Our Clinical Faculty

Meet our Faculty:


Alexandra E. Brandimore, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

Dr. Alexandra Brandimore, Ph.D. CCC/SLP joined the USF Communication Sciences and Disorders department faculty in May 2017. She completed her doctoral studies at the University of Florida where she also received her Master's and Undergraduate education. After obtaining her Ph.D in Speech-Language Pathology, Dr. Brandimore completed a post-doctoral fellowship in the Laboratory for Upper Airway Dysfunction within the Department of Biobehavioral Sciences at Teachers College, Columbia University. During her post-doctoral work she established and coordinated the Clinical Research Neurorehabilitation Center at Teacher's College, served as co-investigator and/or study coordinator for various large-scale NIH and MJ Fox funded projects, and provided mentorship and teaching to Master's level SLP students. As an academician, Dr. Brandimore interfaces her passions for teaching, research, and clinic. Her primary research goals target the development of evaluative techniques and therapeutic paradigms to improve upper airway dysfunction, primarily dysphagia (disordered swallowing) and dystussia (disordered cough), in persons with neurodegenerative diseases (i.e. Parkinson's disease). Her clinical work has mainly been in the area of Movement Disorders where she has evaluated and treated the motor speech, voice, AAC, and airway protective needs of hundreds of patients. She currently participates in a collaborative, multidisciplinary clinic for the management of patients with ALS. Dr. Brandimore has teaching expertise in the areas of: respiratory physiology, cognitive-motor relationships, neural/myogenic adaptations to exercise and training, with emphasis on the swallowing, coughing and respiratory systems, and clinical disorders of motor speech, voice, and airway protection. Dr. Brandimore's teaching interests include dysphagia, voice disorders, motor speech disorders, speech anatomy and physiology, neuroanatomy, and SLP management of complex movement disorders.


Carolyn Ford, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

Dr. Carolyn Ford joined USF as an Instructor in the CSD Department in 1992. She received her Master's Degree in Speech Language Pathology from the University of Alabama and her Educational Doctorate Degree from the University of South Florida. She holds ASHA Board Certification as a Child Language Specialist and teaches courses and supervises in the areas of Child Language and Literacy and Childhood Apraxia of Speech. She is the coordinator of the Suncoast Distance Master's Program, an online master's program through the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders. She serves on several task forces including the Florida Department of Education and the Florida Speech Language Pathology Leadership Network. She promotes the Evidence-Based Practices model, Leadership skills, and best practices with colleagues throughout Florida's through her collaboration with SLPs working in the public schools throughout Florida. She has provided numerous in-services to school districts and SLPs throughout the State of Florida on Language and Literacy, Childhood Apraxia of Speech, Response to Intervention, and Common Core State Standards.


Nathan Maxfield, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

Dr. Maxfield joined our faculty in August 2005. He earned his Ph.D. at the City University of New York, Graduate Center. His research focus is on cognitive neuroscience investigations of speech, language and hearing processing. A portion of his work, funded by the National Institutes of Health, focuses on language and cognitive processing in people who stutter. In this line of research, Dr. Maxfield uses brain electrophysiological measures alongside more traditional behavioral measures to investigate how people who stutter process language in real time in preparation for speech production. Dr. Maxfield's clinical focus is on working with people who stutter. Among other people, Maxfield trained under Pat Richard Sacco who, for many decades, directed a residential treatment program for stuttering at the SUNY-Geneseo campus (with Dr. Harold Starbuck) before bringing that program to USF in the early 1990's. Both Sacco and Starbuck were students of Dr. Charles Van Riper, and many of Van Riper's core treatment principles make-up the intensive treatment program developed by Sacco and Starbuck. Sacco retired in the late 1990's, but Dr. Maxfield recently revived Sacco's summer intensive treatment program for stuttering (now called the Program for Advanced Treatment of Stuttering, or PATS). Dr. Maxfield also supervises preschool and school-age fluency clinics at USF. Dr. Maxfield enjoys clinical teaching and mentoring students in research; he supervises undergraduate and graduate thesis projects, as well as doctoral student projects.


 Natalie Mikkelson, M.A, CCC-SLP, BCS-CL

Natalie Mikkelson is a Visiting Clinical Instructor in the USF Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Communication Sciences and Disorders from the University of Florida in 2006 and her Master of Arts in Communication Disorders from Louisiana State University in 2010. She has worked with the Bay Area Early Steps program both as a contract and internal provider since 2010. Natalie has been employed at USF since 2014, previously working in the Department of Pediatrics as a Speech-Language Pathologist/Early Interventionist with the Bay Area Early Steps program. In this role, Natalie participated in developmental evaluations, and provided natural environment-based treatment of speech, language and feeding/swallowing disorders. She also served as a peer mentor to other Early Steps therapists. Natalie’s areas of interest are in the use of routines-based intervention and caregiver coaching in the birth-3 population.

Kelli Gorajec, MA, CCC-SLP

Kelli Gorajec, MA, CCC-SLP joined the USF Communication Sciences and Disorders department as a full-time clinical instructor in the Fall of 2019. She obtained her Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Central Michigan University in May of 2011. She has vast experience in evidenced-based practice evaluating and treating a variety of medical diagnoses in the young adult to geriatric population in acute care, inpatient rehabilitation and outpatient therapy settings. Her areas of clinical specialty include adult neurogenic communication disorders and dysphagia with a primary interest in aphasia, traumatic brain injury, and neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s Disease and ALS. She also holds specialty certification in the Lee Silverman Voice Treatment – LOUD and SPEAK OUT!, programs and is an ASHA S.T.E.P. mentor. She enjoys sharing a passion for the field of Speech-Language Pathology with her students and prioritizes a life participation approach to intervention for all diagnostic populations!

Marian A. Lowther, M.S., CCC-SLP

Marian A. Lowther, MS CCC-SLP, is currently a Clinical Instructor at the University of South Florida. She obtained her BS in Speech Pathology and Audiology from California University of PA and MS in Communication Disorders from Baylor University. She has worked as an SLP since 1987 in school settings, rehab hospitals, private practice, mentoring, and program development. She has worked in Texas, Washington, and Florida. She most recently worked in Pinellas County Schools as a SLP mentor. Marian’s clinical areas of interest include developmental delays, neurological impairments, genetic disorders, degenerative diseases, mental/emotional disorders, dual language influences, and voice disorders. She has participated in research on accessing higher education and computer-based interventions. She has presented at state and national conferences and is a blogger for ASHA Leader on school-based interventions and advocacy. Marian is an ASHA Student to Empowered Professional (S.T.E.P) Mentor. She is an affiliate of ASHA Special Interest Groups 2, Neurophysiology & Neurogenic Speech and Language Disorders; 5, Speech Science and Orofacial Disorders; 11, Administration and Supervision; and 16, School-Based Issues. Marian is also an ASHA Grasstops Envoy for federal advocacy.