Julius Fridriksson – Director
Julius Fridriksson is a professor in the Department of Communication Science and Disorders. He graduated from the Sudurnes Community College (Iceland) with a university preparatory degree (studentsprof) and later completed his M.A. in speech pathology at the University of Central Florida. He then received a Ph.D. from the University of Arizona in Speech Pathology in 2001. Following completion of Ph.D. study, Dr. Fridriksson joined the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at the University of South Carolina.
Leigh Ann Spell – Associate Director
Leigh Ann Spell, Ph.D., CCC-SLP is the Associate Director of the Aphasia Laboratory at the University of South Carolina. She is also an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at USC. She graduated with a B.S. in Education/Speech-Language Therapy from Bowling Green State University in Ohio and obtained her M.S.P. and Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina specializing in working with individuals with communicative/cognitive disorders secondary to traumatic brain injury and other neurological disorders. She was a professor of Speech-Language Pathology at Columbia College for 16 years and has had a private practice in which she has worked with both children and adults with cognitive/communicative disorders.
Hanh Adkins – Accountant
Hanh Adkins is the Office and Financial Manager in the Aphasia Laboratory. Hanh is originally from Columbia, SC and received her Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from the Darla Moore School of Business at USC. She has enjoyed her time and experience gained in the Aphasia Laboratory and looks forward to continuing her work with the C-STAR team. In her spare time, Hanh enjoys spending time with her family and friends.
Allison Croxton – Speech-Language Pathologist
Allison Croxton, M.S.P., CCC-SLP, is a research associate for the Center for the Study for Aphasia Recovery (C-STAR). Raised primarily in Central Kentucky, she moved to Columbia, SC during high school. She graduated from Dreher High School (’94), and earned a B.A. in English from Wofford College (’98). Her interests in language acquisition/recovery, the power of communication, and her desire to work in a field where she could help improve others’ quality of life, led her to pursuing a Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology. She graduated in 2000 with her Master of Speech Pathology from the University of South Carolina. Allison is excited to be a part of such important research, and is continually inspired by the individuals and families with whom she works. When she is not working, she enjoys spending time with her three children, extended family, and friends. She also enjoys walking, yoga, reading, photography & music.
Michele Martin-Speech Language Pathologist
Michele Martin, M.S. CCC-SLP, is a Research Associate for the Center for the Study of Aphasia Recovery. She grew up in Sumter, SC and graduated from Columbia College with a B.A in Speech Correction and from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa with a M.S. in Speech-Language Pathology. Michele has worked as a speech-language pathologist in a variety of settings including: hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes, home health, and private practice and has experience with a wide range of cognitive and communication disorders, with aphasia being of particular interest. Michele recently moved to a new home on Lake Murray, and she is very excited to have the opportunity to participate in clinical research that will contribute to best practices in the treatment of aphasia. In her free time, she enjoys visiting her two grown children and extended family, home decorating, boating, gardening and relaxing.
Sara Sayers – Speech-Language Pathologist
Sara Sayers is a Research Associate for the Center for the Study of Aphasia Recovery. She graduated with a B.S. in Speech Language Pathology and Audiology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 2007 and a M.S. in Speech Language Pathology at Towson University in 2009. She is an ASHA certified Speech Language Pathologist who specializes in adult neurogenic communication disorders. Her current focus is investigating the relationship between language impairment and response to treatment in patients with chronic aphasia to better predict aphasia treatment outcomes.
Alexandra Basilakos, Ph.D., CCC-SLP is an ASHA-certified speech-language pathologist and a C-STAR postdoctoral fellow. She earned both her B.A. and Ph.D. at the University of South Carolina, punctuated by time spent at the University of Georgia for her M.A. in Communication Sciences and Disorders. In addition to aphasia recovery, her research interests include improving the differential diagnosis of post-stroke motor speech disorders (apraxia of speech and dysarthria) to improve the clinical management of aphasia and frequently co-occurring speech production deficits. To this end, her work utilizes a combination of neuroimaging modalities in addition to acoustic and perceptual analyses of speech.
Lorelei Phillip Johnson
Lorelei Phillip Johnson, M.S., CCC-SLP is a postdoctoral fellow and speech language pathologist. She graduated from Duke University with a bachelor’s degree in linguistics and completed her master’s degree in speech language pathology at Vanderbilt University. She defended her dissertation in November of last year and looks forward to graduating with her doctoral degree from the University of South Carolina this spring. Her research interests include aphasia treatment and recovery, neuroimaging, and post-stroke quality of life. She is from Concord, North Carolina and enjoys baking and reading.
Lisa Johnson is a doctoral student in the Communication Sciences and Disorders Graduate Program at USC. She received her bachelor’s degree in Speech and Hearing Science from Arizona State University and has previously worked as a Speech-Language Pathology Assistant. Her research interests primarily focus on language recovery and speech processing in adults who have aphasia using neuroimaging techniques. She is from Owasso, Oklahoma and enjoys drawing and traveling in her spare time.
