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Profiles of PhD Students

By Professional Background

 

Occupational Therapy

Photo of Hannah Mercier, PhD '16
Hannah Mercier, MS, OTR/L

PhD '16

PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences Program

What year did you start the program? 2012

 

What are your prior degrees and at which institutions?
BS, Therapeutic Studies, Boston University
MS, Occupational Therapy, University of New England

What were your research settings during the PhD program?
Mentor
: Alan Jette, PT, PhD, MPH, FAPTA
Lab: New England Regional Spinal Cord Injury Center at the Health and Disability Research Institute

Mentor: J. Andy Taylor, PhD
Lab: Spaulding-Harvard Spinal Cord Injury Model System

On what was your research focused?
My research focuses on enhancing wellness and participation outcomes for adults with spinal cord injury (SCI) at community-based levels of rehabilitation.

With the New England Regional SCI Center, I am on a research team that uses telehealth technology and peer coaching to provide health screening and education for community-residing adults with SCI in order to support skill development and self-efficacy for managing SCI, accessing healthcare, and engaging in meaningful activities.

At the Spaulding-Harvard SCI Model System, I have collaborated with exercise physiologists to measure the psychosocial benefits of participating in an adapted rowing program for newly-injured adults with SCI.

What publications or external presentations have you produced that are based on the research you have done while in the program?
Mercier, H. W., Ni, P., Jette, A., Houlihan, B. (November 2015). Differential impact and use of a telehealth intervention by persons with MS or SCI. American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 94:11, 987-999

Mercier, H. W. (April, 2015). Empowering adults with spinal cord injury for healthcare engagement. Poster accepted for presentation at American Occupational Therapy Association Annual Conference, Nashville, TN.

Mercier, H. W., Ni, P., Jette, A., Houlihan, B et al. (October, 2014). Differential impact and use of a telehealth intervention by persons with multiple sclerosis or spinal cord injury. Poster presented at American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine Progress in Rehabilitation Research Annual Conference, Toronto, ON.

What awards have you won while in the program?
2014 DeVivo Mentored Research Award, National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center: Effects of Rehospitalization among Adults with Spinal Cord Injury on Quality of Life, Independence, and Participation.

What do you think is special about the PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences program here at the MGH Institute?
I greatly appreciate the interdisciplinary nature of the MGH Institute's PhD program. Partnership during group projects and research seminar has felt very natural, like the clinical team transposed to academia. I was drawn to, and have taken advantage of, the extensive opportunities to collaborate with exceptional clinicians and researchers within the Partners Network and Boston-area institutions. 

At the MGH Institute’s PhD program, there are small class sizes, great mentorship, and new labs and functional learning spaces being built to expand student learning opportunities.

What are your goals for the future after you graduate?
I hope to:

  • Be an effective and skilled clinical researcher
  • Continue to pursue interdisciplinary collaborations for enhancing the participation and quality of life of people with neurological conditions
  • Encourage research among clinicians.
     

Physical Therapy


Erin Futrell, PT, MPT, OCS

PhD Research Fellow

PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences Program

What year did you start the program? 2013

 

What are your prior degrees and from which institutions?
BS, Exercise Science, Summa Cum Laude, Georgia State University, 2003
MS, Physical Therapy, Georgia State University, 2007

What is your current research setting?
Mentor
: Dr. Irene Davis, PhD, PT, FAPTA, FACSM, FASB, SNRC Director
Lab: The Spaulding National Running Center (SNRC), Cambridge, MA
The SNRC is a combined research and clinical facility dedicated to understanding running-related and musculoskeletal injuries with a focus on prevention and providing the most effective evidence-based care.

On what is your current research focused?
Approximately 50 million people in the US participate in running, and up to 79% of them will sustain an injury in a given year. Physical therapists often analyze and treat injured runners with gait defects, but it is unknown which interventions are most effective and efficient. I am interested in the ability of patients with running injuries to learn new gait styles aimed at reducing impacts.

Impacts have been linked to injury, and if we can reduce the magnitude or rate of impact, we may be able to reduce injury. However, it is unknown if patients who undergo gait retraining in a clinical setting can maintain use of a new gait outside of the clinic. Therefore, I aim to find the short and long-term effects of two gait-retraining styles known to reduce impact.
 
