Current Students & Staff


Beatriz de Diego Lazaro, MA, PhD Candidate

Beatriz de Diego graduated from the Complutense University of Madrid, Spain, with a B.A. in Speech Therapy in 2009. She completed her Master’s Degree in Linguistics at the same University in 2011. In 2013, she graduated from Fontbonne University, St. Louis, MO., with a M.A. in Early Intervention in Deaf Education. Since she graduated with her M.A. in Speech Therapy, she has been working with different populations, mainly children who are deaf or hard of hearing and their families, with an Audio-Verbal approach. Beatriz joined the ASU doctoral program in Speech and Hearing Science in the fall of 2015 thanks to a scholarship awarded by “La Caixa”, Spain. She is interested in studying oral bilingual development of children who are deaf or hard of hearing. She is also interested in Early Intervention services that facilitate bilingual and bicultural development of children and their families. Beatriz recently received a $2000 award from the Society for Research in Child Development for her dissertation on the cognitive and linguistic mechanisms that underlie word learning in bilingual children with hearing loss.


Sam McGee, PhD Candidate

Born and raised locally in Phoenix, Sam graduated from Loyola Marymount University in 2014 with his BA in Psychology, and a minor in German. He worked as a teacher's assistant at a dual-language immersion school, as well as a research assistant at Barrow Neurological Institute. He joined the ASU Speech & Hearing Science doctoral program in 2017 with Dr. Restrepo as his mentor. His interests include bilingual differences in cognition, development, and perception. Currently, Sam's research is focused on word learning differences in Spanish-English bilingual children.


Melissa Pierce, PhD Candidate, CCC-SLP

Melissa graduated from Boston University in 2007 with her MS in Speech-Language Pathology and has been a practicing clinician since then. Melissa has worked in pediatric settings throughout her career including public schools, outpatient and early intervention. She is fluent in Spanish and was a Peace Corps volunteer in Peru from 2010-2012. Melissa joined the ASU Speech & Hearing Science doctoral program in 2018 with Dr. Restrepo as her mentor. Her interests include assessment and intervention with Spanish-English bilingual preschool aged children and in particular the use of narratives in treatment.


Jennifer DiLallo, PhD Candidate, CFY-SLP

Jennifer graduated with a M.S. in Communication Disorders with a Multilingual / Multicultural Certificate (as a PrISMS student) from ASU in Spring 2019. Prior to beginning her graduate studies, she completed an English Teaching Assistantship (ETA) through Fulbright in Brazil and also taught English to middle schoolers in Ecuador through WorldTeach. Jennifer is proficient in Brazilian Portuguese and Spanish and has a particular interest in working with Latino/a populations in speech-language pathology. Her research focus is the grammatical development of bilingual adolescents with language impairment. She is a current recipient of the RIDLLs grant and member of the BiLLLab under the direction of Dr. Restrepo.