STEM Shoutout: Dr. Amy Neel

Dr. Amy Neel named a 2018 UNM Women in STEM award winner

Dr. Amy Neel, an associate professor in the Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences, has been named 2018 Women in STEM award winners for her research on brain injury recovery along with Dr. Jessica Richardson, an assistant professor and speech-language pathologist in the Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences and the Center for Brain Recovery and Repair.

Neel recently published an article titled, “Effects of Loud and Amplified Speech on Sentence and Word Intelligibility in Parkinson Disease.” Her research in this article is mainly focused on improving speech intelligibility in people with neurogenic speech disorders. This research helps speech pathologists determine how best to treat slurred speech in Parkinson disease and other degenerative neurological disorders.

“In the research supported by the Women in STEM award, I will be looking for changes in speech produced by professional fighters who have chronic traumatic encephalopathy, meaning that their brains have been injured by repeated blows to the head,” Neel said.

She hopes that her research will be able improve the detection and treatment of communication disorders caused by brain injury.

Neel was recently awarded with the Visiting Erskine Teaching Fellowship at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand. In July through October of 2018, Neel will be teaching there on neurogenic speech disorders to share her findings with students and encourage more research on this topic in the future.