Speech-Language Pathology Faculty & Staff
Misericordia University's Speech-language and Pathology faculty and staff are seasoned professionals who also have a passion for educating future speech-language professionals. You will get to know each faculty member on a personal level through your class work, clinicals settings, and research opportunities.
Clinical Supervisor & Adjunct Professor
Melissa A. Alunni received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from West Chester University in 2001 and a Master of Science degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Marywood University in 2003. She is a licensed and certified speech-language pathologist and holds a Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Melissa primarily practices in the skilled nursing and personal care home settings while providing rehabilitation services to the geriatric population with overall impairments in cognitive-communication and swallowing function. She has a wide range of experience and a strong knowledge base in providing skilled treatment to individuals with dementia, dysphagia, aphasia, dysarthria, and traumatic brain injury. She also practices in adult outpatient and home health settings and has experience working in early intervention and with school age children. Melissa is certified in Vital Stim Therapy for adult dysphagia. Melissa has been an off-campus clinical instructor for graduate students in speech-language pathology fieldwork programs since 2005 and has been an adjunct faculty member in the speech-language pathology department at Misericordia University since January 2015.
Director of Research & Development of ATRI
Denis Anson graduated from the University of Washington in 1980 with a bachelor's degree of occupational therapy. In 1983, he received a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy from the University of Washington. He worked in adult physical disabilities for six years, and was a lecturer in the Division of Occupational Therapy at the University of Washington, Seattle, Washington for nine years. In August, 1997, he became an Assistant Professor at Misericordia and in 2005, became the Director of Research and Development of the Assistive Technology Research Institute. In 2012 he joined the Speech-Language Pathology Department at Misericordia.
Denis has been actively involved in computer and assistive technology applications for rehabilitation for over two decades. He has international recognition for his expertise in the application of assistive technology to occupational therapy and the process of rehabilitation. He has presented numerous papers at national, regional, and state conferences on assistive technology. He was one of the founding members of the Tech-SIS board and is a past member of the editorial board of the American Journal of Occupational Therapy (AJOT). He is a past-member of the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA) Board of Directors and Meetings Committee. In addition to his many publications on assistive technology, he is the author of Alternative Computer Access: A Guide to Selection. In 2003, he was honored for his work in the field of assistive technology by being made a RESNA Fellow, the highest honor of that organization. In 2004, he was the Cliff Brubaker Lecturer at University of Pittsburgh, and in 2006, was inducted into the RESNA Hall of Fellows.
Clinical Director & Assistant Professor
Lori Cimino received her Bachelor of Science degree in Communication Disorders from Marywood University and Master of Science degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Bloomsburg University. She is a licensed, certified speech-language pathologist and holds a Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Lori has been a practicing clinician since 1991 in outpatient and inpatient rehabilitation settings. She has provided direct patient care to pediatric, adolescent, and adult clients exhibiting a broad spectrum of communication and swallowing impairments. Lori specializes in child language disorders, developmental apraxia of speech, autism and pervasive developmental disorders, oral-motor dysfunction, and behavioral/sensory-motor based feeding disorders. Additional areas of clinical interest include: phonological awareness and central auditory processing disorders. Lori is currently an Assistant Professor and Clinical Director of the Speech-Language and Hearing Center at Misericordia University. She also serves as Co-Advisor of the Misericordia University Chapter of the National Student Speech-Language-Hearing Association and is responsible for organizing and executing Misericordia University's annual Speech-Language Pathology Exploration Camp.
Mary Culkin earned her graduate degree in Sociology from the University of Denver and Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology from Bloomsburg University. She is certified and licensed in Speech Language Pathology in the state of Pennsylvania and holds a Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association. Mary has over 30 years of experience providing direct patient care to pediatric, adolescent, and adult populations with a wide variety of communication and swallowing impairments. For five years, Mary worked in social services—providing counseling to children and families. Mary worked in numerous settings including inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation as well as child development programs. Over the years she has supervised numerous students and currently provides direct services to the pediatric population. She has worked with a broad spectrum of communication disorders and has a special interest in child language and apraxia of speech. Mary is a member of the Northeast Speech-Language and Hearing Association as well as the Pennsylvania Speech-Language and Hearing Association.
