Speech-Language Pathology Advisory Board

In an effort to support our programs and mission, the Department of Speech-Language Pathology at Concordia University constituted an advisory board. The purpose of this Advisory Board shall be to advise, assist, support and advocate for the Concordia University Speech-Language Pathology (SLP) department and its programs on matters that will strengthen instruction, expand learning opportunities for students, and positively impact community outreach. The advisory board meets six times per year with additional communication through email and surveys as needed.

Chairperson

Mikaely Schmitz

Mikaely Schmitz, M.A., M.S., CCC-SLP

Mikaely serves the community as an ASHA certified Speech Language Pathologist in multiple settings. Mikaely received her M.S. in Speech Language Pathology in 2003 and her M.A. in English as a Second Language in 2014. Mikaely serves as a Clinical Speech Language Pathologist within the Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare system as an adult acute inpatient therapist as well as a pediatric outpatient therapist running language based play and phonology groups during the summer. Mikaely has worked full time as an Educational Speech Language Pathologist within Milwaukee Public Schools since 2003, where she serves students and families on the near south side at a bilingual (English/ Spanish) elementary school. Additionally, Mikaely is adjunct faculty at Viterbo University in the Graduate Program and McPherson College where she teaches courses on multiculturalism, special education / IEP assessment and planning, communication, and language enrichment techniques. Mikaely has presented at multiple local, statewide and national conventions and trainings as well as provided consultative services to schools and districts across the Midwest. Mikaely’s primary areas of special interest include working with and providing consultative services regarding multicultural/multilingual populations, enhancing the home/ school connection, special education evaluation and implementation, language enrichment and support, and pediatric communication development and support.

Vice Chairperson

Caroline Ziegler

Caroline Ziegler, M.S., CCC-SLP

Caroline is a licensed speech – language pathologist with a particular interest in throat-based communication, swallowing, and breathing disorders. Her educational background includes vocal performance in addition to graduate studies in speech pathology that included specific focus in the treatment of voice, swallowing, and breathing disorders. Ms. Ziegler’s primary clinical emphases are working with people who have voice disorders – particularly professional voice users – as well as people with paradoxical vocal fold dysfunction.

Board Members

Beth Wehner

Beth Wehner, M.S., CCC-A

Beth has been a practicing speech and language pathologist in the Port Washington – Saukville School District for the past 23 years. She is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire for both her undergraduate and graduate work and has earned her Certificate of Clinical Competence. Beth has extensive experience in various areas of speech and language including articulation, expressive language delays, receptive language delays and social deficiencies. Beth’s special interests include treating children with autism and autistic like behaviors as well as working with children that have language and learning disabilities, expressive and receptive language delays, articulation concerns and limited social skills. She really enjoys working with middle school students and finds it very exciting when her students learn a new concept and can apply the necessary skills in different environments.

Mary McDonough

Mary McDonough, Au.D., CCC-SLP

Mary has spent most of her 29 years of experience as an Educational Audiologist. She works within a special education cooperative, serving children with hearing loss (and their families), ages 3 through 21 years. Mary supports educators and hearing impaired students to ensure appropriate access to auditory information within mainstream, oral public school settings. Mary received her B.S. (Communicative Disorders) and M.A. (Audiology) at Northern Illinois University, and Au.D. (Doctor of Audiology) from A.T. Still University of Health Sciences.

Mary Bahr-Schwenke

Mary Bahr-Schwenke, M.S., CCC-SLP

Mary is an ASHA Certified, Wisconsin and Illinois licensed speech-language pathologist with nearly 30 years of clinical and supervisory experience. Mary has been employed as an MJ Care associate for over 25 years. During her tenure, she has developed and managed a therapy outpatient clinic, coordinated physical, occupational and speech therapy services in home-based, medical and school-based settings. She is the current President of the Wisconsin Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology Association.

Jordan Ruiz

Jordan Ruiz, M.S., CCC-SLP

Jordan is an ASHA-certified School-Based Speech-Language Pathologist with the School District of Menomonee Falls. She graduated with an undergraduate degree from University of Wisconsin – Madison in 2008 and graduated with her Master’s from Florida State University in 2012. Jordan’s educational background includes infant feeding/swallowing, language sample analysis, and augmentative and alternative communication. She was a recipient of a personnel preparation grant specializing in Autism Spectrum Disorders which provided additional trainings, coursework, and opportunities to utilize her specialized skill set to support students and families with ASD. Jordan’s special interests include social cognition and pragmatics, phonological impairments, and language and literacy development.

