Faculty and Staff in Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences

Full-Time Faculty & Graduate/Undergraduate Advisors

To make an appointment with any of the graduate/undergraduate advisors, please contact the the SLHS Office in Burk Hall 114, call (415) 338-1001 or email slhsinfo@sfsu.edu.

Photo of Laura Epstein

Laura Epstein, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, Department Chair, Professor, Undergraduate/Graduate Advisor, School Internship Coordinator

Dr. Epstein completed her Ph.D. at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her research and clinical interests include language development and disorders, bilingual/multicultural language assessment, articulation and phonology disorders, literacy and language, and the language and processes of clinical interaction. Dr. Epstein was the recipient of the 2011 state-wide CSHA (California Speech Hearing and Language Association) Diversity Award and the 2015 District 1 Service Award. She was a CSHA Convention Program Co-Chair, along with Dr. Nancy Robinson, in 2014 and 2015. She supervises a bilingual, school-based speech-language clinic in the Mission District in San Francisco.
(More information on College of Education website.)

Burk Hall 115 | lepstein@sfsu.edu | 415.405.2170

Photo of Teresa GrayTeresa Gray, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, Assistant Professor, Undergraduate/Graduate Advisor, Medical Internship Coordinator

Dr. Gray completed her Ph.D. in Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences at Boston University. Her expertise is in the areas of aphasia, traumatic brain injury, and bilingualism. She supervises on- and off-campus adult neurogenic clinics and teaches the graduate level seminars on adult language disorders. She is also the director of the Gray Matter Lab. Her research interests focus on bilingual aphasia and language access, the mechanisms of control in linguistic and non-linguistic contexts in bilingual aphasia, and the role of language rehabilitation and its short-term and long-term effects on functional communication. (More information about Dr. Gray on the College of Education website)

Burk Hall 103 | teresag@sfsu.edu | 415.338.1058 | https://graymatterlab.sfsu.edu

Photo of Marcia Raggio

Marcia Raggio, Ph.D., CCC-AU, Professor, Undergraduate/Graduate Advisor

Dr. Raggio earned her BA and MS degrees from the Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences department at San Francisco State University. She earned her PhD in Auditory Neuroscience from the University of California, San Francisco. Her primary area of research is in the cortical representation of peripheral electrical stimulation provided by cochlear implants. Dr. Raggio was appointed to the California state licensing board for audiologists and speech-language pathologists (SLPAHADB) by Governor Gray Davis, and served under Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. She was recently reappointed to the board by Governor Jerry Brown.  She currently serves on the Government Relations Committee of the American Academy of Audiology and is the Legislative Liaison for the California Academy of Audiology. She has published numerous research articles, and has given many presentations at the state, national, and international levels. 

Burk Hall 104 | mraggio@sfsu.edu | 415.338.7653

Photo of Nancy Robinson

Nancy B. Robinson, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, Professor, Undergraduate/Graduate Advisor

Dr. Robinson completed her master’s degree in speech and hearing sciences at Portland State University in 1975 and Ph.D. in special education at the University of Washington in 1987. For many years, she worked at the University of Hawaii with the Center on Disability Studies with a team of faculty and students in health, education, and social science who developed interdisciplinary education models to support individuals with disabilities and their families. With Dr. Gloria Soto, Dr. Robinson co-directed two personnel preparation grants funded by the US Department of Education/Office of Special Education Programs, focused on preparing SLPs and Special Educators to provide AAC services to children and families. In 2013, she was awarded Fellows of the Association by the California Speech, Language and Hearing Association. (More information on College of Education website.)

Burk Hall 519 | nancyr@sfsu.edu | 415.338.1031

Gloria Soto, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, Professor, Graduate College of Education Dean of Research, Undergraduate/Graduate Advisor

Dr. Gloria Soto is a Professor in the Department of Special Education. She teaches graduate coursework in special education, cultural diversity, augmentative communication and curriculum-based language and communication intervention.Her area of professional expertise is in augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). Her areas of research interest include applied educational issues such as multiculturalism, collaborative teaming, inclusive education and professional preparation, as well as more basic areas such as narrative language in AAC, language development through augmented means and the impact of graphic symbol use on language development. She is a frequent speaker at national and international conferences related to communication intervention and special education. She has published numerous articles and book chapters. (More information on College of Education website.)

