UNC CARD Directors

Katarina Haley, PhD, CCC-SLP

 Katarina is an associate professor in the Division of Speech and Hearing Sciences. She specializes in the assessment and treatment of adults with left hemisphere brain injury. Her greatest areas of interests include the perceptual, motor, and language mechanisms that influence speech production in aphasia and apraxia of speech; the development of quantitative speech assessment procedures for clinical applications; and the development of procedures and materials to support self-determination in people with aphasia. She received her training in Speech-Language Pathology at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm and her graduate training at Vanderbilt University. She teaches courses in aphasia, neurologic communication disorders, and research design.  | Katarina_haley@med.unc.edu

Adam Jacks, PhD, CCC-SLP

Adam is an associate professor in the Division of Speech and Hearing Sciences. He teaches courses in speech science and neuromotor speech disorders. His research focuses on understanding the link between neuropathology and behavioral manifestations of neurological speech disorders, investigating novel interventions for people with aphasia, and identifying factors associated with improved quality of life with aphasia. After receiving MS and PhD degrees in Communication Sciences and Disorders at The University of Texas at Austin, he completed a postdoctoral fellowship in behavioral neuroimaging at The Research Imaging Institute at The University of Texas Health Sciences Center at San Antonio. adam_jacks@med.unc.edu


Other UNC Faculty

Lindsey Byom, PhD, CCC-SLP

Lindsey is an assistant professor in the Division of Speech and Hearing Sciences. Her research and clinical interests focus on understanding the cognition and communication abilities of adults with acquired brain injuries and the social outcomes of those affected. Dr. Byom teaches classes in neuroanatomy of communication and cognitive-communication. She completed her clinical MS and PhD at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Following graduation she completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Audiology and Speech Center at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and an Advanced Fellowship in Women’s Health at the William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital. lindsey_byom@med.unc.edu

Karen McCulloch, PhD, PT, NCS

Karen is clinical professor in the Division of Physical Therapy. Her clinical experience is with neuromuscular rehabilitation with survivors of stroke and brain injury, emphasizing return to community-based activities. Her research background has included test development for balance and motor function, as well as intervention studies to improve motor skills for higher level mobility and upper extremity control to allow participation in life activities. She serves as a consultant to the Center for Aphasia and Related Disorders and has been a co-investigator on the L!V Cards project. kmac@med.unc.edu

Blaise Morrison, PhD, CRC

Blaise is a clinical assistant professor in the Division of Clinical Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling. He received his PhD in rehabilitation psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and completed a doctoral psychology internship at West Virginia University School of Medicine. He teaches classes in rehabilitation counseling, supervises counseling interns, and provides counseling services to patients and caregivers at the UNC Center for Rehabilitation Care. His primary research interests include quality of life (QOL) issues in persons with disabilities and their caregivers, with an emphasis on individuals with a history of stroke, brain injury, and related cognitive impairments. His current research focuses on developing and implementing interventions that improve caregiver and patient outcomes. | blaise_morrison@med.unc.edu

Marcia Rodriguez, MSP, CCC-SLP

Marcia is a research speech-language pathologist (SLP) working with CARD. Marcia is a graduate of the University of South Carolina with a master’s degree in speech pathology and a bachelor’s degree in speech and hearing handicapped education from SUNY Plattsburgh. She received certification as a Brain Injury Specialist and has more than 25 years of experience working in physical rehabilitation with adolescents and adults. Her specialty experience includes traumatic brain injury, stroke, neurological disorders, and dysphagia. Marcia is co-author of articles published on stroke and prevention of aspiration pneumonia and presented at ASHA national and state conventions. Previously she was Director of CARF-accredited Pediatric and Brain Injury Programs and Director of Speech Pathology at Sea Pines Rehabilitation Hospital in Melbourne, Florida. Prior to joining CARD, she worked as an outpatient SLP at WakeMed Health and Hospitals in the Raleigh area. Marcia celebrates every step of recovery with her clients and incorporates real-life techniques and computer technology into her treatment sessions. She works hand-in-hand with clients and their families providing education and positive support to meet individual goals.
Contact information: (919) 525-1396 |

Heidi Roth, MD, MA.

