About Us


Nancy Scherer, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
Laboratory Director
I bring both research and clinical experience to care of children with cleft palate and craniofacial conditions.  My research has focused on understanding early speech and language milestones of children with craniofacial conditions and how to accelerate development through evidence-based assessment and treatment programs.  My research and clinical experience has informed my classes and workshops for students, parents and practicing professionals.  This website is a work in progress and provides resources and information about our current understanding of best practice in early speech and language development for children with cleft palate and other conditions that may impact early development.  My laboratory at ASU is dedicated to examining new technologies and methods to increase access to evidence-based early intervention for children and their caregivers in Arizona, the US and international contexts.

Photo Archive/2016/08-August/Hope -Lancaster Hope Lancaster Hope.Lancaster@asu.edu Speech and Hearing Staff

Hope S. Lancaster, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Associate
 I graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago with a B.A. in Psychology (minor: Russian language) in 2009. I completed my doctoral program at Vanderbilt University in Hearing and Speech Sciences (2015) with focuses on child language and literacy disorders and research methods. My research experience has included work on understanding cognitive skills in language impairment and dyslexia and examining genetic contributions to speech and language disorders. I am excited to be expanding my research to include understanding speech and language in children with craniofacial conditions!
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Kari Lien, M.A., CF-SLP
Ph.D. Graduate Student in Speech and Hearing Science
I graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with a B.A. in Communication Disorders in 2013 and an M.A. in Speech-Language Pathology in 2015. I am a doctoral student in the Craniofacial & Cleft Palate Laboratory, and I am also completing my clinical fellowship in speech-language pathology at the Barrow Cleft and Craniofacial Center in Phoenix. My current research interests include early intervention for children with cleft palate and craniofacial conditions and early intervention service delivery models. 
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Jenny Philp
Undergraduate ARES Student
I am currently a junior majoring in Speech and Hearing Science with a minor in Human and Family Development. I was first introduced to research as a volunteer in the Speech/Language Genetics lab as a sophomore and I’m excited to broaden my research experience this year in the Craniofacial & Cleft Palate lab. In the future, I’m particularly interested in working with children with cognitive communication, speech, and language disorders.
Ariel Vovakes
Undergraduate ARES Student
I am in the process of completing my third year as an undergraduate student, studying Speech and Hearing Science, at Arizona State University. I am specifically interested in working with hard of hearing children as well as the population with craniofacial abnormalities following graduate school. In the Craniofacial and Cleft Palate Laboratory, I plan to expand my knowledge while studying how vocabulary predicts speech outcomes.