College of Science and Health > Academics > Speech Language Pathology > About > Community Advisory Board

Our Community Advisory Board

​Nakisha Hobbs, Board President

N Hobbs
Nakisha Hobbs is the Principal and Co-Founder of Village Leadership Academy (VLA), an independent elementary school where the primary focus is to transform urban youth into global leaders. VLA serves over 700 students and redefines the purpose of urban education. 




John Consalvi, Past President

J Consalvi
​​​John Consalvi the Founder and CEO of SPEDxchange LLC, is passionate about helping special educators make positive impacts on the lives of students that require specialized services. John worked in special education as a Bilingual Spanish/English Speech Language Pathologist and became a notable mentor, presenter, and educator.  As an industry leader John helped organizations he founded source, place  and prepare thousands of special educators to work in school districts nationwide.  
 
John’s accomplishments have been noticed locally and nationally.   John received the American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation Louis M. DiCarlo Award for Recent Clinical Achievement during the recent 2018 American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA) Convention. John is a Illinois Speech-Language -Hearing Association Fellow and received Honors of the Association which recognizes active participation in and significant contributions to the profession of speech-language-pathology.  In 2019 John received the Distinguished Alumni Award from his Alma Mater the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and the College of Applied Health Sciences.

​​​Katie​ Gore, Board Secretary

K Gore
Katie Gore, MA, CCC-SLP is the founder and president of speech IRL, a speech therapy and communication consulting practice. Katie's primary areas of clinical specialty include stuttering and fluency disorders, executive function, and social communication. Her other areas of interest include business and ethics issues in SLP practice. As head of speech IRL's consulting division, Katie provides communication and DEI training and facilitation to organizations and businesses in the USA and internationally. 

Katie is the Chair of the ISHA Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Task Force and currently serves as Fluency Track Chair. She is a former member of the Board of Directors for the National Stuttering Association, and is the co-founder and Community Outreach Chair for Shared Voices, a Chicago-based community nonprofit dedicated to serving people who stutter. Katie also serves on the CSHA Convos Committee for the California Speech-Language-Hearing Association. She is an adjunct faculty member at Rush University, where she teaches graduate coursework in stuttering and fluency disorders.

Annette Acevedo, Board Member

A Acevedo
Dr. Annette Acevedo is the English Language Learners Director for School District U-46 in Elgin, where she oversees one of the largest Spanish/English Dual Language Program implementations in the nation.  She has been in the field of education for over 25 years, serving as a bilingual school social worker across PreK-12 before joining the administration ranks of teaching and learning within the bilingual program.  Dr. Acevedo earned her bachelor's degree in psychology from Purdue University, a master's in social work from the University of Chicago, and her doctorate in educational leadership and 
organizational change from Roosevelt University.  
Her areas of experience include culturally and linguistically responsive standards-based learning and assessment and curriculum development.  Additionally,  she has significant background in creating, facilitating and/or implementing differentiated professional development focused on instructional practices that promote content and language development for emergent bilingual students, as well as highlight students' home languages and cultural experiences as valued assets.  Dr. Acevedo approaches her work within a lens of educational equity and is an advocate for providing increased access and opportunities of rigor and relevance for marginalized groups.  She has presented at local, state and national conferences on such areas as, dual language implementation, best practices for serving multilingual learners, parental engagement initiatives, and collective teacher efficacy.  She is also an appointed member of the Illinois Advisory Council on Bilingual Education for ISBE. 

​​Sr. Kara Davis, Board Member

SK Davis
Sister Kara Davis,​ D.C.  earned her master’s degree at Eastern Illinois University and is a speech therapist at Marillac St Vincent Family Services in Chicago. She splits her time working between the St. Vincent de Paul Center and the Marillac Social Center. 





​​Karen George, Board Member​

K George
Karen George is a licensed pediatric speech-language pathologist with extensive experience in the diagnosis and intervention of children with a variety of communication disorders. Karen received both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Speech-Language Pathology from Marquette University and was named Young Aluma of the Year by Marquette University in 2015.

Karen has been consulted for her expertise in the field by NPR, US News and World Report, the Chicago Tribune and more. The practice she founded, Chicago Speech Therapy, provides speech, OT, PT and ABA therapy in Chicago and surrounding suburbs. Karen has authored or co-authored over 47 books and guides related to pediatric therapies.

In recent years Karen has turned her attention to philanthropic activities. She sits on several nonprofit boards and has become a distinguished advocate for children with disabilities and for aspiring clinicians who seek to serve them. In her past, Karen enjoyed running, biking, and swimming along Chicago’s lakefront and completed more than 25 triathlons. Now, she enjoys spending time with her husband and four young children.

