NBASLH Board of Directors

Kia Noelle Johnson, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, Chair

Kia Noelle Johnson, PhD, CCC-SLP is a tenured Associate Professor in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders and Director of the Stuttering Research Laboratory at the University of Houston. Dr. Johnson completed her doctoral training in Hearing and Speech Sciences at Vanderbilt University (Nashville, TN). She received a Master’s and Baccalaureate degree in Communication Disorders from Howard University (Washington, DC) and Truman State University (Kirksville, MO), respectively. 

Dr. Johnson specializes in Fluency and Fluency Disorders with a focus on children who stutter. Her current research interest is in the examination of speech disfluencies in culturally and linguistically diverse children who do and do not stutter. Aside from teaching both undergraduate and graduate courses, she presents her research at local, national, and international scholarly conferences and has first-authored and co-authored many research 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.

In addition to being a member of the NBASLH Board of Directors and 18-year member of NBASLH, she also contributes service to the profession as the National Advisor to the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association (NSSLHA) and as a member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) Board of Directors. 

Cathy Runnels, M.S., CCC-SLP, Immediate Past 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:

George Castle, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, Treasurer; Praxis Review Course Board Liaison

Dr. George Castle is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders at New York University (NYU). He received a B.S. in Communication Studies from SUNY Oneonta, M.S. in Speech-Language Pathology from Columbia University and a Ph.D in Hearing & Speech Sciences from Vanderbilt University. He is certified by the American Speech-Language Hearing Association to practice speech-language pathology.

Dr. Castle is generally interested in how people learn and process information. His research interests are in the measurement of cognition and the development of language and literacy in typically developing individuals as well as those with autism spectrum disorder. He has conducted research studies on vocabulary and reading comprehension in typically developing and ASD populations and has received predoctoral translational research funding from the National Institutes of Health to investigate the relationship between pragmatic language, oral language comprehension and reading comprehension.

Clinically, Dr. Castle has treated individuals in early intervention (Birth to 3), school-age and adult populations across a variety of disorders. He has also served as an externship and clinical fellowship supervisor for graduate students earning state licensure and national certification.

Lastly, Dr. Castle is passionate about the recruitment of underrepresented groups to the field of communicative sciences and disorders. More specifically, he is interested in developing pipelines from high school to graduate school, focusing on mentorship and college and professional readiness. 

Brittney Pettis, M.S, CCC-SLP,  Secretary

Brittani Hightower, M.S., CCC-SLP, Parliamentarian

Kyomi Gregory, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, Mentoring Programming Committee Co-Chair

Dr. Kyomi Gregory is currently an assistant professor at Pace University in New York, New York. 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 speech-language pathology from University at Buffalo. Dr. Gregory was chosen for the American Speech-Language Hearing Association Pathways program and received an award as the "top 40 under 40" at her alma mater SUNY-New Paltz in 2017.

Garvin Romane, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, ASHA CE Administrator 

Dr. Garvin P. Romane received his doctorate in language, literacy and learning from Fordham University, where he specialized in the use of iPad technology to support instruction in articulation, language and vocabulary development. He is an adjunct professor of speech-language pathology at Touro College in Brooklyn and a supervisor of speech-language pathologists for the Brentwood Union Free School District in Brentwood, N.Y. His main research interests include cultural and linguistic diversity in students, assistive technology, strategic learning, and the use of technology to advance speech, language and literacy skills. Additional interests include systematic review and meta-analysis, teaching and learning, and effective intervention services for academic weaknesses or disabilities.

Dr. Romane holds a license in speech-language pathology, a master’s degree in speech pathology from New York University, and a master of science in education in administration and supervision from Fordham University. He is also certified as a school district and building leader and a teacher of the speech and hearing handicapped (TSHH). Dr. Romane is chief executive officer for NEXT Level NYC Tutors, a speech/supplemental educational consulting practice specializing in speech and language therapy for all ages, as well as academic coaching.

Lauren Hastings, M.S., CCC-SLP, 2020/2021 Convention Co-Chair 

Lauren Hastings is the Owner and Speech-Language Pathologist of Hear to Speak, LLC in Atlanta, Georgia. Lauren received a Masters of Science in Speech & Hearing Science from Tennessee State University and a Bachelor of Science in Speech-Language Pathology & Audiology from Andrews University.

She has held various clinical positions in Tennessee and Georgia ranging from rehabilitation centers, school districts, and an Autism center. She enjoys collaborating with a variety of professionals including school psychologists, special educators, occupational therapists, neurologists, and gastroenterologists. Her clinical and research interests include child language disorders, bilingual language development, the impact of socioeconomic status in language/literacy development, feeding disorders, and early intervention.

In 2016, Lauren began full-time work in her practice, Hear to Speak, a company based in South Fulton (Atlanta) Georgia which serves the pediatric population using a community-based model. Currently, she serves on the social media team for NBASLH assisting in the maintenance of the Association’s Facebook page.