Lynsey Keator, MA, CCC-SLP is an ASHA-certified speech-language pathologist (SLP) and doctoral student. She graduated from the University of Delaware in 2013 with a B.S. Cognitive Science with a concentration in Speech-Language Pathology and a B.A. in Spanish Studies. She graduated in 2016 from the University of Massachusetts Amherst with an M.A. in Communication Disorders, concentration in Speech-Language Pathology. Most recently, Lynsey worked as a research SLP at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in the Stroke Cognitive Outcomes and Recovery lab collaborating with the C-STAR team. Lynsey’s primary research interests include the interdisciplinary collaboration of speech language pathology and neuroscience in stroke rehabilitation and specifically, the implementation of neuroimaging to explore the recruitment of residual neural networks following a traumatic event, such as a stroke.
Sigfus is a first year doctoral student in the Communication Sciences and Disorders program at the University of South Carolina and a Speech-Language Pathologist. Sigfus recently moved to SC from Iceland, where he grew up and earned his undergraduate and graduate degrees at the University of Iceland. He plans to pursue a career as a researcher in a university setting. In his free time, Sigfus spends time with his family, reads, hikes and enjoys the outdoors.
Helga Thors, MSc, CCC-SLP is an ASHA-certified Speech and Language Therapist from Iceland. She completed her bachelor’s degree in Icelandic and Sign Language Linguistics and Interpretation from the University of Iceland and then her MSc degree in Speech and Language Therapy from the University of Reading, UK. She is currently a doctoral student at USC and her work focuses on investigating treatment and recovery in individuals with aphasia.
Moriah grew up in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and attended the University of Alabama for her undergraduate degree in Communication Disorders. She is currently a graduate student in the USC Speech-language Pathology program.
I am a first year graduate student in USC’s speech-language pathology program. I am originally from New Jersey, but moved to Chattanooga, Tennessee 5 years ago. I received my Bachelor’s of Science degree in Audiology and Speech Pathology from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. I am very interested in working with adults with neurogenic disorders, so I am excited to be working in the Aphasia lab in order to gain more knowledge and experience in that area of speech-language pathology. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with family and friends, travelling and baking.
Clare Devlin is a first year graduate student in the Speech-Language Pathology masters program. Clare is from Savannah, GA and earned her undergraduate degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from the University of Georgia. In her free time, Clare enjoys cooking, planning trips, and going for walks.
Alison Dinkins is a second year graduate student in USC’s speech-language pathology program. Originally from North Augusta, SC, she recently graduated from the University of South Carolina Aiken with a B.S. in psychology. Alison is looking forward to exploring all areas of speech-language pathology, but is particularly interested in working with children and adults with language disorders or infants with feeding/swallowing difficulties. When she’s not at the clinic or lab, she enjoys cooking and traveling.
Caitlyn Duffy is a graduate student in the Master’s of Speech-Language Pathology program at USC. She is from Spartanburg, SC and graduated from Columbia College with degrees in Speech-Language Pathology and Spanish. Caitlyn aspires to work with individuals with neurologically-based communication disorders with an emphasis in serving bilingual and linguistically diverse populations. In her free time, Caitlyn enjoys spending time with loved ones and exploring the best taco spots in Columbia.
Cayla is a first year graduate student in USC’s Communication Sciences and Disorders program. She went to the University of Tennessee in Knoxville and majored in Audiology and Speech Pathology. Cayla hopes to work in a setting where she can work with adults with neurogenic disorders, but she is excited to have the opportunity to learn about all aspects of the field. When she’s not at the clinic or in lab, Cayla enjoys going to cycling classes and loving on her puppy.
Kayla Koch is a second year master’s student in the University of South Carolina Communication Sciences and Disorders graduate program. She grew up in Endwell, NY and received her undergraduate degree at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology. Kayla is currently undergoing her clinical practicum experience in various settings and has not yet decided what aspect of the field she would like to pursue. In her free time, Kayla enjoys traveling (especially up north to her hometown to see her family), exploring local restaurants, and spending time outside.
Whitney Footman recently graduated from the University of South Carolina with her Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Public Health with a minor in Psychology. She is a 2014 alumna of ECPI University where she earned an Associate of Applied Science in Health Science and became a Certified Phlebotomy Technician and a Registered Medical Assistant. She has previously worked in multiple capacities in the healthcare field. Whitney plans to apply to graduate school and pursue a Master’s degree in Speech Language Pathology. She hopes to one day have her own speech therapy practice and work with adults who have suffered strokes, traumatic brain injuries, or primary conditions that may affect communication such as Multiple Sclerosis, ALS, etc. In her spare time, Whitney enjoys traveling, cooking for her loved ones and hanging out with her friends.