Director

Naomi Rodgers
Naomi Rodgers, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

Email: naomi.rodgers@unl.edu

Dr. Rodgers is an assistant professor in the Department of Special Education and Communication Disorders. She established the UNL Stuttering Lab in 2019 after receiving her clinical master's and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Iowa. As a person who stutters, speech-language pathologist, and researcher, she has a holistic perspective on stuttering that inspires her to address empirical questions that are clinically grounded. In addition to her time in the lab and classroom, she leads the local self-help chapter of the National Stuttering Association. Her overall mission is to evolve our understanding of the psychosocial factors related to the nature and treatment of stuttering, and to maximize support for people in Nebraska and beyond for living well with stuttering.

For more information, see Dr. Rodgers' CV and SECD profile.

Twitter: @_nhrodgers

Students

Gabby Ainsworth
Gabby Ainsworth

Research Assistant, SLP master's student ('22)

Gabby is from South Beloit, Illinois. She is pursuing her master's degree in speech-language pathology and she wants to work in a clinical or school setting. She was first introduced to therapy for individuals who stutter during a previous clinical internship in Denver, Colorado. During the experience, Gabby became more interested in the psychological aspects of stuttering including how it affects an individual's confidence, anxiety, and social involvement. She is excited for an opportunity to learn more about the effects of stuttering on an individual's well-being. When Gabby is not in school, she enjoys staying active by bike riding, swimming, and running. She even recently began training to compete in a sprint triathlon.

Karissa Boesiger
Karissa Boesiger

Research Assistant, SLP undergrad student ('22)

Karissa is from Lincoln, Nebraska. She had the opportunity to shadow an SLP who worked with students who stutter, and she found the therapy process very interesting. She is excited to be part of the research team in the Stuttering Lab so that she can contribute to a portion of the field that can sometimes be overlooked. In the future, she hopes to attend the master’s program for speech-language pathology here at UNL and begin her career working with elementary age students. Fun fact: she has played the piano since she was four years old!

Olivia Book
Olivia Book

Research Assistant and UCARE Mentee, SLP undergrad student ('21)

Olivia is from Kansas City, Missouri, and she wants to be a speech-language pathologist in the clinical setting. What first drew her interest to stuttering is when she figured out that when SLPs are working with someone who stutters, they work to help build their confidence, mentality, and overall comfort with their stuttering. It shows an entirely different side to the job of an SLP. There is so much that the general public doesn't know about stuttering and specifically how it can affect someone's mental health. That is why she is so excited to have the opportunity to work on this project. A fun fact about Olivia is that last year she created an advice podcast called, "Kinda Qualified."

MaKenna Dahlgrin
MaKenna Dahlgrin

Research Assistant and UCARE Mentee, SLP undergrad student ('21)

MaKenna is from Gering, Nebraska. She is currently working toward a degree in communication sciences and disorders, with hopes of earning her master’s degree in speech-language pathology. MaKenna is passionate about children, so she hopes to work in a school setting. She is eager to participate in the Stuttering Lab as she has little to no experience with individuals who stutter. Through this experience, she hopes to gain a better understanding of stuttering in order to become an advocate for individuals who stutter. A fun fact about MaKenna is she graduated high school with a class of 10 students.

James Foran
James Foran

Research Assistant, SLP master's student ('22)

James was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, and is a lifelong stutterer. After graduating with a degree in finance from UNL, James worked as an internal auditor and accountant for 6 years. Since then, James started graduate school for speech-language pathology and intends on earning his doctorate one day. He is very interested in the cognitive processes involved in therapy readiness and the neurological basis for stuttering. In his free time, James is most likely to be playing golf during the summer and watching basketball during the winter. That being said, he is happiest throwing the football to his brother, as far as he can.

Carly Johnson
Carly Johnson

Research Assistant and UCARE Mentee, SLP undergrad ('22)

Carly is from Lincoln, Nebraska. She hopes to earn her master’s degree in speech-language pathology and work in the school setting. After working in the schools for a few years, she would like to return to a university and work as a clinical supervisor/educator. She thought that participating in a research project that focuses on stuttering would be extremely fascinating. Specifically, the project that she is working on focuses on mental health outcomes for individuals who stutter which she believes will be very eye-opening. The film “The King's Speech” is what originally sparked here interest to pursue a career in the field of speech pathology, so she knew that doing research that focused on stuttering would be a perfect fit for her. Fun fact about Carly: she is ambidextrous!

Alumni

Ashton Mehlin – Research Assistant, SLP undergrad student ('23)

Chloe Strong – Honors Thesis and UCARE Mentee, SLP undergrad student ('21)

Tessah Clarence – Research Assistant, SLP undergrad student ('21)

Rebecca Eaton – Research Assistant, SLP undergrad student ('21)

Kate Sindt – Research Assistant, SLP master's student ('21)

If you are a student who is interested in getting involved in research in the Stuttering Lab, please fill out our Research Assistant Interest Form.