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Callier Center for Communication Disorders

Callier Postdoctoral Program

Every two years, since 2008, the Callier Postdoctoral Program admits two new Postdoctoral Fellows. The goal of the two-year program is to provide a vibrant, interactive community of researchers for the Postdocs to create an independent line of research that builds on or collaborates with one or more of the current Callier faculty. Because the program is funded through Callier’s Excellence in Education Fund Endowment, it provides the Postdocs with a great deal of flexibility in their research endeavors to advance knowledge and excellence in communication sciences and disorders.


Current Postdocs

Sarah Kucker

Sarah Kucker, PhD

Sarah Kucker earned her PhD in Psychology and Developmental Science from the University of Iowa in 2013. She then worked with Dr. Julia Evans in the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences at UT Dallas for a year to expand her prior work on typical language development to the study of children with Specific Language Impairment. Dr. Kucker’s research broadly explores language and cognitive development, with a focus on how semantic and conceptual factors influence a child’s ability to learn words over development. She takes a dynamic-systems approach to word learning to understand where cognitive, neurological, or behavioral processes come together to promote learning and when these processes break down in children with language disorders. The Callier Postdoctoral Fellowship has provided Dr. Kucker with the opportunity to expand her line of work to clinical populations and gain expertise on new methodological approaches to cognitive development, such as eye-tracking and EEG.

Areas of Interest: Word learning, semantic-conceptual development, and the influence of both lexical and non-linguistic factors on word learning in typically developing children and children with language impairments.

Johanna Rudolph

Johanna Rudolph, PhD

Johanna Rudolph earned her clinical MS in speech-language pathology and her PhD in speech, language, and hearing sciences at Purdue University under the mentorship of Dr. Laurence Leonard. Her general research interests include early identification, treatment efficacy and evidence-based practice in speech-language pathology. Her dissertation work focused on the development of a screening tool for identifying toddlers who are at risk for Specific Language Impairment (SLI) – one of the most prevalent and most underdiagnosed childhood communication disorders. During her time in the Callier Postdoctoral Fellowship Program, she hopes to acquire the skills she needs to continue to develop this tool and to extend its application to other at-risk populations.



Alumni: 2012

Alyson Abel

Alyson Abel-Mills, PhD

PhD, Child Language, 2012, University of Kansas

Areas of Interest: Word learning, electrophysiological methods to study language processing

Current Position: Assistant Professor, School of Speech, Language & Hearing Sciences

University: San Diego State University


Jun Wang

Jun Wang, PhD

PhD, Computer Science with a cross training in Communication Sciences and Disorders, 2011, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Areas of Interest: Normal and disordered speech motor control, silent speech interface, dysarthric speech recognition

Current Position: Assistant Professor in the Department of Bioengineering, Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science, and the Communication Sciences and Disorders Program, School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences

University: The University of Texas at Dallas



Alumni: 2010

Raul Rojas

Raúl Rojas, PhD, CCC-SLP

PhD, Communication Sciences and Disorders, 2011, Temple University

Areas of Interest: Bilingual child language development, disorders, and processing

Current Position: Assistant Professor in the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, Communication Sciences and Disorders Program

University: The University of Texas at Dallas


Mina Syrika

Mina Syrika, PhD

PhD, Communicative Disorders, 2010, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Areas of Interest: Speech acoustics and perception; phonological acquisition

Current Position: Assistant Clinical Specialist, Department of Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences

University: University of Minnesota-Twin Cities


Alumni: 2008

Diane Ogiela

Diane Ogiela, PhD, CCC-SLP

PhD, Audiology and Speech Sciences, 2007, Michigan State University

Area of Interest: Using event related potentials and behavioral measures to study language development and disorders

Current Position: Assistant Professor in Speech Language Pathology

University: Idaho State University


Jennell Vick

Jennell Vick, PhD, CCC-SLP

PhD, Speech & Hearing Sciences, 2008, University of Washington

Areas of Interest: Treatment of children and adults with severe speech sound disorders

Current Position: Assistant Professor in Psychological Sciences Program in Communication Disorders with secondary appointments in the Department of Biomedical Engineering and the Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine

University: Case Western Reserve