NBASLH Board of Directors

Executive Committee

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

Kia N. Johnson, Parliamentarian, Ph.D
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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.

Lakieta L. Emanuel,  Secretary and PR Committee, Editor Resound, Ph.D 
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Dr. Lakieta L. Emanuel (Dr. Elle) earned her Doctorate of Speech-Language Pathology from Nova Southern Eastern University, in Florida, and wa.s 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 liaison 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.


Jonathan Love, Treasurer, M.S., CC-SLP

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Remaining Board Members

Kyomi Gregory, Ph.D, Mentor Program
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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.


George Castle, Ph.D 
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 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. 


Kenyatta O. Rivers, Ph,D, Edistor JNBASLH 
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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. 


Byron Ross, PhD, CCC-SLP, Awards Committee
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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, M.S.,CCC-SLP
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Linda Redmond Taylor, M.S., CCC-SLP

Lauren Hastings, M.S., CCC-SLP
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Lauren Prather, M.S., CCC-SLP, Student Representative
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  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. 


Katrina Miller, Ed.D, Affiliate Coordinator
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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, Convention Co-Chair

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Darius Thomas-Wallace is a speech-language pathologist and founder of Dynamic Therapy, LLC. 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. In collaboration with families, Darius has provided early intervention therapy services for infants and toddlers with disabilities and developmental delays.

Furthermore, Darius has extensive volunteer experience including the District of Columbia Speech-Language-Hearing Association: secretary (2016 – 2018) and treasurer (2018 – present) and the National Black Association for Speech-Language and Hearing: convention co-chair (2018 - present) and student representative (2016 - 2018). In 2014, he was selected to participate in the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association 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 (COSD). He also holds the Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology (CCC-SLP) from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and state licensures with Washington, DC, and Maryland. 

Michele L. Norman, Ph.D, Praxis
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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.


Yolanda Fields Witherspoon, CEU Coordinator
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