NBASLH Executive Board

Cathy Runnels, M.S., CCC-SLP, Interim Chair

Speech-Language Pathology has been a passion throughout my life. While my sole career, I've worked in many area's of the profession providing services in medical, educational and now, in the business sector. As CEO of Accent on Speech LLC, my experiences combine to serve clients seeking therapy along with professional adults and companies seeking training in order to strengthen ways to communicate their brands and services. 

A little more about me: I grew up in Dallas, Texas and attended Chapman University in Orange California for undergraduate training, and Syracuse University in New York for the Master of Science degree. My first job was at Harlem Hospital in NYC then the University of the District of Columbia when I moved to the DC area. I held various clinical and administrative positions in Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland. In 2003, I began full-time work in my practice, Accent of Speech, a company based in the Washington DC metroplex with a global reach. Syracuse University honored me as Alumna of the Year (2011) and I have been active in ASHA becoming Fellow in 2014. You can reach me through my website:

Rachel M. Williams, PhD, CCC-SLP, Past Chair

Dr. Rachel Williams is a Program Professor and Clinical Supervisor in the Department of Speech, Language and Communication Disorders at Nova Southeastern University (NSU) in Fort Lauderdale, FL. She received her doctorate degree from Howard University, master’s from University of Central Florida and her bachelor’s from the University of Florida. She enjoys advising and teaching the students in the master’s and doctoral programs. Her research areas of interests include child language, fluency and fluency disorders, and culturally and linguistically diverse populations. In addition, she is a certified member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) in Speech-Language Pathology. Also, she is a 2007 graduate of ASHA Leadership Development Program and has served on various ASHA committees Currently, she serves as Treasurer and Multicultural Committee Chairperson for the Florida Association of Speech Language Pathologists and Audiologists (FLASHA), Stuttering Specialist for the Stuttering Foundation of America (SFA), Chairperson of NSUs Affiliate Chapter of NBASLH, and member of the Fischler School of Education and Human Services’ Office of Community Education and Diversity Affairs Advisory Council (OCEDA)

Martine Elie, PhD, CCC-SLP, Treasurer

Martine Elie, PhD, is the clinic director at Howard University Speech and Hearing Clinic in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders. Dr. Elie received her doctorate from Howard University, master’s from University of the District of Columbia and her bachelor’s from St. John’s University. Her research interests include child language, bilingual and multicultural issues, intercultural communication, interprofessional education and practice, mentorship, and the assessment and treatment of culturally and linguistically diverse populations with an emphasis on Haitian Creole speakers. She has presented her research at local, national and international conferences. Dr. Elie enjoys teaching and mentoring students at the undergraduate and graduate level. She serves as the faculty advisor for Howard University’s Chapter of the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association. At the state level, Dr. Elie served as the District of Columbia Speech-Language-Hearing Association Conference co-chair for the 2011 and 2012 Annual Conferences. At the international level, she has co-chaired the Annual Teacher Summer Training Institute in Haiti from 2012 to present.  Dr. Elie serves as the faculty advisor/coordinator for the Howard University Alternative Spring Break: Haiti program in which she has traveled with students from across campus to Haiti annually since 2011.  Additionally, she instituted and co-led  an interprofessional education study abroad in the Dominican Republic consisting of occupational therapy and speech-language pathology students. Dr. Elie holds a Certificate of Clinical Competence as a speech-language pathologist with the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and state licensure with the District of Columbia.

Kia N. Johnson, PhD, CCC-SLP, Parliamentarian

Dr. Kia N. Johnson joins the University of Houston faculty as an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders. Most recently she was a professor and Director of the Developmental Stuttering Laboratory within the same department at James Madison University (Harrisonburg, VA). Her current research interests include (1) an investigation of temperamental variables on developmental stuttering in young children and (2) the examination of speech disfluencies in bilingual children who stutter. Dr. Johnson completed her doctoral training in Hearing and Speech Sciences at Vanderbilt University (Nashville, TN). She received her Master's and Baccalaureate degrees in Communication Disorders from Howard University (Washington, DC) and Truman State University (Kirksville, MO), respectively. Aside from teaching and conducting research, she has presented her research at local, national, and international scholarly conferences and has first-authored research articles along with many co-authored publications. Dr. Johnson also holds a Certificate of Clinical Competence as a speech-language pathologist with the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and state licensure with Texas. Dr. Johnson resides in Houston with her husband, Deric, and their two children - Sydney and Chase.