Clinical Supervisor & Adjunct Professor
Christine Evans received her Bachelor of Science degree in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology from East Stroudsburg University and her Master of Science degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Misericordia University. She is a state licensed, school certified speech-language pathologist and holds a Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language Hearing Association. She has over thirteen years of professional experience in both school-age and early intervention settings, and currently provides diagnostic and therapeutic speech and language services to students in Kindergarten through 12th grades at Elk Lake School District.
Clinical Supervisor & Adjunct Professor
Kearston Healey received her Bachelors of Science degree in Health Sciences and Masters of Science degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Misericordia University. She is licensed in Pennsylvania and holds the Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association and Pennsylvania Teaching Certification. Kearston has experience with acute inpatient, long term care, home health, early intervention, and school-age populations. She currently works in home health, birth to three early intervention, and with school aged children with autism. Kearston provides speech, language, cognition, and swallowing treatment for children and adults with aphasia, apraxia, dementia, traumatic brain injury, pragmatic language disorders, autism, articulation, phonological, and neurological disorders.
Theresa Jacopetti received her Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Speech-Language Pathology from Bloomsburg University. She is a licensed Speech-Language Pathologist in Pennsylvania. She holds the Certification of Clinical Competence with the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Theresa holds her Pennsylvania Teaching Certification in Speech-Language Pathology and is a certified Reading Specialist working closely with language and literacy in the school. Theresa has thirty five years of experience in inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation, skilled nursing facilities, home health, private practice, and school settings. She has worked with a broad spectrum of communication disorders with children and adults including aphasia, apraxia, dysarthria, dysphagia, dementia, closed head injury, autism, fluency, voice, central auditory processing, and child speech and language disorders. Theresa has supervised many student clinicians in rehabilitation and school settings. She served as an adjunct faculty member with Misericordia University's Speech-Language Pathology Program teaching Phonetics. She is a member of the Pennsylvania Speech-Language-Hearing Association and the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. She currently provides diagnostic and therapeutic speech and language services to children in grades 3 through 5 at the Greater Nanticoke Area School District with regular and special education students. She is a member of the Child Study Team and full inclusion team.
Jessica Kisenwether, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
Dr. Jessica Sofranko Kisenwether earned her Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Speech-Language Pathology at Misericordia University and completed her doctoral work at The Pennsylvania State University. She is an Assistant Professor in the Speech-Language Pathology Department at Misericordia University. Her specialization is in speech science, including: acoustics, anatomy and physiology, dysphagia, and voice. Currently, her research focuses on subjective and objective measures of voice quality and dysphagia, the effect of experience on the perception of voice and dysphagia, and acoustical measures as an assessment option for dysfluency. Dr. Kisenwether has published several articles in the Journal of Voice and has presented at numerous international, national, and state conventions. She is also the recipient of the Sataloff Award in 2014. Dr. Kisenwether has worked as a speech-language pathologist in both Pennsylvania and New York in pediatric and adult outpatient and acute care settings.
Clinical Administrative Assistant
Tracey O'Day received her Associates in Applied Science from Luzerne County Community College and her Bachelors of Science in Business Administration from Misericordia University Expressway Program. She is a Notary Public and a member of the Pennsylvania Association of Notaries. She is currently pursuing her Master's in Business Administration at Misericordia University. Tracey has previously worked at Bear Creek Camp and Mercy Hospital Wilkes-Barre.
Tara O'Neill, Ph.D., CCC-SLPAssistant Professor
Dr. Tara O’Neill earned her undergraduate degree as a Schreyer Honor’s College scholar from the Pennsylvania State University. She went on to complete her graduate and doctoral work at Penn State. She is an Assistant Professor in the Speech-Language Pathology Department at Misericordia University. Her primary areas of specialization include augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) and child language development and disorders. Currently, her research focuses on improving the design of AAC supports and technologies (e.g., communication boards, speech generating devices, mobile technologies with AAC apps) for individuals with complex communication needs and their families. Dr. O’Neill has published several articles in the Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research and in Augmentative and Alternative Communication, and she has presented her research at various international, national, and state conventions. Dr. O’Neill is a licensed and certified speech-language pathologist with experience working in the Pennsylvania school setting.
Pamela Rogers received her B.A. in English Literature from Wilkes University and an A.O.S. in Culinary Arts from The Culinary Institute of America. She worked for several years in the Washington, D.C. area in the Public Relations field before returning to Northeast PA as a Culinary PR Consultant. In addition, Pam founded and continues to publish NEPA Family Magazine, a regional bi-monthly resource for families.
