VHCRC Meetings Open to Public!

The Vocal Hyperfunction Clinical Research Center at MGH – an NIH-funded, comprehensive, multi-institutional research program that brings together an interdisciplinary team of investigators to study vocal hyperfunction voice disorders – is opening up their monthly research seminars to the public via Zoom! These monthly seminars include updates on projects being done in the VHCRC as well as presentations by invited researchers. The Stepp Lab has participated in these seminars since 2017 and greatly values our participation as well as the information and connections we’ve gained!

The VHCRC has decided to open these seminars to a larger audience in hopes of increasing the exchange of new information with outside groups doing research in related areas and disseminating new research findings to the broader field. You can learn more about the VHCRC and the themes of their work here.

The monthly seminars are held on the third Wednesday of each month at 3:00 PM, and the first open seminar will be held on Wednesday, April 17th from 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM EST. Anyone interested in attending should RSVP to Sarah DeRosa ( for a calendar invitation and Zoom link. We hope to see you there!

Nicole Tomassi Receives Raymond H. Stetson Scholarship!

Nicole Tomassi, one of the Stepp Lab's doctoral candidates, received the Raymond H. Stetson Scholarship in Phonetics and Speech Science from the Acoustical Society of America. The grant honors Professor Raymond H. Stetson, a pioneer investigator in phonetics and speech science. The $30,000 scholarship is awarded to 1-2 promising graduate students each year in order to facilitate their research efforts. Congratulations, Nicole!


Courtney Dunsmuir and Kalei Volk receive Summer UROP Awards!

 Congratulations Courtney Dunsmuir and Kalei Volk on receiving Summer UROP Awards! The Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) provides funding for undergraduate students conducting research projects on campus. We would like to congratulate Courtney and Kalei and thank them for their continued contribution to research conducted under the Stepp Lab!

Subscribe to the Stepp Lab Newsletter!

The Stepp Lab is excited to share what is happening inside and outside of the lab! Our monthly newsletter is sent out on the first Tuesday of every month. It is the best way to keep up with our current lab events, publications, and presentations. Read previous editions here, and subscribe to future newsletters here!

Kimberly Dahl Receives a New F31 Grant!

Kimberly Dahl, MS, CCC-SLP, received a new F31 grant from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD). This project, titled "Articulatory and prosodic sensorimotor adaptation in speaker-listener interactions", seeks to understand how speech motor learning occurs in real-life communication by assessing the listener's effect on how speakers control their speech and voice. This work will take the novel approach of manipulating both auditory and listener feedback to extend theories of speech motor control to ecologically valid interactions. The long-term goal is to understand whether external feedback could bolster impaired auditory self-monitoring that may underlie some motor speech disorders. 


Courtney Dunsmuir presents at BU’s 25th Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium

Stepp lab undergraduate Courtney Dunsmuir ’24 recently presented her summer research conducted through the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) at BU's 25th Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium, held at Boston University on October 21, 2022.

Courtney's research explored the differential contributions of auditory and somatosensory feedback control mechanisms of laryngeal and articulatory speech subsystems in persons with Parkinson's disease.

We would like to congratulate Courtney for her wonderful presentation and continued contribution to research conducted under Stepp Lab! She is also a recipient of Fall UROP 2022 funding.

Courtney Dunsmuir and her poster titled "Investigation of Auditory and Somatosensory Feedback in Vocal and Articulatory Motor Control Function for Individuals with Parkinson's Disease".

Hasini Weerathunge awarded 2022 ASHFoundation New Century Scholars Doctoral Scholarship!


Congratulations to lab member Hasini Weerathunge for winning the ASHFoundation New Century Scholars Doctoral Scholarship! This prestigious award supports strong doctoral candidates pursuing a teacher-investigator career. Hasini will use this scholarship to complete her doctoral research investigating the effects of auditory and somatosensory feedback in laryngeal and articulatory motor control in speakers with Parkinson's disease.

Nicole Tomassi awarded the 2022 ACM SIGHPC Computational & Data Science Fellowship!

Congratulations to PhD Candidate, Nicole Tomassi!

Congratulations to Nicole Tomassi who was recently awarded the 2022 ACM SIGHPC Computational & Data Science Fellowships! The fellows receive up to $15K annually for study anywhere in the world. 

Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)’s Special Interest Group on High-Performance Computing (SIGHPC) recognized eleven recipients of the ACM SIGHPC Computational and Data Science Fellowships for 2022. The fellowships are highly competitive and are awarded after a rigorous merit review. The fellowship program, previously funded by Intel, is now funded exclusively by SIGHPC. The winners will be recognized during the awards ceremony at the International Conference for High-Performance Computing, Networking, Storage, and Analysis, Nov 13–18, 2022, in Dallas, Texas. They will also receive a complimentary membership in SIGHPC for the duration of their fellowship.

Nichole Houle receives NIH F32 award!

Congratulations to Postdoctoral Fellow, Nichole Houle!

Nichole was recently awarded an NIH/NIDCD F32 postdoctoral fellowship entitled "Effect of producing a desired fundamental frequency on measures of vocal hyperfunction in transgender speakers"

Katherine Marks receives NIH F32 award!

Congratulations to Postdoctoral Fellow, Katherine Marks!

Katie was recently awarded an NIH/NIDCD F32 postdoctoral fellowship entitled "Validation of an automated acoustic outcome measure for Adductory Laryngeal Dystonia"