What publications or external presentations you have produced that are based on the research you have done while in the program?
Abstract submitted to American College of Sports Medicine, November 2014: Effect of Highly Cushioned Shoes on Ground Reaction Forces During Running (co-author) Will be published and presented at ACSM Annual Meeting, May 2015

What do you think is special about the PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences program here at the MGH Institute?
The Partners HealthCare umbrella creates an abundance of opportunity. Having access to Brigham and Women's, Mass General, and Spaulding Hospitals, and Harvard Medical School facilities and professionals creates a unique health education environment. 

The interdisciplinary seminar also exposes students to a network of professional researchers and ideas. If students are proactive in seizing these opportunities and resources, they will have a distinct advantage in starting a career as a professional researcher. The academic environment in Boston is rare and unique. The ability to take courses from so many outstanding institutions is a definite advantage over other PhD programs in the country. 

Why did you choose to come to this program rather than a doctoral research program in your specific profession?
This program had several appealing options. The first is the ability to continue working as a PT while earning my doctoral degree. The second is the focus on clinical outcomes research – I find this type of information much more helpful as a clinician compared to the more traditional scientific methodology. The third is the affordability. Finances were a large component of my ability to go back to school. The relationships fostered between institutions in Boston have allowed a minimal financial strain on me. 

What are your goals for the future after you graduate?
I hope one day to obtain a faculty position and educate future physical therapists. I also hope to continue clinical work in an adult outpatient orthopedic setting and to conduct research that presents information that is understandable and useful for clinicians.

Photo of Donna Moxley Scarborough, PhD Student
Donna Moxley Scarborough, PT, MS

PhD Research Fellow

PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences Program

What year did you start the program? 2013

 

What are your prior degrees and at which institutions?
BS, Physical Therapy, Northeaster University, 1988
MS, Neurologic physical therapy, MGH Institute of Health Professions, 1997

What is your current research setting?
Mentor
: Young-Min Kwon, MBBS, MD, PhD, Director,
Lab: Center for Metal-on-Metal Total Hip Replacement, MGH Department of Orthopaedic Surgery

On what is your current research focused?
The focus of my PhD work is the analysis of functional movement control and its relationship to joint specific biomechanics after total hip replacement.

What publications or external presentations you have you produced that are based on the research you have done while in the program?

Publications:
Tsai T.-Y., Li J.-S., Wang S, Scarborough D., Kwon Y.-M. "In-vivo 6 degrees-of-freedom kinematics of metal-on polyethylene total hip arthroplasty during gait." J Biomech. 2014 May 7;47(7):1572-6.

Presentations:
Accepted and upcoming:
Scarborough, Donna Moxley
; Kosowsky, Tova L; Tsai, Tsung-Yuan; Kwon, Young-Min. "Does implant orientation influence functional pelvic stability in female patients with unilateral total hip arthroplasty?"  Orthopaedics Research Society Meetings Las Vegas, NV March 2015

Past presentations 2014:
Walker, James Todd; Scarborough, Donna Moxley; Tsai, Tsung-Yuan; Kwon, Young-Min. "3D Biomechanical analysis of functional activities reveals asymmetry in hip biomechanics- Case study of a patient with bilateral THA."  MGH Clinical Research Day October 2014

Tsung-Yuan Tsai, Dov Goldvasser, Donna Scarborough, Henrik Malchau, Guoan Li, Young-Min Kwon. "Determination of Accuracy of the Hip Joint Center in Patients with THA Using CT Imaging Techniques."  Orthopaedics Research Society Meetings New Orleans, LA . March 2014

Tsung-Yuan Tsai, Donna Scarborough, Harry E. Rubash, Guoan Li, Young-Min Kwon, MD, PhD. "Does Total Hip Arthroplasty Restore the Native Acetabular and Femoral Version?"  Orthopaedics Research Society Meetings New Orleans, LA . March 2014

Tsung-Yuan Tsai, Ph.D., Jing-Sheng Li, PT, MS, Shaobai Wang, PhD, Donna Scarborough, MS, PT, Henrik Malchau, Harry E. Rubash, Guoan Li, Ph.D, Young-Min Kwon. "How Much Hip Range of Motion does Really Occur during Walking in Patients with Total Hip Arthroplasty?"  Orthopaedics Research Society Meetings New Orleans, LA . March 2014

Tsung-Yuan Tsai, Ph.D., Jing-Sheng Li, PT, MS, Shaobai Wang, PhD, Donna Moxley Scarborough, MS, PT, Henrik Malchau, Harry E. Rubash, Guoan Li, Ph.D, Young-Min Kwon. "Does In-Vivo Separation of the Hip Joint Occur during Gait in Patients with Well-functioning Metal-on-Polyethylene Total Hip Arthroplasty?"   Orthopaedics Research Society Meetings New Orleans, LA . March 2014

What awards have you won while in the program?
Dr. David Krebs Doctoral Research Fund award,  December 2014.

