Meet CSD's PhD Students

jensen

Justin Jensen joined the AuD program at the University of Iowa in 2017 and transitioned to the AuD/PhD program in his third year. He is originally from San Diego, California, and obtained a bachelor of music degree in Sound Recording Technology from Brigham Young University. He has professional experience in sound engineering, information technology, and 3D x-ray imaging. He works with Dr. Yu-Hsiang Wu in the Hearing Aid and Aging Research Laboratory and his research interests are in real-time hearing aid optimization and personalization. He will spend the 2020-2021 academic year in an audiology externship at the Iowa Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities Project (ILEND), after which he will continue his PhD studies under the mentorship of Dr. Wu. Outside of his studies, Justin enjoys writing music, traveling, and building Legos with his 2 young boys.

 

Email justin-jensen@uiowa.edu

jordan

Larissa Jordan is a licensed SLP and PhD candidate specializing in adult neurologic communication disorders. Before returning for her PhD, she practiced in the acute, inpatient rehab, skilled nursing facility, and outpatient settings working with adults with dysphagia and cognitive and communication disorders. Her research and professional interests include organization of the mental lexicon, neurologic communication disorders including mild cognitive impairment, and teaching future SLPs. Originally from Joplin, Missouri, she completed a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies from John Brown University, an MS in speech-language pathology from the University of Central Missouri, and an MA in linguistics from the University of North Dakota. In her spare time, she enjoys reading and foil fencing. Additional information about her teaching and research can be found at her website: www.slpjordan.com

 

Email larissa-jordan@uiowa.edu

 

jorgensen

Erik Jorgensen is an Iowa native, but has spent time living on both coasts. He earned his BA in philosophy from Columbia University and his Doctor of Audiology from the University of Iowa. He completed his clinical externship at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics as part of the Iowa Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities program. He is currently a PhD student working with Yu-Hsiang Wu as part of the Hearing and Aging Research Laboratory. His primary research interests are in auditory ecology, real-world outcomes of audiologic intervention, and hearing loss and music perception. He greatly enjoys teaching and has been a teaching assistant and has co-taught a number of audiology courses at Iowa. He is a passionate advocate for people with disabilities. When not in the lab, Erik enjoys making music, playing scrabble, and exploring the local trails with his dog, Simone.

 

Email erik-j-jorgensen@uiowa.edu

 

kim

Jeong-Seo Kim is a Ph.D. candidate and research assistant in the cochlear implant electrophysiology lab. She joined in the Ph.D program in Fall 2016, after completing her Au.D. at the University of Kansas. Her research interests involve clinical application of objective electrophysiological measures to better characterize the status of the auditory periphery, help differential diagnosis, and predict performance of cochlear implant users. Besides work and study, she is an avid coffee drinker, loves mountain hiking, and daydreams occasionally about sipping on some good coffee during her journey to Patagonia and Iguazu Falls.

 

Email jeong-seo-kim@uiowa.edu

 

jina kim

Jina Kim joined the PhD program at the University of Iowa in 2020 Spring. She completed her Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Psychology in 2007 from Korea University, the Republic of Korea. Jina is a research assistant in the Psycholinguistics Lab with the guidance of Dr. Kristi Hendrickson, investigating semantic processing projects with a neurological method. Her research interest is to figure out what semantic information people use to process visual and auditory words with a long-term goal of finding out the development of lexical organization from a child to an adult. In her free time, she spends time with her lovely kids at parks and swims or climbing at Campus Recreation and Wellness Center.

 

Email jina-kim@uiowa.edu

 

kim

Subong Kim started the PhD program at Iowa in 2015. He works in the Human Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory, investigating neurological evidence of difficulty in understanding speech in everyday, noisy listening environments in listeners with sensorineural hearing loss as well as listeners with normal hearing thresholds. His long-term goal is to establish objective biomarkers of the benefits of hearing interventions. In his spare time, he enjoys going to concerts, the theatre, and football games.

 

Email subong-kim@uiowa.edu

 

klein

Kelsey Klein is originally from Hoquiam, Washington, and studied Psychology and Linguistics at St. Olaf College in Minnesota. After graduation she spent a year conducting research in Oslo, Norway, as a Fulbright U.S. Student, then began her integrated AuD/PhD program in 2014. Kelsey is co-advised by Dr. Beth Walker of the Pediatric Audiology Lab and Dr. Bob McMurray of the Mechanisms of Audio-Visual Categorization Lab. Broadly, she is interested in how children with hearing loss utilize cognitive and linguistic abilities to develop language and understand speech. In her dissertation research, she is using eye-tracking to characterize the lexical access mechanisms underlying spoken word recognition in school-age children with hearing aids and children with cochlear implants, relative to children with normal hearing. In her free time, you can often find Kelsey training and competing in Brazilian jiu jitsu.

 

Email kelsey-e-klein@uiowa.edu

 

sapp

Caitlin Sapp is a pediatric audiologist and PhD student in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at the University of Iowa. She has extensive experience in infant hearing assessment in accordance with JCIH best practices and has collaborated with state EHDI departments on quality improvement efforts. She previously sat on the Texas Deaf and Hard of Hearing Leadership Council for ages 0-3. Her research interests include examining the factors that improve language and social outcomes for Deaf and Hard of Hearing children, translational research to connect emerging knowledge to practicing clinicians, and working on state policy initiatives to improve equitable access to intervention and technology. Her clinical interests include hospital-based pediatric audiology program development, with a focus on interdisciplinary collaborations, and public health partnerships responding to pediatric health policy initiatives at the state and national level.

 

Email caitlin-sapp@uiowa.edu

venkitakrishnan

Soumya Venkitakrishnan is a third-year AuD / PhD student in Audiology. She completed her Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (B.A.S.L.P. and M. A.S.L.P.) in 2012 from Bharati Vidyapeeth University and in 2014 from Maharashtra University of Health Sciences, India, respectively. Soumya is a research assistant in the Hearing and Aging Research Lab, where she has been working on improving outcomes in individuals with hearing impairment who use hearing aids under the guidance of Dr. Yu-Hsiang Wu. Soumya also works as a Student Clinician in the Wendell Johnson Speech and Hearing Clinic where she conducts hearing evaluations and provides management for individuals with hearing impairment. Prior to joining PhD, Soumya has worked as an Audiologist and Speech Language Pathologist in renowned hospitals and private clinics in India. Apart from academics, Soumya likes to read, travel/ hike and is passionate about running, swimming and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

 

Email soumya-venkitakrishnan@uiowa.edu

 

Recent PhD graduates

Rebecca Alper (PhD 2015), Assistant Professor, Communication Sciences and Disorders, Temple University

Bryan Brown (PhD 2015), Assistant Professor, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
 

Hope Gerlach (PhD 2019), Assistant Professor, Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences, Western Michigan University
 

Naomi Hertsberg Rodgers (PhD 2019), Assistant Professor, Department of Special Education and Communication Disorders, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
 

Viral Tejani (PhD 2018), Research Assistant Professor, Department of Otolaryngology, University of Iowa