Communication Sciences & Disorders

Faculty & Staff

Doreen Binnie
Doreen Binnie Title: Assistant Professor of Practice
Dept: Communication Sciences and Disorders
Office: College of Health, Room 262
Phone: 216-687-6984

Doreen K. Binnie, M.A., CCC-SLP has been a Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) for 40 years.  Prior to joining the awesome members of the Communication Sciences and Disorders Program at Cleveland State University in 2012 she worked in the Columbia Local Schools for 34 years as the only SLP. She had her own Pediatric private practice for five years and worked at Extended School Year sites for six years. 

Doreen has experience in numerous areas but is very fond of working with children with autism, articulation, and phonological disorders.  She has experience with Assistive Technology devices and was trained in PECS.  As the Clinical Coordinator of Off-Campus Placements at CSU, Doreen strives to obtain new placements both in Hospitals and Skilled Nursing Facilities.  Doreen believes in a team approach when placing students.  She works with all supervisors to carefully match student strengths with their interests when making placements as well as trying to keep the facility close in distance to where the graduate student lives.  Doreen has taught both undergraduate and graduate courses. She supervises first and second year graduate students at their clinical placements both on and off campus. 

Doreen has spoken at numerous OSSPEAC and OSLHA conferences.  She is currently the CSU NSSLHA club advisor where the club earned Gold Status and was recognized as the Most Improved NSSLHA Organization in 2018.  She created an Interview Day for second year graduate students to gain employment as they graduate.  Doreen enjoys watching the students blossom and mature into Speech Language Pathologists.

When not at CSU, Doreen can be found in front of a book or her sewing machine. If she isn’t inside, she can be found tending to her vegetable and flower gardens.  She enjoys making flower arrangements and homemade jams.


Violet Cox
Violet Cox Title: Associate Professor
Dept: Communication Sciences and Disorders
Office: College of Health, Room 313
Phone: 216-687-6909

Violet O. Cox Ph.D., MLS, CCC-SLP is an Associate Professor in the Communication Sciences and Disorders Department. Since joining CSU in 1994, she has taught neurogenic communication disorders courses at the graduate level and Anatomy and Physiology at the undergraduate level. She has mentored graduate students in their Master’s thesis research.

Dr. Cox has authored and published articles in local and international peer-reviewed journals. Additionally, Dr. Cox authored the textbook “Rare Disorders that cause Dysphagia,” which was published in 2020.  She has presented at local and national conferences in the areas of Aphasia and Dysphagia. In addition, she has been an international speaker and trainer in Dysphagia. She was instrumental in organizing a study-abroad program for graduate students to Barbados, where she established a “Dysphagia Training Program” at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in the spring of 2014. She is considered an expert in Voice and Swallowing Disorders utilizing videostroboscopy and Fiberoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of the Swallow (FEES). Through her lab work at CSU, students are able to gain hands-on experience in the use of these specialized instruments. She also initiated a training session in the use of the FEES for practicing medical SLPs in the Northeastern Ohio region in the spring of 2018.                                                                                                                      

Prior to her fulltime appointment at CSU, Dr. Cox served as a medical SLP within the Cleveland Clinic Health System in the capacities of senior SLP and Coordinator of Speech Pathology. She also provided consultation services to University Hospitals of Cleveland Home Health Speech Program.

Monica Gordon Pershey
Monica Gordon Pershey Title: Professor  
Dept: Communication Sciences and Disorders
Office: College of Health, Room 324
Phone: 216-687-4534

Monica Gordon Pershey, Ed.D., CCC-SLP is a Professor in the Communication Sciences and Disorders Department. Since joining CSU in 1995, she has taught graduate and undergraduate courses and mentored undergraduate and graduate students’ research.

