Faculty and Staff

imageDr. Renee Fabus, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, TSHH
Chair

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

(CR-ITI BE/ESOL).

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


imageProfessor Kearston Thomas, M.S. CCC-SLP
Director of Clinical Education

Kearston Thomas, M.S. CCC-SLP (she/her/hers) is a licensed and nationally certified speech-language pathologist (SLP). She graduated in 2013 with a Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology. She holds the Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech Language and Hearing Association, retains state licensure in Pennsylvania and New York, and is Vital Stim Certified. Kearston has attended and presented at conferences at both the state and national level for poster and information sessions. She is the second author for journal publications regarding atypical dysfluencies and cluttering within the autism spectrum disorder population. Kearston has assisted with publication of a neurogenic communication disorders textbook across two editions. She has completed independent research and assisted with various faculty research projects. Kearston has 8 years of clinical experience assessing and treating adults with aphasia, apraxia, dysarthria, and dysphagia in home health, assisted living, skilled nursing, and acute facilities. She also has clinical experience assessing and treating pediatrics with articulation, fluency, language, and pragmatics in outpatient and early intervention settings. Kearston has been a clinical supervisor and adjunct professor for 5 years, instructing various undergraduate and graduate courses, diagnostics, and clinical experiences. She has served as a Pennsylvania Department of Education liaison for graduate students to attain teaching certification.

Email: kearston.thomas@stonybrook.edu


imageNirla Merantus, MHA, M.S.
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
 


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.

 

 

 

 

 


imageDr. Patrick Briley, Ph.D. CCC-SLP
 

Dr. Patrick Briley is a clinical researcher in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at East Carolina University. Dr. Briley 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 and differences in those factors based on a variety of demographic variables. Dr. Briley is also the director of the Fluency Management Program of the Carolinas (FMPC). FMPC is an intensive fluency program, which teaches strategies to promote control of speech amidst the influence of stuttering, while also working to reduce avoidance behaviors commonly implemented by people who stutter.


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. Tempii Champion, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

Dr. Champion has a longstanding excellent reputation as academician, Speech-Language Pathologist, researcher and advocate for the underserved (students and cases alike).  She obtained her bachelor's degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Northeastern University-Boston MA, her master's degree in Speech-language Pathology from Hampton University, and her doctorate in Speech-Language Pathology from University of Massachusetts-Amherst -- where she contributed to the development of the first ever assessment of African American English.  Dr. Champion conducted a postdoc at Vanderbilt University after which time she was employed at several Research 1 universities--including service as tenured Associate Professor and Chairperson at Long Island University, New York.  Dr. Champion currently has a thriving Speech-Language Pathology practice in New York, NY.


imageProfessor Elisabel Chang, MS, CCC-SLP, TSSLD-BE

Elisabel Chang, MS, CCC-SLP, TSSLD-BE, is a licensed and certified bilingual speech language pathologist in New York and Florida.  Ms. Chang received her Bachelor’s degree from the City University of New York—Brooklyn College in 1999, and her Master’s degree in Communication Disorders: Speech-Language Pathology from Adelphi University in 2015.  She began her career with the New York City Department of Education as a Bilingual Speech-Language Pathologist, where she worked with preschool and school-aged English Language Learners with language and literacy-based disorders.  Elisabel also has previous clinical experience working with medically fragile patients in a home health setting, students in an integrated preschool setting and clients in private practice.  In addition, Ms. Chang is a Clinical Instructor at the University of South Florida where she instructs graduate students in their Pediatric/Language-Phonology Practicum.  Her primary clinical interests include providing culturally competent assessments and differential diagnosis for linguistically diverse students.  Ms. Chang has provided district-wide professional development to staff SLPs and lectured to graduate students on topics such as Cultural Competence in Speech-Language Pathology, Diversity and Inclusion in Speech-Language Pathology, Equality vs. Equity in Speech-Language Pathology, Language Difference vs. Language Disorder, Non-Standardized and Dynamic Assessments, and Culturally and Linguistically Responsible Evaluations. 

 

 

 


imageProfessor Jamie Lynn Cluna, AUD CCC-A

Dr. Cluna is a NYS licensed Audiologist, certified by the American Speech and Hearing Association.  She completed her Master of Arts in Audiology at Hofstra University and her Doctor of Audiology at the University of Florida.

Dr. Cluna has been an Audiologist at Stony Brook Medicine for 28 years, and is the Coordinator of the Newborn Hearing Screening Program, as well as the Clinical Externship Supervisor. Dr. Cluna is a member of the Cleft Palate/Craniofacial Team at Stony Brook, and a volunteer for the Smile Rescue Fund.

 

 

 


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.

 

 

 


image Allison FucciProfessor Allison Fucci, M.S., CCC-SLP, TSSLD

Professor Fucci graduated with a Masters of Science in Speech Language Pathology from Adelphi University in 2014 and a Bachelor of Science degree in Speech and Hearing Sciences with a minor in Social Gerontology from SUNY Cortland in 2008. Her diverse work history includes CPSE and CSE through the Department of Education for NYC, as well as private practice. Professor Fucci has evaluated and treated a variety of clients ranging in age (birth-geriatric) and diagnosis. Her professional experience also includes being an SLP Supervisor for the Suffolk Center for Speech and Myofunctional Therapy, where she trained, mentored, and supervised licensed Speech Language Pathologists, as well as clinical fellows and graduate students. Professor Fucci is passionate about the field of Speech Language Pathology and is excited to utilize her clinical experience and knowledge to empower the students of Stony Brook University.

