Liberal Arts in Action
Communication Disorders

Kyomi Gregory '05 (Communication Disorders)

Assistant Professor of Speech-Language Pathology, Salus UniversityKyomi Gregory

I am currently an Assistant Professor of Speech-Language Pathology at Salus University. I specialize in child language impairment and working with individuals from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. I teach courses, supervise students for clinic, research, and have administrative duties. The Minority Recruitment program and the lasting mentorship that I formed with Dr. Gwenyth Lloyd and Dr. Wade-Lewis helped in my journey through academia as well as my foundational education in communication disorders as an undergraduate. After New Paltz I attended University of Buffalo for an M.A. in speech-language pathology and received the Arthur A. Schomburg Scholarship.

A liberal arts degree was foundational in later leading to my research and Ph.D. journey at Louisiana State University. I pursued a B.A. in communication disorders and a double minor in black studies and linguistics. I ended up pursuing my research in examining the use of teacher ratings in child language screening for children that speak non-mainstream American English dialects such as African-American English and Southern White English. My research was centered around my undergraduate exposure to areas of interests. I was able to combine my love of communication disorders with linguistics and black studies. My interest was first sparked by the "Black English" course taught by the late Dr. Margaret Wade-Lewis.

August 2016

Emily Palmerino '11 (Communication Disorders)

Emily PalmerinoSpeech-language pathologist

Working in the Communication Disorders Program helped me achieve my ultimate goal of becoming a speech-language pathologist. More specifically, working in the Speech-Language and Hearing Center for the Clinical Participation elective when it was an Early Intervention (EI) clinic guided me towards one of my main interests in the field: early intervention. Giving undergraduates the ability to experience life in the clinic was such a huge part of why I chose New Paltz, and it really solidified my decision to continue on to graduate school for my master's in speech pathology.  

Currently, I work in the Jennifer Katz, Inc. pediatric clinic in San Francisco, CA. I work with 10 other amazing therapists, and we collaborate and learn from one another on a daily basis. I work with clients ages two through adulthood with a large variety of deficits and difficulties. My main interests in the field include early intervention, motor planning disorders, and stuttering. The work I did at New Paltz within my major helped me to think broadly about what I could do with my interests in people, language, and learning, and once I realized that speech pathology was right for me, the workload and the constant challenges from my professors helped prepare me for graduate school. At New Paltz, I was also part of residence life as a resident assistant, which taught me a variety of skills that help me with the counseling aspects of speech pathology.  

April 2016

Jenn Gilligan '11 (Communication Disorders)

Jenn GilliganDoctor of Audiology; Clinical Audiologist at Lynn Audiology and Hearing Aid Services in Goshen, NY; Part Time Professor, SUNY New Paltz

My time at New Paltz was enriching and inspiring. I believe that a liberal arts education is the best investment I have ever made. I was able to pursue my interests, broaden my overall knowledge base, and at the same time, my major and minor (Communication Disorders/Deaf Studies) thoroughly prepared me for graduate school and my future career as a Doctor of Audiology. Thanks to the dedication and expertise of New Paltz professors, I arrived at CUNY Graduate Center, my first choice school, with a solid foundation in hearing, speech and research methods. During my first year of doctoral study, I received the Graduate Award in Audiology for outstanding scholarship and research, which I couldn't have achieved without the excellent, high quality undergraduate instruction from New Paltz. 

My interests center around the audiological rehabilitation and counseling of older adults, utilizing the fundamental principles of health literacy and patient-centered care. In addition to classes and ongoing research, I completed a full-time Audiology Traineeship at the Manhattan VA hospital and an externship at a leading Manhattan non-profit organization, focusing on populations with dual-sensory impairment, PTSD and dementia. I recently authored a peer-reviewed article on the topic of health literacy, and continue to present seminars and posters at AAA and ASHA conventions.  I was also invited to collaborate on an international project developing curricula for hearing healthcare providers, which debuted in Summer 2015.  I enjoy serving my local community as an audiologist in private practice.  As a professor and researcher I love to share my passions for academic and clinical work with the next generation of SLPs and audiologists.

 August 2016

Mary Grace Hamme '12 (Communication Disorders)

Mary Grace HammSpeech-language pathologist at the Learning Center for the Deaf in Massachusetts

The experiences that I had attending a liberal arts college has led me to work as a speech-language pathologist at a school for the deaf. During my time at New Paltz, I studied abroad in Florence, Italy. There, I realized that I had a passion for traveling and for working across cultures. Upon returning, I thrived at New Paltz because the school offered such a wide variety of classes that let me learn across disciplines, learn about diversity and other cultures, and shape me into becoming a global citizen.

Since attending New Paltz, I have traveled to Ethiopia to work with children who are deaf. I have shared my experience with other alumni and staff, and more of the New Paltz community is participating in this project this June. The flexibility that New Paltz gave me to pursue all of my interests has helped me find my unique niche within the field of speech-language pathology. Currently, I am a full time speech-language pathologist at the Learning Center for the Deaf in Massachusetts, and I couldn’t be happier. I am proud of the work that I am doing and enjoy the diversity of my caseload. I feel that from my undergraduate and travel experiences, I am well equipped to be a culturally competent, accepting, and skillful therapist. 

