong, we presented twice at the Michigan Speech-Hearing Association’s annual convention and once at the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association’s annual conference in Boston. Not only did lab allow me to build a network and expand my knowledge of our field, but it also created many opportunities that I never could have imagined. These opportunities have included: being published in a magazine (StrokeSmart), being recognized with the CMU President’s Award for Undergraduate Research and Creative Accomplishments in 2019, and being able to support my current clients who have aphasia with a deeper understanding and a newfound empathy. Because of my lab experience, I have discovered that my interests lie beyond storytelling and identity in people with aphasia as today, I am in the works of beginning a capstone project, related to identity and storytelling, with individuals who are transgender. Working alongside Dr. Strong in lab has shaped my career as a speech-language pathologist as I dream of working in rehabilitation or acute care with people who have aphasia.

Kelsey Bowles (2016-2018)

I worked in Dr. Strong’s lab as a graduate assistant during my time at Central Michigan University. I enjoyed my time and learned a lot about the different ways to analyze data and how it relates to everyday work as a practicing SLP. Most of my work in the lab related to stories shared from people with aphasia. It was amazing to see the power with which these stories impacted their lives (past and present) and how this could be used as a therapeutic tool when working with people with aphasia. I currently work as an SLP for Flint Community Schools.

Becca Cady (2017-2018)

I am in my clinical fellowship year, working at a short-term rehabilitation facility in Lisle, IL. I attended Central Michigan University for my undergraduate education and joined Dr. Strong’s lab during my junior year, staying on throughout my senior year. I then went on to attend Rush University in Chicago but continued working remotely with Dr. Strong and a few other members of the research team. I loved being a part of Dr. Strong’s lab, as it allowed me to develop my research skills and writing abilities, while also obtaining my undergraduate and graduate degrees in Speech-Language Pathology. I strive to be a well-rounded clinician and Dr. Strong’s lab pushed me one step closer to achieving this goal!

Amanda Camp (2018-2019)

I am currently a Speech-Language Pathology graduate student at Central Michigan University. I joined Dr. Strong’s lab during my senior year of undergrad. The lab helped me grow in so many ways, and I’m so grateful to have been introduced to this amazing team. The lab familiarized me with the world of research, especially qualitative research. I loved learning more about personal narratives and identity reconstruction and hearing the stories of individuals with aphasia truly helped deepen my understanding of this population. It was so exciting to review the work of other professionals, and then have the opportunity to connect with them when developing our own research projects! The small group allowed me to learn more about my classmates, and each member had unique strengths to add to our team. As someone who has an especially hard time with presenting, I’m so thankful I had the opportunity to speak at research exhibitions because it helped me grow into a more confident student.

Emily Damman (2020-2021) 

I attended Central Michigan University and studied Communication Sciences and Disorders. I am joined lab to broaden my knowledge in all you can do as a speech pathologist, especially working with patients with aphasia. Lab will be a fabulous way to gain new skills, meet new people with similar passions, and make special connections with students, professors, and clinicians. My goal is to soon work in a hospital setting with either pediatric swallowing patients or in adult care. I am still undecided, but I know I want to start off in a clinical setting!


Alyssa Douglass (2020-2021)

Currently, I am a speech-language pathology graduate student at Arizona State University. I worked in Dr. Strong’s lab during my undergraduate career at Central Michigan University. During my time with Dr. Strong, we presented twice at the Michigan Speech-Hearing Association’s annual convention and once at the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association’s annual conference in Boston. Not only did lab allow me to build a network and expand my knowledge of our field, but it also created many opportunities that I never could have imagined. These opportunities have included: being published in a magazine (StrokeSmart), being recognized with the CMU President’s Award for Undergraduate Research and Creative Accomplishments in 2019, and being able to support my current clients who have aphasia with a deeper understanding and a newfound empathy. Because of my lab experience, I have discovered that my interests lie beyond storytelling and identity in people with aphasia as today, I am in the works of beginning a capstone project, related to identity and storytelling, with individuals who are transgender. Working alongside Dr. Strong in lab has shaped my career as a speech-language pathologist as I dream of working in rehabilitation or acute care with people who have aphasia.

Katie Duffy (2017-2019)

I am a recent graduate of Central Michigan University’s Speech-Language Pathology program. I am originally from Alma, MI and received my undergraduate degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from CMU. I joined Dr. Strong’s lab in my senior year and continued through the first year of graduate school. I love how many opportunities and connections Dr. Strong’s lab provided, including gaining Dr. Strong as a mentor and working with fellow SLP students. I also feel grateful that I was able to observe many sessions of therapy with individuals with aphasia; it gave me confidence in my clinical skills regarding working with adults. One of my favorite memories was presenting a poster with my lab team at the ASHA Convention in Boston!

