Lab Members


Dr. Alexander L. Francis, Ph.D.

I am a professor of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences at Purdue University. I earned my B.A. in Linguistics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1991, completing one semester of study in Allgemeine und Indogermanische Sprachwissenschaft at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München. I did my graduate work at the University of Chicago, earning an M.A. in Linguistics in 1993 and a dual Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology and Linguistics in 1999. I completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences at the University of Hong Kong, and have been at Purdue since 2002.

Contact Info

PHD Students

Prospective graduate students are invited to apply to work on projects that fit within our Current Research. Please contact Dr. Francis before applying. See SLHS PhD Program Page for more general information.

Undergraduate Research Assistants

Abigail Beaumont

I am a senior from Indianapolis, IN studying Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences with minors in Psychology and Human Development and Family Studies at Purdue University. Research is something I have been longing to get involved with on campus, and the SPACE lab has given me the perfect opportunity to further my understanding within the realm of SLHS. Professionally, my goal destination is to be a clinical audiologist. I want to create a space for diversity within the clinic and target the disparities between different racial/ethnic groups regarding hearing loss treatment accessibility. Sigma Lambda Gamma National Sorority, Inc. is a multicultural sorority and happens to be another large commitment of mine at Purdue! In my spare time, I am planning events, doing community service, or meeting new people through my sorority.

Abby B.

Khayla Dent

I am a junior double majoring in SLHS and Communication with a focus in hearing science and minors in Psychology and Critical Disability Studies. I graduated with my A.S. in General Health Sciences in the Spring of 2021. I’ve always had a passion for health sciences, and discovering speech and hearing sciences has allowed me opportunities I could have only ever imagined. I joined the SPACE lab in hopes of further exploring balance, hearing, and cognition of the mind. I plan to continue my studies in Audiology with the hopes of eventually working as a pediatric audiologist. In my free time, I enjoy reading thriller and romance novels, crocheting, and spending time with my niece and nephews.


Carly Ferree

I am a senior majoring in Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences and minoring in Psychology. I am planning to go on to graduate school to pursue my Doctorate in Audiology. I hope to eventually work in a clinic with cochlear implant and hearing aid patients. Outside of school, I love to workout, go to concerts, try new restaurants, and spend time with friends and family!

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Abigail Foley

I am a junior hailing from the cold and snowy land of Rochester, New York. I am double majoring in Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences and Developmental and Family Science. In the future, I am planning on going to graduate school to get my masters in Speech-Language Pathology. I joined the SPACE lab in August 2022, and I am excited to expand my knowledge of the field of Speech Pathology and Audiology and deepen my passion for this field of study.  When I’m not studying, I enjoy playing the cello as a member of the Purdue Philharmonic Orchestra.

Abby F.

Kirsten Fong

I am a senior from Greensburg, IN majoring in Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences with minors in Psychology, Human Development and Family Studies, and Global Studies. After graduation, I plan to further my education by pursuing a Master’s in Speech-Language Pathology. I am interested in the various aspects of communication and am excited to explore the idea of noise sensitivity through the SPACE Lab. In my free time, I enjoy being outdoors, playing pickleball, and reading sci-fi novels with a hot cup of coffee in hand.


Lauren Gabor

I am a senior at Purdue double-majoring in Speech, Language, and Hearing sciences and Psychology. I joined the SPACE Lab in August of 2022 because I am interested in learning how difficulties perceiving sounds affect one’s abilities across other domains, such as speech, balance, and attention. After I graduate, I would like to continue my studies and obtain a Master’s in Speech-Language Pathology. In the future, I would like to work in the medical setting so that I can provide services for aural rehabilitation and neurogenic communication disorders. In my free time, I like to paint, do puzzles, and spend time with friends and family.

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Alexia Robinette

I am from Columbus, Indiana. I am a junior at Purdue double majoring in Speech Language and Hearing Sciences and Developmental and Family Science with a concentration in Child Development, with a minor in Psychology. In my free time, I enjoy traveling, reading, crafting, and spending time with family and friends! I joined the SPACE Lab in January 2022 and I am excited to continue working to analyze how noise sensitivity and balance affects aspects of everyday lives. In the future, I aspire to be a Speech Pathologist or Applied Behavior Analysis Therapist and work with children with disabilities.

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Mia Schmetter

I am a freshman from Morrison, CO majoring in Brain and Behavioral Sciences, on the Pre-Med track, in the John Martinson Honors College. I hope to further my studies in medical school and residency in either the specialty of neurology or OB/GYN. I have experience in working at a functional neurology clinic over the summer in 2022, which began my interest in the hearing loss, balance, and its effects on cognitive abilities. I joined the SPACE Lab in December 2022, and I am looking forward to learning a lot more in this field. Outside of academics, I am an Honors College Ambassador and a violinist in Purdue’s Philharmonic Orchestra, or you can find me writing songs, drinking a nice cup of coffee in a coffee shop, or hanging out with my friends and family



Doctoral Students

  • Elizabeth Guyer, Au.D., Clinical Fellowship at Yale Hearing and Balance
  • Jessica Lorenz, Au.D., Audiologist at The Hearing Center
  • Wai Ling Law, Ph.D. August, 2017 – Assistant Professor, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen Branch
  • Fernando Llanos, Ph.D. August, 2016 — Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Pittsburgh
  • Mengxi Lin, Ph.D. August, 2015 — New York City
  • Wei Zhang, Ph.D. December, 2010 — Associate Professor, University of Akron
  • Maria Kondaurova, Ph.D. December, 2008 — Assistant Professor, University of Louisville
  • Yanhong Zhang, Ph.D. May, 2008 — Chinese Master, The Lawrenceville School
  • Natalya Kaganovich, Ph.D. August, 2007 — Associate Professor, Purdue University

Undergraduate Students

  • Erin Frain, B.A. May, 2022
  • Pranali Suresh, B.A. May, 2022 — AuD program, Northwestern
  • Emma Bonham, B.A., May, 2021 — Linguistics, Indiana University
  • Anyia Clayton, B.A., May, 2021
  • Nicole Kirk, B.A., December, 2020
  • Cassian Kruse, B.A., Ma, 2020
  • Lexi Rozycki, , B.A., May, 2020 — AuD program, University of Wisconsin
  • Sarah Shipe, , B.A., May, 2020
  • Emily Walczak, B.A. May, 2019 — AuD program, University of Nebraska
  • Shelby Claflin, B.A. May, 2019
  • Lauren Lahey, B.A. December, 2018 — MS-SLP program, University of Arizona
  • Theresa Nelson, B.A. December, 2018 — AuD program, Purdue University
  • Anna Brown, B.A. May, 2018 — MS-SLP program, University of Louisville
  • Breeah Carey, B.A. May, 2018 — MS-SLP program, Purdue University
  • Neenah Simpson, post-baccalaureate May, 2018 — MS-SLP program, Indiana University
  • Shannon Doolittle, B.A. May, 2016 — AuD program, San Diego State University
  • Haley Kissel, B.A. December, 2015 — MA in Applied Behavior Analysis, Ball State
  • Lisa Le, B.A. May, 2016 — MS-SLP program, Eastern Michigan University
  • Abbey Schmitt, B.A. May 2016 — AuD program, Indiana University
  • Jessica Lorenz, B.A. May, 2015 — AuD program, Purdue University
  • Alyssa Nymeyer, B.A. May, 2015 — MS-SLP program, Purdue University
  • Ashlee Witty, B.A. May, 2015 — MS-SLP program, University of Cincinnati (Distance)
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