What do you think is special about the PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences program here at the MGH Institute?

One primary reason I am proud to be enrolled in the PhD program is the opportunity to learn from researchers who are world renown and to have guidance from multidisciplinary faculty.

Why did you choose to come to this program rather than a doctoral research program in your specific profession?
In addition to the above statement and the reputation that MGH Institute holds, one of the key reasons I applied to this PhD program instead of others was the ability to pursue my degree while maintaining employment.

What are your goals for the future after you graduate?
I hope to continue to grow as a researcher, pursue research funding, lead studies while mentoring others who are also interested in clinical rehabilitation and movement control.

Photo of Catherine Schmidt, PhD '16
Catherine Schmidt, PT, DPT

PhD '16

PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences Program

What year did you start the program? 2012

 

What are your prior degrees, and from which institutions?
BS, Physical Therapy, Quinnipiac College, Hamden, CT, 1999
Combined MS and DPT, orthopedic specialization, MGH Institute of Health Professions, 2007

What was your research setting during the PhD program?
Mentor Jonathan Bean, MD, MS, MPH
Lab: New England GRECC VA Boston Healthcare System

On what was your research focused?
My dissertation research aims to identify the impairments that are responsible for mobility challenges among older adults with lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS), a degenerative spinal condition. Knowledge of the specific impairments will guide physical therapists in developing effective treatment plans.

Rehabilitative care that is targeted based on the impairments responsible for mobility challenges will lead to improved health and quality of life and the prevention of mobility decline and disability as a result of LSS.

What publications or external presentations have you produced that are based on the research you have done while in the program?
Publications
Beauchamp MK, Schmidt CT, Pederson MM, Bean JF, Jette AM. Psychometric properties of the late-life function and disability instrument: a systematic review. BMC Geriatr. 2014;14(12).

Presentations
Schmidt CT, Suri P, Anderson D, Kiely D, Ward RE, Kurlinski L, Bean JF. The health and functional characteristics of older adult primary care patients with lumbar spinal stenosis. The Gerontologist. 2014; 54(Suppl 2): NP. doi: 10.1093/geront/gnu106. Gerontological Society of America Annual Scientific Meeting, Washington, DC, 2014.

Manuscript in preparation
Schmidt CT, Suri P, Anderson D, Kiely D, Ward RE, Kurlinski L, Bean JF. The health and functional characteristics of older adult primary care patients with lumbar spinal stenosis. 2015.

What do you think is special about the PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences program here at the MGH Institute? 
The Institute's PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences program offers almost limitless bounds of collaboration with multidisciplinary faculty, researchers, and clinicians.

Why did you choose to come to this program rather than a doctoral research program in your specific profession?
As a graduate from the MGH Institute's advanced Master in Physical Therapy and Clinical Doctorate programs in 2006 I had the opportunity to experience first hand the quality education and support as I progressed within my clinical career.

As a young faculty member of the Department of Physical Therapy I am well aware of the mentorship available throughout the Institute.

The program is one of few that focuses on interdisciplinary collaboration, which offers the great potential to advance research skills and conduct quality research.

What are your goals for the future after you graduate?
I hope to become an independent clinical investigator working in the field of geriatric rehabilitation sciences at an academic institution that has strong support for clinical research.

I would like to become a proficient and autonomous scientist in developing the most effective and efficacious physical therapy interventions that maximize function and mobility in the care of older adults with back disorders. In addition I hope to continue my faculty role in physical therapy academia.
 

Speech-Language Pathology

Photo of Anna A. Allen, PhD Student
Anna A. Allen, MS, CCC-SLP

PhD Research Fellow

PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences Program

What year did you start the program? 2012

 

What are your prior degrees and with which institutions?
BA, Biological Sciences, Smith College, Northampton, MA, 1999
MS, Speech-Language Pathology, MGH Institute of Health Professions, 2003

What is your current research setting?
Mentor
: Howard C. Shane, PhD, CCC-SLP, Director
Setting: Center for Communication Enhancement, the Autism Language Program,
Boston Children’s Hospital

On what is your current research focused?
My research focuses on the efficacy of visual augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) interventions in autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Specifically, I am interested in the use of mobile technology platforms for improving language comprehension in children with moderate to severe ASD, and in training caregivers to implement these systems.

