Our Team

LAB MEMBERS

Principal Investigator

Marie Channell, PhD
Associate Professor
Dr. Channell's research focuses on the development of language, cognition, and social-emotional skills in individuals with Down syndrome or other neurodevelopmental disorders associated with intellectual disability (e.g., fragile X syndrome; autism spectrum disorder), particularly during middle childhood and adolescence. Her questions are framed by how skills in these domains work together to influence everyday communication in individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders. Dr. Channell earned her PhD in Developmental Psychology from the University of Alabama in 2012. Following her PhD, she spent 3 years as a post-doctoral fellow at the University of California, Davis MIND Institute, where she received interdisciplinary training in the Autism Research Training Program (NRSA T32, NIMH). She joined the faculty of Speech and Hearing Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2015.

Current Students

Alexandria Barkhimer
PhD Student
Alexandria (Alex) Barkhimer is a doctoral student in Speech and Hearing Science. She graduated with research distinction and earned her bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a minor in Disability Studies from The Ohio State University in 2019. Alex’s research interests include language development in children with Down syndrome and other intellectual disabilities. In the future, she hopes to conduct her own research and teach at a university level.
Rebekah Bosley
PhD Student
Rebekah Bosley is a doctoral student in Speech and Hearing Science. She holds a master’s degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from the University of Mississippi and is licensed to practice speech-language pathology. Rebekah’s research interests include literacy development in children with intellectual disabilities. After graduation, her goals include opening a research-based clinic for children with developmental disabilities and teaching at the university level.
Christiana Allen
MA-SLP Student
Christiana (Christi) Allen is a master’s student in Speech and Hearing Science. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Speech and Hearing Science with a minor in Spanish from The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2020. Christi’s research interests include diagnostics and development in children with co-occurring Autism Spectrum Disorder and Down syndrome, and other intellectual disabilities. In the future, she hopes to practice clinically as a pediatric SLP.
Margo Lanier
MA-SLP Student
Margo Lanier is a graduate student in the Masters of Arts SLP program. She graduated with her bachelor's degree in Speech and Hearing Science with a minor in Psychology from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign in May 2021. In her free time, Margo is a member of Illini Service Dogs, a non-profit organization run by college students at U of I who train puppies to become mobility service dogs!
Melissa Bruce
Undergraduate Student
Melissa is a senior studying Speech and Hearing Science with a minor in Psychology. As an aspiring speech-language pathologist, she intends on attending graduate school to explore a variety of clinical settings. She is also considering becoming a faculty-researcher to further the current evidence base in language development and cultural-linguistic diversity.
Nadia Hernandez
Undergraduate Student
Nadia is a senior studying Speech and Hearing Science with a concentration in Speech-Language Pathology. Currently, she is interested in working in early intervention and being a multilingual SLP. She plans to attend graduate school and earn her master's degree in speech-language pathology and is considering pursuing her PhD in Speech and Hearing Science.
Kelsey Libert
Undergraduate Student
Kelsey is a senior studying Speech and Hearing Science and Psychology. Following the completion of her undergraduate degrees, she plans to attend graduate school to become a speech-language pathologist. She hopes to eventually work with the pediatric population.
Sarah Pechtl
Undergraduate Student
Sarah is a junior studying Speech and Hearing Science with minors in Spanish and Linguistics. After graduation, she plans to obtain her master’s degree and work as a bilingual speech-language pathologist in a school setting. She is especially interested in working with children with disabilities.
Raquelle Riffle
Undergraduate Student


Lab Graduates

Linnea Sandstrom
MA-SLP, CFY
Stephanie Cheng
MA-SLP, CCC
Amanda Moy
MA-SLP, CFY
Steffi Bauer
MA-SLP, CCC
Katrina Blum
MA-SLP Student
Addie Howe
MA-SLP, CCC
Emily Stratton
MSW
Caitlyn Boni
MA-SLP, CFY
Lauren Siragusa
MA-SLP, CCC
Emily Demick
MA-SLP, CFY
Teresa Kubiak
MA-SLP, CFY
Melissa Pietrowicz
MA-SLP Student at the University of Arizona
Taylor Hoffman
MA-SLP, CFY
Jennifer Goodfriend
MSN Student at Rush University
Allison Rush
MA-SLP Student at Elmhurst College
Katie Schuelke
MA-SLP, CFY
Shealyn Ashby
MA-SLP, CCC