Faculty and Staff

imageRenee Fabus, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, TSHH

Renee Fabus, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, TSHH is the Founder/Chair of the Speech Language Pathology Department at Stony Brook University. She received her bachelor's degree from New York University, her master's of science degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Teachers College, and her master’s of philosophy and Ph.D. from Columbia University. In September 2020, she received a Graduate Certificate in Higher Education and Leadership from University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

Dr. Fabus is a certified speech-language pathologist for over 20 years who has practiced in a variety of medical settings. She has taught and supervised in programs in the New York City area. She has presented and published articles and books in the areas of stuttering, dysphagia, speech sound disorders and interprofessional education. She has and continues to serve on various regional, state and national committees including being the Past President of the Long Island Speech-Language-Hearing Association and serving on a telehealth committee for the National Academies of Practice and the American Interprofessional Health Collaborative. Additionally, she is currently serving as ASHA SIG-15 Gerontology Editor and on the editorial board of Dysphagia. 

Additionally, Dr. Fabus created an advanced graduate certificate program in Bilingual Education in Spanish in collaboration with Dr. Sarah Jourdain (College of Arts and Sciences) which is housed in the School of Professional Development at Stony Brook University. Drs. Fabus, Jourdain and Shideler received a Clinically Rich Intensive Teacher Institute grant in the amount of $549,750 to offer two Clinically Rich Intensive Teacher Institutes  — one in Bilingual Education (BE) leading to a bilingual extension and a second one in English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), which allows candidates to apply for a certification in ESOL


Email: Renee.fabus@stonybrook.edu
Phone: (631) 638-0502

imageProfessor Kearston Thomas
Director of Clinical Education

Kearston received both her Bachelors of Science degree in Health Sciences and Masters of Science degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Misericordia University in 2013. She is licensed in the states of Pennsylvania and Connecticut, maintains the Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association and Pennsylvania Teaching Certification. Kearston is trained in Vital Stim for adults with swallowing disorders. Kearston has experience with acute inpatient, long term care, home health, early intervention, and school-age populations. She currently works in adult home health, pediatric teletherapy, and supervising/teaching graduate and undergraduate students in multiple speech-language pathology programs. Kearston provides speech, language, cognition, and swallowing treatment for both children and adults, working with various disorders including: aphasia, apraxia, dementia, traumatic brain injury, pragmatic language disorders, trachs/vents, autism, articulation, phonological, and neurological disorders.

Email: kearston.thomas@stonybrook.edu

imageNirla Merantus, MHA, MS
Staff Assistant

Nirla Merantus is staff assistant for the Speech-Language Pathology Department and Applied Health Informatics program. She received her MS in Education and a Masters degree in Health Administration from St. John's University and Utica College respectively. She has worked in various educational and clinical settings, such as a preschool that served children with special needs, and in residences serving adults with Down syndrome. Prior to joining Stony Brook University, she was employed in clinical research for ten years, where she was the project coordinator for multiple research studies. She has previously worked as a litigation specialist where she settled or defended medical claims for New York's second largest insurance company. She has also worked as a Child Protective Specialist for the New York City Administration for Children’s Services, ensuring the safety of NYC’s children.

Email: Nirla.merantus@stonybrook.edu
Phone: (631) 632 5138

Adjunct Faculty

imageProfessor Craig Beale, M.A., CCC-SLP

Professor Beale, graduated with Masters of Arts in Speech Language Pathology from Hofstra University in 2011 and a BA in English Literature and Linguistics from SBU in 2009. Since 2013 he has worked at SBMC working in the areas of pediatric and adult swallowing, motor speech, voice, and communication disorders. 




imageProfessor Erika Beck, M.A., CCC-SLP

Erika Beck completed her undergraduate work at SUNY Cortland and her Master's at Hofstra University. She has worked in a variety of settings including Early Intervention, home care, SNF's, as well as acute care. Erika also has experience with a variety of ages, birth through geriatric. She is currently working on being NICU trained. She is excited to share her knowledge during your time together.



imageDr. Patrick Briley, CCC-SLP

Dr. Briley is a clinical researcher in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at East Carolina University. He is a licensed and certified speech-language pathologist. He specializes in the area of stuttering where his research is designed to understand contributors to overall impact of stuttering. Dr. Briley is also the director of the Fluency Management Program of the Carolinas (FMPC), an intensive fluency program, which teaches strategies to promote management of speech amidst the influence of stuttering, while also working to reduce avoidance behaviors commonly implemented by people who stutter.


imageProfessor Kerri Elorriaga, M.S., CCC-SLP

Professor Elorriaga, graduated with a Masters of Science in Speech Language Pathology from Penn State University in 1998 and a BS in Communication Disorders from SUNY Geneseo in 1996. She began working at Stony Brook Medicine in 1999 and is currently the Supervisor of Speech Language Pathology. Professor Elorriaga treats patients from neonates to geriatric with a wide range of communication and swallowing disorders. She also serves on the cleft palate/craniofacial team.



