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Dr. Schwartz was interviewed by Scientific American for their article on Specific Language Impairment in children:
Opening a Window into the Minds of Language-Impaired Children





Richard G. Schwartz., Ph.D, Director, (CV) Dr. Schwartz is a Presidential Professor of Speech and Hearing Sciences at The Graduate School and the University Center of the City University of New York. He attended McGill University, received his M.S. in Speech Pathology from the University of South Florida in 1974, and his Ph.D. in Speech Pathology and Developmental Psychology from the University of Memphis (formerly Memphis State University) in 1978. He is a certified and licensed speech-language pathologist. Dr. Schwartz has also held academic appointments at the University of Pittsburgh, Purdue University, Tel Aviv University, Weill Medical College of Cornell University Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He is currently the Director of Research for the Ear Institute: Hearing and Learning Center/Cochlear Implant Center at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary. He has published widely on speech and language disorders in children in peer-reviewed scientific journals, contributed numerous chapters in academic textbooks and monographs, and has served as the editor of the Journal of Speech, Language and Hearing Research . He is the editor of the Handbook of Child Language Disorders published by Psychology Press. Dr. Schwartz’s research has been supported by grants from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders of the National Institutes of Health since 1979. He has served as the chair/organizer of numerous national and international conferences. His current research interests include speech and language processing in children with Specific Language Impairment, children with Cochlear Implants, and children with Autism as well as the neurobiology of childhood language impairments.

Graduate Students


Iris Fishman, M.A., CCC-SLP ( Iris Fishman, MA, CCC/SLP is a speech/language pathologist who specializes in the field of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). Having received her Master's degree from Hunter College, she is a clinician with a wide range of experience with children with developmental disabilities as well as adults with stroke,TBI and progressive neuromuscular diseases. Iris has authored a text as well as a number of articles, presented at national and international conferences, taught graduate courses in AAC and directed a major assistive technology program. She served as President of the United States Society for AAC (USSAAC) and was a member of the Coordinating Committee for ASHA's Special Interest Group on AAC. Iris is currently the Lab Manager for the Developmental Language Lab and is doing research on language comprehension of girls with Rett syndrome at Montefiore Medical Center.

Karece Lopez, M.S. (
Karece received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Speech­Language Pathology from St. John's University, Queens. She is a recipient of the CUNY Enhanced Chancellor's Fellowship and was awarded a pre­doctoral fellowship from the NIDCD. Karece was Recruitment Manager for two years and is presently Lab Manager coordinating training and data management within the Child Language Laboratory, directed by Dr. Richard Schwartz. Karece is a Level III student working on a eye tracking project examining lexical access in children with language impairments. Her research areas are semantic development and categorization with a focus on children with Autistic Disorder and typical language development.


Erin Reilly ( Erin Reilly CCC-SLP, TSLD received her undergraduate degree in Speech and Language Disorders at the State University College at Geneseo, NY and Master’s Degree in Speech-Language Pathology at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. Erin is a New York State licensed Speech Language Pathologist and Teacher of Speech and Language Disabilities. She has provided therapy and evaluated students with a range of disabilities in Maine School Administrative District #49, Rainbow Preschool in Commack, NY, and the New York City Department of Education. Currently, she is attending CUNY Graduate center as a PhD student. Her area of interest includes language development in children with autism.


Zara Waldman DeLuca, M.S. ( Zara Waldman began the doctoral program in Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences at the Graduate Center in Fall 2011. Before starting the program, she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Communication Science and Disorders from Emerson College and her Masters’ degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Massachusetts’ General Hospital Institute of Health Professions (MGHIHP). At MGHIHP, Zara completed research on phonological awareness development in children using cochlear implants and hearing aids in conjunction with Children’s Hospital Boston. She is an avid signer and has also studied clinical applications of American Sign Language. Zara was also the 2011 recipient of the MGHIHP Award for Student Innovation. Currently, she splits her time between the Child Language Lab and NYEE, where she is working with Dr. Richard Schwartz investigating lexical access in cochlear implant users. Her research interests are in syntax development and sentence processing in pediatric cochlear implant users and children with hearing loss.

Grace Kim­Lambert, B.A. (
Grace received her BA in English from Hunter College, CUNY, and entered the Speech­Language­Hearing Sciences PhD Program at the CUNY Graduate Center in Fall 2014, joining Dr. Richard Schwartz’ Child Language Lab. Her current interests include language acquisition among children with hearing lossÍž specifically, cochlear implant recipients.


Katsiaryna (Katya) Aharodnik, M.A. (
Katya joined the Child Language Lab in the fall of 2013. She received a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in Applied Linguistics from Montclair State University, NJ. At Montclair State University, Katya conducted research in conjunction with the researchers from Charles’ University, Prague in morphosyntactic processing of native speakers and learners of Slavic languages. Currently, Katya is a Level I student and a research assistant in the Child Language Lab. Her research interests are bilingualism and developmental language disorders, language acquisition and the neurobiology of language processing, with a focus on morpho­syntax.


Georgia Drakopoulou
Georgia Drakopoulou received her Bachelor degree in Speech and Language Therapy from the Technological Educational Institute of Patras, in Greece. She joined the doctoral program in Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences at the Graduate Center in Fall 2012 and she is currently a Level II student. She is also working as a research assistant at the Language and Hearing Research Lab at NYEE, investigating lexical access in children with cochlear implants under the supervision of Dr. Richard Schwartz. Her research interests include language development in children with autism spectrum disorders, with a focus on the semantics and pragmatics in discourse contexts.

Bernadette Ojukwu, B.S. (
Bernadette joined the PhD program in Speech Language and Hearing Sciences in the Fall of 2015. Before starting the program, she interned in a psycholinguistics lab at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, the same institution at which she received her bachelor’s in Biology. She has a variety of research interests ranging from syntax to pragmatics. She is also interested in understanding how cognition plays a role in language processing.