Nola Radford, PhD, CCC-SLP, Membership Co-Chair

Nola Radford, PhD, holds degrees from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and University of Memphis. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship through the Center on Minority Research in Special Education of the University of Virginia while serving as a professor at University of Texas Pan American (UTPA). She worked with faculty members at UTPA to develop and offer intense speech camps, funded, in part, by her postdoctoral fellowship. While serving at UTPA, she worked collaboratively with numerous bilingual school-based speech-language pathologists to provide extended services for children who stutter. After joining the faculty at Jackson State University, she completed several community-clinical service projects, including adult screening for Alzheimer’s dementia, began a language and tennis camp as an extension of practicum activities available to graduate students of speech-language pathology (with the camp still in continuance), to name a few accomplishments. She has been active previously in ASHA’s Student to Empowered Professional Mentoring Program to mentor students in speech-language pathology. After serving as interim chair of the Communicative Disorders Program at Jackson State University in 2011, she served as a visiting scholar with Educational Testing Services in Princeton, New Jersey during the summer of 2011. She had, what she deems, the privilege of participating in question development relative to revision of the Praxis in Speech Language Pathology. She is a professor and researcher with more than 30 years of experience working with children and adults in rural and urban settings, across a number of states, including Arkansas, Missouri, Texas, Mississippi and Tennessee. She retired from Jackson State as a full professor in May of 2016. She accepted a position as Professor and Director of Clinical Education and Clinical Research at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Hearing and Speech Center, Knoxville Campus in June of 2016.

Jessica Renee Sullivan, PhD, Convention Co-Chair

Dr. Jessica Renee Sullivan, PhD, is currently an assistant professor at the University of West Georgia, in Carrolton Georgia. She previously was on faculty in the speech and hearing sciences department and director of the pediatric aural habilitation lab at the University of Washington. Her long-term goal is to develop a line of translational research that will significantly improve the everyday lives of children with hearing impairment. Currently, she is interested in the underlying cues that aid in improving speech recognition in noise for children with hearing loss. Dr. Sullivan received her PhD in communication sciences at the University of Texas at Dallas. She received her BA in communication disorders from Louisiana State University and masters in deaf education/studies from Lamar University. Dr. Sullivan has received numerous grants and awards for her work from the NIH, ASHA, AAS and other organizations. In addition, she has presented her research at local, national and international scholarly conferences and has many peer-reviewed publications on her work.

Kenyatta O. Rivers, PhD, CCC-SLP, JNBASLH Editor

Dr. Kenyatta O. Rivers is an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, Florida and an ASHA Fellow. He received his doctorate degree in speech-language pathology from the University of Florida, master’s degree in speech-language pathology from the University of Central Florida, bachelor’s degree in communicative disorders from the University of Central Florida, and Associate of Arts degree from Lake-Sumter Community College. His teaching, research, and clinical interests include language/literacy disorders in children and adolescents, pragmatic language differences and disorders in African American children and adolescents, cognitive-communication disorders in children, adolescents, and adults, and evidence-based practice in schools. Since 2005, he has served as a Mentor for the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s (ASHA) Mentoring Academic-Research Careers (MARC) program and Student to Empowered Professional (S.T.E.P.) Mentoring Program. He is a past Board Member of the Central and North Florida Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, a Reviewer for Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, Journal of Speech-Language-Hearing Research, and Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s, an Associate Issue Editor for Topics in Language Disorders, and a Grant Reviewer for the Alzheimer’s Association. In addition, he is a Member of the Communication Sciences and Disorders Clinical Trials Research Group – Schools Liaison Group, the ASHA SIG 14 (Communication Disorders and Sciences in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Populations). He enjoys reading, bowling, watching arena football, and church. 

Katrina Miller, MA, CCC-SLP, Affiliates Chair, Membership Co-Chair

Ms. Katrina Miller is currently the Off-Site Practicum Coordinator and Clinical Director at North Carolina Central University (NCCU) Department of Communication Disorders. She especially enjoys working with adult neurogenic populations and is presently the Program Director for the Neurogenic Aphasia Group (NAG) at NCCU. A native of Fort Washington, Maryland, Katrina received both her Bachelor of Science Degree and Master’s of Arts from Hampton University. She is a Certified Speech Language Pathologist with the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) and is also a Certified Brain Injury Specialist (CBIS). She has also worked as a mentor for students in the university, hospital and public school settings. 