What publications or external presentations have you produced that are based on the research you have done while in the program?
Publications
Allen, A. A. & Shane, H. C.  (2014). The evaluation of children with an autism spectrum disorder: Adaptations to accommodate a telepractice model of clinical care. Perspectives on Telepractice, 4, 42-51.  DOI: 10.1044/teles4.2.42

Allen, A. A. & Shane, H. C.  (2014). Autism spectrum disorders in the era of mobile technologies: Impact on caregivers. Developmental Neurorehabilitation, 17(2), 110-114.  DOI: 10.1044/teles4.2.4210.3109/17518423.2014.882425

Presentations
Allen, A. A. & Shane, H. C.  (2015, January 29). A field study: Implementing the Visual Immersion System (VIS) via telepractice. Seminar presented at the meeting of the Assistive Technology Industry Association, Orlando, FL. 

Allen, A. A., Lof, G. L., & Shane, H. C.  (2014, November 22). “Miracles” in autism treatment: Helping parents become better decision-makers. Seminar presented at the meeting of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, Orlando, FL. 

Allen, A. A., Jeans, C. E., & Ball, L. J.  (2013, November). Caregiver attitudes toward the iPad for young adults with ASD: A Survey. Poster session presented at the meeting of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, Chicago, IL.

What awards have you won while in the program?
Saffran Student Scholar Award (2013): Pre-doctoral scholarship to the 8th Annual Eleanor M. Saffran Cognitive Neuroscience Conference at Temple University
Award for Continuing Education (ACE), American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (2014)

What do you think is special about the PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences program here at the MGH Institute?
The Institute's PhD program distinguishes itself in that all of the students are established, experienced clinicians,
and in its interprofessional environment. The program is designed to foster the overlap of what could be called traditional “clinical” and “research” realms.

Why did you choose to come to this program rather than a doctoral research program in your specific profession?
There are a number of reasons. Regarding career potential after graduation, I felt that I would be more uniquely marketable coming from this program vs. a more traditional program. I liked the unique dual focus on what could be called traditional “clinical” and “research” realms.

I wanted my classmates to be other established clinicians (vs. new clinicians just out of a masters program). I was impressed by the large number of faculty who are leaders in their fields. I am an alumna of the Institute and have found that it has great name recognition and regard. And I like the program’s geographic location.

What are your goals for the future after you graduate?
I hope to have a research-oriented career in a health care and/or academic setting, conducting research on applications of technology and caregiver training that will contribute new knowledge about communication intervention for persons with autism spectrum disorders.

Photo of Crystal Alonzo, PhD student
Crystle Alonzo, MS, CCC-SLP

PhD Research Fellow

PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences Program

What year did you start the program? 2013

 

What are your prior degrees and at which institutions?
BS, Speech, Language, & Hearing Sciences, University of Arizona, 2007
MS, Clinical Speech Pathology, Northern Arizona University, 2010

What is your current research setting?
Mentor
: Tiffany Hogan, PhD, CCC-SLP, Director
Lab: Speech, Language and Literacy (SAiL) Lab, MGH Institute of Health Professions

On what is your current research focused?
My primary interest is in early childhood language development, specifically prevention of, identification of, and intervention for children at risk for delays and disabilities in cognition, language and literacy.

My current research is focused on determining if a language-based classroom curriculum – Let’s Know – significantly improves story retell abilities of preschoolers during the first year of a 2-year, multi-state, randomized control trial, run by the Language and Reading Research Consortium (LARRC) through the Speech and Language (SAiL) Literacy lab.

We also will characterize the story retell abilities of a large sample of preschool children over the course of one academic year, and examine the relations between story retell abilities and child, home, and school outcomes.  Our findings may provide a way for teachers and parents to improve their children’s story abilities to then improve reading comprehension.

What publications or external presentations you have produced that are based on the research you have done while in the program?
Alonzo, C.N., Davis. D., Guarino, A., Farquharson, K., Hogan, T.P., & the Language and Reading Research Consortium (LARRC) (2014, November). Classroom language-based intervention effects narrative retell of preschool children. American Speech, Language, and Hearing Association, Orlando, FL.