imageKathleen McCloskey, M.A. CCC-SLP

Kathleen McCloskey, M.A. CCC-SLP, a Medical Speech Language Pathologist for over 30 years, has worked in acute care hospitals, rehabilitation, and outpatient clinic settings.  As a Speech Language Pathologist and Clinical Instructor of Surgery for Stony Brook Medicine for past 27 years she has presented in-services for numerous hospital departments and community groups, SB Medicine Neuroscience day and several SB Medicine Grand Rounds. Ms. McCloskey also presented on the SLP Role in ALS management at both LISHA and NYSSLHA. She spent 17 years as a SBUH ALS team member. Earlier in her career she was the cleft palate /craniofacial team SLP for over a decade. Ms. McCloskey was the Stony Brook University Hospital Supervisor of Speech Pathology over 26 years and currently works as a per diem SLP.  Her clinical skills focused in the areas of feeding/swallowing, head and neck cancers and neurogenic disorders.  

imageDr. Garvin Romane, Ph.D. CCC-SLP

Dr. Garvin P. Romane is a dedicated and passionate school leader, educator, speech-language pathologist, and adjunct professor. He has spent the last 17 years studying language and vocabulary development and speech-language pathology, clinically practicing those fields, and serving culturally and linguistically diverse students and families in different capacities in both his work and various volunteer positions. Dr. Romane is the department head of speech and hearing at the Brentwood Union Free School District, where he leads a group of 30 speech pathologists and one audiologist in the fulfillment of the above mission and goal and in the development of speech-language education programs in general. He is also an adjunct professor of speech-language pathology at Stony Brook University and Touro College, where he teaches a graduate course in that subject and shares his knowledge of its application in oral, linguistic and auditory sciences. When he is not busy with these activities, he enjoys traveling, immersing himself in a variety of cultures, and exploring international cuisines. Dr. Romane’s research interests include the examination of current methods of support, intervention, therapeutic delivery, and assessment of cultural and linguistic diversity programs for students and families. He is also extensively involved in assistive technology applications for speech-language pathology, the advancement of strategic learning models that support students of color, and the use of technology to advance speech, language and literacy skills. Dr. Romane holds a license in speech-language pathology, a master’s degree in speech pathology from New York University, a master of science in education in administration and supervision from Fordham University, and a doctor of philosophy in language, literacy and learning from Fordham. He holds additional certifications in school district leadership and school building leadership (SDL and SBL) and as a teacher of the speech and hearing handicapped (TSHH). He is chief executive officer for My NEXT Level Tutor, a highly effective speech/supplemental educational consulting practice specializing in speech and language therapy for all ages as well as academic coaching.


imageProfessor Stephanie Saporito, M.A., CCC-SLP
Stephanie Saporito completed both her undergraduate and graduate studies at Hofstra University. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Speech & Hearing Science and Psychology in 2013 and a Masters of Art in Speech Language Pathology in 2016. She has worked in a variety of medical settings including skilled nursing, long-term care, home care, and acute care. Stephanie began working at Stony Brook Medicine in 2017 where she currently treats adults in the inpatient setting with a variety of speech, language, cognitive, and swallowing disorders. She is especially interested in head and neck cancer and tracheostomy and ventilator dependent patient populations as well as in the utilization of Fiberoptic Endoscopic Assessments of Swallowing (FEES) in the ICU setting.

imageProfessor Brianna Sullivan, M.A., CCC-SLP

Brianna Sullivan, M.A., CCC-SLP has been a practicing Speech Language Pathologist since 2013. She completed her Bachelor of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders at the University of Rhode Island in 2010. She went on to receive her Masters of Art in Speech Language Pathology from St. John’s University in 2013. In 2020, Brianna completed an Advance Certificate in Pediatric Dysphagia from New York Medical College

Brianna has a passion for treating pediatric dysphagia. She studied pediatric dysphagia in graduate school while volunteering at a medical orphanage in Antigua, Guatemala. In 2015, Brianna completed ASHA’s Leadership Development Program for Emerging Leaders with a project focus on the limited graduate training in pediatric dysphagia. She has presented twice at FLASHA’s annual conference; on pediatric dysphagia competencies and the importance of mental health in the success of rehabilitation therapies. She also recently presented at ASHA’s annual conference on early career leadership.

Currently, Brianna leads the NICU Graduate Academy outpatient rehabilitation services at Bethesda Health of Baptist Health South Florida and serves as the senior speech therapist on the intensive feeding team. She trains colleagues, clinical fellows, and graduate students. When Brianna is not providing speech language therapy services, she is engaging in volunteer leadership with the Junior League of the Palm Beaches and hosting book club for her friends. She lives in sunny South Florida with her spunky Boston Terrier, Lilly.

imageProfessor Michael Webb, MHA, M.S., CCC-SLP

Michael Webb is a graduate from The College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY with his master’s degree in Communication Disorders and more recently earned his Master of Healthcare Administration from the University of Ohio. He has presented at the American Speech Language and Hearing Association, on the use of assistive technology and the New York Speech Language Hearing Association on student and clinical fellow support and mentorship, New York State Health Facilities Association, as well as the National Convention of State Veterans Homes on Patient Driven Payment Model implementation and the new role of Speech-language pathology.

Michael serves as an instructor in the Communication Disorders Department at SUNY New Paltz, instructing graduate students in FEES and is currently acting as a member of the department chair search committee for the newly developed Stony Brook University Communication Disorders program.

While Michael continues to provide clinical services and perform flexible endoscopic evaluations, his role in Language Fundamentals includes both business and program development. In addition, he ensures regulatory compliances and how they relate to the hospitals and skilled nursing facilities for which Language Fundamentals’ provides service.