Research Collaborations

Project ROC: Research Opportunities through Collaboration

Dr. Millie Musyoka

Project  ROC was developed to foster interdisciplinary research opportunities through active discussions. One faculty or student per colloquium will present an ongoing project or idea for 30 minutes with 30 minutes for discussion. While our disciplines may differ in content, we can learn much from each other on learning the nuts and bolts of research (i.e. various methodologies, finding subjects, etc.). So come join us and contribute to our scholarly conversations.

Upcoming Colloquiums

Grounded Theory

Oct. 19, 2015, 4 p.m.
SPHS Building, Room 117

Dr. Jamie Hartwell will introduce the topic followed by a discussion of how this method has been applied in our various disciplines. We will conclude with a discussion of how this method can address some possible research questions in our disciplines. 

Previous Colloquiums

Teachers’ Experiences with Deaf Students with Additional Disabilities:
Implications to Teacher Preparation in Deaf Education

Mary Anne Gentry, Ed.D., Department of Deaf Studies & Deaf Education
Millicent M. Musyoka, Ph.D, Department of Deaf Studies & Deaf Education

September 26, 2014, 11:30 a.m.
Speech and Hearing Building, Room 102

Dr. Millicent Musyoka and Dr. Mary Anne Gentry will present their research proposal regarding teachers’ experiences with deaf students with additional disabilities. Join us for the conversation on barriers and solutions to successful research projects!


The proposed project will investigate experiences of teachers of deaf students with additional disabilities. Currently, 40-50% of deaf students have an additional disability (Bruce, DiNatale and Ford, 2008; Ewing & Jones, 2003; Gallaudet Research Institute (GRI), , 2008, 2011; Jones, Jones & Ewing, 2006; Mitchell & Karchmer, 2006; Perigoe & Perigoe 2004). The objective of this research project is two-fold: (1) to collect, describe and interpret the teaching experiences of teachers of deaf students with additional disabilities; and (2) use the data and its findings to brainstorm and review the current Master of Science degree in Deaf Education to address the needs in the field that relate to teaching deaf students with additional disabilities. The qualitative research design used will be a phenomenological case study method.

Severity of Voice Problems in School Teachers across Grade Levels

Nandhu Radhakrishnan, Ph.D., Department of Speech & Hearing Sciences
Ashlee Collins, SLP thesis student, B.S., Department of Speech & Hearing Sciences

November 14, 2014, 11:30 a.m.
Speech and Hearing Building, Room 102

Voice problems affect professional voice users more than those who do not use their voice to make a living. Some of the prominent professions that fall under this category include, singers, actors, teachers, politicians, attorneys, and ministers. Literature suggests that school teachers are frequently seen by physicians for problems with their voice. Vocal demand on teachers is high due to the number of students and hours they teach. This research project intends to survey school teachers of Southeast Texas and learn about their voice problems, vocal health, knowledge about voice and vocal hygiene, and coping strategies used when they have a voice problem. The primary aim of this project is to correlate voice problems faced by these teachers to the grade level they teach.

Internet-based health interventions: Examples from hearing healthcare

Vinaya Manchaiah, Au.D., M.B.A., Ph.D., Department of Speech & Hearing Sciences

January 30, 2015, 11:30 a.m.
Speech and Hearing Building, Room 102

In the last decade there has been a significant revolution in technology, both in terms of modernization of technology and its accessibility to people around the world. This trend is global and has also reached low- and middle-income countries. People have been using technology for social interactions, business transaction and also to seek information and solutions to various issues, including health problems. Moreover, there is also increasing use of technology in healthcare service delivery (i.e., tele-medicine) in various healthcare specialties, including hearing healthcare. Internet-based interventions seem to provide equally good results as face-to-face interventions in various health conditions.

In this talk, I discuss some applications of Internet-based interventions in hearing and balance disorders. However, the focus of the talk would also include some futuristic comments on how such a mode of treatment could be helpful in other areas of health and disability. This talk also highlights the interdisciplinary nature of contributions from hearing healthcare professionals, psychologists, computer scientists and learning technologists. 

The relationship between comfortable loudness range and behavioral auditory dynamic range in older listeners with and without sensorineural hearing loss

Ashley Dockens, Au.D., Department of Speech & Hearing Sciences
Audiology Instructor

March 6, 2015, 11:30 a.m.
Speech and Hearing Building, Room 102


Hearing aid technology, fitting science, and professional education have improved vastly over the last ten years, but studies are indicating very little progress in satisfied and very satisfied hearing aid patients. While audibility, comfort, and tolerance of sound are goals in hearing aid fittings, loudness issues are a leading cause of hearing aid rejection. Researchers have suggested that it is curious that most hearing aid fittings are “based on measurement of what the listener can just detect and/or what the listener finds uncomfortably loud instead of what the listener wants to hear” (Blamely & Martin, 2009). Though most audiologists evaluate most comfortable loudness and uncomfortable loudness, very few measure a range of comfort although research supports evaluation of a comfortable loudness range. Researchers further suggest that this range of comfort should resemble the dynamic range of hearing; however, no investigation has been done to support that the two are related. My current research is evaluating any relationship between a range of comfort and a listener’s dynamic range of hearing (softest heard to point of discomfort) in listeners with and without hearing loss. If no relationship exists, it may be necessary for additional comfort measures to be added to the current standard hearing aid evaluation test battery. Furthermore, results should give greater understanding to psychoacoustic perception of loudness, which is still poorly understood.

Spatial skills and mathematics achievement in deaf and hard of hearing students: Educational Implications

ChongMin Lee, Ph.D., Department of Deaf Studies & Deaf Education

March 13, 2015, 11:30 a.m.
Speech and Hearing Building, Room 102


Over the past a half of century, low mathematics achievement by deaf or hard of hearing (DHH) students has been well documented in the literature (Blatto-Vallee et al., Frostad & Ahlberg, 1999; Kelly & Mousley, 2001; Qi & Mitchell, 2012; Mitchell, Qi, & Traxler, 2007; Traxler, 2000). Even though deaf students generally perform better in mathematics than in English, they still fall significantly behind their hearing peers in mathematics (Qi & Mitchell, 2012). The underlying causes for these difficulties remain unclear.  Recent studies indicated that spatial skills are highly correlated with mathematics achievement in hearing students.  Therefore, the purpose of this study is to examine 1) the difference in spatial skills between deaf and hearing students, and 2) relationships between spatial skills and mathematics achievement in deaf and hard of hearing students.  352 students’ responses obtained from three different studies were analyzed using statistical techniques.  Overall, the results indicated that hearing students performed better than deaf students in the spatial task. Interestingly, there was no significant difference in the easy items scores for the both groups but significantly difference between both groups in difficulty items scores. Based on the results, further educational implications of spatial skill on math achievement will be discussed.

Monica Harn, Ph.D., Department of Speech & Hearing Sciences
Dana Pitman, SLP thesis student, Department of Speech & Hearing Sciences

April 24, 2015, 11:30 a.m.
Speech and Hearing Building, Room 102