People

Lab Director

Teresa Gray

teresag@sfsu.edu

Education

  • 2015 Ph.D., Boston University
  • 2008 M.A., San Jose State University
  • 2000 B.A., University of California at Santa Cruz

Research Interests

Dr. Teresa Gray is an Assistant Professor in the Communicative Disorders Program. Her expertise is in the areas of aphasia, traumatic brain injury, and bilingualism. She supervises on- and off-campus adult neurogenic clinics and teaches the graduate level seminars on adult language disorders. She is the director of the Gray Matter Lab. Her research interests focus on bilingual aphasia and language access, the mechanisms of control in linguistic and non-linguistic contexts in aphasia, and the role of language rehabilitation and its short-term and long-term effects on functional communication.

Graduate Students

Rebekka Dagher

Education

  • 2018 M.S. Candidate; Communicative Disorders
    San Francisco State University
  • 2016 B.A. Communicative Disorders, minor in Biology
    University of Redlands

Research Interests

I was raised in a multiracial, multilingual (Arabic, Spanish, English) household, where I grew to love all aspects of language, as well as cultural diversity. As I dove deeper into the science and nitty gritty of communicative disorders, I found that I could combine both my love for language and my desire to be exposed to diversity. I am now excited to search for a niche in this field where I can work with bilingual clients from underrepresented areas and demographics. In the lab I work on the Spanish-English study that examines lexical access vs language control impairment. Outside of the educational side of my life, I enjoy backpacking, doing yoga, and traveling as much as possible!

Monika Zacharewicz

zacharewiczmonika@gmail.com

Education

  • 2019 M.S. Candidate; Communicative Disorders
    San Francisco State University
  • 2017 B.A., Communicative Disorders
    San Francisco State University

Research Interests

I am originally from Poland and became interested in clinical work after shadowing a speech-language pathologist. My research interests are focused on exploring the effects of language treatment in bilingual adults with aphasia and examining how effects of training the dominant or non-dominant langauage may generalize to the untrained language.  More generally, I  am interested in neurology, the brain-behavior relationship, and functional communication following brain injury.  I am also interested in learning about physiology of the swallowing mechanism and its interrelationships with other functions such as breathing and voice.  

Annalinda Harbottle

Education

  • 2019 M.S. Candidate; Communicative Disorders
    San Francisco State University
  • 2017 B.A., Communicative Disorders
    Minor in Special Education
    San Francisco State University

Research Interests

Growing up, I was fortunate enough to have a multitude of travel experiences. Throughout these experiences, it was the interactions with the variety of people I met that would inspire me in the years to come. While studying at SFSU I have had the continued opportunity to meet different types of people from diverse walks of life, and have grown truly passionate about improving people’s lives in whatever way I can. As a research assistant in the Gray Matter Lab I work on the abSANT project and am interested in how we can maximize lexical retrieval in adults with aphasia. In my free time I like to paint, write, and continue to explore the beautiful city of San Francisco.

Nestor Fragoso

Education

  • 2019 M.S. Candidate; Communicative Disorders
    San Francisco State University
  • 2016 B.A., Communicative Disorders
    San Francisco State University

Research Interests

As a first year graduate student here at SF State, I am very much enjoying diving head first into the world of the needs of adults with communicative disorders. Specifically, my interests lie in the neurological basis of language and bilingualism, how languages influence each other in neurotypical individuals and those with aphasia or TBI, and the development of transgender voice therapies. Outside of speech and language, I spend my time cooking, dining, hiking, and honing my photography.

Julia Navarro

Lab Manager

Education

  • 2020 M.S. Candidate; Communicative Disorders
    San Francisco State University
  • 2017 Post-Baccalaureate; Communicative Disorders
    Idaho State University
  • 2003 Bachelor’s and Master’s degree; Economics and Business Management
    Ural State University, Russia

Research Interests

Acquiring new languages has been my personal journey after I moved to the United States from Russia a decade ago. Since then, I have been continuously working in adult education and teaching Russian. This experience has led me to the field of Speech Language Pathology, and once I made this connection, there was no turning back. While learning about the neurology of language processes and innovative therapy techniques, my goal is to to provide support and improve patients’ lives through communication. In the lab, I work on three projects: 1) for the babSANT project I administer diagnostic testing and treatment in English and Russian; 2) I am collaborating on the development of the codeswitching project; and 3) I co-direct the bi-monthly Conversation Club geared to enhance the quality of life for people with aphasia.