  August 2016

Sarah Tatko, '06, '08g (Communication Disorders)

Sara TatkoAcademic Coordinator, Physician Assistant Program, College of St. Joseph

Anyone can be "trained" to do a job or develop a skill. My experiences at New Paltz were steeped in richness and variety, and the strong foundation provided in liberal arts helped me develop a philosophy - my own approach - toward life.  I was encouraged to think critically, challenge old ideas, research new ones, and embrace my own well-considered conclusions.  My BA/MS degrees in Communication Disorders from SUNY New Paltz served as a springboard into disciplines and subject areas I never had the confidence to pursue (and never dreamed I would pursue!) early on in my education. I've built upon a successful career as a speech-language pathologist and now practice as a physician assistant in both emergency medicine and in academia.  It's commonly said that medicine is equal parts art and science, but I think this is true of all fields.  If you can't approach a business deal with sensitivity, respect, and a keenness toward your partner's motivations, likely you're not fully capitalizing on the opportunity.  If you're in a science or technology field and lack an appreciation for the unknown, the random, and the beautiful mysteries of life, your calculations will always fall short. 

Higher education, especially the current trends in college lending/finance, is predicted to be the next mortgage crisis. I've been asked several times throughout my career if I felt not having an education from an Ivy League school has held me back. I think about the amazing teachers I had at New Paltz: each one so unique, talented, and different in their approach.  I think about the value of diversity and affordability in education, and my answer to these questions is a resounding NO. I've never felt I couldn't compete with and contribute to the best of the best. If anything, I feel I have the secret advantage -- especially in my checking account!

 April 2016

Stephanie Peacock '98, '03g (Communication Disorders)

Stephanie PeacockSpeech-language pathologist

I have been in the field of speech-language pathology for 17 years and have enjoyed every minute of it. The Communication Disorders program prepared me from the start. The undergraduate program, which at the time allowed students to earn their Teacher of the Speech and Hearing Handicapped certification, allowed me the opportunity to begin working as soon as I graduated. It also afforded me with incredibly valuable placements in my undergraduate years, from which I benefitted the most. My undergraduate and graduate professors were rich in real life clinical experiences, which contributed greatly to their ability to impart knowledge in a meaningful and practical way that was immediately applicable to my career field.

Currently, I am a speech-language pathologist in a public school. I work with students with a variety of needs, including severe and multiple developmental disabilities, like Down's Syndrome and Autism Spectrum Disorders, as well as students within the general education setting with learning disabilities and communication delays and disorders. I have a wide array of strong clinical skills, many of which I was able to develop through my time and experience within the Communication Disorders program. One such skill that has been extremely valuable to me throughout the years is my ability to create and implement data-driven instruction.  At New Paltz, I was provided with much support regarding how to objectively evaluate my students and track and interpret their progress. This allows me to not only create interventions for my students that are functional in nature, but also to continually adjust their therapeutic programs according to their needs and the progress that I observe.

 August 2016

Tara Beers '05, '12g (Communication Disorders)

Tara BeersSpeech-language pathologist and instructor of American Sign Language at SUNY New Paltz

My undergraduate and graduate studies in the Communication Disorders Department provided me with valuable experiences, knowledge, and the clinical skills necessary to become a confident professional in the field of speech language pathology, as well as an instructor of American Sign Language here at SUNY New Paltz.

During my undergraduate career, my love for American Sign Language developed into a passion thanks to my wonderful professors and the engaging coursework offered in ASL and Deaf Culture through the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. For the past 10 years, I've been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to teach American Sign Language at New Paltz.  While working towards my graduate degree in speech language pathology, I gained valuable knowledge and research skills from my experienced professors and hands-on clinical training through my participation in the Speech-Language and Hearing Clinic on campus. My off-campus practicum work in graduate school provided me with the opportunity to implement my learned skills while working side-by-side with professional speech language pathologists in various clinical and educational settings.

Since graduating with my master's degree in 2012, I've become a licensed speech language pathologist and have enjoyed providing remedial speech-language services to elementary and middle school students in local school districts. I am excited to soon begin providing early intervention and preschool services in the area. New Paltz provided me with the education, training, and confidence I needed to become the professional that I am today.

 April 2016

Anthony Amitrano '11 (Communication Disorders)

Anthony AmitranoComplex Director for the Department of Residence Life at SUNY New Paltz

The Communication Disorders program provided me the insight to become a more open and ethically-driven person. Through the program, I learned valuable skills (cultural and social impacts of communication disorders, utilizing evidenced based practice, person-first language and actions) that ultimately helped me immensely in the position I'm in now as Complex Director. These were lessons that I still reference, use in my work, and teach to the students whom I supervise. The professors in the department provided the chance to mature and start to think critically about the people with whom I work and how I view myself both professionally and personally.

After graduating from the Communication Disorders program, I used the skills learned through my coursework and my time as a resident assistant to pursue a career as Complex Director for the Department of Residence Life at New Paltz. With the continued help of the department of Communication Disorders at New Paltz, I have decided to obtain my master's degree and re-enter the field of speech-language pathology.

 April 2016