Skip to main content

Biography

Kelsey is a first year PhD student in Personal Health Informatics, an interdisciplinary program in Bouvé College of Health Sciences and the College of Computer and Information Science, advised by Professor Emily Zimmerman. This program aims to improve health and wellness using novel technologies that directly impact the lives of consumers and patients. Previously, Kelsey graduated from Northeastern University with her BS/MS in Speech-Language Pathology and has spent two years working as a pediatric speech therapist in private practice in Arlington, VA. She is excited to return to the SNL and continue research examining infant feeding, physiology, and synchrony and relating these to developing technologies that can help doctors, nurses, clinicians and parents care for this fragile population.

Education

  • MS, Speech Language Pathology, Northeastern University
  • BS, Speech Language Pathology, Northeastern University

About Me

  • Hometown: Burlington, Connecticut
  • Field of Study: Personal Health Informatics
  • Phd Advisor: Emily Zimmerman

What are the specifics of your graduate education (thus far)?

The Personal Health Informatics PhD program is an interdisciplinary College of Computer and Information Science and Bouvé College of Health Sciences program that aims to improve health and wellness using novel technologies that directly impact the lives of consumers and patients. As a member of the Speech and Neurodevelopmental Lab, which focuses on improving neurodevelopmental outcomes for high-risk infants, I will be investigating how individualized technology can improve outcomes for this vulnerable population.

What are your research interests?

For the past two years, I have worked clinically as a speech-language pathologist. During my time in private practice working with toddlers, preschoolers and school age children, it became apparent that a majority of my caseload had complex birth and early developmental histories. As a clinician, I found myself grasping for more objective, detailed answers and sought to understand what specifically about the neonatal experience results in such complex speech, language and feeding issues, and what we can change in that early period to support more optimal outcomes. This, coupled with an innate curiosity and desire for learning, spurred my decision to return to Northeastern to get my PhD. I have always been driven by a passion for learning and a deep yearning to understand the unknown. The opportunity to act on these fundamental values as a career is what motivates me to engage in a PhD program.

What’s one problem you’d like to solve with your research/work?

A frustration I have found with clinical work is the lack of objective techniques to aid diagnosis and intervention. The development of technologies that improve our understanding and monitoring of the impact of the NICU and post-NICU periods have the potential to make a monumental impact for doctors, nurses, clinicians and parents. This knowledge can be used to identify infants at risk and provide targeted interventions, improving outcomes and mitigating future onset of speech, language and feeding issues.

What aspect of what you do is most interesting?

Most frequently, those outside the field are most surprised by the creativity that goes into research. Once a problem has been identified, finding and attempting a number of possible solutions requires persistence and originality. This innovation is the aspect of research I most enjoy.

What are your research or career goals, going forward?

Most frequently, those outside the field are most surprised by the creativity that goes into research. Once a problem has been identified, finding and attempting a number of possible solutions requires persistence and originality. This innovation is the aspect of research I most enjoy.

Where did you spend the most defining years of  your childhood?

I was raised in the Northwest corner of Connecticut in a small town.

Where did you study for your undergraduate degree?

I received both my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Northeastern University. Initially, I had fallen in love with the city of Boston and the opportunity to be a part of a fast paced, medical and academic driven environment. These are also some of the things that drew me back to Northeastern for my PhD.