Hogan, T.P., Adlof, S.M., & Alonzo, C.N. (2014). On the importance of listening comprehension. International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 16, 199-207

What do you think is special about the PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences program here at the MGH Institute?

The PhD program in Rehabilitation Sciences at the Institute is unique in its interdisciplinary nature and the connections it has with a diverse network of health and education institutions in the greater Boston area. We are provided with a rare opportunity to interact with, learn from, and collaborate with clinical researchers from a multitude of fields and generations.

Why did you choose to come to this program rather than a doctoral research program in your specific profession?
The program at the Institute is a great fit for my professional interests and goals to be a clinical researcher.  I have wonderful opportunities to meet and learn from researchers and clinicians from various disciplines at the Institute and this will inform my future practice as a researcher. The Institute will help me attain my professional goals because it employs faculty like Dr. Tiffany Hogan. Her expertise and experience as a speech-language pathologist, a researcher, and professor speak volumes to the types and quality of research and labs housed at the Institute.

What are your goals for the future after you graduate?
I hope to secure a faculty position at a higher education institution and obtain external and independent funding to continue my research in early childhood language development. I am particularly interested in looking at the impact of exposure and experiences during the early years of development and how this can help inform and direct clinical practice and policy in the areas of language and literacy.

I aspire to do the same as Dr. Tiffany Hogan and others in our field, to in some way, add to the knowledge base of the profession as a researcher and to hopefully see this work reflected in my students as a professor.


Charles Jeans, MS, CCC-SLP

PhD Research Fellow

PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences Program

What year did you start the program?  2013

 

What are your prior degrees and from which institutions?
BS, English, Southern Connecticut State University, 1992
MS, Speech-Language Pathology, Northeastern University, 1998

What is your current research setting?
Mentor:
Margaret Kjelgaard, PhD, CCC-SLP
Lab: MIT Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Sinha Laboratory for Vision Research

On what is your current research focused?
I’m interested in understanding differences in how individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder learn words. I’m particularly interested in the ways these differences contribute to some individuals being non-verbal.

What awards have you won while in the program?
Research Mentor-Pair Travel Award (RMPTA). American Speech Language and Hearing Association 2014

What do you think is special about the PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences program here at the MGH Institute?
I like the way that it values clinical experience as a starting point for research. I also have really enjoyed the interprofessional nature of the program. I’ve learned a lot from my classmates from other disciplines.

Why did you choose to come to this program rather than a doctoral research program in your specific profession?
I liked that the program was different conceptually – as a clinician I’ve always liked learning things from my colleagues from other disciplines. It gave me a fuller picture of the client I was seeing.

In the PhD program that manifests as getting a fuller picture of how to ask and answer research questions.

What are your goals for the future after you graduate?
I hope to pursue research in the area of Autism Spectrum Disorders. I would also like to disseminate that information through teaching.

Photo of Bridget Perry, PhD Student
Bridget Perry, MS, CCC-SLP

PhD Research Fellow

PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences Program

What year did you start the program? 2013

 

What are your prior degrees and at which institutions?
BBA, Marketing and Graphic Design, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN
MS, Speech-Language Pathology, Rush University Medical Center, Rush University, Chicago, IL

What is your current research setting?
Mentor
: Jordan Green, PhD, CCC-SLP, Director 
Lab: Speech and Feeding Disorders Lab (SFDL), MGH Institute of Health Professions

What is your current research focused on?
My current research is focused on the biomechanics of orofacial movement, the impact of disordered orofacial movement on speech and swallowing, and rehabilitation techniques to improve functional deficits acquired from disordered orofacial movement.

What publications or external presentations have you produced that are based on the research you have done while in the program?

Perry, B. (2014, November). Rehabilitation of Oral Motor Function Following Facial Transplantation. Invited Speaker. American Society for Reconstructive Transplantation Meeting, Chicago, IL. 

Perry, B., Green, J., Bueno, E., & Pomahac, B. (2014, November). The Effects of Labial Strength Training on Labial Strength and Range of Motion in a Patient One Year Status Post Full Facial Transplantation. Technical session at the annual convention of the American Speech, Language, and Hearing Association, Orlando, Florida. 

Bowler, B. & Su, P. (2013, November). Communication Deficits and Dysphagia in Four Patients Following Full Facial Transplantation. Poster presented at the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, Chicago, Illinois.

