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UNC CARD Directors

Katarina Haley, PhD, CCC-SLP

Katarina is 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.  |

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.


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.

Blaise Morrison, PhD, LP, CRC, LPC(OH)

Dr. Blaise Morrison is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Clinical Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling. He teaches graduate courses in mental health and rehabilitation counseling and conducts research on psychosocial and family outcomes after brain injury. Additionally, he provides psychotherapy to patients and families affected by brain injuries and facilitates support groups for community members that have experienced a brain injury, stroke, or spinal cord injury. He received his PhD in rehabilitation psychology from University of Wisconsin-Madison and completed clinical training at both WVU Medicine and UNC School of Medicine. He is a licensed psychologist, certified rehabilitation counselor, and licensed mental health counselor. Dr. Morrison’s long-term goal is to develop family-directed interventions that improve psychosocial outcomes in persons with brain injury and aphasia. |

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. She is the director of the Aging Brain Clinic (ABC), with clinical and research interests include memory and sleep, diagnosis and treatment of language disorders and aphasia, and progressive language disorders associated with neurodegenerative disease.  She serves as neurology consultant to the Center for Aphasia and Related Disorders, and is co-investigator on research projects examining brain-behavior relationships and cognitive communication disorders.
Contact information: (919) 966-8168

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 |

Jenny Womack, PhD,OTR/L, SCDCM

Jenny is 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 |

Current students

Lindsay Greene

Lindsay is an undergrad computer science and linguistics major at UNC. Interested in natural language processing, speech science, and accessibility, she has worked on an animated speech articulator for Fizz Studio and word complexity measure software for CARD. She is currently employed at Microsoft as an Explore intern.

Recent Ph.D. students

Kevin Cunningham, MS, CCC-SLP

 Kevin is a former PhD student and research assistant 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 is a collaborator with the Center for Aphasia and Related Disorders.

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.

Jenni Shafer, PhD, MS, CRC

Jenni is a former PhD student and research assistant 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 and support for caregivers of people with aphasia. Jenni is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the UNC Program on Integrative Medicine.