Burk Hall 271 | gsoto@sfsu.edu| 415.338.1757

Photo of Nancy Robinson

Anusha Sundarrajan, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, Assistant Professor, Undergraduate/Graduate Advisor

Dr. Sundarrajan received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Audiology and Speech Language Pathology in India. She earned her Ph.D. in Speech Language Pathology and a minor in Gerontology at Purdue University in 2016. Her research interests center around understanding the physiology of aging voice using aerodynamic and acoustic measures. She is specifically interested in understanding how the healthy young and old larynx responds to the effects of unhealthy, and the excessive use of the laryngeal mechanism. She has extensive clinical experience working with children with developmental disabilities in schools and private practices both in the U.S. and in India.

Burk Hall 101 | anusha@sfsu.edu | 415.338.7652

Photo of Betty Yu

Betty Yu, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, Interim Department Chair, Associate Professor, Undergraduate/Graduate Advisor, Thesis Coordinator

Betty Yu earned her Ph.D. in Special Education from the Joint Doctoral Program at UC Berkeley and San Francisco State University, M.A. in Speech-Language Pathology from New York University, and B.A. in Linguistics from UC Berkeley. Before joining the faculty at San Francisco State, she practiced as a speech-language therapist primarily serving young children and their families in minority communities. Her research interest is in how children's language development interfaces with the development of sociocultural competence. Her current research focuses on the communication experiences of children on the autism spectrum and their families within bilingual contexts. She is a member of the Conversation Analysis Research in Autism (CARA) research group. She teaches courses related to language development, atypical language development, cultural and linguistic diversity, intervention in young children, and counseling in Communicative Disorders. The emphasis of her clinical instruction is on the provision of family-centered services to support communication development in children on the autism spectrum. She is the co-director of Project ALLIES and Project Common Ground, which are funded by the U.S. Department of Education to prepare speech-language pathologists and special educators to work effectively with diverse children on the autism spectrum. She supervises the Autism Spectrum Communication Clinic. She is the current Chair of the Asian Pacific Islander Speech-Language-Hearing Caucus. (More information on SFSU Faculty Site.)

Burk Hall 105 | bettyyu@sfsu.edu | 415.338.3429

Dr. Yu's Fall 2018 office hours are Mondays 1-3 pm and Tuesdays 9-11 am.

Administrative Coordinator

Photo of Mallorie Desimone

Mallorie Desimone, B.A., Administrative Office Coordinator

Ms. Desimone graduated from SFSU in May 2007 with her bachelor's degree in Liberal Studies. While a student, she worked in the Credential Services Teacher Preparation Center. She is currently the SLHS department Administrative Office Coordinator.

Burk Hall 114 | mallorie@sfsu.edu | 415.338.1001

Lecturers & Clinical Instructors

Photo of Patricia W CavanaghPatricia W. Cavanagh, M.S., CCC-SLP, BCS-S, Lecturer

Ms. Cavanagh is the Chief of the Speech Pathology Section at the VA Medical Center in San Francisco. She is a Board Certified Specialist in swallowing and swallowing disorders. Her primary caseload consists of acute and ambulatory care patients with dysphagia, voice impairment and head and neck cancer. In addition to her full-time work at the San Francisco VA, she teaches the Adult Dysphagia course at SFSU and also FEES and Laryngectomy courses in association with UCSF and Stanford Universities.

Burk Hall 146 | trishcav@sfsu.edu | 415.338.1001

Photo of Ruth Donig WhiteRuth Donig-White, M.S., CCC-SLP, Clinical Instructor

Ruth Donig White is delighted to be supervising the child language and accent modification clinics this fall. She has been a speech therapist since graduating from SFSU in communicative disorders many years ago. She has worked in schools, serving preschool through high school age students, been the director of speech services at the Hearing and Speech Center of N. California, where she worked with toddlers, children, and adults, and has had a private practice for the last few years. Prior to being an SLP she taught high school French, German, and elementary school music. She has four grown children and two grandchildren. In her spare time she enjoys hiking, swimming, listening and playing classical music, and traveling. She is excited to work with new graduate students and looks forward to a shared new experience!