What do you think is special about the PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences program here at the MGH Institute?
The interdisciplinary model of this program makes this program so unique. I love sharing classes with professionals in other rehabilitation disciplines and have found that their work and insight regularly inspires new thoughts and ideas in my own research.

Being part of Partners HealthCare Systems and having access to all that Partners offers is also something really special about the program. From lectures, to seminars, to mini-courses, the opportunities we have to learn from the some of the most well-respected researchers and physicians in healthcare seem endless.   

Why did you choose to come to this program rather than a doctoral research program in your specific profession?
The programs affiliation with Partners HealthCare Systems was a big draw to me. Wanting to continue my work with Brigham and Women’s Hospital and incorporate my work at the hospital with my research was very important to me. This program’s flexibility has allowed me to maintain my relationship and research with the hospital.

What are your goals for the future after you graduate?
Upon developing a strong research initiative, I hope to achieve a scholar-practitioner position at a research-intensive university where I can not only continue to explore my area of interest through research, but can also serve as an instructor in the classroom setting as well.

It is my hope that my research will help guide clinician assessment and rehabilitation techniques for patients with functional deficits as a result of disordered orofacial movement.

Photo of Meg Simione, PhD Research Fellow
Meg Simione, MA, CCC-SLP

PhD Research Fellow

PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences Program

What year did you start the program? 2012

 

What are your prior degrees and at which institutions?
BS, Communication Sciences and Disorders, Minor in Psychology, Boston University, Boston MA. 1998
MA, Speech-Language Pathology, Northwestern University, Evanston IL, 2000

What is your current research setting?
Mentor
: Jordan R. Green, PhD, CCC-SLP
Lab: Speech & Feeding Disorders Lab, MGH Institute of Health Professions

On what is your current research focused?
My research focuses on the neuromechanics of normal and disordered feeding development. In my research, I am developing novel computer-based methods to assess the sensory and motor control of chewing. This information is essential for developing better assessment methods and creating individualized treatment approaches. 

What publications or external presentations you have produced that are based on the research you have done while in the program?

Simione, M., Yunosova, Y., & Green, J. R. (2014) Validation of clinical observations of mastication of persons with ALS. Poster presented at the annual convention of the American, Speech, Language, and Hearing Association, Orlando, FL. 

Edelson, L.R., Simione, M., Le Révérend, B.J.D., Green, J.R., Alder, M. and Loret, C. (2014). Physiological aspects of the development of mastication in early childhood. Poster presented at Experimental Biology convention, San Diego, CA. 

What awards have you have won while in the program?
Plural Publishing Research Scholarship Award 2014

What do you think is special about the PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences program here at the MGH Institute?
• Interdisciplinary focus of the program
• The affiliations with area hospitals and other academic institutions

Why did you choose to come to this program rather than a doctoral research program in your specific profession?

• The opportunity to work with my mentor
• The interdisciplinary focus

What are your goals for the future after you graduate?
I hope to have a faculty position in a research-intensive university to continue with my line of research focusing on the physiologic development of feeding skills.

Photo of Jarrad H. Van Stan, PhD '16
Jarrad H. Van Stan, MA, CCC-SLP

PhD '16

PhD in Rehabilitation Science Program

What year did you start the program? 2012

 

What are your prior degrees and at which institutions?
Bachelor of Music, Performance Voice, University of Delaware, 2005
MA, Communication Science and Disorders, Temple University, 2005

What was your research setting during the PhD program?
Mentor:
Robert E Hillman, PhD, CCC-SLP
Lab: http://www.massgeneral.org/voicecenter/On

On what was your research focused?
Diagnosis and treatment of voice disorders using ambulatory voice monitoring and motor learning/control perspectives.

What publications or external presentations have you produced that are based on the research you have done while in the program?
Publications (in chronological order)

Peer Reviewed:
M. Ghassemi, J. H. Van Stan, D. D. Mehta, M. Zañartu, H. A. Cheyne II, R. E. Hillman, J. V. Guttag (2014). Learning to detect vocal hyperfunction from ambulatory neck-surface acceleration features: Initial results for vocal fold nodules. IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering, 61(6), 1668–1675

J. H. Van Stan, J. Gustafsson, E. Shalling, R. E. Hillman (2014). Direct comparison of commercially available ambulatory voice monitors: A clinical perspective. SIG 3 Perspectives on Voice & Voice Disorders, 24(2), 80-86.

