Our Clinical Faculty
Meet our Faculty:
Anthony Teresa, MHA, MA, CCC-SLP
As Director of the Speech Clinic and Bolesta Center and Visiting Clinical Instructor, Teresa aims to improve operations in outpatient clinical care through data-driven decision-making and clinical care/support systems for patients and caregivers. With 14 years of work experience as a Speech-Language Pathologist serving children and families, she has an interest in bridging real-world clinical care experiences with clinical education in University settings; understanding access to care challenges and the factors that contribute to individual pursuit of health services; expanding access to care through improved clinical care and operations, support systems, and public health policy; and better understanding and solving problems associated with the impact social determinants of health have on child development. As a credentialed Florida Early Steps provider, while working with families of children with hearing loss, Teresa instructs and supervises graduate student clinicians in family-centered intervention contexts. Her clinical areas include assessment and intervention of individuals who are Deaf/Hard of Hearing; coaching and mentoring caregivers; collaborating with Spanish interpreters; and supervision of graduate student clinicians, SLP-Assistants and Clinical Fellows. Her previous administrative roles include Clinical Business Manager in CSD (Fall 2017-Summer 2018) and Regional Manager and Director of Rehabilitation at outpatient pediatric rehabilitation facilities in Houston, Texas.
In Fall of 2021, Teresa will begin PhD studies in Health Services Research in the College of Public Health (COPH) at USF. Teresa is a graduate of the Council of Academic Programs in Communication Sciences and Disorders’ (CAPCSD) 2019 Leadership Academy and ASHA’s 2018 healthcare Leadership Development Program (LDP). She has earned four ASHA ACEs (2019, 2017, 2015, 2010). She is an active member of ASHA’s and FLASHA’s Medicaid committees and the CAPCSD Conference planning committee (2021-2023). Teresa has presented at state and national conferences and contributed to publications in the American Journal of Speech Language Pathology and Learning and Individual Differences.
Cara Babon, M.S., CCC-SLP
Cara Babon is currently a Clinical Instructor at the University of South Florida.
She began her work in the Language-Phonology and Diagnostics practica in December
2015. Ms. Babon has been practicing as a Speech-Language Pathologist since 2002, having
previous clinical experience in a pediatric outpatient hospital clinic, the public
school system, and in a private speech-language clinic. Ms. Babon completed her Bachelor's
degree at Cleveland State University in Communication Sciences and Disorders in 1997,
and her Master's degree at Nova Southeastern University in 2002. Her primary areas
of clinical expertise include the evaluation and treatment of the pediatric population,
specializing in the areas of low-cognition, multiply impaired, AAC, autism, and developmental
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.
Amy Davis, M.S., CCC-SLP
Amy Davis joined USF as a full time clinical instructor in 2013. She received her Bachelor's degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from the University of Florida and her Masters degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Gallaudet University. Ms. Davis began her career in Fairfax County Public Schools in Virginia where she specialized in working with preschool and school aged children in the area of aural rehabilitation, using both ASL and cued speech. Additionally, Ms. Davis gained extensive experience working with children with autism, specifically with pragmatic intervention and augmentative communication treatment. Ms. Davis has also worked in the private sector at an outpatient children's therapy center, as well as in home health. She most recently worked in Pasco County Schools where she gained extensive experience treating school age students with language and literacy disorders. Her primary areas of interest include language and literacy intervention, phonological disorders and autism spectrum 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.
Mary Pyfrom, MA, CCC-SLP, MT-BC
Mary Pyfrom, MA, CCC-SLP, MT-BC joined USF as a full time clinical instructor in the fall of 2015. She received her Bachelor's degree in Music Therapy from Mississippi University for Women and holds the credential MT-BC (Music Therapist- Board Certified). She received her Master's degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, LA. Mrs. Pyfrom has experience working with adult populations in skilled nursing facilities, home health, and inpatient rehabilitation hospitals. This includes working with adult clients with Dysphagia (swallowing disorders), Aphasia, Apraxia of Speech, Parkinson's disease, and Cognitive-Communication deficits (e.g. Dementia, Traumatic Brain Injury). Prior to joining USF, she served as the Director of Speech Therapy at an inpatient rehabilitation hospital in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Her areas of clinical specialty include adult neurogenics and pediatric and adult voice disorders, with primary interest in professional voice users, specifically singers and actors. Mrs. Pyfrom holds specialty certification in Vital Stim for the treatment of Dysphagia, Lee Silverman Voice Treatment – LOUD and Speak OUT! for clients with Parkinson's Disease, Myofascial Release, Leesac-Madsen Resonant Voice Therapy, and the Compton Method for Accent Modification.
Natalie Mikkelson, M.A, CCC-SLP
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.
Elisabel J. Chang, M.S., CCC-SLP, TSSLD-BE
Elisabel Chang joined USF as a Visiting Clinical Instructor in the Fall of 2019. Ms. Chang received her Bachelor’s degree from the City University of New York, Brooklyn College in 1999, and her Master’s degree in Communication Disorders: Speech-Language Pathology from Adelphi University in 2015. Ms. Chang began her career with the New York City Department of Education as a Bilingual Speech-Language Pathologist, where she worked with preschool and school-aged English Language Learners with language and literacy-based disorders. Elisabel also has previous clinical experience working with medically fragile patients in a home health setting, students in an integrated preschool setting and clients in private practice. Before joining USF, Ms. Chang worked with various Suffolk County, New York school districts as a diagnostician where she provided comprehensive and culturally responsible evaluations for linguistically diverse students. Her primary areas of clinical expertise include providing culturally competent evaluations and treatment to multicultural and multilingual children of all ages. Elisabel also specializes in language and literacy-based disorders and treatment in school-aged children.