Ruth Thielen

Ruth Thielen, M.S., CCC-SLP

Ruth received her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees from UW-Milwaukee in 1993 and 1995. She has worked for Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare system for over 20 years in acute, rehab, outpatient and sub-acute settings. For the last eight years, she has also coordinated Speech Pathology Fieldwork for Wheaton Franciscan in the Milwaukee area, as well as coordinating all levels of continuing education for Speech Language Pathologists. She also coordinates Occupational Therapy fieldwork and works extensively with colleges in the Milwaukee and surrounding area to improve the student practicum experience. Ruth’s areas of expertise are Dysphagia, Head and Neck Cancer and Voice.

Rona Alexander

Rona Alexander, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, BCS-S, C/NDT

Rona is a speech-language pathologist specializing in the assessment and treatment of oral motor, feeding/swallowing, and respiratory-phonatory function in infants and children with neuromuscular and musculoskeletal systems impairments. She maintains a private practice; provides consultation services; and conducts workshops on oral motor, oral sensory, feeding/swallowing, and respiratory coordination development, assessment, and treatment. Dr. Alexander has contributed chapters on oral motor, feeding/swallowing, and respiratory coordination function to numerous publications; is co-author of the book entitled, Normal Development of Functional Motor Skills: The First Year of Life; is author of the CEU product, Focus on the Rib Cage for Improvement of Respiration, Phonation, Movement, and Postural Control; and is co-developer of the CEU product, The ABCs of Pediatric Feeding and Swallowing.

Holly M. Delgado

Holly M. Delgado, M.A., CCC-SLP

Holly received her undergraduate degrees in Speech/Language Pathology & Audiology and Spanish Languages and Literature from Marquette University and an M.A. from the University of Texas-Austin in Communication Sciences and Disorders with a Bilingual Emphasis. She has worked with bilingual English-Spanish children in Texas, Wisconsin, and Illinois and she has trained clinicians in El Salvador. Ms. Delgado has a passion for educating graduate students and clinicians in best practices for serving students from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds. She has served as an adjunct professor at the graduate level, she serves as a peer reviewer for continuing education courses on bilingual issues, and she collaborates with school districts to provide professional development for staff. Ms. Delgado is pursuing a specialization in Assistive Technology from the University of Illinois-Chicago. She has an interest in AAC and bilingualism and has presented on the topic at multiple conventions. Ms. Delgado is a partner at Milwaukee Bilingual Speech/Language Pathologists.

Rachel Scannell

Rachel Scannell, M.S., CCC-SLP

Rachel is an ASHA certified speech language pathologist working with Milwaukee Public Schools. She received her undergraduate and Master’s degrees from Marquette University in 2007 and 2008. Since that time, she has developed her expertise with early childhood students. For the past four years, Rachel has run an extended therapy classroom, working with 3 – 5 year old students with a variety of speech and language delays and disorders. She is passionate about working with families in the urban setting. Rachel has also enjoyed collaborating with UW-Milwaukee to provide observation hours and supervise clinical experience for undergraduate students. Other areas of interest include AAC, development of social emotional skills, and literacy.

Betty Zientara

Betty Zientara, M.S., CCC-SLP

Betty graduated with my Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Speech Pathology from Marquette University. She has received training in Neuro-Developmental Treatment. Betty currently works in a pediatric outpatient clinic with children of all ages and disabilities. She specializes in the areas of oral-motor/feeding treatment and augmentative communication. Betty has previously served as a Board Member for the Scottish Rite Children’s Learning Center.

Kristin Whitfield

Kristin Whitfield, M.A., CCC-SLP

Kristin is a speech-language pathologist specializing in the use of augmentative and alternative communication with both adults and children. In addition to her clinical practice, she has presented on the topic of AAC at online, local, national, and international conferences and has had several articles appear in AAC publications. Currently, she is the owner of Communication Unlimited, LLC a private practice specializing in AAC.

Caitlin Ebel

Caitlin Ebel, M.S., CCC-SLP

Caitlin received her undergraduate degree in Communicative Disorders from the University of Wisconsin Madison and her graduate degree is Speech Language Pathology from Marquette University. Caitlin worked in long term care following graduation, but made the transition to acute care in 2010. She is currently a senior speech therapist working for the Aurora Medical Center in Grafton. Caitlin lives in Port Washington with her husband and children and looks forward to contributing to the Concordia program.