Julie Ann Fargo (2018-2019)

My hometown is Farmington, Michigan which is a northern suburb of Metropolitan Detroit! I earned my Bachelor of Science degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders in May 2019 at CMU and in June 2020 I returned as a graduate student! I joined Dr. Strong’s lab during my senior year of college. I was new to research, however Dr. Strong and her lab members truly helped me learn the process of applying storytelling with rehabilitation for individuals who are stroke victims. My favorite learning experience was attending my first MSHA conference where I helped present research with my team. I learned valuable team-work skills and knowledge of the aphasia population. Because of lab, I am eager to learn more about aphasia in graduate school and work with this population in my future. Lab helped me boost my confidence, apply evidence-based practice, and taught me about collaboration which are three skills I am excited to continue in graduate school!

Emily Fife (2018-2020)

I attended Central Michigan University’s Speech-Language Pathology program. I am originally from Perrinton, MI and received my undergraduate degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from CMU. I joined Dr. Strong’s lab my senior year of undergrad and returned as a graduate assistant during my first year of graduate school. Through qualitative research and evidenced based practices, I learned about aphasia, how stories are linked to identity, and the importance of storytelling. I find myself applying what I have learned in lab over the years to current projects, clients, and even my full-time job as a Community Inclusion Specialist at Gratiot Integrated Health Network. Being a part of Dr. Strong’s lab has opened so many doors for my future and has led me to discover my passions as a future speech-language pathologist.


Maria Flory (2017-2018)

I am originally from Grand Rapids, MI and currently live there. I recently graduated from Western Michigan University with my masters and was hired at Calhoun ISD as an early on SLP for my clinical fellowship. I joined Dr. Strong’s Lab during my final year in undergrad at CMU to gain more of an idea of what the research side of speech language pathology looked like. I enjoyed working with the other students who were in the lab at the time and learned a lot about aphasia and the narrative impact on this population. My favorite part was being able to go through the entire process of conducting research and presenting the result at the MSHA conference. This allowed me to become more confident in my ability to discuss communication disorders with professionals.

Amelia Gullo (2019-2021) 

I am a graduate student in Central Michigan University’s Speech-Language Pathology program. I am originally from Midland, MI and received my undergraduate degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from CMU. I joined Dr. Strong’s lab during my senior year and returned as a graduate student to be the graduate assistant for this group in 2020-2021. I have loved being a part of the fun, enlightening, and welcoming community that Dr. Strong created in lab. I have built bonds with some of my closest friends through this and created many fond memories. I also learned a lot about aphasia, and how stories are linked to identity through this project. One of my favorite memories was working to transcribe the therapy sessions that make up this research. Through this, I was able to hear some amazing stories told by strong and inspirational individuals that have motivated me to be the best clinician I can be.

Nick Malendowski (2019-2021)

I finished my undergraduate degree at Central Michigan University’s Communication Sciences and Disorders program. I am originally from Chesterfield, MI, which is about 30 minutes northeast of Detroit. I am working on receiving my Masters Degree at Bowling Green University in Higher Education and Administration. Being a part of Dr. Strong’s lab has introduced me to so many new friends and helped me gain incredible connections. One of my favorite parts about being in lab is our biweekly lab meetings! It’s nice to step away from other activities and engage in good conversation with other students just like me. Joining Dr. Strong’s lab has also given me new research opportunities, including my Honors’ Capstone project, which focuses on patient-centered research.


Corynn Marchesi (2017-2018)

I graduated in 2018 with my MA from Central Michigan and received my BA from Wayne State. I had the pleasure of participating in my very first research project in Dr. Strong’s lab focusing on feedback between graduate students and clinical supervisors. Not only did this opportunity teach me valuable data collection and analysis skills, which allowed me to showcase at student presentations such as MSHA Annual Conference and CMU’s Student research exhibition (SRCEE); but it allowed for personal growth in an important topic that still applies in my job today. Learning new skills that are relevant to my day to day as a pediatric SLP in PHASD has been the best part about having had the Lab experience.

Abby McConnon (2017-2020)

I worked in Dr. Strong’s lab as an undergraduate student volunteer and was lucky enough to work as a graduate assistant during my master’s program at Central Michigan University. I am now a speech-language pathologist in a skilled nursing facility in rural Mid-Michigan. I enjoyed my time in lab immensely, as it allowed me to be more confident in finding evidence-based work and presenting publicly. I learned how to read, conduct, and write up research, which benefited me in graduate school and now in my current career. I loved participating in the songwriting project and conducting my master’s thesis on the topic, as stories are so important to each individual. Not only can I apply that work to people with aphasia, but to anyone I treat as a clinician, which is important work. My favorite memory was presenting at the national ASHA conference twice, all because of lab!

Elise Nasser (2019-2020)

I received my undergraduate degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from CMU in May of 2020. I am now a graduate student in Western Michigan University’s Speech-Language Pathology program. I joined Dr. Strong‘s research lab during my senior year at CMU. I enjoyed forming new friendships with undergraduate and graduate students in lab. I learned so much about aphasia through our research, group discussions, and article readings. Dr. Strong was such a wonderful, positive, and supportive mentor. I’m glad I had the opportunity to delve into the research side of speech-language pathology. My lab experience helped me make connections within the field and prepared me for graduate school.