 

 

 

 


image Joseph KimProfessor Joseph Kim, M.A., M.M. CCC-SLP

Mr. Joseph Kim is a classically trained opera singer and Speech-Language Pathologist, who received his Master of Arts in Communication Sciences and Disorders from the University of Cincinnati in 2006. Mr. Kim earned his Master of Music in 2002 and is ABD towards his pursuit of a Doctor of Musical Arts in Vocal performance from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM).  Mr. Kim is working closely with otolaryngologists around the Washington metropolitan area to address voice disorders and dysphagia among residents of that community.  Mr. Kim has extended experience working with professional singers and public speakers and with people who have voice disorders.  This includes Speech-Language Pathology service to people with aphonia, dysphonia, puberphonia, psychogenic voice disorders, psychogenic conversion aphonia/dysphonia, paradoxical vocal fold movement (PVFM), and pre-/post- vocal fold surgery (assessment). Mr. Kim is currently working as a voice specialist at Virginia Hospital Center and in a non-profit outpatient clinic in Fairfax, VA. He is also on a faculty at Howard University teaching Voice Disorders and has taught Dysphagia at Gallaudet University.

 

 

 


image​Professor Michele Merolla,  M.A., CCC-SLP 

​​​​Michele Merolla received a Bachelor of Science degree in Communication Disorders from Marywood University, a Master of Arts degree from Hofstra University and an Advanced Graduate Certificate in Educational Leadership from Stony Brook University. She has worked in a variety of educational and clinical settings such as Early Intervention, integrated preschools, K-12 Public Schools and private practice. Ms. Merolla has also been a consultant for several adult group homes and day treatment centers. She is currently working at Southampton Public Schools where she provides speech and language therapy to students in a variety of educational settings. Ms.Merolla has provided professional development to staff on such topics as , Language Difference vs. Language Disorder, Dynamic Assessments, Response to Intervention for SLPs and Executive Functioning Skills.

 

 

 


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.

 

 

 

 


imageDr. Gloriajean Wallace, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, BC-ANCDS

Dr. Gloriajean Wallace is an ASHA Fellow and ANCDS Board Certified Speech-Language Pathologist who has over 45 years of teaching, clinical, and research experience in the area of neurogenics/specialty adult aphasia.  Dr. Wallace has published and presented widely, including 2 textbooks with a third in progress (anticipated publication Spring 2022).  Dr. Wallace serves as Coach/Mentor for students and junior faculty and conducts research to enhance life participation for people with aphasia, particularly those from diverse and underserved communities. Dr. Wallace’s current research focuses on collecting standardization and normative data for the “Reliable Assessment Inventory of Neuro-Behavioral Organization” (RAINBO),  a comprehensive assessment system for people from diverse communities who have incurred neurologically-based communication and swallowing disorders.  Dr. Wallace is a recipient of the Academy of Neurologic Communication Disorders and Sciences (ANCDS) Special Recognition for Leadership and Contributions to Neurogenics Award.

 

 

 

 


imageDr. Joann Wood, AuD CCC-A

Dr. Wood is a NYS licensed Audiologist and Hearing Aid Dispenser who is certified by the American Speech and Hearing Association in Audiology and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Audiology.  She completed her Master’s of Arts in Audiology at Hofstra University and obtained her Doctor of Audiology degree from the University of Florida.  

Dr. Wood  has been the owner of Audio Center of Babylon for the past 11 years specializing in hearing aid technology and communication. She was inspired to become an Audiologist after her daughter was born deaf in 2001.  Dr. Wood has also been an adjunct professor at St. Joseph’s College in Patchogue for the past 13 years.

 

 


 

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Professor Selene Yoel, MS CCC-SLP, TSSLD-BE/ MA TESOL

Selene Yoel, MS CCC-SLP, TSSLD-BE/ MA TESOL, is a licensed and certified bilingual speech language pathologist with over 14 years experience combined in the field of speech-language pathology and education. She is the Founder & Director of NY Speaks, an agency focusing on the assessment and treatment of bilingual/bicultural children. She holds a Master’s Degree from Adelphi University in Communication Sciences and Disorders with her Bilingual Extension in Spanish. She also holds a Master’s in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Language (TESOL) from Long Island University and holds permanent NYS Certification in these areas. Primary clinical interests include differential diagnosis, assessments, Response to Intervention, and parent/teacher training and coaching. She is currently pursuing her doctorate in Speech-Language Pathology at Northwestern University with anticipated completion in March of 2022.


imageDr. Miguelina Zapata, PhD, CCC-SLP, BE

Miguelina Zapata, PhD, CCC-SLP is a bilingual speech-language pathologist in Washington, DC.  She received her doctoral degree from Howard University and her master’s of science degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Teachers College, Columbia University. Dr. Zapata is a licensed and nationally certified speech-language pathologist with 13 years of experience working with early intervention and school-aged children. Dr. Zapata has attended and presented at numerous conferences at both the state and national levels. Her research interests include auditory processing disorders in bilingual children, non-biased assessment in bilingual children, and assessment and treatment in bilingual children. She is currently working as a consultant and president of MZ Therapeutic Consultants in DC Public Charter Schools.