CD&S Faculty

Our Communicative Disorders and Sciences Department is home to very dedicated and experienced faculty members. Information regarding the faculty members and their research can be found below:

Department Chair

Nidhi Mahendra, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

Nidhi Mahendra

Graduate Program Director

Wendy Quach, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

Wendy Quach

Director of Clinical Education

Cynthia Van Laar, M.A., CCC-SLP

Cynthia Van Laar

Undergraduate Program Coordinator

Marcella McCollum, Ed.D., CCC-SLP

Marcella McCollum

Faculty Directory

Bopanna Ballachanda, Ph.D.


Paul W. Cascella, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

Paul Cascella

Kathleen Castillo, M.A., CCC-SLP

Kathleen Castillo

Danielle DeWitt, MA., CCC-SLP

Danielle DeWitt

Eduardo Europa, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

Eddie Europa pic

Dawn Greenberg, M.S., CCC-SLP

Dawn Greenberg

Joseph Hinz, Au.D., CCC-A
 Hinz bio pic

Reiko Kataoka, Ph.D.
Reiko pic      

June McCullough, Ph.D., CCC-A

June McCullough

Erin Nokes, AuD., CCC-A

Erin Nokes

Amanda Olson, M.S., CCC-SLP

Amanda Olson

Alison Pentland, M.A., CCC-SLP

Alison Pentland

Lupe Ramirez-Steele, M.A., CCC-SLP

Lupe Ramirez-Steele

Anita Schaack, M.S., CCC-SLP

Pei-Tzu Tsai, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

Pei-Tzu Tsai

Carol Zepecki, Ed.D., CCC-SLP

Carol Zepecki

Emeritus Faculty

Jean Novak, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

Jean Novak

Evelyn Merritt, M.A., CCC-A
 Merritt pic

Michael Kimbarow, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

Michael Kimbarow

Henriette Langdon, Ed.D., F-CCC-SLP

Henriette Langdon

Gloria Weddington, Ph.D., F-CCC-SLP

Gloria Weddington

Recent Faculty Highlights

Dr. Pei-Tzu Tsai presented "Learning from Stuttering: A Path from Disorder to Diversity" as part of the SJSU University Scholar Series. Dr. Tsai discussed underlying factors of stuttering and stuttering therapy to develop culturally and linguistically responsive services for individuals who stutter and advocated for acceptance and diversity in communication.

Nidhi Mahendra

Dr. Nidhi Mahendra was the guest editor for and published "Racism, Equity and Inclusion in Communication Sciences and Disorders: Reflections and the Road Ahead" in Teaching and Learning in Communication Sciences & Disorders: Beyond Cultural Competence: Addressing Racism, Equity and Inclusion.

Marcella McCollum

Marcella McCollum was featured in the SJSU story "Transforming the Way We Teach" which focused on many of our Lurie College of Education's Strategic Plan initiatives, including our Transformative Leadership Minor that Marcella coordinates.

“We need to think about changing paradigms,” says McCollum. “We cannot just offer a class or textbook that tells you how to overcome the challenges that exist in our current educational systems as they are designed. We want students to question why things are the way they are. We want them to have the tools, so they can push back when something looks unjust.”

Pei-Tzu Tsai and Grace Shefcik

Dr. Peitzu Tsai co-published "Voice-related Experiences of Nonbinary Individuals" in the Journal of Voice with recent alumni Grace Shefcik, who also received the SJSU Outstanding Thesis Award for the 2020-2021 academic year.

Megan Cuellar

Dr. Megan Cuellar co-published "Objective measures of lingual and jaw function in healthy adults and persons with Parkinson’s disease: Implications for swallowing" in Physiology and Behavior and co-published "Objective physiological measures of lingual and jaw function in healthy individuals and individuals with dysphagia due to neurodegenerative diseases" in MethodsX.

Lyle Lustigman

Dr. Lyle Lustigman published "Early collaborations: Adult-Child and child-adult co-construction of ‘but’-clauses" in Interactional Linguistics and copublished "Levels of Integration in Children's Early Clause Combining in Hebrew" in Language Learning and Development.

Nidhi Mahendra

Dr. Nidhi Mahendra copublished "Advancing Justice, Equity in the Pipeline to the Professions: Reconfiguring graduate training program admissions is key to foundational change" on the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) Leader newsmagazine.

Watch our faculty Dr. Lyle Lustigman and Dr. Nidhi Mahendra presented their research related to diversity, social justice and culturally sustaining pedagogy at the Spring 2021 Lurie College of Education Faculty Research Symposium.

  • 2:52​ – Lyle Lustigman, PhD – Assistant Professor, Communicative Disorders and Sciences – “‘And what were you doing?’ ‘Helping!’ Adult scaffolding in children’s early language development”
  • 26:24​ – Nidhi Mahendra PhD – Associate Professor, Communicative Disorders and Sciences – “Spartan Aphasia Research Clinic (SPARC): Where aphasia research, clinical service delivery, and student training meet”

Wendy Quach

Dr. Wendy Quach copublished "Assessment of adults with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis who need augmentative and alternative communication: Clinical decisions of AAC specialists" in Communication Disorders Quarterly and co-presented "Emergency preparedness for individuals who use augmentative and alternative communication: Reviewing a Text Message Toolkit" at the ISAAC Connect Conference.

Faculty Employment

If you are a clinician with 5+ years of experience and are looking for an opportunity to work with undergraduate and graduate students, please consider joining our department. Complete our LCDS Lecturer and Supervisor Contact Google form and someone from the CDS Department will contact you.

We are particularly interested in applicants who have experience working with students from diverse backgrounds and a demonstrated commitment to improving access to higher education for under-represented groups.

Positions are subject to employment verification, education verification, reference checks and criminal record checks. A background check (including the criminal records check) must be completed satisfactorily before any candidate can be offered a position with the CSU. Failure to satisfactorily complete the background check may affect the application status of applicants or continued employment of current CSU employees who apply for the position.