CSD: Faculty and Staff

Amanda Bennett M.S., CCC-SLP

Amanda Bennett in front of mcgowan

Instructor of Practice

I received a B.A. degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from West Chester University and a M.S. degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Marywood University. I am currently a clinical supervisor for the on-campus speech-language-hearing clinic. I have spent a majority of my career working in the medical setting at hospitals and acute in-patient rehab clinics with both the pediatric and adult populations. I also have experience within the early intervention, home health and nursing home settings. My professional areas of interest include childhood apraxia, adult acquired communication disorders, brain injury, and pediatric and adult feeding and swallowing disorders.

Heather Ceccarelli MS, CCC/SLP


Instructor of Practice; Internship Coordinator

I earned my Bachelor of Science Degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders as well as my Master of Science Degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Marywood University. I have experience working in the school setting as well as outpatient rehabilitation and acute care settings with a varied caseload from pediatric through geriatric. I am also certified in LSVT LOUD®, a treatment for voice disorders associated with Parkinson’s disease. I joined Marywood in the spring of 2019 as a clinical supervisor in the on-campus speech-language clinic. My professional areas of interest include childhood apraxia of speech, phonology, adult motor speech disorders and voice.

Mona Griffer Ed.D, CCC/SLP, ASHA Fellow

Mona Griffer  in front of trees

Associate Professor

I am an Associate Professor and the Founding Director of the Master’s Program in Speech-Language Pathology. I earned a Master's of Science Degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Brooklyn College, CUNY in 1982 and a Doctor of Education Degree in Child and Youth Studies from Nova Southeastern University in 1997. As a Board Certified Child Language Specialist (BCS-CL), my clinical areas of expertise and research interests include family-centered early intervention service delivery, pediatric language development and disorders, emergent literacy, pediatric oral-motor/feeding development and deficits, multicultural issues, and the supervisory process. I'm an active member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), serving as a former site visitor for the Council on Academic Accreditation (CAA), the 2016 Chairperson of the Multicultural Issues Board, on numerous Convention Program Committees. Currently I serve on ASHA's Committee on Honors (2019-2021) and the Editorial Board for Communication Disorders Quarterly (CDQ), a publication of The Council for Exceptional Children: Division for Communicative Disabilities and Deafness.

Alison Griffiths

Alison Griffiths in front of mcgowan

PT Administrative Assistant

I received my B.S. in Counseling and Human Services from the University of Scranton in 1999. After graduation, I began working with children with autism at a children's behavioral health agency. I worked one-on-one with children in both school and home settings. It was at times a very challenging, yet very rewarding job. It was so wonderful to see the children I worked with accomplish tasks independently that we had worked on together. Today, I am the billing secretary in the Communication Sciences and Disorders department at Marywood.  I enjoy working with the faculty and staff in the CSD department.  It is a pleasure to come to work everyday.

Renee S. Jourdanais M.S., CCC/SLP

Renee S. Jourdanais in front of mcgowan

Assistant Professor of Practice; Clinic Director

I received a B.S. degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Marywood College, and a M.S. degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Nazareth College, Rochester, NY.  I have worked at Marywood University since 2000 in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders. Currently, I am the clinic director for the on-campus clinic and supervise student clinicians for both diagnostic evaluations and therapeutic services.  My professional interests include supervision as well as individuals with cleft palate/craniofacial anomalies, dyspraxia, and aphasia. In addition to my department role, I also serve as the university's Faculty Athletic Representative (FAR).

Marla Kovatch M.A., CCC/SLP


Assistant Professor of Practice

My educational background includes a M.A. in Speech Pathology from University of Maine, Orono. I have a B.A. in Communication Disorders from Marywood University. I earned additional training in working with challenging behaviors/sensory regulation disorders, in developing alternative communication systems for complex communication needs, in theory and protocol of Picture Exchange Systems (PECS) for neurodiverse populations, in cued speech, and became an Ally of Stuttering SLP. During my professional career, my service delivery focused on helping clients (preschool aged through geriatrics ) across a range of areas, from fluency and speech production, language, literacy, cognitive-communication, social communication, developing alternative communication systems for complex communication needs, to elective services of accent or dialect modification. I have had the gratifying clinical experience to prevent, assess, diagnose, and treat in a variety of workplace environments such as, hospitals, nursing and residential care facilities, public and private schools, outpatient clinics, private practice, and now, a university. I love that the field of speech pathology is ever changing which means learning never ends. Communication is key to your success—in relationships, in the workplace, as a citizen of your country, and across your lifetime. To assist someone find “their mode” to effectively communicate is the very reason I do what I do. I’m rewarded by gratitude of clients and families and, as a clinical instructor, by the development of skills in my graduate students. The rewards multiply exponentially!


Tina Lavelle

Tina Lavelle infront of mcgowan

Department Administrative Assistant

After working in the financial industry for 30 years coming to Marywood was a big career change for me. As the department admin. assistant I am involved in all aspects of the department, from greeting clients and ordering supplies to supervising the billing function. I really enjoy working with the students and my peers, but my favorite thing is seeing the client's speech develop after, in some cases, a few therapy sessions. I feel such a sense of pride for my department when I see a child come in and start a conversation with me when our initial contact was barely a glance. The thought that I had a small part in this transformation makes coming to work every day a pleasure.