Education

  • 2020 M.S. Candidate; Communicative Disorders
    San Francisco State University
  • 2017 B.A., Communicative Disorders
    San Francisco State University

Research Interests

Working in the Gray Matter Lab has increased my interest in answering clinically relevant questions regarding communication and increasing the quality of life for mono- and bilingual patients with aphasia.  I am also interested in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and the effects of neurologic disorders such as Parkinson’s disease and Multiple Sclerosis on voice and speech. I am a native San Franciscan, and in my free time I love to see live music and go on hikes with my dog.  My goal is to begin the Communicative Disorders M.S. program at SF State in fall 2018.

Undergraduate

Olivia Conner

Education

  • 2018 B.A., Communicative Disorders
    San Francisco State University

Michell Peck

Education

  • 2019 B.A. Candidate; Communicative Disorders
    San Francisco State University

Research Interests

Having had an extensive background working with children who are on the autism spectrum, my current interests lie in finding cutting edge, research-vetted interventions for speech-language pathologists in a variety of fields. The Gray Matter Lab’s commitment to provide evidence-based interventions that ultimately improve the quality of life for people with aphasia could not be more in tune with my ambition. I am honored to be a part of the team. In the lab, I am focused on administering treatment and diagnostic tests in Spanish and English with an interest in the maintenance of treatment outcomes over time. In my future career as an SLP, I hope to possibly expand into conducting research on voice disorders and effective treatment interventions for people who have auditory processing disorder. In my spare time, I enjoy singing, cooking, world travel, and spending time outdoors with my partner and my dog.

Research Assistants

Pia Etchegoin

mpetchegoin@gmail.com

Education

  • 2017 B.A., Communicative Disorders
    San Francisco State University

Research Interests

 I am passionate about helping individuals find their voice. I was born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Ever since moving to the United States I have dreamt of working with the Spanish speaking community and contributing to the field of speech and language pathology. I am very interested in research, specifically within the bilingual community. I am also passionate about helping older adults find their voice after traumatic events including brain injury and strokes. I also enjoy educating the community about important topics such as stroke prevention. In my free time I like to hike, camp and fish, while exploring the beautiful areas around California.

LAB MANAGER: Spring 2016 - Spring 2017

Former Lab Members

Education

  • 2018 M.S. Candidate; Communicative Disorders
    San Francisco State University
  • 2016 B.S Communication Disorders
    Loma Linda University
  • 2015 B.S. Public Health
    Santa Clara University/College of William and Mary

Research Interests

I am a second year master’s student in Communication Disorders at San Francisco State University. I am trilingual in English, Gujarati, and Hindi. Before coming to San Francisco State University, I completed my undergraduate studies in the field of Public Health from Santa Clara University. Additionally, I received a B.S. equivalent in Communication Disorders from Loma Linda University. During my time at San Francisco State, I developed a greater interest in the following topics: aphasia, traumatic brain injury, and dysarthria. Outside of the realms of speech-language pathology, I enjoy traveling, painting, and cooking. 

Allison Comroe

allisoncomroe@gmail.com

Education

  • 2019 B.S. Candidate; Communicative Disorders
    San Francisco State University

Research Interests

I am an undergraduate majoring in Communicative Disorders and double minoring in Education and Special Education. During my studies and volunteer work, I have developed an interest in how cognition relates to language production and how traumatic brain injury and strokes can influence this process. For the past two years, I have worked at Seven Bridges Speech Therapy and look forward to pursuing my interests in the field.

