Our Team

Lab Director

Jennifer Zuk Ph. D, CCC-SLP (she/her/hers)
Curriculum Vitae

Dr. Zuk is the Director and Principal Investigator of the Communication and Neurodevelopment Lab (est. 2020). She is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences at Boston University. Dr. Zuk earned her PhD from Harvard University, and completed clinical training in speech-language pathology at the MGH Institute of Health Professions and Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital. Jennifer received dual bachelor’s degrees in Music Education and Cognitive Science from Case Western Reserve University, and her Ed.M. in Mind, Brain, and Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Dr. Zuk is committed to translating research to practice in an effort to promote effective identification, access, and inclusion for those who experience communication difficulties. Her interdisciplinary approach bridges experience in clinical speech-language pathology, developmental cognitive neuroscience, music cognition, and education.

 

Lab Members

Postdoctoral Fellow

Caroline Spencer (she/her/hers)

Caroline Spencer is a Postdoctoral Fellow in Dr. Zuk’s lab. She recently earned her PhD from the University of Cincinnati, where she focused her research on the neural correlates of speech production in residual speech sound disorders. Her research interests include speech motor control, phonological skills, and how these skills overlap in communication disorders. Caroline volunteers her time with the Friedreich’s Ataxia Research Alliance and enjoys spending time with her service dog, Clark.

 

Doctoral Students

Kelsey Davison (she/her/hers)

Kelsey is a doctoral student in the Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences program at Boston University. She studied geography and Spanish as an undergraduate student at Salem State University and served as an education volunteer with the Peace Corps in rural Paraguay. Kelsey recently earned her Ed.M. in Human Development and Psychology from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Her research interests focus on the neural and cognitive development of language and literacy skills in children with or at risk of language-based learning differences.

 

Research Coordinator

Helen Gray-Bauer (she/her/hers)

Helen is the Research Coordinator for the Communication and Neurodevelopment Lab. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Skidmore College in Music and Neuroscience where she assisted in music cognition research. Post-graduate, Helen has worked in both human cognition and clinical oncology studies. Helen’s research interests include the neural overlap of music and reading abilities and the use of music-based techniques in clinical speech-language pathology to improve patient outcomes. Outside of the lab, Helen enjoys baking and painting.

 

Research Assistant

Nivi Ravi (she/her/hers)

Nivi is a research assistant in the Zuk Lab. She graduated from Harvard University with a joint degree in Neuroscience and Music and secondary in Educational Studies. As an undergraduate student, she was an intern in the Gaab Lab and conducted thesis research exploring relationships between the home music environment and white matter in infancy. She also held summer intern positions in the Laboratory for Computational Neuroimaging at the Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging and the Montagna Lab at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Her research interests lie at the intersection of music cognition, literacy, and education.

 

Visiting Doctoral Students

Michelle Hernandez (she/her/hers)

Michelle is a visiting doctoral student from the Communication Sciences and Disorders department at the University of Houston. She studied psychology and women’s studies as an undergraduate student at Stony Brook University in 2013. Then Michelle completed her Master of Science in Speech Language Pathology at SUNY Buffalo State in 2018. She is also a licensed and certified speech pathologist in Texas. Her research interests includes the language development of Spanish-English bilingual school-aged children with and without language disorders.

Juliana Ronderos (she/her/hers)

Juliana is a doctoral candidate in the Developmental, Cognitive, and Behavioral Neuroscience Program in the Department of Psychology at the University of Houston and a visiting research student in the Communication and Neurodevelopmental Lab in the Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences at Boston University. Her research interests include the identification and assessment of bilingual children with developmental language disorders and typical and atypical language development in bilingual children with a particular interest in the environmental and neurocognitive factors impacting bilingual language and literacy development.

 

Master’s Students

Dana Berkowitz (she/her/hers)

Dana is a second year Master of Science student at Boston University in the Speech-Language Pathology program. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. Dana’s interests are in developmental neuroscience, literacy, and language acquisition, and she is passionate about addressing institutional equity within these areas. She plans to pursue a career in a pediatric, medical setting.

Hannah Stetson (she/her/hers)

Hannah is a second year Master of Science graduate student in Sargent College Speech and Language Pathology program at Boston University. She obtained her Honors Bachelor of Science in 2020 from the University of Delaware in Cognitive Science and Pre-Professional Speech Language Pathology. Hannah’s current research interests include child language and literacy, neurodevelopment, and their intersections with risk and protective factors. Following graduation, she hopes to remain involved in research while pursuing a career in clinical practice.

Shannon Lee (she/her/hers)

Shannon is a second year Master of Science graduate student at Boston University in the Speech and Language Pathology Program. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts in 2020 from the University of California Santa Barbara in Linguistics and Art History. Her current research interests are in the intersection of language, literacy, and voice and she hopes to pursue a career in clinical practice after graduation.

Sophia Gomez (she/her/hers)

Sophia is a second year Master of Science student in the Speech-Language Pathology program at Boston University. She graduated with a B.S. in Psychology and B.A. in Child Study & Human Development from Tufts University in 2018. Her research interests include the assessment and treatment of speech, language and literacy difficulties in Early Intervention settings as well as treatment of neurogenic communication disorders.

Laura Doherty (she/her/hers)

Laura is a first year Master of Science student in the Speech-Language Pathology program at Boston University. As part of her undergraduate studies she completed a senior thesis on the relationship between parental prosody during shared book reading and child language abilities.

Undergraduate Students

Ione Madsen Hardy (she/her/hers)

Ione is a senior in Linguistics and Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences at Boston University. Her research interests include prosody, literacy, autism spectrum disorder, and language-based learning disabilities. She plans to obtain her Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology and work in a school setting.

Collaborators

Alyssa Boucher, Ph.D. CCC-SLP Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences | Boston University
Claudio Ferre, Ph.D. Development, Experience, & Motor Recovery Lab | Boston University
Nadine Gaab, Ph.D. Gaab Lab | Harvard Graduate School of Education
John Gabrieli, Ph.D. Gabrieli Lab | Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Elizabeth Norton, Ph.D. LEARN Lab | Northwestern University
Tyler Perrachione, Ph.D. Communication Neuroscience Research Lab | Boston University
Stefanie Shattuck-Hufnagel, Ph.D. Research Laboratory of Electronics | Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Helen Tager-Flusberg, Ph.D. Center for Autism Research Excellence | Boston University