Clinical Supervisor & Adjunct Professor
Ann Roman received her Bachelor of Science and Master of Science Degrees in Speech-Language Pathology from The Pennsylvania State University. She is a licensed, certified speech-language pathologist and holds a Certificate of Clinical Competence from The American Speech-Language Hearing Association. Ann has thirty six years of experience with elementary school age populations in regular and special education settings. She served as a permanent member of school-based teams and has worked in multiple service delivery models including pull out, in class, and team teaching in the schools. Ann specializes in child language, articulation, phonemic processing and the impact of speech-language impairments on curriculum. She has worked extensively with local universities as a cooperating supervisor for Speech-Language Pathology interns in elementary school settings.
Clinical Supervisor & Assistant Professor
Phone: 570-674-1454Adina Rosenthal graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Speech and Hearing Sciences and a minor in Psychology from Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana and received a Master's degree in Communication Disorders from Boston University. She is a state licensed, certified speech-language pathologist and holds a Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech Language Hearing Association. Adina has been a practicing speech-language pathologist since 1998 in both inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation settings, acute and sub-acute hospitals, and home health and long term care facilities. Adina's areas of specialty include adult neurological disorders, aphasia, dysarthria, dysphagia and dementia. She is a clinical supervisor at Misericordia University. She also assists with the planning of Misericordia University Speech-Language and Hearing Center's Exceptional Art: Exceptional Artists event.
Kathleen Scaler Scott, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
Dr. Kathleen Scaler Scott is an Associate Professor in the Speech-Language Pathology Department at Misericordia University. Her areas of specialization include child language disorders, literacy, fluency disorders, and autism spectrum disorders. Her research interests include examination of the linguistic, phonological, and fluency patterns in children on the autism spectrum, characteristics of cluttering and other atypical disfluencies, and clinician-researcher partnerships. Dr. Scaler Scott has authored and co-authored several articles and book chapters in the area of fluency disorders. She is co-author of the therapy manual "Managing Cluttering: A Comprehensive Guidebook of Activities" and is co-editor of the textbook, "Cluttering: A Handbook of Research, Intervention, Education.” She has presented nationally and internationally in the areas of social communication disorders, literacy, and fluency disorders. Dr. Scaler Scott is a Board Certified Specialist in Fluency Disorders. She has been a practicing clinician since 1993 in hospital, school, and private practice settings.
Cari Tellis, Ph.D. earned her undergraduate degree with Shreyer Honor's College distinction in Communication Sciences and Disorders with a minor in Philosophy from The Pennsylvania State University. She earned her Master of Science and Doctoral degrees in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Tellis is an Associate Professor in the Speech-Language Pathology Department at Misericordia University. Her areas of specialization include voice, laryngeal physiology, laryngeal muscle anatomy and biochemistry, and voice and speech science. A singer herself, Dr. Tellis has devoted her life to the care, rehabilitation, and training of the voice. Dr. Tellis has authored and co-authored numerous presentations in voice at international, national, and state conferences, as well as presented at the American Laryngological Association's national conference. She has published her research in the Annals of Otolaryngology, the Journal of Voice, and The Laryngoscope. She is the author of a bestselling book and instructional DVD entitled, Your Voice is Your Business (Plural Publishing, 2008). Dr. Tellis is a licensed and certified speech-language pathologist and has 18 years of clinical experience in voice therapy. She completed her training as a voice specialist at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Voice Center, and currently serves as a voice consultant for several professional voice groups including the Performing Arts Institute at Wyoming Seminary, and is the founder of the Performing Arts Training Academy. Dr. Tellis oversees all vocal rehabilitation services at the Misericordia University Speech-Language Hearing Center.
Glen Tellis, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
Department Chair & Professor
Dr. Glen Tellis, a Board-Certified Fluency Specialist completed his doctorate at The Pennsylvania State University and is Professor and Chair of the Speech-Language Pathology Department at Misericordia University in Dallas, Pennsylvania. His research interests include fluency disorders, multicultural issues, research designs, treatment efficacy research, advanced digital technology, and clinical outcomes.
