Kristin A. Chmela, M.A., CCC-SLP BCS-F
Board Certified Specialist in Fluency and Fluency Disorders
Director Chmela Fluency Center
Kristin decided to become a speech therapist while in therapy for her own stuttering early in college. She is director of Chmela Fluency Center and co-founder and co-director of Camp Shout Out. In spite of widespread commitments, Kristin upholds the value of providing evaluation and treatment herself for individual clients, and spends the majority of her time at her fluency center doing just that.
Kristin is a licensed, certified speech language pathologist and Board Certified Specialist in Fluency and Fluency Disorders. She attributes her personal experience with stuttering, professional training and strong relationships with her internationally recognized mentors, the late Dr. Hugo Gregory, Carolyn Gregory, June Campbell, and Diane Hill, for her inspiring differential perspective on fluency disorders. She received her Master of Art Degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Northwestern University. In addition, she lectures and consults locally, nationally and internationally, is lead author for two books, publishes practical fluency therapy materials, and has collaborated extensively with the Stuttering Foundation. She served as adjunct faculty at Northwestern University, and has supervised graduate students from across the world. Her term as Chair of the American Board of Fluency and Fluency Disorders, from 2013 through 2015, spearheaded the transition from recognition to certification of fluency specialists.
Kristin holds licenses in several states, and is in good standing with her professional affiliations, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) and the Illinois Speech and Hearing Association (ISHA).
Natasha Gigliotti, M.A., CCC-SLP
Natasha believes communication is one of the most essential and rewarding human functions. While servicing clients of all ages with various communication challenges, she felt a special calling for helping those with fluency disorders. After participating in Camp Shout Out for several years, Natasha moved to join Kristin at the Chmela Fluency Center.
During her graduate training in Speech Language Pathology at San Diego State University, she participated in a bilingual certification program, providing her with specialized instruction and experience with multilingual populations. She provides assessment and treatment in both English and Russian, and has worked with the Spanish-speaking early intervention population. Natasha’s previous clinical experience has been in the areas of early intervention, phonological and motor speech disorders, school-age language disorders, and fluency disorders. She has worked extensively with children and adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder and various syndromes.
Natasha places great value on being a lifelong learner and regularly seeks out opportunities for professional development and collaboration with other professionals. She is eternally thankful to her professional mentors, particularly Karyn Searcy and Kristin Chmela, as well as her clients for their role in her professional growth. Natasha is grateful to have spent a year traveling the world, visiting a multitude of diverse clinics, and connecting with the global community of fellow speech-language pathologists. She has presented and facilitated professional workshops to fellow clinicians and students in universities and clinics in the United States and in Asia, is a member of the Camp Shout Out Leadership Team, and is in good standing with her professional affiliations.
Cherish Thomas, M.S., CCC-SLP
Cherish knew she wanted to be a speech-language pathologist when she was in middle school when she realized she could combine helping others with her creativity. She received her undergraduate degree in Communicative Disorders and her Masters of Science in Speech Language Pathology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her clinical experiences include early intervention, articulation/phonology, fluency, language, and autism diagnostics. For five years she worked as a speech therapist in a public-school setting servicing children ages preschool through fifth grade. During that time, she participated on the leadership team implementing a social emotional learning curriculum throughout the school district, initiated a student leadership-mentorship program, and developed kindergarten language screening standards.
Her passion in the area of fluency began in graduate school both through coursework and the clients she met. Her strong interest in fluency lead her to attend Camp Shout Out as a speech-language pathologist, where she received training under the guidance of Kristin Chmela. Since becoming a mother, Cherish enjoys working part-time at Chmela Fluency Center and feels privileged to be able to continue to grow as a therapist and help individuals of all ages with fluency disorders. Cherish is in good standing with her professional affiliations, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), the Illinois Speech and Hearing Association (ISHA) and the North Suburban Speech and Language Association (NSSLA)
Meghan Schassler, M.S., CCC-SLP
Meghan was interested in becoming a speech therapist at an early age. After accompanying a family member to intensive speech therapy, she saw, first-hand, the impact that communication has on all aspects of life.
Meghan received a Master of Science Degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Northwestern University. In addition to the Chmela Fluency Center, Meghan also has experience working within the public school setting servicing a diverse population. Meghan’s previous clinical experiences include the areas of school-age language disorder, social communication disorder, phonology and motor speech disorder, and fluency disorder. She has attended Camp Shout Out as a graduate student and speech-language therapist. She continues to be inspired by her colleagues and the children each time she attends. Meghan actively seeks opportunities to continue to grow as a professional and enjoys learning. Meghan is in good standing with her professional affiliations, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) and the Illinois Speech and Hearing Association (ISHA).
Meghan is grateful for the role that her mentors, specifically Kristin Chmela and Jordan Sadler, have played in her professional growth. She feels that her professional mentors have been instrumental in teaching her how to be a “differential thinker.”
Diane Morean, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
Diane undertook a career in speech language pathology because she believes communication is fundamental to our human identity and to our core need for relationships.
Diane earned a bachelor’s degree in Psychology with an emphasis on neuropsychology plus a Minor in Spanish at Florida Atlantic University, where she graduated summa cum laude, received the top university scholar award, and top honor’s student awards in Psychology, Language Arts, and Public Speaking. Diane earned her Ph.D. in communication disorders with certification in cognitive neuroscience at Northwestern University and worked extensively with individuals who have aphasia. She was subsequently awarded a postdoctoral fellowship to study Advanced Research in the Rehabilitation of Neurological Speech Disorders at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. During that time, she earned a Master’s degree in Clinical Investigation, secured grant funding for her research on word retrieval and cognitive deficits following chemotherapy for breast cancer, and produced an approved Continuing Education class for health care professionals. Diane is lead author of peer-reviewed journal articles on language and cognitive disorders and has articles in preparation. She has taught Neurology, Stuttering, and Research Methods to graduate students, and, Medical Speech Pathology and Phonological Disorders in Children to undergraduate students. She presently serves as an advisor on a Master’s thesis addressing cognitive and language deficits in children treated for brain tumors.
Diane is a certified Speech Language Pathologist, and a member of ASHA and the American Psychological Association. She is ever grateful for the happiness in her heart derived from working at this very special place, the Chmela Fluency Center!
Kyle Pelkey, M.S., CCC-SLP
Kyle decided to pursue a career as a speech-language pathologist after meeting fellow people who stutter through the Northeast Pennsylvania Chapter of the National Stuttering Association, a group he later went on to lead for three years. As someone who stutters himself, Kyle believes we can all improve our communicative abilities alongside our own unique challenges.
Kyle received a Master of Science Degree in Speech Language Pathology from Misericordia University in Dallas, Pennsylvania. In addition to the Chmela Fluency Center, Kyle also has experience working in a pediatric outpatient clinic focusing on children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Down Syndrome, and a variety of other special needs. Kyle has clinical experiences working in both inpatient and outpatient clinics with adults recovering from strokes, traumatic brain injuries, and other medical conditions. During his time at Misericordia, Kyle presented fluency research focusing on neural-imaging studies utilizing near-infrared spectroscopy at both state and national conferences. Kyle is forever grateful for the relationship with his mentors Dr. Glen Tellis, Kristin Chmela, and Dr. Erik Raj as they have facilitated his evolution as a communicator and clinician. Kyle attended Camp Shout Out as a graduate student and enjoys pursuing opportunities to grow both inside and outside of the clinic room. Aside from his work as a speech-language pathologist, Kyle enjoys camping, fishing, golfing, NASCAR racing, and spending time with family and friends.