Lakieta L. Emanuel, SLP.D, CCC-SLP, Public Relations / Social Media Chair

Dr. Lakieta L. Emanuel (Dr. Elle) earned her Doctorate of Speech-Language Pathology from Nova Southern Eastern University, in Florida, and was the 2013 recipient of Dissertation of the Year Award. She received her Master's degree from California State University-Fullerton, and her Bachelor's degree from Southern University and A&M College in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Dr. Elle is the founder and Chief Clinical Director of High Desert Speech and Language Center, Inc, a private speech and language therapy private practice in the High Desert region of Southern California. Dr. Elle serves as the clinical lesion between the nursing staff and the dietary staff at two local hospitals and serves as secretary of her local African-American Chamber of commerce. She belongs to ASHA special interest group for issues of Multiculturalism, actively participates in the California-Speech-language-Hearing Association and sits on the board of directors of 3 Little Words, Inc., a non-profit organization purposed to provide funding for children in need of speech and language services. Dr. Elle is passionate about mentoring future SLPs who are interested in private practice and thrives on providing guidance to young clinicians. In her 14 years of practice, Dr. Elle has served as a mentor to over 60 developing clinicians. In nine years of it's existence, Dr. Elle's facility has served as a clinical practice site for over 50 SLP students.

Byron Ross, PhD, CCC-SLP, Awards and Scholarships Chair

Byron Ross is a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Houston where he serves as the Graduate Coordinator of the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders. His academic, clinical, and research interests includes child language disorders, pragmatic language disorders in children, adolescents, and young adults with autism spectrum disorders, and intervention techniques using augmentative/alternative communication. Since 2009 he has served as a Mentor for the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association's (ASHA) Student to Empowered Professional (S.T.E.P.) Mentoring Males (AIMM) program, and he started a peer mentoring program for students diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. He was also appointed to the advisory board of the Texas Autism Council. He received his B.S., and M.S., from the University of Central Arkansas in Speech-Language Pathology, and his Ph.D., from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in Communication Sciences and Disorders.

Arnell Brady, MA


Kyomi Gregory, PhD, CCC-SLP

Dr. Kyomi Gregory, is currently an assistant professor at Salus University, in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania. She previously attended Louisiana State University to earn her PhD in December 2015 where she was funded by a National Institute of Health diversity supplement. Her long-term goal is to develop a line of research that will significantly improve assessment of culturally and linguistically diverse children and improve teacher and parent training prevention models focused on early intervening services. Dr. Gregory received her BA in communication disorders from the State University of New York at New Paltz and her masters in communication disorders from University at Buffalo. Dr. Gregory was recently chosen for the American Speech-Language Hearing Association Pathways program and was chosen in 2017 to receive an award for the "top 40 under 40" at her alma mater SUNY-New Paltz.

Darius L. Thomas, M.S., CCC-SLP, Student Representative, Social Media Chair, Convention Co-Chair

Darius Thomas is the Founder of Dynamic Therapy, LLC and is a Clinical Fellow - Speech-Language Pathologist from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Darius received a Master of Science degree from the Howard University School of Communications Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, where he also received his Bachelor of Science degree. Darius has collaborated with multidisciplinary teams to address communication and educational needs of students with a wide variety of disability classifications, including autism spectrum disorder, emotional disturbance, intellectual disability, specific learning disability, speech-language impairment, and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. He has also successfully increased communication skills in elementary, middle, and high school clients with a large variety of deficits and disorders. Darius has a number of volunteer experiences including: The National Black Association for Speech-Language and Hearing, where he serves as Student Representative; The National Student Speech-Language-Hearing Association, Howard University Chapter where he served as president from 2014-2016; The District of Columbia Speech Language Hearing Association where he served as student liaison; and a student volunteer for the 2015 American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Convention and 2016 National Black Association for Speech-Language and Hearing Convention. Darius has accumulated many honors such as being selected to participate in the 2014 American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Minority Student Leadership Program; and receiving recognition in the Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges, 2014.

Michele L. Norman, PhD, CCC-SLP, Praxis Chair

Dr. Michele L. Norman is an ASHA Fellow who received her PhD from the University of Memphis, MS from the University of the District of Columbia, and BA from Rutgers University-Douglass College. She is the owner of Norman Speech Services, LLC, a private practice in Richmond, VA and the Coordinator of the Intensive Review for Praxis Examination for Speech-Language Pathology for the National Black Association for Speech-Language and Hearing.

During her career, she was a special education teacher in the public school setting for 10 years serving children with learning disabilities and severed communication deficits. Later, Dr. Norman became research faculty in Communication Sciences and Disorders at Medical University of South Carolina, where she was also the Director of the Communication and Aging Research Lab. Most recently, she was a tenured, Associate Professor at Longwood University and Coordinator for the Communication Sciences and Disorders Undergraduate Program.

She is a published author who has written articles on various topics and textbook chapters on the evaluation and treatment of persons with dementia and Reminiscence Therapy. Her areas of specialty are neurogenics, orofacial myology, and medical speech-language pathology and their relationships to communication and swallowing disorders across diverse cultures. Clinically, Dr. Norman has been providing services to adults and children with neurologically-based disorders that impact speech, language, communication, and swallowing.