NBASLH Board of Directors


Brittani H. Cobb, M.S., CCC-SLP, Chair

Term 2022-2025

BhightowerBrittani Cobb is currently a school-based speech-language pathologist in Houston, Texas. She holds the Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology (CCC-SLP) from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and state licensure in Texas. Mrs. Cobb received her Bachelor of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders and Master of Science in Speech Pathology from Howard University.
Throughout undergraduate and graduate school, she was a volunteer research assistant and was afforded the opportunity to participate in the inaugural study abroad trip for Howard University’s speech pathology and occupational therapy graduate students. In 2013, Mrs. Cobb was selected to participate in ASHA’s Minority Student Leadership Program (MSLP). Valuable experiences were gained as a student member of NBASLH as she was able to interact with other students in various undergraduate and graduate programs as well as minority SLPs and AUDs from all over the country. Mrs. Cobb was recently awarded the ASHA Distinguished Early Career Professional Certificate.
Mrs. Cobb has gained clinical experience in both the outpatient rehabilitation and school settings, providing speech therapy services to students and patients ages 3 to 18. She has collaborated with school staff, occupational and physical therapists to address the communication needs of students and patients with communication disorders and/or multiple disabilities. Mrs. Cobb has also served as a mentor for newly hired SLPs in her school district.

Kia Noelle Johnson, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, Past Chair

Term 2023-2024

Kia Noelle Johnson, Ph.D., CCC-SLPis the Associate Director of the Arthur M. Blank Center for Stuttering Education and Research Satellite in Atlanta, Georgia through the University of Texas at Austin. She completed her doctoral studies at Vanderbilt University (Nashville, TN) where she earned a Ph.D. in Hearing and Speech Sciences. She received her bachelor’s and master’s degree in Communication Disorders from Howard University (Washington, DC) and Truman State University (Kirksville, MO), respectively. Dr. Johnson specializes in childhood stuttering and holds a Certificate of Clinical Competence as a Speech-Language Pathologist with the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) as well as state licensure with Texas and Georgia. Aside from teaching undergraduate and graduate courses, she presents her research at local, national, and international scholarly conferences and has first-authored and co-authored many research publications.

Dr. Johnson has contributed service to the profession through several volunteer roles including previously serving as the Texas State Representative to ASHA’s Speech-Language Pathology Advisory Council and an associate editor, guest editor, and reviewer of peer-reviewed professional publications. She has mentored countless undergraduate and graduate students within the profession and served as a mentor for ASHA’s inaugural Leadership Mentoring Program. Dr. Johnson has been recognized by professional associations and previous institutions for her contributions to the profession in teaching, scholarship, and leadership.

Dr. Johnson is a past member of the ASHA Board of Directors and past National Advisor to the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association. She currently serves as Chair of the Board of Directors for the National Black Association for Speech-Language and Hearing and is a member of the ASHA Board of Ethics. She is a proud alumna of the 2006 class of the ASHA Minority Student Leadership Program and a life member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated.

Dr. Johnson is the proud partner to Deric Johnson and honored to be ‘mom’ to their son, Chase, and daughter, Sydney.

Financial Disclosures

  • Salaried employee of the University of Texas at Austin

Nonfinancial Disclosures

  • Current ASHA Board of Directors; member
  • Current NBASLH Board of Directors; chair
  • Current National Advisor of National NSSLHA
  • Incoming ASHA Board of Ethics, member

 Darius Thomas, M.S., CCC-SLP, Treasurer

Term 2022-2025

Darius Thomas is a professor, visionary, and trailblazer in the field of speech-language pathology, whose innovative approach has revolutionized the way clients are evaluated and treated around the world. As the founder and chief executive officer of Dynamic Therapy, Darius has established himself as a global leader in the profession, renowned for his expertise, mentorship, and motivational speaking. Beyond his clinical work, Darius is an accomplished volunteer, serving in various leadership positions within the District of Columbia Speech-Language-Hearing Association and the National Black Association for Speech-Language and Hearing. He is a true advocate for minority representation and played a pivotal role in giving voting rights to student representatives on the board of NBASLH. Darius received his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees from the Howard University Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders. He also holds the Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and licensures in 6 states.

