We are dedicated to conducting basic and applied research related to communication from birth through young adulthood. The focus of our research is on verbal and nonverbal communication, and the clinical processes of assessment and intervention. Current projects focus on the powerful role of clinician and caregiver interaction in establishing a strong communication foundation for language development. We use multiple methodologies to explore these areas in diverse populations including children from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, children with language and social communication impairments, and children with neurodevelopmental disorders (e.g., motor impairments; Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders).

Meet the Team!


screenDirector: Amy Pace, Ph.D.

Amy Pace joined the Speech and Hearing Sciences faculty in 2016. She completed her postdoctoral training in the Department of Psychology at Temple University and received her doctorate in Language and Communicative Disorders from San Diego State University and the University of California, San Diego in 2013.

Dr. Pace is the director of the Child Language Research Lab. Her research focuses on language acquisition, assessment, and intervention from birth to five, with emphasis on children from diverse, disadvantaged, or high-risk backgrounds. The primary goal of this research is to advance the field’s practical knowledge about how children integrate multiple sources of information to extract meaning from the complex input of human experience, how this information supports language development in typical and atypical populations, and how the understanding the products and processes of language development can lead to targeted, community-based interventions that support positive language outcomes in all children. Research is conducted in the laboratory, in the classroom, and in the community.

When she is not in the lab, you can find Dr. Pace swimming in a lake, hiking, drinking coffee, or hanging out with her family.

Senior Lecturer: Patricia Dowden Ph.D, CCC-SLPdowden_pat01

Patricia Dowden is a Senior Lecturer in Speech & Hearing Sciences at the University of Washington.  Dr. Dowden’s research includes augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) in school-age children, caseloads of speech-language pathologists in Washington State schools and early signals of communication in infants and toddlers with severe motor impairments.  In addition, Dr. Dowden supervises in the Speech & Hearing Clinic and teaches courses in AAC, Clinical Methods, Evidence-Based Practice and Social-Cultural Aspects of Communication.

Clinical Researcher: John C. Thorne Ph.D., CCC-SLPthorne_john_web

John Thorne  is a lecturer, clinical supervisor, and clinical researcher at the University of Washington.  His research to date has focused on narrative assessment in children with prenatal alcohol exposure. As a speech-language pathologist & special educator, he has over 20 years experience as a direct service provider to school-aged children with special needs.

Professor Emeritus: Truman Coggins Ph.D., CCC-SLPcoggins_truman_web2

Truman Coggins is Professor Emeritus of Speech and Hearing Sciences.  Dr. Coggins’ program of research has examined communication disorders in a social context specifically, whether children with CNS impairment and prenatal alcohol exposure have impairments in higher-level integrative language functioning.  He is a certified speech-language pathologist and Fellow of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.  During his tenure at Washington, Dr. Coggins was a research affiliate in the Eunice Kennedy Shriver Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center at the University’s Center on Human Development and Disability.  Dr. Coggins has been a mentor to more than three decades of interdisciplinary health professionals and graduate students for leadership roles in neurodevelopmental and related disabilities.

Research Assistant: Jessica Wi, B.A.screen2

Jessica Wi is a research assistant in the Child Language Research Lab. She is a second-year master’s student planning on working in a birth to three setting. Originally from Oakland, CA she completed her undergraduate degree in Linguistics with a specialization in Cognition and Language at the University of California, San Diego. She completed a post-bac at Chapman University and worked as a speech-language pathology assistant before starting graduate school at the University of Washington. She enjoys playing soccer, reading, and eating ice cream.

Research Assistant: Hannah Nye, B.A.screen3

Hannah Nye is a second-year master’s student in the speech-language pathology program. She completed her undergraduate work at University of Colorado in Boulder. Before graduate school, she worked as a speech-language pathologist assistant in an elementary school in Denver, where she treated low socio-economic status students. She is particularly interested in language acquisition and development and plans to work in early intervention with birth-three populations after graduating in summer of 2017.

Her current research work involves comparing models of word learning for typically developing 3-5 year olds during a novel word-learning task. When she finds herself with free time, she spends it walking her labradoodle, trying new restaurants with her husband, and shopping at independently owned gift boutiques.

Research Assistant: Emily Nierman, B.S.screen1

Emily Nierman is a first-year master’s student in the speech and hearing sceinces department working as a Graduate Assistant in the Child Language Lab. She earned her Bachelor’s degree at the University of Illinois in Speech and Hearing Sciences with minors in Linguistics and Spanish. She has a passion for language acquisition and education. She brings her experience of working with Chicagoland preschools and the non-profit organization LEAP (Language Empowers All People) to the lab. In her free time she’s either tucked into the corner of a coffee shop drinking tea or out exploring Washington trails!

Volunteer:  Minmin (Emma) Linscreen

Emma Lin is a post-baccalaureate student studying Speech and Hearing Sciences and volunteering in the Child Language Research lab. Born and raised in Shanghai, China, Emma completed her Bachelor’s degree in English Literature at Shanghai Ocean University. She volunteered as a Speech Language Pathology assistant at a special education center in Shanghai. She has also served as a Chinese liaison for ARC, a non-profit organization that helps expats adopt orphans in China, most of whom are born with birth defects. Emma is a 100% authentic cat lover!

Volunteer: Colette Titus, B.A.screen

Colette Titus is a post-baccalaureate student in University of Washington’s Speech and Hearing Sciences undergraduate program. She completed her undergraduate studies in English literature and Anthropology at the University of Oregon. Colette is interested in childhood language development and wants to specialize in autism during her career.

Volunteer: Beverly Dosonoscreen5

Beverly Dosono is an undergraduate volunteer at the University of Washington Child Language Research Lab. She will be graduating in June 2017 with a double degree in Early Childhood and Family Studies, and Speech and Hearing Sciences. Through her recent internship at the UW Center on Human Development and Disability and also past volunteer work through the Americorps Jumpstart Literacy for Children program, Beverly is interested in the developmental aspects of child language and cognition. Beverly aspires to earn her Masters in Human Development through the UW College of Education, in hopes of reaching her career goals of working with and advocating for young children from underrepresented backgrounds and marginalized populations. On her free time, Beverly enjoys playing sports, cooking, and traveling.

Volunteer: Theresa Lescreen4

Theresa Le is a volunteer in the Child Language Research Lab working towards her Bachelor’s degree in Speech and Hearing Sciences. Although she has only just begun her journey within the field, she is looking forward to gaining new experiences and fueling her passion through volunteering. She aspires to become a speech language pathologist focusing on children from diverse and/or disadvantaged backgrounds. In her free time, Theresa enjoys spending time with family, listening to music, or catching up on her favorite Asian dramas.