Faculty

Dr. Carol S. Deakin, PhD., CCC-SLP 

Photo of Dr. Carol S. Deakin, PhD., CCC-SLP Dr. Carol S. Deakin is currently the Program Coordinator and Associate Professor for the Communicative Sciences and Disorders Program at Alabama A&M University in Huntsville, AL.  She earned her doctorate from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, in Carbondale, Illinois.  Dr. Deakin’s specialty is adult neurogenic disorders.  She is certified by the American Speech Language and hearing Association (ASHA) and is a lifetime member.  Dr, Deakin is also a member of the Speech and Hearing Association of Alabama (SHAA) and licensed by the Alabama Board of Examiners for Speech pathology and Audiology (ABESPA).

Mrs. Esther Phillips- Ross, MA, CCC/SLP/L

Photo of Mrs. Esther Phillips- Ross, MA, CCC/SLP/LMrs. Esther Phillips-Ross, is Assistant Professor in Communicative Sciences and Disorders (CSD) and serves as the Director of Clinical Education for the CSD Program.  Mrs. Phillips-Ross received her formal undergraduate education from Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan (BA in English); and graduate education from the Ohio State University, in Speech and Hearing Sciences (MA). Mrs. Phillips-Ross has worked in varying scopes of practice in the area of speech-language pathology for 23 years, and has interests in the areas of literacy and cognitive linguistic impairments that affect communication in children and adults—respectfully. She has participated in literacy research in conjunction with the University of Florida in Gainesville, to develop a computerized reading evaluation for pre-school children. Mrs. Philips-Ross has also conducted research in the area of student professionalism and ethics. Mrs. Phillips-Ross has presented at the state and national levels on supervision practices in CSD and student professional/ethical behavior. In addition to directing the onsite CSD Clinic, Mrs. Phillips-Ross serves on a number of committees (i.e. Faculty Senate Executive Committee, Faculty Development Committee, Faculty Mentoring Committee, and others) at AAMU where she believes a voice needs to be heard and a difference made.

Dr. Hope C. Reed

Photo of Dr. Hope C. ReedDr. Hope C. Reed is an Associate Professor in the Communicative Sciences and Disorders (CSD) Program at Alabama A & M University (AAMU). She joined the faculty in 2002. She primarily teaches coursework encompassing counseling, child language, and articulation and phonological disorders, but she has experience teaching many other courses, including craniofacial anomalies, fluency, speech and language assessment, computers in CSD, survey of speech-language pathology, and graduate and undergraduate seminars in CSD.

Dr. Reed earned her doctorate in speech-language pathology from Nova Southeastern University and her master’s degree in speech-language pathology and bachelor’s degree in special education/speech-language pathology from AAMU. Her clinical experience encompasses the public schools, private sector, home health care, Head Start, and university settings. She has worked in the field of speech-language pathology for 20 years.

Dr. Reed is the only Certified Orofacial Myologist in Alabama and established the world’s first university-based clinic for children and adults with orofacial myofunctional disorders. Her research encompassing counseling students and patients with communication and swallowing disorders and their caregivers, orofacial myofunctional disorders, health literacy, and minority success in higher education has culminated in the publication of numerous books and articles. She is frequently invited to present at international, regional, state, and local conferences on the topics of counseling, orofacial myofunctional disorders, child language, and PRAXIS passage. She also creates Web-based continuing education courses for publication.

Dr. Reed is an Associate Editor for the International Journal of Orofacial Myology and serves on the research committee for the International Association of Orofacial Myology (IAOM) as its Institutional Review Board (IRB) Chairperson. She served on the Speech and Hearing Association of Alabama’s (SHAA’s) Executive Board for 7 years, and in 2008, she received its Distinguished Service Award. In 2013, SHAA selected Dr. Reed to receive its Outstanding Clinical Achievement Award. She was honored at the 2013 American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation's Annual Founders Breakfast, in Chicago, as a nominee for the Louis M. DiCarlo Award for Recent Clinical Achievement. In addition, she has received numerous certificates of appreciation and commendations for her service to the profession. She has also earned the Award for Continuing Education (ACE) from ASHA.