Dr. Gordon Pershey has authored over 100 articles, book chapters, and reviews and has delivered over 200 presentations, many of them on language and literacy and on the professional development of speech-language pathologists. Her work has been cited by scholars around the world. Her recent book is Grammar and Syntax: Developing School-Age Children's Oral and Written Language Skills (Plural Publishing, 2022). Her other publications are noted on her CSU Faculty Profile:

Dr. Gordon Pershey serves on the editorial board of Perspectives on Language and Literacy (published by the International Dyslexia Association). She is a member of the CSU Institutional Review Board for Human Subjects in Research.


Emily Jennings
Emily Jennings Title: Clinical Assistant Professor  
Dept: Communication Sciences and Disorders
Office: College of Health, Room 261
Phone: 216-687-6922

Emily Jennings, MS, CCC-SLP has a passion for clinical education and person-centered care. Prior to joining the full-time faculty at Cleveland State, Prof. Jennings worked as a senior clinical speech-language pathologist and clinical educator at Cleveland Clinic - Euclid Hospital.

Her areas of interest and expertise include: acquired neurological cognitive and communication disorders, Supported Conversations for Adults with Aphasia (SCA™), treatment of hypokinetic dysarthria and hypophonia associated with Parkinson’s Disease, and real-world application of evidence-based practice principles. 

As a clinical assistant professor, she currently teaches a variety of foundational undergraduate courses in communication sciences and disorders, as well as graduate electives relevant to medical speech-language pathology.  Prof. Jennings also supervises individual and group therapy services for adult neurogenic clients in CSU’s on-campus Speech & Hearing Clinic, facilitating graduate student acquisition of clinical knowledge and skills.

Her favorite aspect of CSD at CSU is the dedication of the faculty, staff, and students. There is a clear and genuine commitment to engaged learning and student success!


Carol L. Spears
Carol Spears Title: Clinical Associate Professor  
Dept: Communication Sciences and Disorders
Office: College of Health, Room 270
Phone: 216-687-3717

Ms. Spears is a licensed speech-language pathologist who has had the pleasure of providing services in multiple capacities: instructor, supervisor, consultant, and, interventionist.  Although she has professional experience in many areas of communication disorders, she developed a passion for, and, ultimately, a specialization in the areas of assistive technology, augmentative and alternative communication (AAC), and autism.  She is trained in a range of modalities including, Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), TEACCH, PECS, PODD, and Floortime, as well as in the use of multiple speech generating devices and apps. 

Ms. Spears strives to address individual needs of clients to ensure services provided are the most effective and efficient. As a professor, she strives to relay this philosophy.  She also shares knowledge gained from her over 30 years of clinical experience and professional development.  She provides students with the knowledge and understanding needed to become competent and compassionate professionals.  She has presented at multiple conferences and is co-author of the book Rising to New Heights of Communication and Learning for Children with Autism.  Her publication and presentations allow her to share her acquired knowledge with professionals in the field of communication disorders.

Myrita Wilhite
Myrita Wilhite Title: Chair and Clinical Associate Professor
Dept: Communication Sciences and Disorders
Office: College of Health, Room 339
Phone: 216-687-3808

Myrita Wilhite, AuD, CCC-A has been an audiologist for over 30 years.  Dr. Wilhite is currently the Chair of the Communication Sciences and Disorders Department.  She is passionate about teaching audiology and keeps her clinical skills sharp by mentoring students in audiology and aural rehabilitation practica as well as providing direct clinical services in the on campus Speech and Hearing Clinic.

Myrita is a firm believer in life-long learning.  She earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Cincinnati and a Master’s Degree in Audiology from Cleveland State University.  She earned a Doctor of Audiology degree in 2009 from A.T. Still University and is currently in the dissertation phase of a research doctorate in Urban Education with a specialty in Learning and Development at Cleveland State University.

Myrita feels very fortunate to have found her calling in communication sciences and disorders.  She is excited about actively engaging in scholarship, and guiding the Communication Sciences and Disorders Program to fulfill its mission.  Myrita is continually energized and inspired by her clients, students, colleagues and professors at CSU.


