Our Research

Dr. Christopher Grindrod directs the Neurolinguistics and Aphasia Research Lab in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at the University of Maine. His primary area of expertise is in studying acquired language disorders to better understand how language is processed by the brain. Among the patient populations he has worked with are individuals with aphasia, patients with right hemisphere brain damage, and individuals with Parkinson’s disease. His current research examines the effect of left- vs. right-brain damage on the ability to use lexical- and sentence-level context information to guide word processing. He has also recently begun studying the effects of aging on language comprehension. The ultimate goal of his research is to shed light on brain-language relationships which will lead to improved assessment and treatment of individuals with acquired language disorders or age-related cognitive decline.

Dr. Nancy Hall is recognized for her expertise in fluency disorders. Her areas of research include the relationship between language and fluency in early language acquisition in both typically developing children and those with communication disorders. She has also served on the ASHA Joint Coordinating Committee on Evidence Based Practice, and is a past editor of Perspectives in Fluency and Fluency Disorders.

Dr. Jennifer Seale’s research and clinical interests are focused on augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) science and practice. She has expertise providing AAC services to diverse client populations, including individuals with ALS, Cerebral Palsy, Locked-In Syndrome, Aphasia, TBI, RHD, Fragile X, Down Syndrome, and Autism. Her research aims to inform AAC service delivery and product design using human computer interaction, interaction analysis and mixed-methodology techniques. In addition to these interests, she is devoted to advocacy and public education around important social and systemic issues unique to the AAC community.

Dr. Judy Walker is coordinator of the University of Maine Speech Therapy Telepractice Program. Her research focuses on improving the quality of life of people with aphasia and their caregivers through participation in synchronous telepractice groups. She has extensive clinical experience working in medical centers, rehabilitation hospitals, and long-term care facilities. In addition, she provides clinical supervision to graduate students in the speech therapy telepractice practicum and teaches graduate courses in traumatic brain injury, aphasia, right hemisphere damage and dementia.

Recent Master’s Theses:

  • Pierce, M.M. (2018). Early intervention speech-language pathologists: A systematic review. Advisor: Dr. Nancy E. Hall
  • Martins, K. (2016). Worldwide speech-language pathology practices: Stuttering and multilingualism. Advisor: Dr. Nancy E. Hall
  • DeMaris, A. (2014). Measurement and interpretation of longest utterances in child language samples. Advisor: Dr. Allan B. Smith.
  • Pelletier, A. (2014). The impact of speaking voice on gender identity among transgender and transsexual individuals.  Advisor: Dr. Nancy E. Hall.
  • Fahey, K. (2012). Comparisons of father’s and mother’s joint book reading with their toddlers and its effect on emergent literacy development. Advisor: Dr. Nancy E. Hall.
  • Randazza, J. (2012).  Cochlear implants: Are expectations related to how parents are informed? Advisor: Dr. Nancy E. Hall.
  • Smith, D.M. (2009). Assessment profiles of auditory processing disorder and language delay: Case studies of four children. Advisor: Dr. Allan B. Smith.