 Chimezie Chidi, M.A.,CCC-SLP, Secretary

Term 2021-2025

Chimezie Chidi has been a Speech-Language Pathologist for 20 years. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Communicative Disorders from San Francisco State University, San Francisco, California, in 1999 and a Masters of Arts in Speech Pathology and Audiology from San Jose State University, San Jose, California, in 2001. Professionally Chimezie has worked in various settings, including public schools, charter schools, skilled nursing facilities, and now owning her private practice. She also has a strong management background where she served as a lead Speech Therapist in a start-up Charter School and was quickly recognized for outstanding dedication and producing strong outcomes in implementing high-quality related speech services instruction and compliance in Special Education to students in closing achievement gaps. Chimezie eventually was promoted to an Associate-Director role of the Speech Department for a total of seven years, sharing this information because there is not a work setting in the field that she's unfamiliar with or inexperienced. Chimezie is always ready to take on new tasks and create solutions.
Born in Berkeley, California to Nigerian immigrant parents that always instilled the value of advocacy, justice, giving back, mentorship, and community, these values have remained with her throughout her life, both professionally and personally. When not working, Chimezie enjoy spending time with her two children, volunteering, and playing tennis.

 David Frazier, AuD, Audiology Representative

Term 2022-2024

David Frazier is a budding epistemologist, Hearing Scientist, and PhD student in Health Sciences. His strongest quality is passion, and it is a fire that will not wither. He aspires to improve legislation, fair access, and treatment of individuals with hearing and communication challenges. He serves on the Illinois Hearing Society's board of directors, Illinois Deaf and Hard of Hearing Commission, Illinois Speech and Hearing Association, and a member of the National Black Association of Speech Language and Hearing. His career passion is to educate and embody the American creed that our diversity is our nation's greatest strength.

 


Lauren Hastings, M.S., CCC-SLP, ADHD-RSP

Term 2023-2026

Lauren Hastings is a speech-language pathologist, private practice owner, business coach, podcaster, and Ph.D. student. In 2016, Lauren began full-time work in her private practice, Hear to Speak, a company based in South Fulton (Atlanta) Georgia which serves the pediatric population using a community-based model. In January 2021, she started a coaching business, Hear to Speak Academy, to help other therapists build their private practice. She expresses her love for her profession and the African American community through her weekly podcast, Speech Tea. She enjoys co-hosting the podcast with her colleague, Lauren Prather, discussing topics impacting minorities and breaking down special education concepts in understandable terms. She was the 2023 convention chair for the Georgia Speech-Language-Hearing Association (GSHA) and the Member at large for the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) Special Interest Group 1 Language Learning and Education. As of August 2022, she is obtaining her Ph.D. in Educational Studies in Diverse Populations with a concentration in Health Disparities at the University of Alabama Birmingham.


Jerrold Jackson, MA, CCC-SLP, Parliamentarian

Term 2023-2026

Jerrold Jackson (pronounced as Jer-ralld) is a nationally certified speech-language practitioner (SLP) and Director of Specialized Supports with the Roundtree Group, PLLC (www.roundtreegroup.org). His commitment to advocating for culturally responsive practices, as well as effective and efficient SLP practices, serves as the foundation for his career. He received his bachelor’s degree in Speech Pathology and Audiology from Southern University and A&M College in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and his master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan.Jerrold is an active volunteer at the local, state, and national levels. He has been an involved member of NBASLH supporting various initiatives and working closely with the NBASLH Cares Committee. His work with ASHA has led to new program development including the Assistants Certification Program, the Clinical Fellowship Experience, and ensuring that DEI and culturally responsive practices are a part of required certification (CCC) maintenance.


Brittney MooreStudent AUD Representative

Term 2023-2025

Brittney Moore is a second-year Doctor of Audiology student at the University of Florida. Brittney earned her Bachelor of Science in Urban Planning degree from the University of New Orleans and her Master of Public Health degree from Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center. During her time at LSU Health, she was a graduate assistant in the Department of Genetics researching chemotherapy-induced hearing loss. As a doctoral student at UF, she is currently developing a training program to better equip law enforcement and legal personnel to understand and communicate with deaf and hard of hearing adults. Upon graduation, Brittney plans on pursuing a career that combines her interests in public health and audiology. Her specific interests include ototoxicity, health policy, vestibular assessment, and electrophysiology.