Brigette Wilson
Brigette Wilson Title: Clinical Associate Professor
Dept: Communication Sciences and Disorders
Office: College of Health, Room 269
Phone: 216-687-3806

Brigette Wilson, MA CCC-SLP, has been a speech-language pathologist for over 20 years.  She is the Clinic Administrator and a Clinical Associate Professor in the Communication Sciences and Disorders Program.  Mrs. Wilson teaches undergraduate and graduate courses particularly pratica and diagnostic methods.  She has a passion for mentoring beginning clinicians and educating families in the Speech & Hearing Clinic regarding communication disorders.  Mrs. Wilson has a heavy concentration of working with individuals with autism, preschoolers with disabilities, and augmentative alternative communication device users.   She is currently interested in innovative approaches in clinical education (particularly simulation), cultural and linguistic diversity, and health equity.

In addition to her work in the Communication Sciences and Disorders Program, Mrs. Wilson is the director of the Urban Health Fellows Program (UHF) at Cleveland State University.  A pipeline for first generation freshmen and sophomore college students interested in medicine and allied health professions.  

Mrs. Wilson is dedicated to seeking ways to build the programs’ clinical capacity and to supporting students’ development of clinical decision-making and improving their foundational knowledge and confidence. 


Melissa Volk
Melissa Volk Title: Assistant Professor of Practice
Dept: Communication Sciences and Disorders
Office: College of Health, Room 260
Phone: 216-687-6992

Melissa Volk MS, CCC-SLP is an Assistant Professor of Practice in the Communication Sciences and Disorders Department within the College of Health.

Prior to joining CSU Professor Volk worked 12 years at MetroHealth Medical Center as a clinician. At MetroHealth she had experience working in several different settings including Skilled Nursing and Long Term Care, Inpatient Rehabilitation, Acute Care, Outpatient and an Ear, Nose and Throat Clinic. With these varied settings she has had the opportunity to have experience with pediatric language and articulation, autism, pediatric neurological rehabilitation, adult neurological rehabilitation, pediatric voice disorders, adult speech and voice disorders, adult dysphagia, head and neck cancers and geriatrics.

Professor Volk currently is teaching CSD 548 Medical Speech Practicum, is supervising 1st year graduate students providing speech therapy services at a charter school system and observing 2nd year graduate students at their medical placements. Professor Volk’s drive in her teaching is helping incoming SLPs learn the critical thinking skills and application of learned knowledge to real world settings needed to make them competent and caring clinicians.

Professor Volk has a passion for brain injury and has served as a Member at Large on the Brain Injury Association of Ohio for the last 4 years. She has experience with brain injury as a clinician and as a family member. Other areas of interest include neurological rehabilitation, concussion care, voice therapy, head and neck cancer care, dysphagia, childhood apraxia of speech and difficulty with learning to read.




Angel Key
Angel Key Title: Administrative Assistant
Dept: Communication Sciences and Disorders
Office: College of Health, Room 275
Phone: 216-687-3804

Angel Key serves as the Administrative Assistant for the Speech and Hearing Clinic.  As such, she manages billing, client communication, assists with client scheduling and intake, and clinic maintenance. Angel also assists the Communication Sciences and Disorders Program by providing receptionist services, maintaining inventory and records, and assisting with academic paperwork. Angel has been working in clinical environments since December 2017.
Angel has a Bachelor of Arts in English from Bowling Green State University.
When not at work, Angel enjoys crocheting, reading, writing, playing videogames, and spending time with her husband, two cats, Professor McGonagall and Chairman Meow, and dog, Willow. During the summertime, Angel also enjoys tending to her vegetable garden.

Lynda McAndrews

Title: Administrative Coordinator
Dept: Communication Sciences and Disorders
Office: College of Health, Room 333              
Phone: 216-687-3807

Lynda McAndrews is the Administrative Coordinator assisting Communication Sciences and Disorders, Music Therapy, and College of Health Undergraduate Advising.  Lynda provides administrative support as needed in a variety of functions and is always willing to lend a hand when needed.  Prior to joining the College of Health, Lynda worked in the College of Sciences and Health Professions Student Services Center (Advising Office) for a number of years.