​​Sharon Kummerer, Board Member

S Kummerer
Sharon Kummerer (Ph.D., CCC-SLP) is a bilingual (English-Spanish) speech-language pathologist (SLP) at Schwab Rehabilitation Hospital and an adjunct faculty member at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). Dr. Kummerer teaches courses in Psycho-Educational Assessment for English Language Learners with Disabilities and Language Development, Diversity, and Disabilities. She received her B.A. from Marquette University, M.A. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Ph.D. in Special Education from UIC. 
Her research and clinical interests concern providing culturally responsive services to monolingual Spanish and bilingual (Spanish-English) Latinos and their families. Dr. Kummerer’s areas of clinical expertise include aphasia, articulation/phonology, Autism Spectrum Disorder, childhood apraxia of speech, dysarthria, dysphagia, language delays and disabilities, neuromuscular and neurodegenerative disorders, right hemisphere cognitive impairment, telehealth, and traumatic brain injury across the lifespan. Dr. Kummerer has published on topics concerning language intervention and parental collaboration with children from Mexican-American homes. Engagement in professional service includes doctoral thesis committees, manuscript reviewer, and SLP clinical supervision.

​​Adria Leno, Board Member​

A Leno
Adria Leno MS, CCC-SLP received a Master’s degree in Speech Language Pathology from the University of Wisconsin at Madison in 2005 and is licensed in Illinois, Wisconsin, and Georgia. She has clinical experience working with clients from infancy through geriatrics in a wide variety of settings including medical sites, therapeutic schools, and clinics. Adria is a fervent adherent of evidence-based practices and an enthusiastic follower of research, which has lead to her earning five ASHA ACEs (Award for Continuing Education) to date and becoming a Certified SPELL-Links to Reading & Writing Provider/Trainer. In 2014, Adria founded her private practice, Communicate & Connect Therapy LLC, on the north side of Chicago. C&C Therapy specializes in working with school-age students with academic language and literacy needs, and is a Certified SPELL-Links to Reading & Writing Clinic.

​​Quinn Niego, Board Member

Q Niego
Quinn Niego is the practice manager of Chicago Speech Therapy, a speech clinic that has grown into a multidisciplinary practice of 175+ employees serving hundreds of families. Quinn received his Bachelor’s degree in psychology from University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and an MBA from the University of Chicago, where he later served as a teaching assistant. Quinn is a serial entrepreneur and a sought-after consultant who has founded several successful firms over the last two decades.

In recent years Quinn has turned his efforts to philanthropic activities. Quinn sits on several nonprofit boards and is currently building an organization that sends pediatric therapists to Central and South America to serve communities who lack access to needed pediatric therapies. Quinn is a prolific reader and podcast listener who has an insatiable curiosity about the world and how it works.

​Ashleigh Pierce, Board Member​

A Pierce
​Ashleigh Pierce, MS, CCC-SLP/L is a pediatric speech-language pathologist who services children in the public school system as well as the clinical setting.  In addition to her background in speech-language pathology, Ashleigh has her teaching degrees in special education and elementary education.  She is also a Yoga Alliance certified yoga instructor.  Ashleigh loves to integrate her knowledge from the fields of Speech and Language Pathology, Education, and Yoga to create and provide the most effective therapy plans for the children she works with.  Ashleigh is the Vice President of the DuPage County Speech Language Hearing Association (DCSLHA) and is a member of both the Illinois Speech Language Hearing Association (ISHA) and American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA). 

​Rena Spiegel, Board Member

R Spiegel
​Rena Spiegel is a certified speech-language pathologist (SLP), licensed in Illinois. Rena earned her M.A. degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Northwestern University, an Illinois Professional Educator’s License, and has earned two continuing education awards from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.  Rena is the Chair of the Department of Speech and Communication Disorders at Blitstein Institute of Hebrew Theological College, a member of the Touro College and University System. Rena works privately as an SLP and also services clients at Communicate and Connect Therapy.

​Sarah Vetter, Board Member​

S Vetter
Sarah Vetter, MS CCC-SLP, MA received her B.S. in Speech and Hearing Science from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and her M.S. in Speech-Language Pathology from Boston University.  Sarah is a Speech-Language Pathologist at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago, with 15+ years experience in speech-language and feeding-swallowing disorders as they relate to children born with cleft lip/palate and other craniofacial conditions.  Further interest in program development, as well as learning and mentorship, prompted a more recent pursuit of a M.A. in Educating Adults at DePaul University and facilitated movement into the role of Education Coordinator for the Division of Rehabilitative Services at Lurie Children’s.  In addition to her continued commitment to the Cleft/Craniofacial Program, she has additionally served in this role since 2016.

​Jessica Wacker, Board Member​​

J Wacker
Dr. Jessica Wacker is a licensed speech-language pathologist and learning specialist. She is the Founder and CEO of The Loop Speech, Language, and Learning, a private practice that partners with independent schools in Chicago to provide academic supports at their school. Dr. Wacker is also the Founder of FundEd Chicago, a nonprofit that works to equalize access to specialized learning supports for students in Chicago who are of limited economic means.

After graduating with highest honors from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a degree in Communication: Speech and Hearing Sciences and a minor in English. Dr. Wacker went on to receive both her Master's and Doctorate in Speech-Language Pathology from Northwestern University, her Learning Behavior Specialist I endorsement from the University of Illinois, and her Certificate of Profession Achievement in Nonprofit Management from Kellogg Executive Education.

Dr. Wacker is passionate about reforming the way academic supports are provided to students and ensuring all students have early access to quality interventions. She is excited to be part of DePaul’s Community Advisory Board and help them advance their mission of creating dedicated, highly trained speech language pathologists who will competently and compassionately meet the needs of their community and providing exemplary evaluations and therapy to clients free of cost.