Master of Science Speech-Language Pathology
Faculty and Staff
Bethany Faye Schwartz, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
Bethany Faye Schwartz, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, is a licensed speech-language pathologist with 8 years of field experience in public schools in Minnesota and Hawaiʻi. She is a member of the Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology program at California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB), and an assistant professor in the Department of Education and Leadership. She received her MS in Communication Sciences and Disorders from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and her Ph.D. in Second Language Studies from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. Her research interests include child second language acquisition in typical and disordered populations, child Pidgin (Hawaiʻi Creole), narrative development, and teacher/therapist education. Other clinical interests include AAC/AT, cleft lip/palate, and school-age speech/language development. She is currently teaching courses on assessment and multicultural issues in the practice of speech-language pathology.
Kerrie Lemons Chitwood, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
Kerrie Lemons Chitwood, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, is a licensed speech-language pathologist with 25 years of experience in the field. Kerrie is the founding director for the Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology program at California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB), and an assistant professor in the Department of Education and Leadership. She has been an integral member of intervention research teams with a focus on early language and literacy, augmentative and alternative communication, and assistive technology applications. She is committed to translational research and thrives to bridge the gap between research and practice specifically as it pertains to students and families with neurodevelopmental disorders. She has taught courses focused on research methods and evidence-based practice, augmentative and alternative communication, birth to five language disorders, and autism spectrum disorders.
Paige Vega, M.A, SLP, MHA
Paige Vega, M.A, SLP, MHA is an experienced Speech Language Pathologist who has served the Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula since 2012 as an outpatient clinical therapist. She serves as her department's Epic Super User and credentialed trainer. She has facilitated a community group since 2016 for people with communication impairments of varied types. She obtained her undergraduate degree from California State University, Monterey Bay (2009), Master of Communication Disorders from California State University, San Jose (2012), and Master of Healthcare Administration from the University of Southern California (2022). In addition, she currently serves as adjunct faculty for her alma mater, CSUMB, for the Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology program. She has research interests in adult language and motor speech disorders and manual therapy in Head/Neck Cancer. In her spare time, she enjoys reading and caring for her 6 cats, 2 dogs, and 2 turtles.
Chandni Totlani, M.A., CCC-SLP, CBIS
Chandni Totlani, M.A., CCC-SLP, CBIS is a Speech-Language Pathologist and Certified Brain Injury Specialist, who has been a medical SLP since 2014. She has earned her master’s degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from the University of Central Florida and has experience in various different settings, including acute care, outpatient, skilled nursing facility, long-term care, home health care, and private practice. She is a registered Modified Barium Swallow Impairment Profile clinician and has additional certifications in Fiberoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing (FEES), VitalStim therapy, Myofascial Release, Lymphedema management in head and neck cancer, and Kinesiology Taping Techniques for swallowing disorders, to name a few. She currently works as an SLP at the Community Hospital in Monterey Peninsula and as an adjunct professor for the Master of Science graduate program at CSUMB. Chandni has a special research interest in dysphagia and cognitive communication disorders.
Maria Jose Flores, M.A., CCC-SLP, BCS-S
Maria Jose Flores, M.A., CCC-SLP, BCS-S, is a licensed speech-language pathologist with 13 years of experience in the medical field. She has provided medical speech therapy services to the adult and geriatric populations in various rehabilitation settings. During her extensive time working in acute care settings, Maria has developed speech therapy and dysphagia programs, and written evidence-based policies and protocols. Her clinical and research interests include bridging the gap between research and practice in dysphagia, neuro-trauma, tracheostomy, and head and neck cancer diagnosis and treatment. She is Board Certified in Swallowing and Swallowing disorders and is a Certified Brain Injury Specialist. Maria has published research studies on the effects of high-flow nasal cannula on swallowing in the ASHA Journal- Perspectives. She has presented her research at the John Hopkins Medical Center Annual Rehabilitation in Critical Care Conference, The California Thoracic Society Annual Convention, and the UK Swallow Research Group. Maria is currently the Coordinator of Clinical Education for the M.S. SLP program.
Theresa Gidney, M.A., CCC-SLP
Theresa is a licensed speech-language pathologist who fills both adjunct faculty and supervisory roles in the Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology program at California State University, Monterey Bay. She has taught courses on speech sound disorders and language development in school-aged children. She currently serves as a supervisor for advanced clinical practicum experiences. She completed her B.S. at California State University, Fresno in Communicative Sciences and Disorders (2017) and her M.A. in Speech-Language Pathology at California State University, San Jose (2019). She has worked in elementary and middle school settings with a focus on treating bilingual Spanish-English students with speech-sound and language disorders. She has research interests in identifying the best practice for complex speech-sound disorders and language development in culturally diverse populations, adult and pediatric social language groups, education of speech-language pathology students, and supervision in speech-language pathology. She is currently completing her Doctor of Speech-Language Pathology at Northwestern University, graduating in March of 2024, with a culminating project focused on education and supervision for graduate clinicians in speech-language pathology.
Lisa LaSalle, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
Lisa LaSalle, Ph.D., CCC-SLP has been teaching speech-language pathology coursework and supervising student clinicians for over 30 years. Her clinical and research interests center around developmental stuttering, and she has published widely on childhood stuttering assessment and treatment-related topics and recently on the pharmacological considerations for adults who stutter. Dr. LaSalle is a professor in the Masters-SLP department in the Department of Education and Leadership, and she currently supervises student clinicians and teaches Fluency Disorders, Voice Disorders, and Counseling.
Christina Gray achieved a bachelor's degree in psychology and minor in linguistics before pursuing her master's degree in communication sciences and disorders at Georgia State University. She has worked in a diverse arrange of settings including birth to 3, school age, acute care and inpatient rehabilitation. Her interests within the field are brain injury, language development and supervision. Outside of work she enjoys being with her family, exploring the outdoors of the beautiful central coast.
Katie Pietsch is a medically focused speech-language pathologist and certified brain injury specialist with ten years of experience. She has worked with patients across the continuum of health care including acute care, acute rehabilitation, outpatient, and home health. Her clinical areas of interest and neurogenic disorders impacting speech, language, cognition, swallowing, and voice. She is passionate about working with individuals with right-hemisphere brain damage, stroke, and Parkinson's disease. Outside of speech therapy, she loves spending time outdoors with her family and friends, running, and planning her next trip to Disney.
Adam Martinez, SLP Admissions Advisor
Adam Martinez is the Admission and Academic Advisor for the SLP program. He has eight years of experience in admissions and academic advising. He earned his BA in Behavioral Sciences at San Jose State University. He works closely with prospective students advising them on the program requirements and application process. Mr. Martinez is a Monterey County native. He is familiar will the program prerequisites and how to maximize success in selecting courses from other colleges.