SPOKANE, Wash. –Two faculty joining the graduate program in speech and hearing sciences at Washington State University Spokane bring research expertise in brain mapping and adult dysphagia and motor speech disorders to the graduate program in speech and hearing sciences. Another who will work with students both in Pullman and Spokane brings years of experience as the department’s Native American program coordinator.

Mimi T. Salamat, Ph.D., joins WSU Spokane from Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans as an assistant professor. Salamat, who holds master’s degrees in both audiology and speech-language pathology, researches the effect of auditory stimulus on the brain and cognitive processing. She also specializes in evaluation of balance-disordered patients.

Her multidimensional research can be used as a tool to look at the effect of medication, treatment, exercise, nutrition, etc., on the brain at the cognitive level. Salamat’s research is useful in evaluating different clinical populations such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorders, auditory processing disorders, language disorders, Alzheimer’s, Parkinsonism, sleep disorders, depression, anxiety, and schizophrenic patients before and after medication and treatment.

Salamat, originally from Iran, received her Ph.D. from University of Southern Mississippi in conjunction with Brigham Young University. She holds a certificate of clinical competence in audiology from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and is a fellow of the American Academy of Audiology. Her research has been published in the Journal of the American Academy of Audiology and other journals. She has received numerous awards for her work, including best research award from the American Academy of Audiology in 1997 for development of a new approach to testing the brain’s response to auditory stimulus.

Salamat, who had five job offers, says, “I chose WSU because of its reputation as a strong research institution and its administrative support for the young scientist. Also the leadership of my department under the direction of Dr. Gail Chermak, a nationally known scientist in my field, had a major influence on my decision to come here.”

Teresa Paslawski, Ph.D., most recently completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., before coming to WSU Spokane. She received her doctorate in neuroscience/psychiatry in 1998 from the University of Alberta, and holds a master’s in speech-language pathology.

Paslawski’s doctoral research focused on psychiatric drug metabolism. Her more recent interests have been in the area of speech and swallowing disorders. Dysphagia, or swallowing disorders, is a specialty of the speech and hearing sciences program at WSU Spokane.

In particular, Paslawski is interested in cerebellar dysfunction and the relationship between speech and swallowing. Her research project during her fellowship at the Mayo Clinic focused on the speech disorders of patients with paraneoplastic cerebellar degeneration, which is associated with various forms of cancer.

Paslawski holds a certificate of clinical competence in speech-language pathology from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Her work has been published in American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology: A Journal of Clinical Practice, Psychopharmacology, Brain and Language, Progress in Brain Research, and other journals.

“Drs. Salamat and Paslawski represent high-quality additions to our faculty. The positions they fill are ones that have gone unfilled for two years,” Chuck Madison, coordinator of the graduate program, said. “In a climate of a limited faculty applicant pool in speech and hearing sciences, WSU Spokane is fortunate to have filled both vacant positions with faculty who will add to the depth of our students’ education.”

Dr. Ella Inglebret served as coordinator of the Native American Professional Preparation Program in the WSU Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences for 12 years prior to receiving her Ph.D. in December 2001 and joining the faculty as assistant professor.

She has published and presented nationally in the areas of multicultural issues in speech-language pathology. Her research interests include examination of speech-language assessment and treatment practices for children and adolescents, as well as of curriculum development for Native Americans in higher education.

Prior to coming to WSU, Inglebret gained 12 years of experience in serving individuals with neurological impairments and language disorders in clinical and educational settings. Inglebret holds a certificate of clinical competence in speech-language pathology from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

“Mimi and Teresa both bring first-class research credentials and extensive clinical experience to further the department’s missions to educate future professionals, advance clinical science, and expand clinical services to the Spokane region,” said Chermak, chair of the Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences.

“Ella’s new position as assistant professor will help build our school-age and adolescent language science and disorders track and strengthen our Native American program, she added.” While based in Pullman, Inglebret also teaches in the graduate program at WSU Spokane and supervises research projects of graduate students.