Katrina Miller, Ed.D, CCC-SLP, Affiliates Committee Chair

Dr. Katrina Miller is currently a Clinical Associate 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 her Bachelor of Science Degree and Masters of Arts from Hampton University and furthered her education at Nova Southeastern University with a Doctorate in Education and a concentration in Speech Pathology. She is a Certified Speech Language Pathologist with the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). She has also worked as a mentor for students in the university, hospital and public school settings.

Darius Thomas-Wallace, M.S., CCC-SLP, 2020 Convention Co-Chair

Darius Thomas-Wallace is the founder of Dynamic Therapy, LLC and a speech-language pathologist. Darius holds a unique background in evaluating and treating clients in schools, daycare's, clinics, homes, and via telepractice. He has collaborated with multidisciplinary teams to address the communication and educational needs of clients 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. Darius has also successfully increased pragmatics, language, articulation, and fluency skills in elementary, middle, and high school clients. In collaboration with families, Darius has provided early intervention therapy services for infants and toddlers with disabilities and developmental delays.

Darius has extensive volunteer experience including the District of Columbia Speech-Language-Hearing Association: treasurer (2018 – present) and secretary (2016 – 2018) and the National Black Association for Speech-Language and Hearing (NBASLH): board member (September 2019 – present), convention co-chair (2018 - present), and student representative (2016 - 2018). As student representative of NBASLH, Darius championed the initiative to give the role voting rights on the board. In 2014, he was selected to participate in the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) Minority Student Leadership Program.

Finally, Darius received his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees from the Howard University Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders. He also holds the Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology from ASHA and state licensures with Washington, DC, Virginia, and Maryland.

Linda Redmond Taylor, M.A., CCC-SLP

Linda Redmond Taylor is a speech/language pathologist living in Memphis, TN. She received a B.A. (cum laude) in Communicative Disorders from the University of Mississippi, and a M.A. (cum laude) in Speech/Language Pathology from the University of Memphis (formerly, Memphis State University, where she was the first Black individual to receive the African American Minority Grant offered at M.S.U. for the graduate program in speech/language pathology). She is certified by the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association to practice speech-language pathology, and is licensed to practice in Tennessee.

Linda, a native Jackson, Mississippian, declares that NBASLH has enhanced her very existence as a Black professional, even being instrumental in her writing her third book, Introduction to Ebonics (Professional Publishing House, 2016), on which she has presented locally and nationally. She was honored to be the Donn Bailey Lecturer for NBASLH in 2017, and was awarded the Dr. Jeanette Jennings “Trailblazer” Award by the Ole Miss Black Alumni Association in 2015. Recently, she became certified as a “ProLiteracy and Literacy Mid-South Volunteer Tutor” to tutor adults. Also, she serves on the Board of Directors for Tennessee-based STEP, Inc. (Support and Training for Exceptional Parents), a non-profit program that teaches advocacy skills to individuals with disabilities, and their families. As one of NBASLH’s newest Board members, Linda aspires to be an asset on the Recruitment Committee because she realizes there is a pressing need for Blacks to enter the field of Communication Disorders, and to be retained in the field to be service providers for all who need them, in general, and Blacks. Professionally, she is co-owner of Right Stuff Health in Memphis with her husband, health evangelist, Franco Taylor, N.D. Ultimately, Ms. Taylor seeks to help, mainly, African American Language users/Ebonics speakers, who have never achieved proficiency in English enhance their written and spoken communication skills in order to be more successful in society.

Lauren Prather, M.S., CCC-SLP, Student Representative, 2021 Convention Co-Chair

Lauren R. Prather is a doctoral student at the University of Cincinnati in Communication Sciences and Disorders. She received her Master of Science degree from Tennessee State University in Communication Sciences and Disorders and her Bachelor of Arts degree from The University of Memphis in Communications. Before pursuing her PhD in August of 2017, Lauren worked as a Speech Language Pathologist for Cobb Pediatric Therapy Services and Let’s Talk Therapy in Atlanta, GA which is inclusive of her clinical experience in both the school setting (pre-school to high school) and private practice. She has collaborated with multidisciplinary teams to address communication, educational, and social needs of students with a wide variety of disability classifications. Lauren has volunteered to serve as a Special Olympics Track Coach with her students in the schools and spearheaded the Speech Summer Camp for Let’s Talk Therapy (2017 and 2018). Currently, she supervises graduate clinicians and SLPAs at the University of Cincinnati and Let’s Talk Therapy (Atlanta, GA).

Lauren’s research interest is in language and literacy for underserved populations more specifically focusing on dialect and the black-white academic achievement gap. Her accolades include being selected in the ASHA Minority Student Leadership Program (MSLP) in 2013 and was an invited panelist for the PhD Information Sharing Session for the MSLP at the 2017 ASHA convention held in Los Angeles, California. As a current student, Lauren serves as the Vice President of the Black Graduate and Professional Association at the University of Cincinnati. In addition to serving on the social media committee for NBASLH and on the NBASLH board as the student representative.