 Marilouise E. Nichols, M.S., CCC-SLP

Term 2021-2024

Marilouise E. Nichols, M.S., CCC-SLP is a medical Speech-Language Pathologist who has focused her career in the areas of dysphagia in medically-complex patients and neurogenic communication disorders in adult inpatient rehabilitation and acute care. She currently works in long-term acute care (LTACH) at Houston Methodist Continuing Care Hospital in Houston, TX. Additionally, she serves as a graduate Clinical Educator at the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences (Austin and Dallas campuses). Marilouise earned her B.A. in psychology from Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia and earned her M.S. in speech pathology from Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN. Marilouise is passionate about serving culturally-diverse and underrepresented populations in the healthcare system and increasing the visibility and leadership of minority populations in the field of Speech-Language Pathology. She enjoys mentoring pre-professionals and early career professionals, and is the founder and writer of a professional blog, MEtheSLP.com, aimed to empower and engage young minorities in the field of Speech-Language Pathology.
Marilouise was recently awarded ASHA’s Distinguished Early Career Professional Award and ASHA’s Award for Continuing Education (ACE). She is an alumna of ASHA's Minority Student Leadership Program (M.S.L.P), a mentor in ASHA's Student-to-Empowered Professional Program (S.T.E.P), and member of ASHA’s Healthcare Leadership Development Program (LDP) 2020 cohort.

 Lauren Prather, M.S., CCC-SLP

 Term 2023-2026

Lauren Prather is a doctoral candidate at the University of Cincinnati (UC) in Communication Sciences and Disorders where her research focuses assessment bias in early communication assessments. She received her Master of Science degree from Tennessee State University in Communication Sciences and Disorders and her Bachelor of Arts degree from The University of Memphis in Communications. Before pursuing her PhD , Lauren worked as a Speech Language Pathologist for Cobb Pediatric Therapy Services and Let’s Talk Therapy in Atlanta, GA which is inclusive of her clinical experience in both the school setting and private practice. She has collaborated with multidisciplinary teams to address communication, educational, and social needs of students with a wide variety of disability classifications. Currently, works collaboratively with Cincinnati Children's Hospital and UC on her dissertation studies and works virtually as a part time clinician. She also serves on the Diversity Equity and Inclusion committee at UC where she co chairs the DE& I Student Committee.


 Kiera SimmonsStudent SLP Representative

Term 2022-2024

Kiera Simmons is a second-year master’s scholar at the University of Houston pursuing a degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders. She is a boldly PROUD HBCU graduate of South Carolina State University, where she graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Speech Pathology & Audiology with a minor in Spanish. As an aspiring clinician, Kiera worked diligently to foster her interests in multiple areas of the discipline and culturally and linguistically diverse populations. She is a member of the Xi Alpha Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, and tutors children in beginner level Spanish. 


Sulare Telford Rose

Term 2022-2025

Sulare Telford Rose is an assistant professor of Speech-Language Pathology at the University of the District of Columbia and a bilingual speech-language pathologist. Her research explores the socio-cultural and cognitive-linguistic factors that impact speech-language development in bilingual individuals, primarily those who speak and use Caribbean English Creoles, Textese, and Spanish. Dr. Telford Rose currently serves as the Professional Development Manager for ASHA's SIG-17 on Global Issues in Communications Sciences & Related Disorders.


Chrystal Ingram Williams, M.Ed., CCC-SLP

Term 2021-2024

Chrystal Ingram Williams is a 2001 and a 2004 graduate of North Carolina Central University in Durham NC. Chrystal been a speech language pathologist for 17 years, with an extensive background in inpatient psychiatric hospital, skilled nursing and short-term rehab and pediatric private practice settings. Historically she has served as a Director of Rehabilitation and Clinical Director. Areas of interest and expertise include adult dysphagia and child language and literacy identification and intervention for minority school age children.

Chrystal has received FEES and Vital Stim training and obtained the certificate for a Certified Dementia Practitioner. She has supervised over 75 undergraduate students, graduate students and clinical fellows. Chrystal was recently nominated for an ASHA Board Position and was previously interviewed and published in News-Line for Speech language Pathologists.

Presently, Chrystal is a Clinical Associate Professor at NCCU and is pursuing a doctorate degree in higher education leadership from Northcentral University. A mom of three, she operates Bee Social Media Marketing, LLC, a social media marketing agency for small businesses.