Principle Investigators

Dr. Tyson G. Harmon

Assistant Professor, Department of Communication Disorders

I am interested in research that advances behavioral assessment and treatment of adult neurological communication disorders. Specifically, I am interested in understanding how language functioning and recovery after stroke is affected by mood and attention and in learning how to help people with aphasia transfer gains made in therapy to their everyday communication.

Dr. Shawn L. Nissen

Associate Professor, Department of Communication Disorders

My research interests include the acoustic nature of typical speech production and development, prosody of the professional voice, and using electropalatography to describe and facilitate second language learning.  I am also interested in the role of cognition in adult language rehabilitation.

Graduate Student Research Assistants

Brenna Nelson

2nd Year MS SLP Student

I am originally from Atlanta, Georgia. I love swimming, water polo, being outdoors, trying new things, and organizing. I’m interested in learning how to more directly bridge the gap between research and clinical practice as well as helping people with aphasia meet their goals for daily communication.

Angie Johnson

2nd Year MS SLP Student

I am from Rexburg, Idaho, and I love being outside!  My hobbies include hiking, backpacking, kayaking, and tennis. I also love to cook and am always looking for places to try new food. I graduated with my Bachelor’s degree in Communication Disorders from BYU in December of 2018. I am currently in the Master’s program at BYU for Speech-Language Pathology. I love all aspects of this field, but I am especially interested in Aphasia and am excited to research it further.

Riley Robertson

1st Year MS SLP Student

I was born and raised in southern Virginia. I love running, reading, and road biking! I am a first-year graduate student here at BYU and love learning about how to help people with speech and language disorders! I enjoy all domains of the field but I am most interested in research that will better help those who have a neurological disorder regain a better quality of life, starting with their everyday communication.

Vivian Ward

1st Year MS SLP Student

My name is Vivian Ward. I am from Ruby Valley, NV and I am a first-year Communication Disorders graduate student at Brigham Young University.  I enjoy being outdoors, watching movies, and going to school!  I am excited to be currently working on my thesis project with Dr. Harmon.  I am interested in finding ways to help those who have neurological challenges find ways to communicate and improve their quality of life. 

Erin LeCheminant

1st Year MS SLP Student

Hi, my name is Erin LeCheminant! I’m from Columbus, OH and I’m a first year grad student studying Communication Disorders here at BYU. I love my dog, running, hiking, camping, and my husband (not necessarily in that order haha). I’m very passionate about people, and I enjoy learning more about who we are as individuals, but also how we’re connected as human beings. I absolutely love the opportunities we’re provided with at BYU to explore our passions and to dive into research that we care about, and I’m so grateful to be here studying under Dr. Harmon as one of his thesis students.  

Undergraduate Student Research Assistants

Cami Thomas

Lab Manager

I am an undergraduate student from Cedar Hills, Utah. I love to read, hike the Utah mountains, and support performing arts. I am passionate about helping people achieve more than they originally believed they could. I love to work with both children and adults. I am currently most interested in learning how Speech-language Pathologists can help improve quality of life and the psychosocial well-being of adults with neurological communication disorders. 

Kyle Steele

Lab Manager

I am currently a junior in the Communication Disorders program and I recently completed my first semester of major classes. When I got back from my 2-year mission to Sweden, I discovered the great field of speech-language pathology, since I knew my interests were medicine, helping others, and the way language works. I’ve worked an entire year now in the aphasia lab and I wouldn’t trade those experiences for anything, since knowing the research we do will substantially help improve the treatment for people with aphasia. I married my best friend, Alanna, in October 2019 and we love being outdoors, playing volleyball, cooking, and watching movies. We recently welcomed our beautiful baby girl, Evelina into the world in December/January and we couldn’t be happier! I plan to attend graduate school in Wisconsin, where my wife is from, and specialize in treating aphasia and voice disorders, and eventually start my own practice one day.

Emily McDonald

Lab Manager

I am from Spanish Fork, Utah, and some of my favorite things to do include reading, yoga, and traveling. I am a junior majoring in Communication Disorders with a minor in Design Thinking. I chose this major because love learning about communication and how it impacts us day to day. I have enjoyed working in the Aphasia lab because it has introduced me to real people and shown me how our efforts really effect them, as well as taught me more about the research process. I interested in many different aspects of the field, and I hope to be able to use research and human centered design to more effectively adapt treatment specifically to patients needs.  

Maddie Schriever

Lab Manager

As a new student to the Communication Disorders program, I am so excited to continue learning about language, speech, and how they affect our day-to-day life. I am from Boise, Idaho and love hiking, running, and reading. I also enjoy playing the piano and harp when I can find the time in between schoolwork. I am interested in studying the effects of bilingualism and aspire to be a Speech-Language Pathologist for children.