Taylor Neubauer (2018-2019)

I am currently a Speech-Language Pathology graduate student at Central Michigan University, where I also received my undergraduate degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders with a minor in American Sign Language. I joined Dr. Strong’s lab in the second semester of my junior year and continued throughout my senior year. Through this experience, I was able to learn the importance of qualitative research as well as the relationship between aphasia and identity, and who better to learn this from than Dr. Strong herself! One of favorite memories was the collaboration and teamwork put in to create our own research project around themes displayed in stories of those with aphasia, and then presenting it at MSHA. The skills and lessons I have learned continue to serve me in my journey to become a confident and competent speech-language pathologist!

Jenna Randolph (2017-2020)

I became a member of Dr. Strong’s research lab as an undergraduate student and continued as her graduate assistant once I began the Master’s program at CMU. I can’t say enough good things about my time in lab. Through this opportunity, I worked collaboratively to present two research posters at MSHA’s annual conference. I also completed a Master’s thesis which I presented nationally at an ASHA conference. The lab provided a sense of community and enhanced my learning on the topics of aphasia, TBI, and the way narratives can impact a person’s identity. Dr. Strong’s knowledge and passion for aphasia was very inspiring and it was so fun to have the opportunity to learn from her. The knowledge and skills I learned from lab have given me more confidence going into my CFY. I am currently working at a skilled nursing facility and am also PRN for MidMichigan Medical Center.

Courtney Schweers

I am a current graduate student in the University of Cincinnati’s Speech Language Pathology program. I am from Belleville, MI and graduated with my Bachelor of Science Degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Central Michigan University May of 2020. I joined Dr. Strong’s research lab during the end of the spring semester my junior year. I enjoyed all of the time spent in lab and getting to learn more about aphasia and those who support people with aphasia during my time in lab. I had the opportunity to be a part of a team to conduct a research project resulting in a poster on the relationships of caregivers and PWA. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, we did not get to present this research the way we had planned. Nonetheless, this was one of the highlights of my college years. I will forever hold this research lab near and dear to my heart for all of the friendships and mentorships it provided me with during my undergraduate career.

Alizabeth Stein (2019-2020)

I am currently preparing to move down to South Carolina to begin my master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology in the Fall of 2020 at the University of South Carolina. I am originally from Midland, MI and received my undergraduate degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from CMU. I joined Dr. Strong’s research lab my senior year due to my strong interest in learning more about aphasia and treatment of aphasia. One of my favorite memories in lab was when we had our end of the semester lunch at The Ginkgo Tree Inn and getting to know other team members throughout the year. I loved the emphasis lab placed on collaboration and it is a skill I will take with me as I enter both graduate school and my professional career.

Caitie Suchner

I am a graduate student in Central Michigan University’s Speech-Language Pathology program. My hometown is White Cloud, MI. I received my undergraduate degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from CMU. I enjoyed being a part of the professional yet friendly atmosphere that Dr. Strong created in lab. I now have a deeper understanding of personal narratives, identity and aphasia through team meetings and our involvement in multiple research projects. Dr. Strong has been a mentor of mine over the years, and I have gained mentors from the graduate students who were part of lab. The mentorship that Dr. Strong and other members provide is not limited to lab. My mentors are accessible at any time for any reason. For example, Dr. Strong has been an individual who I reach out to for professional advice as I think about my future as an SLP.

Susan Valensky (2018- 2021):

I am a graduate student in Central Michigan University’s Speech-Language Pathology program. I am originally from Ann Arbor, MI and received my undergraduate degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from CMU (Fire Up!). I joined Dr. Katie Strong’s lab my junior year of undergrad and returned as a graduate student. I have enjoyed being part of a community that shared a similar passion in acknowledging the importance of quality of life for those impacted by aphasia and TBI. Dr. Strong has created an inclusive community of students that I am so grateful to have formed friendships with as well as collaborate with as future colleagues. I also have learned a lot about aphasia and how stories are linked to identity and establishing a new journey in life. A few of my favorite memories include presenting my team’s research project and my independent study at MSHA 2019. Presenting my own research gave me confidence to share my knowledge with other individuals and network with other professionals at a conference. Being a member of Dr. Strong’s lab has made a huge impact on my life in terms of discovering a population of individuals I would like to work with as a future speech-language pathologist.


Andrea VanSlembrouck (2019-2020)

I graduated from Central Michigan University with a Bachelor’s in Communication Sciences and Disorders. I am originally from Macomb, MI and am currently continuing education at Calvin University for my Masters in Speech Language Pathology. I joined Dr. Strong’s lab during my senior year and the only regret is not joining sooner! I joined simply with an interest to grow my knowledge and came out with an interest in aphasia I didn’t know I had. I hope to work with children one day, but this lab opened me up to different populations. I enjoyed being a part of the community that Dr. Strong created in lab. We worked tirelessly to meet deadlines on a story project with information from the NAA Aphasia Threads. Unfortunately, this research was never presented in person due to the pandemic at the time. But because of Dr. Strong’s encouragement I always felt supported and encouraged in the completed work.