Heidi is an associate professor in the Department of Neurology. She is board certified in neurology, behavioral neurology and neuropsychiatry, and sleep medicine. Her clinical and research interests include memory and sleep, diagnosis and treatment of language disorders and aphasia, and hemispheric asymmetries and sleep. She is a neurology consultant to the Center for Aphasia and Related Disorders and co-investigator on research projects examining brain-behavior relationships.
Contact information: (919) 966-8168
| Hroth@neurology.unc.edu

Sharon Williams, PhD, CCC-A

Sharon is an associate professor and Director of the Division of Speech and Hearing Sciences. She also holds an appointment as a research scientist with The Center on Aging and Diversity. Her research focuses on aging, family functioning and processes in caregiving families, and end of life communication within families and with health care providers. She received a BS and MS in Communication Disorders and a PhD in Human Development and Family Studies. She also completed a gerontology postdoctoral fellowship at The Wake Forest University School of Medicine.
Contact information: (919) 966-9562 | sharon_w_williams@med.unc.edu

Jenny Womack, PhD,OTR/L, SCDCM

Jenny is an associate professor in the Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy and has been a practicing clinician in neurorehabilitation for more than 20 years. She has a particular interest in issues of community participation with a focus on community mobility and transportation issues. She is also a folklorist interested in performance communities. Jenny serves as occupational therapy consultant to the Center for Aphasia and Related Disorders and has been a co-PI on the L!V Cards project.
Contact information: (919) 843-4463 | jennifer_womack@med.unc.edu


Community Partners

Chan Lane

Chan creates visual illustrations at the UNC Center for Aphasia and Related Disorders. Prior to joining our group, Mr. Lane worked as a cartoonist and artist at Wake Forest University. His  specialty was illustrating public health campaigns like for stopping smoking. Mr. Lane was enjoying his retirement reading books and watching TV when he had two strokes. He couldn’t get out of bed for a long time. Then he was in a wheelchair. Then he started to walk and now he is getting faster and faster. Mr. Lane Explains: “I couldn’t really talk at all in the beginning. Then I started to say some things that didn’t make sense, and I would get upset. Now I communicate with drawing and my iPad. I am starting to read again using my iPad, and I am getting happier.”



Jessica Richardson, PhD, CCC-SLP

Maura Silverman, MS, CCC-SLP


Current Ph.D. students

Kevin Cunningham, MS, CCC-SLP

 Kevin is a doctoral student in the Division of Speech and Hearing Sciences and a speech-language pathologist. A graduate of the master’s program in speech pathology at UNC, he served as a clinician providing outpatient services for people with neurogenic communication disorders at an academic medical center. He is interested in clinical research that seeks to improve diagnostic accuracy for aphasia and motor speech disorders and holistic treatment for aphasia.

Jenni Shafer, MS, CRC

Jenni is a doctoral student in the Division of Speech and Hearing Sciences and a certified Rehabilitation Counselor. Prior to entering the program, she worked for a large contract research organization, where she managed rater training for global clinical trials investigating treatments for Alzheimer’s disease, major depression, and stuttering. She earned her MS from UNC’s Clinical Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling program (formerly Rehabilitation Counseling and Psychology). Her research interests include acquired communication disorders, primarily aphasia and apraxia of speech. She also focuses on support for caregivers of people with aphasia. Jenni serves as a research assistant for the Center for Aphasia and Related Disorders.


Recent Ph.D. students

Tyson Harmon, PhD, CCC-SLP

Tyson is a former PhD student and research assistant in the Division of Speech and Hearing Sciences at the UNC School of Medicine interested in neurologic communication disorders. He is particularly interested in the assessment and treatment of aphasia. Prior to beginning his doctoral studies at UNC-CH, he completed his clinical fellowship at a hospital in Texas and obtained B.S. and M.S. degrees from Brigham Young University in Provo, UT. Dr. Harmon completed his dissertation and graduated from the doctoral program in Speech and Hearing Sciences at UNC in 2018. He is currently an Assistant Professor in Communication Disorders at Brigham Young University.