J. H. Van Stan, D. D. Mehta, & R. E. Hillman (2015). The effect of ambulatory biofeedback on the performance and retention of a vocal motor skill in daily life. Journal of Speech Language & Hearing Research, 58, 713-721
 
J. H. Van Stan, N. Roy, S. Awan, J. Stemple, R. E. Hillman (2015). A voice therapy taxonomy. American Journal of Speech Language Pathology, 24, 101-125

J. H. Van Stan, D. D. Mehta, S. M. Zeitels, J. A. Burns, A. M. Barbu, & R. E. Hillman (2015). Average ambulatory measures of sound pressure level, fundamental frequency, and vocal dose do not differ between adult females with phonotraumatic lesions and matched control subjects. Annals of Otology, Rhinology, and Laryngology, 124, 864-874

D. D. Mehta, J. H. Van Stan, & R. E. Hillman (In Revision). Relationships between voice quality measures derived from an acoustic microphone and a sub glottal neck-surface accelerometer. IEEE Transactions on Audio, Speech and Language Processing.

Book Chapters:
T. Stadelman-Cohen, J. H. Van Stan, R. E. Hillman (2014). Use of ambulatory biofeedback to supplement traditional voice therapy for treating primary muscle tension dysphonia in an adult female. In J. Stemple & E. Hapner (Eds.), Voice Therapy: Clinical Case Studies, 4th Edition, San Diego, CA: Plural Publishing.

Conference Presentations/Proceedings:
J. H. Van Stan, M. T. Jarvis, S.-W. Park, D. Sternad, D. D. Mehta, R. E. Hillman (2015). Development of a two-dimensional virtual environment to study variability in vocal motor learning. Advances in Quantitative Laryngology, London, England.

J. H. Van Stan, D. D. Mehta, S. M. Zeitels, J. A. Burns, A. M. Barbu, & R. E. Hillman (2015). Average ambulatory measures of sound pressure level, fundamental frequency, and vocal dose do not differ between adult females with phonotraumatic lesions and matched control subjects. Combined Otolaryngology Spring Meetings – American Broncho-Esophagological Association, Boston, MA.

J. H. Van Stan, D. D. Mehta, R. E. Hillman (2015). The development of flexible ambulatory biofeedback schedules for vocal motor learning. Occupation Voice Symposium, London, England.

J. H. Van Stan, D. D. Mehta, R. E. Hillman (2014). Effect of ambulatory biofeedback on vocal motor behavior in daily life: A pilot study. ASHA National Convention, Orlando, FL.

J. H. Van Stan, N. Roy, S. Awan, R. E. Hillman (2013). A taxonomy of voice therapy. ASHA National Convention, Chicago, IL.

J. H. Van Stan, J. Sechrist (2012). Preventative/rehabilitative dysphagia protocol for chemoradiation to the head and neck. Pennsylvania Speech-Language & Hearing Association Convention, Lancaster, PA.

H. Aljehani, J. H. Van Stan, R. E. Hillman, C. W. Haynes, D. D. Mehta (2015). Ambulatory voice monitoring of a Muslim imam during Ramadan. Voice Foundation, Philadelphia, PA.

D. D. Mehta, J. H. Van Stan, R. E. Hillman (2014). Deriving acoustic voice quality measures from subglottal neck-surface acceleration. Proceedings of the International Conference on Voice Physiology and Biomechanics, Salt Lake City, UT.

R. E. Hillman, J. H. Van Stan, D. D. Mehta, M. Zañartu, M. Ghassemi, H. A. Cheyne II, J. V. Guttag (2013). Future directions in the development of ambulatory monitoring for clinical voice assessment. Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Advances in Quantitative Laryngology, Voice and Speech Research, Cincinnati, OH.

D. D. Mehta, M. Zañartu, J. H. Van Stan, S. W. Feng, H. A. Cheyne II, R. E. Hillman (2013). Smartphone-based detection of voice disorders by long-term monitoring of neck acceleration features. Proceedings of the 10th Annual Body Sensor Networks Conference, Cambridge, MA

Y.-A. S. Lien, C. Calabrese, C. Michener, J. H. Van Stan, D. D. Mehta, R. E. Hillman, C. E. Stepp (2014). Relative fundamental frequency estimation via neck skin acceleration in healthy and disordered voices. ASHA National Convention, Orlando, FL.