Education

  • 2017 B.A., Communicative Disorders
    San Francisco State University

Research Interests

I have a deep desire to help people and a tremendous interest in how things work. I was born in Germany and was raised in Los Angeles. I have observed both audiologists and speech pathologists in their prospective fields. During my final year at SFSU I found that I was passionate about neurolinguistics, neuroscience, neural networks, and machine learning. I look forward to getting into a graduate degree program in the next year. Outside of academics I enjoy rock climbing in Crissy Field, exploring San Francisco, reading everyone from Noam Chomsky to Nick Bostrum, writing mainly Sci-Fi, and indulging in the amazing food that San Francisco has to offer.

Jacqueline Molina

jmolina4@mail.sfsu.edu

Education

  • 2018 M.S. Candidate; Communicative Disorders
    San Francisco State University
  • 2015 B.S. Communicative Disorders and Deaf Education
    Utah State University
  • 2012 B.A. Cognitive Linguistics
    University of California, San Diego
  • 2012 B.A. Psychology
    University of California, San Diego

Research Interests

My research interests include, bilingualism and multilingualism, aphasia, and traumatic brain injury and their effects on cognitive functioning, language, and the brain. Currently, I am working on research that involves exploring and evaluating language control in terms of lexical access impairment in bilingual adults with aphasia, as well as, treatment studies that investigate and compare the training effects of linguistic and non-linguistic control treatments on language control impairment in adults with bilingual aphasia. In my free time I enjoy, hiking, snowboarding, traveling and long walks with my dog. I am also fluent in Spanish and English.

Nancy Ly

Education

  • 2018 M.S. Candidate; Communicative Disorders
    San Francisco State University
  • 2016 Post-Baccalaureate; Communicative Disorders
    California State University, Fullerton
  • 2007 B.S. Child and Family Development
    San Diego State University

Research Interests

I grew up with a family that spoke English, Cantonese, and Vietnamese. Being surrounded in a multilingual environment sparked an interest in how multilingualism influences the human brain and how we connect with each other by using language. As a research assistant in the Gray Matter Lab, I aim to learn more about how languages are affected by neurological impairments, such as aphasia and traumatic brain injuries, and how languages are evolving simply in everyday communication. Currently I work on the language control study and the bilingual abSANT project. In my spare time, you can find me practicing yoga or traveling the world.

Jaimie MacDonald

Education

  • 2018 M.S. Candidate; Communicative Disorders
    San Francisco State University
  • 2016 B.S. Speech Pathology and Audiology
    University of Nevada, Reno, School of Medicine
  • 2011 B.S. Political Science
    University of California, Irvine

Research Interests

As a second-year graduate student at San Francisco State University, my research interests and objectives surrounding neurological communicative disorders are multi-factorial. My fascination for neurology and neuroplasticity drives my interests in acquired neurological impairments such as traumatic brain injury or stroke. Recently, I have developed a special emphasis on the clinical evaluation and assessment of persons with aphasia. Participation in the Gray Matter Lab has provided me with further opportunities to expand my knowledge in these areas of concentration, cultivate professional collaboration, and exposure in developing evidence based therapy methods for populations with aphasia. More specifically, my focus lies on bilingual and multilingual individuals with aphasia, lexical access impairment vs language control impairment, and abstract word training in monolingual and bilingual aphasia. Increasing communicative effectiveness in individuals with neurological disorders is driven by my passion to maximize the client’s functional gains and improve their quality of life, as well as the individuals involved in the patient’s life. Beyond my academic interests, my hobbies include swimming, fishing, music, traveling to destinations where I am immersed in new cultures, and spending quality time with family and friends.

Desiree Sasunian

desiree.sasunian@gmail.com

Education

  • 2017 M.S. Communicative Disorders
    San Francisco State University
  • 2014 B.A. Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences
    San Diego State University

Research Interests

 My research interests lie in exploring language and executive function deficits and treatment options associated with bilingual aphasia. I am bilingual in Farsi and English. In my free time, I enjoy live music, reading, art, and playing with puppies!