Burk Hall 138 | rdwhite@sfsu.edu | 415.338.1001

Photo of Chris Focht

Chris Focht, Au.D., CCC-A, FAAA, Lecturer

Dr. Focht is a clinical and dispensing audiologist for the Hearing and Speech Center of Northern California (San Francisco). A graduate of the SFSU SLHS department (1988), he was in private practice for over 20 years and has had extensive experience working in educational settings. Dr. Focht teaches courses in Audiology, Audiometry, and Aural Rehabilitation.  He is also an academic and clinical preceptor for graduate students who are in the last year of their doctoral studies. Chris specializes in geriatric audiology and is often asked to speak at conventions and professional meetings.  He is married, with two grown children, and his hobbies include singing, baseball, and playing with 'Phoebe', his three-year-old cocker-poodle therapy dog who also comes to class and serves as his 'teaching assistant.'

Burk Hall 103 | cfocht@sfsu.edu | 415.338.1001

Photo of Flo Kimmerling

Flo Kimmerling, M.S., CCC-SLP, Lecturer and Clinical Instructor

Ms. Kimmerling's lifelong fascination with language began as an undergraduate at Northwestern University, followed by a Master's degree in psycholinguistics and reading at Harvard's Graduate School of Education. After serving as a high school English teacher and reading specialist for several years, she worked as a teacher of "minimally brain damaged teenagers" (what learning disabled children were called in the 70's) and then completed her M.S. in Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences at SFSU. In addition to teaching at SFSU, she works privately in the area of language-learning disorders and serves on the staff at the Scottish Rite Center for Childhood Language Disorders.

Burk Hall 146 | flokimm@sfsu.edu | 415.338.1001

Photo of Blair Menn

Blair Menn, M.A., CCC-SLP, Lecturer & Clinical Instructor

Mr. Menn received his graduate degree from Northwestern University in 2003. Fluent in Spanish, he joined the SLHS faculty in Fall 2007. He supervises clinics in adult neuorgenic disorders, advanced diagnostics, and accent modification. He also teaches a course in dysphagia.

Burk Hall 138 | bmenn@sfsu.edu | 415.338.1001

Photo of Marcia Raggio

Kelly Rinehart, M.A., CCC-SLP, Clinical Instructor

Kelly earned her Bachelor’s degree in speech-language pathology at Miami University and her M.A. at The University of Iowa. She began working as an AAC Specialist in 1999. She worked at The Bridge School for 11 years and continues to serve as the co-director of the Building Bridges Camp and Training Institute. Currently, she is an associate with ACTS (Augmentative Communication and Technology Services), providing AAC assessment and intervention for children and adults as well as presentations and trainings regarding the support of complex communication needs and AAC. At SFSU, she is the clinical supervisor of the Child AAC Clinic. In addition to her work as an SLP, she is an actor and a teaching artist.

Burk Hall 208 | krinehart@acts-at.com | 415.338.1001

Photo of Patti Solomon-Rice

Katherine Seto, M.S., CCC-SLP, Clinical Instructor

Ms. Seto received her Bachelor's Degree in English from UC Berkeley in 1986 and Master's Degree in Speech Pathology from SFSU in 1990. She has enjoyed working with the adult/geriatric neurogenic population for nearly 20 years. She is familliar with acute care, inpatient rehab, outpatient rehab, home health, and long term care settings. Ms. Seto is currently employed at Pacifica Nursing and Rehabilitation Center and has spent several years training Speech Pathology interns from SF Bay Area Universities. She is a big "foodie' and loves dogs. Ms. Seto lives in Foster City with her husband, three children, two dogs, and a tortoise.

Burk Hall 146 | katherine_seto@yahoo.com | 415.338.1001

Photo of Sara Spencer

Sara Spencer, M.S., CCC-SLP, Clinical Instructor

Ms. Spencer has worked as a speech pathologist in hospitals, schools and private practice for over 30 years. She has been supervising at SFSU for many of those years. She was the recipient of the 2010 CSHA Award for Outstanding Achievement. She lives in the Bay Area with her husband and two sons.

Burk Hall 146 | shs94116@msn.com | 415.338.1001