Dr. Tellis frequently presents papers at national and international conferences and has published articles that pertain to stuttering and other fluency disorders as well as articles that pertain to culturally and linguistically diverse populations. He has received externally funded grants for his research and has conducted numerous workshops in multicultural issues in communication disorders as well as assessment and treatment of stuttering. He was past President of the Pennsylvania Speech-Language-Hearing Association and has served as editorial consultant and reviewer for the Journal of Speech-Language and Hearing Research, Journal of Communication Disorders, Journal of Fluency Disorders, and Journal of Multilingual Communication Disorders. He has served as an advisory board member of the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, Stuttering Center of Western Pennsylvania, as a committee member of the National Stuttering Association's Insurance Advocacy Board, and as a committee member of the American Board of Fluency and Fluency Disorders. He also serves as an expert witness for the Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs for Pennsylvania's Department of State. He has served as a Steering Committee Member and Schools Task Force liaison for ASHA's Special Interest Group 4 (Fluency Disorders), was co-Chair of the Division 4 Leadership Conference, was Fluency Topic Chair of ASHA's 2010 Convention, and Chair of the Inaugural Stuttering Attitudes Research Conference in Morgantown, West Virginia. In 2014, he received the Honors of the Pennsylvania Speech-Language Hearing Association.
Anne Zaborny, M.Ed, CCC-SLP/L
Anne Zaborny, a nationally certified and dual state licensed speech-language pathologist, received her Bachelor of Science and Master of Education degrees from Bloomsburg University and serves as Clinical Supervisor in the Speech-Language Pathology Department of Misericordia University. Her thirty eight years of extensive clinical experience includes direct patient care to individuals across the life span with her scope of practice including specialization in articulation disorders, voice disorders including laryngectomy, neurological disorders; myofunctional/tongue thrust remediation, fluency disorders, child language disorders, developmental apraxia of speech, autism, pervasive developmental disorders, central auditory processing disorders, and aural rehabilitation. As a co-owner, director, and administrator of a private practice, Anne was instrumental in introducing, establishing, and implementing the first local hospital based radiological swallowing studies and hospital wide dysphagia protocols. In the university setting, Anne previously served in the capacity of Associate Professor and Clinical Director. She has served local, regional, state professional associations on ethics and practices committees and regional Executive Committees. Anne has spoken at regional, state and national meetings, testified to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives on behalf of her profession, served on local cleft palate teams, and co-directed/served as an esophageal voice therapist at the International Association of Laryngectomee Voice Institute annual meetings.
Dr. James Zeigler received his Bachelor of Science degree in Speech and Hearing from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 1981 and the Master of Science degree in Audiology from The Pennsylvania State University in 1984. In 2006, he received his clinical doctorate in Audiology from Bloomsburg University. Dr. Zeigler is a Fellow of the American Academy of Audiology and the Academy of Doctors of Audiology. He holds the Certificate for Clinical Competence in Audiology through the American Speech-Language Hearing Association. He has served as an officer on the board of directors of the Pennsylvania Academy of Audiology (PAA) including President of PAA in 2008. He has served two terms on the PA Department of Health Newborn Hearing Screening Advisory Committee, including 3 years as Chair of the Committee. He also serves as a consulting audiologist, providing educational audiology services through Luzerne Intermediate Unit 18. Dr. Zeigler provides diagnostic audiology and hearing aid services in a variety of settings for infants, children, and adults through his private practice with offices in Kingston and Dallas.
Misericordia's SLP Advisory Board Members
- Mirza Z. Ali, M.D., Chief of Staff, VA Medical Center – Wilkes-Barre
- Robert Bogdon, LCSW, Practicing Social Worker
- Eugenia A. Galli, Program Specialist II, Developmental Services; Luzerne-Wyoming Counties Mental Health & Developmental Services
- Joan E. Greulick, M.D., Pediatrician, Dallas Area
- Erik Kruger, M.D., Ophthalmologist and Managing Partner, Eye Care Specialists
- Debra Yanuzzi, Acting Director of Early Intervention/Pre-K Counts, Hazleton Area School District
- Deborah Shemansky, Acting Supervisor of Special Education, Hazleton Area School District
- Michael A. Olenginski, D.O., ENT Physician, Wyoming Valley - Luzerne County
- James Zeigler, Au.D., Audiologist – Kingston Area
- Michel LaCroix, M.D., Director of Neurosurgery, Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center
- Patrick Kilduff, D.O., Internist, InterMountain Medical Group
- Jefferey Kile, M.D., MHA, Pediatrician, Pediatric Associates of Kingston
- Cara Imbalzano, SLP Senior Graduate Student