Mary Margaret Mazzaccaro M.S., CCC/SLP

Mary Margaret Mazzaccaro in front of tree

Assistant Professor of Practice; Internship Coordinator

I received my B.S. in Communication Disorders in May 1991 from Marywood College. I then received my M.S. in Audiology and Speech Pathology in December of 1992 from Florida State University. I have worked in many areas of the field but primarily in early intervention and the geriatric populations. I began working here in August of 2001, as a clinical supervisor. In July 2015, I became the Internship Coordinator, responsible for scheduling the final clinical experiences off campus for the graduate student clinicians. I continue to work with the CSD students in the on-campus clinic during supervision of clinical sessions as well. My specific interests in the field continue to be varied due to the diversity of the clients that are serviced at the clinic.

Andrea M. Novak M.A., CCC/SLP

Andrea M. Novak in front of tree

Associate Professor of Practice; Department Chairperson, Graduate Program Director

I earned my Bachelor of Science Degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Marywood University and my Master of Arts Degree from Edinboro University. I am a PA licensed Speech-Language Pathologist who is certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. I am currently the Chairperson and Graduate Program Director in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders. In addition to these roles, I also supervise student clinicians in the Marywood University Speech-Language and Hearing Clinics, teach at the undergraduate and graduate levels, and am the advisor for the Marywood Chapter of the National Student Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Courses taught include Anatomy and Physiology of the Speech and Hearing Mechanism to undergraduate students and Independent Study in Clinical Methods and Processes as well as Professional Issues in SLP to graduate students.  My clinical areas of interest lie in adult cognition/neurogenics, supervision, phonology, and swallowing disorders.


Vijayachandra Ramachandra Ph.D.

Vijayachandra Ramachandra Ph.D. stands in front of tree

Full Professor

I am a Professor in the department of Communication Sciences and Disorders. I teach a wide array of courses to both undergraduate and graduate students. I enjoy teaching courses such as Speech Science, Neuroscience, Pediatric Language Disorders, and Neurocognitive Disorders in Adults (TBI, Dementia, and Right Hemisphere Damage). I conduct research in communication and cognition across the life span. More specifically, I am interested in understanding the cognitive processes such as theory of mind and working memory underlying language in children, normal adults, and adults with neurological impairment. I am also interested in investigating the psychological and cognitive bases of facial and vocal emotions. Recently, I have focused my research on synesthesia and crossmodal associations in normal adults and adults with neurological impairment.

 Dr. Ramachandra's Communication and Cognition Lab


Sheri Skrutski Au.D., CCC/A

Sheri Skrutski infront of mcgowan

Assistant Professor of Practice

I earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Communication Disorders from Marywood in 1988. In 1990 I received a Master of Science degree in Audiology from Bloomsburg University. After a few years working as a Clinical Audiologist, I returned to school and received a Clinical Doctorate in Audiology (Au.D.) from the University of Florida in 2001. I began working at Marywood in 1994 as a part-time clinical audiologist. Presently I am a full time clinical instructor within the CSD Department. In addition to staffing the Audiology Clinic in the CSD department, I also teach the Intro. to Audiology and Aural Rehab classes. Also, I supervise the graduate Speech Pathology Students during their Audiology practicum. Students interested in Audiology can also spend time with me during the Assistantship in Audiology class where they get to work in the clinic with me seeing clients for several hours each week. My interests continue to be in the pediatric and geriatric diagnostic and rehabilitative areas of Audiology. I really enjoy working with the students and patients who are seen in the clinic. The blending of the academic and clinical worlds I get here at Marywood is really wonderful!

Bruce Wisenburn Ph.D., CCC/SLP

Bruce Wisenburn in front of tree

Associate Professor

I received a B.S. in Communication Disorders from UMass Amherst, an M.A. in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of Iowa, an M.S. in Computer Science from Boston University, and a Ph.D in Speech-Language Pathology from the University at Buffalo. My research interests are in augmentative/alternative communication (including the use of natural language processing to improve AAC systems, and on AAC for people who speak Spanish), and aphasia (especially synthesizing the evidence-based clinical research). I have also worked clinically in rehabilitation centers, hospitals, and nursing homes with a wide variety of adult acquired communication disorders. I am also the director, along with Cheryl King of St. Joseph's Center, of the Scranton Area Augmentative/Alternative Communication Center.


Adjunct Faculty/Supervisors
  • Amanda Connell M.S. CCC/SLP
  • Sarabeth George M.S.
  • Benjamin Ivey Ph.D.CCC/SLP
  • Erin Knoepfel M.S. CCC/SLP
  • Tara Pagotto Au.D. CCC/A
  • Kelly Somers M.S.
  • Adrienne Talerico M.S. CCC/SLP
  • Kearston Thomas M.S. CCC/SLP
  • Erin Walsh M.S. CCC/SLP
  • Stephanie Watson M.S. CCC/SLP