About the Principle Investigator

Amy Pace, Ph.D., 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's research focuses on language acquisition, assessment, and early intervention from birth to five, with emphasis on children from diverse, disadvantaged, or high-risk backgrounds. The primary goals of this research are to understand the environmental factors and learning mechanisms that contribute to successful language acquisition, and to apply this knowledge to develop targeted, community-centered interventions that support positive developmental outcomes in early childhood and beyond.

When she is not in the lab, you can find Dr. Pace swimming outdoors, hiking, reading, or hanging out with her family.


Affiliated Faculty

Senior Lecturers

John C. Thorne, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, is a senior 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.

Patricia Dowden, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, 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.

Professors Emeriti

Truman Coggins, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, 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.

Lesley B. Olswang, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, is Professor Emeritus of Speech and Hearing Sciences.  


Research Assistants

Postbaccalaureate & Undergraduate Students

Justin Brodt

Justin Brodt is a volunteer in the Child Language Research Lab working towards his Bachelor’s degree in Speech and Hearing Sciences. Currently he is a senior in the SPHSC department and hopes to attend graduate school at the University of Washington with the intent of working as a speech language pathologist in a public school setting. Outside of school, Justin is married with two beautiful children whom take up most of his free time—and he wouldn’t have it any other way. 

Mark Cabrera

Mark Cabrera is a volunteer for the Child Language Research lab led by Dr. Amy Pace at the University of Washington. He is a post-baccalaureate student in the department of Speech and Hearing Sciences at UW and plans to pursue his master's degree in 2018 with hopes of pursuing his Ph.D. after that. He hopes to study child development of language as a researcher and to help create new standardized assessment tools that can be used in the treatment of developmental disorders. He hopes to gain experience before moving on to research by working with children in either a school or clinical setting and hopes that this experience will help him develop research goals that are geared towards empowering clients and their families. 

Beyond school, Mark works for Autism STEPS in Seattle, a global autism consulting company as a registered behavioral technician. He also works as the director of customer outreach for the health supplement company Maju Superfoods, dabbles in freelance photography, loves to read and travel. 

Tim Gaynor

Timothy Gaynor is a volunteer in the Child Language Research Lab working towards his Bachelor’s degree in the Speech and Hearing Sciences. Ultimately, Timothy aspires to obtain an education for not only the Speech & Hearing Sciences, but Audiology as well; like a marrying of two worlds. Finally, with a PhD at the end of the tunnel, Timothy hopes to utilize his training and knowledge to devise and investigate clear communication strategies that might not be commonly taught among all groups of people. In his free time, Timothy likes to make a fool of himself at the Southgate Roller Rink, cook and power-lift!

Theresa Le

Theresa Le is a volunteer at the Child Language Research Lab and an undergraduate student majoring in Speech and Hearing Sciences. Her field-related interests include language acquisition and development, social-cultural aspects of communication, and multiculturalism/bilingualism. She aspires to become a Speech-Language Pathologist who serves children from diverse, disadvantaged, and underrepresented populations. 

Her dedication to social equality and cultural understanding stem from her work with the UW Dream Project, a program that studies social justice and the education system to support high school students in attaining their post-secondary goals. Her current role as a High School Lead involves facilitating UW undergraduates in discussions and activities to increase their awareness, as well as guiding them through the process of mentorship.

When not in class or the Dream Project Center, she can be found spending time with family and friends or out enjoying some bubble tea.

YingJu (Jessica) Lu

Jessica Lu is a volunteer at the Child Language Research Lab and a senior in the Speech and Hearing Sciences program at the University of Washington. She loves working with kiddos and aspires to pursue a doctor of medicine degree to become a pediatrician serving underrepresented populations. She is passionate about studying autism spectrum disorder, brain and cognitive sciences, and children literacy development. Jessica brings her experience of working with children with autism spectrum disorder and ADHD at UW Center on Human Development and Disability and tutoring experience at the nonprofit organization Reading Partners to the lab.  In her free time, she's either reading, playing tennis, or exploring new hiking trails in Washington! 

Hannah Miller

Hannah Miller is a volunteer in the Child Language Research Lab pursuing her Bachelor’s degree in Speech and Hearing Sciences with a focus on Speech Language Pathology. She is thrilled to be engaging with the ongoing research at the University of Washington relating to child language development in such a hands-on manner, and looks forward to learning more about the team research process throughout the year. She hopes to eventually practice as a Speech Language Pathologist within the public school setting, and would like to continue researching as a graduate student along the way. With an interest in connecting with those around her, Hannah is also working towards minors in Spanish and Comparative Religion, and plans on learning ASL in the near future. 

In addition to her studies, Hannah is very passionate about her work in various settings: a speech and language preschool, a community-based day program for adults with disabilities, and a candy store! In her free time, Hannah enjoys baking, exploring the Pacific North West with friends, and catching up on the latest in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.



Minmin (Emma) Lin

Hannah C. Nye

Jessica Wi

Emily Nierman