Audra Sterling, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Audra is interested in the language and cognitive development of individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders. In particular she is interested in the communication of children with fragile X syndrome, autism spectrum disorders, and Down syndrome. The long-term goals of her research seek to understand the contributions of both biology (as represented by genetic syndromes, e.g., FXS) and environment (as represented in this case by parenting) in the development of language and cognition in children with developmental disabilities. She is also interested how the premutation of FXS impacts language and cognition.
- Susen Schroeder
- Andrea Barton-Hulsey
- Holly Erbstoesser
- Laura Friedman
- Shelby Gunderson
- Julia Kennelly
- Erin Miller
- Courtney Ramczyk
- Kallie Renfus
- Bianca Schroeder
- Alyssa Stearns
- Emily Lorang
- Kellie Willis
Susen Schroeder, MS – Lab Manager
Susen received her Master’s degree in Communicative Disorders from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has been working with families and children with developmental disorders at the Waisman Center for nearly 15 years. Additionally, she oversees various transcribing projects which leads her to ask fellow lab mates off the wall questions like “Do you consider paper plates to be one word or two?”
Andrea is a Postdoctoral fellow at the Waisman Center and received her Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from Georgia State University. Her research aims to extend our knowledge of the role of speech and language comprehension in reading development in individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities who may also use Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) systems. Her dissertation research examined the relationship between speech ability, receptive language, cognitive skills and phonological awareness in children between 4 and 5 years of age with developmental disabilities. As a postdoctoral trainee, Andrea will further investigate the relationship between language comprehension and production in children with Fragile X, Autism, and Down Syndrome. The goal of her research is to inform reading and language interventions for children with IDD.
Holly Erbstoesser is a first year graduate student in the Communication Sciences and Disorders Master’s program. In the lab she is an examiner for the Expressive Language Study, and also transcribes language samples. She hopes to eventually work in a school or medical setting with children, and possibly work as a bilingual SLP. Her interests outside of school and lab include running, live music, and spending time with family and friends.
Laura is an Ph.D. student in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders. She graduated from the University of Maryland with a B.A. in Hearing and Speech Sciences, and completed her M.S. degree in Speech-Language Pathology at UW-Madison. Laura has been working with individuals with autism spectrum disorder and other developmental disabilities for many years as an ABA technician and direct support specialist. Her research interests include language processing and development in individuals with ASD and fragile X syndrome, along with how ASD affects the fragile x phenotype. In her free time, Laura enjoys completing jigsaw puzzles, spending time outdoors, and exploring Madison’s restaurants.
Shelby Gunderson is a first-year graduate student in the Speech Language Pathology program. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a B.A. in Communication Sciences and Disorders and Spanish. Her work in the RIDDLL lab includes serving as an examiner for the Expressive Language Study, as well as transcribing language samples. She hopes to use the experiences gained working with children and adults who have Down syndrome, Fragile X syndrome, and autism spectrum disorders in her future career as a speech language pathologist. In her free time, Shelby enjoys going to the farmer’s market, reading for fun, and taking her family cat on walks.
Julia Kennelly is a second year graduate student in the Communication Sciences and Disorders Master’s program. In the lab she is an examiner for the Parenting and Language Study (PALS), and also works on coding and data entry for that project. She hopes to eventually work in medical setting with children and/or adults. Her interests outside of school and lab include reading, cooking, and fitness.
Erin Miller is a first year graduate student in the communication sciences and disorders master’s program. In the lab, her focus is data entry and organization. Outside of school, Erin enjoys reading, writing, and watching college sports.
Courtney is a first-year Masters student in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at UW-Madison. Courtney has worked in the RIDDLL lab since spring 2013 and has been fortunate to work on many important projects exploring the language and cognitive abilities of children with Down syndrome, Fragile X syndrome, and autism spectrum disorders. Currently, Courtney works as a participant recruiter and project examiner for the Expressive Language Sample study. Courtney hopes to use her knowledge and experiences gained through the RIDDLL lab to help her as future clinical SLP. In her free time, Courtney enjoys going to concerts, being outdoors, and traveling to new places.
Kallie Renfus is a Capstone student studying Communication Sciences and Disorders. She graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a B.A. in Psychology. Kallie is excited to be working on projects involving the language and communication skills of children with developmental disabilities. In her free time, Kallie enjoys running, drawing, and reading!
Bianca is a second year M.S. student in communication sciences and disorders. Her research interests include how parental responsivity and the home environment affects language development in children with and without developmental disabilities. Bianca is currently working on the Parenting and Language Learning in Young Children with Down Syndrome (PALs) project. She hopes to someday work with children in a school or birth to 3 setting. In her free time, Bianca enjoys reading, knitting, and spending time outdoors.
Alyssa is a junior in the communication sciences and disorders honors program. In RIDDL lab, her duties consist of viewing and analyzing video data by coding for gestures. She hopes that her experience in the lab will contribute to her future success as a graduate student in a speech-language pathology master’s program and, someday, a clinical SLP. In her spare time, Alyssa enjoys singing in the UW-Madison Master’s Singers choral ensemble, playing violin, and going to concerts.
Emily Lorang is a Ph.D. student in the Communication Sciences and Disorders Department. Her research interests include investigating the complexities of communication profiles in people with developmental disabilities of genetic origins, such as in Down syndrome and fragile X syndrome, with or without comorbid autism spectrum disorders. Currently, Emily is working on a project exploring how both parenting and child behaviors affect language development in Down syndrome. In her free time, Emily enjoys biking, going to the farmer’s market, and spending time with friends and family.
Kellie is an undergraduate student majoring in communication sciences & disorders, with a minor in French. She has been a part of the RIDDLL lab since August 2015 and hopes to apply her knowledge from lab into her future lab at graduate school. Kellie is passionate about working with individuals with intellectual disabilities, and her goal is to continue working and researching this population. Outside of the lab, Kellie likes traveling, coffee, and spending time with her friends, family and pets.
- Sarah Halls
- Kirsten Larson