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Bill Cullinan Emily Patterson Headshot Sarah Grace Dalton Headshot Heidi Ruedinger Headshot

The Science that Heals - Successful Aging Concerning Communication and Cognition

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2021 | 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. CDT

Presented by Dr. William Cullinan, Professor/Dean, College of Health Sciences, Marquette University; Dr. Emily Patterson, Clinical Assistant Professor, Speech Pathology and Audiology, Marquette University; Dr. Sarah Grace Dalton, Assistant Professor, Speech Pathology and Audiology, Marquette University; Heidi Ruedinger, Clinical Assistant Professor, Speech Pathology and Audiology, Marquette University

It is a fact of life that aging happens to us all, whether we want it to or not. But even when we embrace the changes that come with aging, it can be hard to decide if something is just a new "normal" or if it is cause for concern. In this presentation, we will discuss common age-related changes in swallowing, hearing, language, and cognition. We will cover differences between healthy aging and changes due to illness or injury. Finally, we will provide some tips and advice so that you can keep fully participating in life!

More about this session

Dr. William E. Cullinan, PT '81, is a professor and dean of the College of Health Sciences and director of the Integrative Neuroscience Research Center. Cullinan received his bachelor’s degree in physical therapy from Marquette in 1981 and earned his Ph.D. in neuroscience from the University of Virginia in 1991. He did post-doctoral research at the University of Michigan (1991-95) before joining the Marquette faculty in 1995. His research laboratory, which has received funding from the National Institute on Mental Health and the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression, focuses on brain circuits involved in mental illness. He has authored numerous research articles and chapters on functional neuroanatomy and neuroendocrinology.

Dr. Cullinan has taught courses in anatomy, neuroanatomy and neuroscience at the undergraduate and graduate levels, and received the university’s Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence in 2002. He established and directs a summer Neuroanatomical Dissection seminar which annually draws 80 to 100 professionals and educators from across the country.

Dr. Emily Patterson earned her bachelor's in audiology and speech sciences at Michigan State University, and doctorate in Audiology at Purdue University. She completed a clinical fellowship at the Indiana University Medical Center (Indianapolis) which focused on adult and pediatric diagnostic audiologic evaluation, vestibular testing, fitting and verification of hearing aids and cochlear implants. Prior to coming to Marquette University, Dr. Patterson practiced as an audiologist in three rural southwestern Wisconsin hospitals performing adult and pediatric diagnostic evaluation, in addition to fitting and verification of hearing aid technology. While in the hospital setting, she worked closely with primary care physicians, otolaryngologists, educational audiologists, speech pathologists, and skilled nursing personnel. Dr. Patterson joined the Marquette University Speech Pathology and Audiology Department in 2015. She teaches three courses: Introduction to Audiology, Hearing Disorders, and Audiological Rehabilitation.

Dr. Patterson supervises undergraduate students interested in pursuing audiology at the graduate level in the on-campus audiology clinic. She coordinates opportunities and supervises graduate speech-language pathology students to provide hearing screenings. Many of these events are provided in collaboration with multiple medical clinics in the Milwaukee community who serve uninsured and/or medically underserved populations. Dr. Patterson also advises graduate speech pathology clinicians working with hearing impaired clients to provide aural rehabilitation and amplification management.

Dr. Sarah Grace Dalton earned her bachelor's in communication sciences and disorders from the University of Georgia, M.S.P in communication sciences and disorders from the University of South Carolina, and Ph.D. in linguistics (with an emphasis in Speech and Hearing Sciences) from the University of New Mexico. Her clinical experience has focused primarily on adults with neurogenic speech and language disorders secondary to stroke, traumatic brain injury, and neurodegenerative disease.

Dr. Dalton teaches courses pertaining to adult language disorders and directs the Marquette University Building Rehabilitation Advances in Neurosciences (BRAIN) Lab. The focus of Dr. Dalton's work is to improve the assessment and rehabilitation of neurogenic communication disorders using neuroscience so that individuals experience a more complete recovery and return to important life pursuits. To address this focus Dr. Dalton uses a variety of methodologies from behavioral speech-language therapy and pen-and-paper assessments to neuroimaging and brain stimulation.

Heidi Ruedinger, Grad '98, earned her master's n specially designed physical education at the University of Wisconsin - La Crosse. She worked as an adaptive physical education teacher for the School District of Waukesha for five years where her interactions with the speech therapists sparked her interest in pursuing a degree in speech pathology. Heidi chose to attend Marquette University where she went on to earn her master's in Speech and Language Pathology in 2000. Prior to her employment at Marquette University, Heidi practiced as a speech pathologist in various acute care, acute rehabilitation, subacute rehabilitation and skilled nursing facility settings. Heidi has extensive experience in various medical settings with a strong focus in dysphagia and adult neurogenic communication disorders including aphasia, cognitive deficits, traumatic brain injury, and Parkinson's disease.

Heidi became part of the adjunct faculty at Marquette University Speech Pathology and Audiology Department in 2013 and became a full-time Clinical Assistant Professor in 2015. She currently teaches Swallowing Disorders, and provides instruction and supervision to undergraduate and graduate students in the Marquette University Speech and Hearing Clinic. She also is the school practicum clinical coordinator responsible for the placement and supervision of graduate students in their school practicum.

She has developed and implemented a cognitive wellness group at Marquette University Speech and Hearing Clinic which focuses on addressing deficits related to Parkinson's disease, stroke, multiple sclerosis, traumatic brain injury and other adult neurogenic disorders. In the Marquette Neuro Recovery Clinic, Heidi provides diagnostic evaluation and treatment in collaboration with the physical therapists and occupational therapists. Heidi's major interests include dysphagia, cognitive rehabilitation in adults with strokes, traumatic brain injury, Parkinson's disease, mild cognitive impairment, expressive/receptive aphasia, and dysarthria. Heidi continues to work as a pool Speech Language Pathologist at Ascension Columbia-St. Mary's Hospital, Sacred Heart Rehabilitation Institute, and Lake Geneva Manor servicing patients in the acute care, acute and subacute rehabilitation, and skilled nursing settings.


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