Dr. Reed holds certification/licensure from the IAOM, ASHA, the Alabama Board of Examiners for Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology (ABESPA), and the Alabama State Department of Education.

Jennifer Horne, M.S., CCC-SLP 

Photo of Jennifer Horne, M.S., CCC-SLP Mrs. Jennifer L. Horne MS, CCC-SLP is an Assistant Professor/Clinical Supervisor in the Communicative Sciences and Disorders (CSI)) Speech and Hearing Clinic where she has been a faculty member since September of 2016. Mrs. Horne completed her undergraduate and graduate studies at the University of Montevallo where she received a Master of Science in Speech Language Pathology. She has been fortunate to work in a myriad of clinical settings providing assessment and intervention services to children and adults since 1989.

Mrs. Horne's clinical areas of interest include neurogenic communication disorders, dysphagia, and augmentative and alternative modes of communication (AAC). Mrs. Horne has a strong commitment to continuing education and has received the American Speech Language Hearing Association Award for Continuing Education (ACE) at three different intervals throughout her career. Her strong commitment to individuals impacted by speech and language disorders was recognized through receipt of the City of Huntington Mayor's Award for Distinction in the provision of services for individuals with disability. Mrs. Horne holds certification and licensure for the American Speech Language and Hearing Association (ASHA), the Alabama Board of Examiners for Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology (ABESPA), and the Alabama Department of Education.

She maintains an active presence within the local community by providing speech and hearing screenings, participating in University and community events promoting awareness of etiologies impacting communication, and maintaining an active presence in the North Alabama

Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) support group. Mrs. Horne also serves as the sponsor for the Alabama A&M National Student Speech-Language Association (NSSLHA). She resides in Athens, AL with her husband, Jay, and their daughters Caitlin and Callie.

Dr. Diana Blakeney-Billings, AuD., CCC-A 

Photo of Dr. Diana Blakeney-Billings, AuD., CCC-SLP Dr. Diana Blakeney-Billings has been an Audiologist for over 23 years. A native of Oxford, MS, she obtained both her Bachelor of Science and Masters of Science from the University of

Mississippi. She obtained her Doctor of Audiology from A.T. Still University in Mesa, Arizona. She is certified by the American Speech-Language- Hearing Association and is licensed in Alabama, Tennessee, and South Carolina as an Audiologist. She is currently on the Institutional Review Board (IRB) for the International Association of Orofacial Myology (IAOM) as a researcher.

Dr. Blakeney-Billings has worked in the medical field as an Audiologist with Otolaryngology and Neuro-otology Practices. She has established hearing aid centers, a cochlear implant center, and owned a mobile hearing aid practice before changing career paths for Academia. She teaches undergraduate and graduate level courses in audiology, aural rehabilitation, anatomy and physiology of the speech mechanism, corporate communication and business and professional communication.

Dr. Billings currently is an Assistant Professor at Alabama A&M University in Normal, Alabama for the Department of Communicative Sciences & Disorders. Her background is extensive for electrophysiology testing, vestibular and balance function testing, diagnostic audiology, cerumen management, hearing aids, tinnitus, cochlear implants, and aural rehabilitation. Her passion is making a difference in her students' lives and her profession. She teaches undergraduate and graduate level courses in audiology, aural rehabilitation, anatomy and physiology of the speech mechanism, corporate communication and business and professional communication. Her research interests include hearing loss and co-morbidities, hearing conservation, tinnitus, rare audiological case histories, and otoacoustic emissions.

Dr. Barbara Cady

Photo of Dr. Barbara CadyDr. Barbara Cady, Professor of Communication Sciences and Disorders, received her BA degree from Auburn University, MA from University of Alabama and Ph.D. from the University of Kansas. She is a life member of ASHA and SHAA, holds certification in Speech Pathology (CCC-SLP) and licensure from ABESPA.  Currently, she teaches courses in Phonetics, Articulation and Other Phonological Disorders, Research Methodology, and Voice Disorders