Lindsay Crane

I am an aspiring Speech-Language Pathologist, native of Wyoming, master curry-taster, and life-enriching experience enthusiast. I was drawn to the field of Speech-Language Pathology because I love working with people 1-on-1, and I see the value that effective communication has in life. I am interested in working with young adults and the older population, helping people recuperate from brain injuries (which often results in aphasia), and finding proper interventions to ensure success for young sequential bilinguists.    

Morgan Smith

I was born and raised in sunny Arizona. I am a senior at Brigham Young University working on an undergraduate degree in both communication disorders and Spanish studies. I have a passion for experiencing new things, especially when it involves traveling to other countries. Spending time outdoors, reading mystery novels and running are the things that keep me sane despite my busy life. Having seen firsthand the affect aphasia can have on a person’s ability to communicate, I am particularly interested in research regarding the treatment of such neurological communication disorders. I find the effects of bilingualism, expression and mood, and melodic intonation on one’s ability to recall words especially compelling. 

Courtney Cobbley

I am a junior in the undergraduate Communication Disorders program. True to my Illinois heritage, I love deep dish pizza and cheering on the Chicago Cubs. I have always loved connecting with people, and I want to help others find joy in communicating. I enjoy working with children and adults, and I can’t wait to be an SLP. I am interested in several aspects of the field, particularly how the brain is able to recover from language loss after a stroke or a TBI.

Bailey Wells

My name is Bailey Wells and I’m from Denver, Colorado. I am a senior in the Communication Disorders undergraduate program with a minor in vocal performance. I absolutely love to travel the world, try yummy new foods, meet new people, learn languages, go to Disneyland, and watch Christmas movies. I am very interested in all aspects of the Communication Disorders field, particularly Aphasia studies and cochlear implants. I love observing the research process in the Aphasia lab and helping improve others’ quality of life. I believe that any contribution to help someone else communicate more effectively in their life is valuable and I’m happy to be involved!


Courtney Nielsen

MS SLP Alumna

I am a second-year Communication Disorders graduate student from Draper, Utah. In my free time, I enjoy long runs and long naps. I recently completed a 10-week clinical internship at Intermountain Medical Center (IMC) working on the acute inpatient neuro-rehab floor where I spent my time assessing and treating patients with complex neurological communication and swallowing disorders. I have a special interest in furthering the research surrounding the treatment of adult neurological communication disorders. The objective of my thesis is to investigate the effects of emotional arousal on naming accuracy in people with aphasia.

Corinne Loveridge

MS SLP Alumna

I am from Mountain Green, Utah. I grew up playing in the mountains and love snowboarding, rock climbing, hiking, and trail running. I first recognized the value of language in the lives of individuals as my foster sister began learning to speak at four years old. A whole new world was unlocked to her as she learned to communicate with those around her. Since that time, I have become fascinated with the brain and how it plays a role in language. I have witnessed true resilience in those whose language portion of the brain has been affected and have watched those with aphasia communicate in so many ways other than just with words. Being a part of a lab that contributes to language recovery for those with aphasia has taught me that, no matter your path, life can be fulfilling and rewarding. 

Elizabeth Caldwell

I am a senior Communication Disorders undergraduate student from Salt Lake City, Utah. I am currently employed at Intermountain Medical Center (IMC) where I work as a hearing screener/speech aide. I perform newborn hearing screenings in maternity and the NICU as well as assist SLP’s with both FEES and MBS procedures on the acute inpatient floors.  I am especially interested in how traumatic brain injury affects swallowing and pediatric feeding disorders. My hobbies include skiing, hiking, and singing.

Jack Hoffer

I was recently accepted into the Communication Disorders program. I’m interested in working with people who have voice problems because I love learning the anatomy and physiology of the larynx and the brain. I’m also interested in helping people who have had traumatic brain injuries or strokes become more competent in their communication abilities. 

Lindsay Whited

My name is Lindsay and I’m from Amarillo, Texas. I am currently in my undergrad at BYU and will graduate in December with a bachelor’s degree in Communication Disorders and a minor in Scandinavian Studies. I love Taylor Swift, shopping, and PEOPLE. I have always been passionate about communication because I believe our connection with those around us is what makes life so joyful. I have been working with Dr. Harmon on Aphasia research since last August and have absolutely loved getting to understand the research process and how we can use it to help people with Aphasia. My interest in Aphasia was piqued last year when I took a class called Medical Speech Pathology, one of my favorite classes that I’ve taken at BYU. I look forward to getting my masters and becoming a real-life SLP! 🙂

Annie Nicol

I grew up in Tri-cities, Washington as the oldest of seven children. In my free time I enjoy ballroom dancing, watching Netflix, or hiking. I started studying Communication Disorders because I want to spend my life helping people. I am particularly interested in pursuing either early intervention as a Speech Language Pathologist or pediatric audiology. I am excited to work in the Aphasia lab and gain more experience.