Communication Sciences & Disorders

Program Chair & Faculty

At Elmhurst College, students in communication sciences and disorders learn face to face with talented faculty who are, first and foremost, dedicated teachers. They’re also top researchers and practitioners who make a difference in their fields; for example, the Elmhurst faculty includes two of the world’s top experts on speech and language development and feeding issues among children with Cornelia de Lange syndrome, a condition that involves delayed growth and development.

Want to know more? See our faculty profiles, below. Or, contact a professor directly.

Cheri S. Carrico, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
Professor and Chair, Clinical Educator; NSSLHA Adviser; B.S., Northern Michigan University; M.A., Western Michigan University; Ph.D., Northwestern University; Certificate of Clinical Competence, Speech-Language Pathology
Dr. Carrico is a full-time professor, co-advisor to the Elmhurst College chapter of the National Student Speech-Language-Hearing Association, and mentor for speech-language pathology students involved in service learning. She joined the Elmhurst College faculty during the fall of 1996 and directed the Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic from 1997–2012. Prior to coming to Elmhurst College, she worked as an assistant professor at Bowling Green State University and as a speech-language pathologist in hospital, home care and mental health settings and in private practice.

She teaches courses in language development across the life span, clinical methods and diagnostic procedures in speech-language pathology, children at-risk from birth to five, pediatric motor speech and feeding disorders, and preschool language stimulation. She also teaches an FYS course called Disabilities, Differences and Disorders. Dr. Carrico also has supervised and instructed the speech-language pathology students who participated in educational experiences in Jamaica, as well as students conducting treatment in the Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic.

Her research interests have focused on children at-risk for speech, language and feeding difficulties, particularly those with Cornelia de Lange syndrome and those prenatally exposed to cocaine. She also studied the effects of airplane noise as it relates to children's performance on school-related tasks.

She has presented numerous papers at international, national, and state conferences, including annual conventions of ASHA, the Illinois and Ohio Speech-Language-Hearing Associations, Perinatal Obstetrics and Gynecology, the National and International Cornelia de Lange syndrome Associations, and the National Council on Undergraduate Research. In 1999 she received the national NSSLHA Advisor Honors and became a member of the Clinical Advisory Board of the Cornelia de Lange Syndrome Association. In 2003, she became a member of the Scientific Advisory Council of the International Cornelia de Lange Syndrome Association. She received the President's Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2001. She also has received several clinical and research grants.

Dr. Carrico has publications in the American Journal of Medical Genetics, American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Proceedings of the Greenwood Genetics Center, National Council on Undergraduate Research, and Interdisciplinary Health Care Teams.

Ruiying Ding, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
Associate Professor; B.S., M.A. & Ph.D. Northwestern University; Certificate of Clinical Competence, Speech-Language Pathology
Dr. Ding joined the Elmhurst College faculty during the fall of 2012. Prior to coming to Elmhurst College, she worked as an associate professor at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and as a speech-language pathologist in hospital, rehabilitation center, outpatient clinic and long-term care facilities.

She teaches courses in Dysphagia, Voice Disorders, Survey of CSD in Medical Settings and Neurology. Her current research interest is dysphagia evaluation and treatment in various patient populations.

Dr. Ding has published research articles in nationally and internationally renowned journals, including: Journal of Speech Language Hearing Research, Dysphagia, Head & Neck, Journal of Folia Phoniatrica et Logopaedica, Chinese Journal of Rehabilitation Theory and Practice, and Chinese Journal of Stroke. She also published several book chapters in dysphagia evaluation and treatment in a medical speech and language therapy textbook.

She has presented extensively in state, national and international conferences, including the annual convention of ASHA, Wisconsin Speech-Language-Hearing Association, First and Second China International conference as well as Symposium of Clinical Education in Speech Pathology and Cerebral Palsy Training Seminar.

Dr. Ding has served as journal reviewer for Dysphagia and Head and Neck Medicine. She also served as grant reviewer for ASHA’s SPARC award (Students Preparing for Academic & Research Careers). She is the editor for The Communication Connection Journal, the official journal of the Wisconsin Speech-Language-Hearing Association. In 2008 she was elected vice president of communication in the Wisconsin Speech-Language-Hearing Association. She is also an adjunct professor in East China Normal University and Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, two renowned universities in Shanghai, China.

Brenda Gorman, Ph.D, CCC-SLP
Associate Professor and Graduate Program Director, B.A., University of Wisconsin-Madison in Latin American Studies; M.A. & Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin, Certificate of Clinical Competence, Speech-Language Pathology
Dr. Gorman completed her master’s and doctoral work in communication sciences and disorders with an emphasis in multicultural and bilingual issues at the University of Texas at Austin. Before entering academia, Dr. Gorman worked as a bilingual (Spanish-English) speech-language pathologist for eight years providing direct services and parent training with diverse caseloads for early intervention agencies, Head Start centers, public school districts, and her own company which she co-founded in 2001.

She has taught courses, conducted research, published, and presented nationally and internationally on topics related to speech and language assessment and intervention in linguistically diverse populations, language and literacy development and disorders, and evidence-based language and literacy intervention for bilingual children. She has published in several journals including the American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology; Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools; Clinical Linguistics & Phonetics; and the International Journal of Bilingualism. She teaches courses in phonological and articulatory disorders. Prior to her appointment at Elmhurst, Dr. Gorman directed the Bilingual Language and Literacy Lab and co-directed the Reading Acquisition for Spanish Speakers program and the Wisconsin Reading Acquisition Program Early Reading First project sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education.

Gerard (Trace) Poll, Ph.D., CCC-SLP 
Assistant Professor; B.A., The University of Chicago; M.B.A., The University of Chicago, M.S, The Pennsylvania State University., Ph.D., The Pennsylvania State University; Certificate of Clinical Competence, Speech-Language Pathology.

Dr. Poll joined the Elmhurst College faculty in 2012. He teaches courses in language disorders, research methods, anatomy and physiology, and speech science.

Before coming to Elmhurst College, Dr. Poll was a pre-doctoral fellow at The Pennsylvania State University and worked as a speech-language pathologist in medical rehabilitation and school settings, with primarily pediatric populations. Prior to entering the field of communication sciences and disorders, he held a range of management positions at financial services and consulting firms.

Dr. Poll’s research is focused on developmental language and literacy disorders, with a major focus on adolescents and young adults with developmental language disorders. His studies have focused on the effective assessment of language impairment, cognitive and linguistic factors associated with language impairment, and the impact of language impairment on writing ability. He has also studied late talking and the relations of early language abilities to language impairment in grade school.

Dr. Poll’s research has been supported by the National Institutes of Health. He has presented his research at meetings of the Pennsylvania Speech-Language-Hearing Association, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and the Symposium on Research in Child Language Disorders. He has published studies, with collaborators, in the Journal of Speech, Language and Hearing Research, Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, the International Journal of Language and Other Communication Disorders, and the Journal of Communication Disorders.

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