Auditory Processing, Phonology, and Literacy Evaluation (APPLE) Team

Overview

Reading is crucial to academic and professional success, as well as personal growth, yet the complexities of reading remain elusive. We are interested in uncovering and unraveling the intricacies of reading. Specifically, our current project investigates relationships between central auditory processing (CAP), language, and reading abilities in school age children, using both behavioral measures of central auditory function and measures of language and reading. By exploring these relationships, we may potentially gain greater insight into the origins of reading difficulties. Moreover, a primary purpose of the APPLE Research Team is to provide SCSU undergraduate and graduate students a unique opportunity to engage in clinical research. 

Research Projects 

The connection between reading difficulties, phonological processing, language abilities, and CAP

This study aims to explore the relationships between CAP, phonological processing, language skills, and reading abilities in children, using clinically relevant assessments.

 

The connection between reading difficulties, phonological processing, language abilities, and CAP in special populations

This study aims to explore the relationships between CAP, phonological processing, language skills, and reading abilities and prevalence of difficulties in special populations like children with cortical visual impairment and hemispherectomies.

 

Check out our recruitment flyer! Interested in participating in a study?
Please contact Dr. Jennifer McCullagh, mccullaghj1@southernct.edu, or Dr. Richard Zipoli, zipolir1@southernct.edu.

Current Research Team

 

Dr. Jennifer McCullagh

 

Dr. Jennifer McCullagh

Dr. Jennifer McCullagh is a Professor in, and current Chairperson of, the Department of Communication Disorders at Southern Connecticut State University. She earned a Ph.D. in Communication Sciences with a concentration in neuroscience and a Doctor of Audiology (Au.D.) from the University of Connecticut in 2009. Dr. McCullagh enjoys teaching, conducting research, and seeing patients in the Department's on-campus clinic. Her research interests include auditory electrophysiology, diagnostic audiology and central auditory processing disorders, especially in children and adults with complex neurological histories.

 

Dr. Richard Zipoli

Dr. Richard Zipoli

Richard P. Zipoli, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, MSPT, is an Associate Professor and Clinical Instructor in the Department of Communication Disorders at Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU). He earned a Ph.D. in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Connecticut, with a program of study in special education emphasizing learning and reading disabilities. Dr. Zipoli also holds graduate degrees in communication disorders and physical therapy, as well as certification in assistive technology. He was awarded the Connecticut State Universities Board of Regents 2018 Teaching Award for SCSU and the Systems-Wide Teaching Award.

 

Caitlin Yarrish

Caitlin is a master’s student in the Department of Communication Disorders at Southern Connecticut State University. She earned her B.A. in education and English from Marist College and worked as a reading and SAT tutor. She is currently working on the APPLE research team finding relevant peer-reviewed articles and delivering formal assessments of language and reading. Her professional goals are to become a certified speech-language pathologist and open a private practice that utilizes animal-assisted therapy.

 

Annie Prusak

Annie Prusak is an undergraduate student at Southern Connecticut State University majoring in communication disorders with a minor in medical Spanish. She is graduating with a B.S. in May 2021 and hopes to continue her studies as a graduate student in the fall. Annie's research interests are varied, and she has been a member of the APPLE research team and journal club since the spring of 2019. She hopes to continue working on research as a graduate student and eventually, as a researcher herself. 

Grants

Connecticut State University (CSU)- AAUP Research Grant. (2020-2021). The relationship between central auditory processing, phonological processing, and reading abilities in children. P.I. Richard Zipoli. Co-P.I. Jennifer McCullagh. $6,807.

Connecticut State University (CSU)- AAUP Research Grant. (2018-2019). The relationship between central auditory processing, phonological processing, and reading abilities in children P.I. Jennifer McCullagh. Co-P.I. Richard Zipoli. $5,525.

 

Professional Presentations

2020 – 2021

Yarrish, C., McCullagh, J., & Zipoli, R. Central Auditory Processing skills in a child with Cortical Vision Impairment: A case study. Poster presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Audiology, Virtual Conference, April 14 – 16, 2021.

 

2019 – 2020

Pandemic-Related Pause

 

2018-2019

Magliano, H. Evidence for strong associations between auditory temporal processing and phonological processing in seven- and eight-year old children. J. McCullagh & R. Zipoli (Mentors). SCSU Graduate Research and Creativity Conference, New Haven, CT. May 20, 2019.

McCullagh, J., Zipoli, R., Magliano, H., Misencik, L., Gauthier, K., Nawalaniec, M., & Spadory, R. Interdisciplinary assessments of central auditory processing, phonological processing and reading in children. Poster presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Neuropsychological Society, New York, NY, February, 22 2019.

Zipoli, R. P., Gauthier, K., Nawalaniec, M., Spadory, R., & McCullagh, J. Phonemic awareness intervention in an adolescent with left hemispherectomy: Implications for the critical period hypothesis? Poster presented at the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Convention, Boston, MA, November 16, 2018.

 

2016-2017

Misencik, L. The relationship between auditory temporal processing, language, and reading abilities in children. J. McCullagh & R. Zipoli (Mentors). SCSU Graduate Student Research and Creativity Conference, New Haven, CT. May 9, 2017.

Nawalaniec, M. & Gauthier, K. Phonological awareness intervention for an individual with a left hemispherectomy: A case study. R. Zipoli & J. McCullagh (Mentors). SCSU Graduate Student Research & Creative Activity Conference. New Haven, CT. May 9, 2017.

Ciambriello, A. & Misencik, L. The relationship between dichotic listening, language and reading abilities in children. J. McCullagh & R. Zipoli (Mentors). SCSU Undergraduate Student Research and Creativity Conference, New Haven, CT. April 8, 2017.

Spadory, R. Phonological awareness intervention for a young man without a left hemisphere: A case study. R. Zipoli & J. McCullagh (Mentors). SCSU Undergraduate Student Research and Creativity Conference. New Haven, CT. April 8, 2017.

Misencik, L., McCullagh, J., Gauthier, K., Nawalaniec, M., Spadory, R., & Zipoli, R.P. Relationships between auditory processing and language abilities in children with dyslexia and reading difficulties. Poster session presented at the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Convention. Philadelphia, PA. November 2016.

Graduate Students

Florette Pursell (GSGA funded), M.S., 2020

Kaitlyn McNabb (CSU grant funded), M.S., 2020

Rebecca Spadory (departmental GA), M.S., 2020

Hannah Magliano (GSGA funded), M.S., 2019

Kayla Gauthier (CSU grant funded), M.S., 2018

Malgorzata Nawalaniec (CSU grant funded), M.S., 2018

Leann Misencik (GSGA funded; Master’s Thesis), M.S., 2017

 

Undergraduate Students

Michelle Pomeroy, B.S., 2020

Meg Lee, B.S., 2019

Allison Edwards, B.S., 2019

Madeline Ortiz, B.S., 2019

Rebecca Spadory, B.S., 2018

Tess Olson, B.S., 2018

Angela Ciambrello (Undergraduate Research Grant recipient), B.S., 2017

Kayla Gauthier, B.S., 2016

Malgorzata Nawalaniec, B.S., 2016