M. Zañartu, V. Espinoza, D. D. Mehta, J. H. Van Stan, H. A. Cheyne II, M. Ghassemi, J. V. Guttag, and R. E. Hillman, (2013). Toward an objective aerodynamic assessment of vocal hyperfunction using a voice health monitor. Proceedings of the 8th International Workshop on Models and Analysis of Vocal Emissions for Biomedical Applications, Firenze, Italy.

A. F. Llico, M. Zañartu, D. D. Mehta, J. H. Van Stan, H. A. Cheyne II, A. J. González, M. Ghassemi, G. R. Wodicka, J. V. Guttag, and R. E. Hillman, (2013). Incorporating real-time biofeedback capabilities into a voice health monitor. Proceedings of the 8th International Workshop on Models and Analysis of Vocal Emissions for Biomedical Applications, Firenze, Italy.

Y.-A. S. Lien, C. Calabrese, C. M. Michener, E. H. Murray, J. H. Van Stan, D. D. Mehta, R. E. Hillman, J. P. Noordzij, C. E. Stepp (2015). Automated algorithms for estimation of relative fundamental frequency in individuals with and without voice disorders. Advances in Quantitative Laryngology, London, England.

M. Ghassemi, E. Shih, D. Mehta, S. Feng, J. H. Van Stan, R. Hillman, J. Guttag (2012). Detecting voice modes for vocal hyperfunction prevention. Proceedings of the 7th Annual Workshop for Women in Machine Learning, Lake Tahoe, NV.

What grants have you been awarded while in the PhD program?
NIH   4 R33DC011588-03  Robert Hillman (PI)  04/01/2012–03/31/2016
Ambulatory monitoring of vocal function to improve voice disorder assessment
The goal of this study is to develop accelerometer-based ambulatory monitoring of vocal function into a valid, reliable, and cost-effective clinical tool that can be used to accurately identify and differentiate patterns of voice use that are associated with hyperfunctional voice disorders.
Role: Research Speech Language Pathologist

NIH  1 F31DC014412-01  Jarrad Van Stan (PI)  09/01/2014–06/01/2017
The influence of ambulatory biofeedback schedules on the retention of a vocal motor behavior
Voice ambulatory biofeedback has the potential to significantly improve voice therapy effectiveness by targeting the hardest aspect of rehabilitation – carryover outside the therapy session (also known as retention). This project will use ambulatory biofeedback structures based on motor control and learning theory to attempt to improve the retention of modified vocal behaviors (decreased vocal loudness) in subjects with normal voices. Specifically, decreased frequency of feedback and summary average feedback schedules will be empirically compared to immediate 100% feedback regarding their effects on subject performance, short term retention, and long term retention.
Role: Primary Investigator

PCORI  ME-1403-14083   John Whyte (PI)   01/01/2014–12/31/2017
Better rehabilitation through better characterization of treatments: Development of the Manual for Rehabilitation Treatment Specification
The objective of this project is to develop the conceptual framework of the Rehabilitation Treatment Taxonomy (RTT) into standardized operational procedures by which clinicians, educators, and researchers across all rehabilitation disciplines may define and specify rehabilitation treatments according to their immediate effects, mechanisms of action, and hypothesized active ingredients. Thus, one tangible objective is the development, initial testing, and dissemination of a Manual for Rehabilitation Treatment Specification. A further objective, using the results of that testing, is to continue development of the RTT toward the goal of a common language and classification system for all rehabilitation interventions, thus allowing meaningful grouping of similar treatments together and meaningful comparisons across distinct treatment approaches.
Role: Consultant

What awards have you won while in the program?
ASHFoundation New Century Scholars Doctoral Scholarship 2014 Awardee

What do you think is special about the PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences program here at the MGH Institute?
The Institute’s PhD program has a clinical and practical focus throughout the field of rehabilitation sciences. It helps foster interdisciplinary research and projects that may potentially improve rehabilitation as a whole.

Why did you choose to come to this program rather than a doctoral research program in your specific profession?
The Institute’s strong affiliations with exceptional clinical institutions throughout the Boston area.

What are your goals for the future after you graduate?
My long term goals are to have a joint academic/clinical position in an academically affiliated hospital setting where I would build a very active clinical research program while also doing part-time clinical work and contributing to the teaching mission of the institution; primarily in areas related to medical speech language pathology (SLP).

What position do you hold since earning your PhD?
Senior Clinical Research Coordinator, Massachusetts General Hospital

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