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Lab-Related Activities


Presentations by Dr. Sharynne McLeod and Ben Pham

In the fall semester of 2017, the BDC lab hosted two international speakers, Dr. Sharynne McLeod and PhD student Ben Pham of Charles Sturt University of Australia.

Dr. McLeod presented on the topic of “Multilingual Children’s Speech: A World Tour.” In this talk, Dr. McLeod discussed the importance of effective assessment practices, particularly for monolingual speech-language pathologists (SLPs) who work with children from linguistically diverse backgrounds. Dr. McLeod shared with the audience a compilation of free resources from the Multilingual Children’s Speech website. The audience included undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral students, and faculty from the School of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, as well as SLPs from the community. Dr. McLeod enthusiastically engaged this wide audience and shared her insights on supporting multilingual children’s speech.

Ben Pham, a recipient of the Australian Awards Scholarship, is currently completing her fourth year in the PhD program under Dr. McLeod. She presented with Dr. Giang Pham and Dr. Sharynne McLeod on the latest clinical research on Vietnamese children’s speech and language development with a focus on finding potential markers for impairments. These findings were also shared at an invited seminar at the 2017 American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) Convention in Los Angeles, which makes it such a privilege to have these speakers here at San Diego State University.


2017 American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) Convention

Every year, ASHA organizes a professional conference that provides attendees with opportunities to learn about the latest research and clinical resources. This year, BDC lab members conducted three presentations.

Dr. Pham, Dr. Sharynne McLeod of Charles Sturt University, and Ben Pham, a PhD Student at Charles Sturt University gave an invited one-hour seminar titled,  "Vietnamese Children’s Speech and Language: Latest Clinical Research." This presentation attracted a large crowd of SLPs who work with Vietnamese clients.

Dr. Pham, Dr. Kerry Ebert, and Quynh Dam presented a poster titled, "Introducing a Nonword Repetition (NWR) Task for Vietnamese-Speaking Children." This study focused on the development and validation of a Vietnamese NWR task that can be used to screen Vietnamese-speaking children’s phonological memory skills.

Dr. Pham and Tim Tipton, SLP at San Diego Unified School District, presented a poster titled "Child-Internal & External Factors Supporting First vs. Second Language Development." This study examined which factors supported Vietnamese and English vocabulary outcomes in bilingual children during the early school years.


Society for Advancing Chicanos/Hispanics & Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) Conference 2017 and the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS) Conference 2017

BDC Lab’s very own Kristine Thuy Dinh, an Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (IMSD) scholar, presented research from this lab on creating the Vietnamese nonword repetition task and on children’s performance on this task at two different conferences, SACNAS and ABRCMS. The 2017 SACNAS: The National Diversity in STEM Conference, was held in Salt Lake City, Utah from October 19-21 while the ABRCMS Conference was held in Phoenix, Arizona from November 1-4.

At both events, Kristine was able to network with other undergraduate and graduate students, faculty members from other universities, and prestigious professionals including brain surgeons, astronauts, Nobel Prize winners, and more. “Meeting successful individuals who come from low-income, undocumented, disabled, or first generation backgrounds at the SACNAS and ABRCMS conferences inspires me to think that anything is possible,” stated Kristine. Through meeting these inspiring individuals, she realized that her education in statistics could be applied in ways she had never thought of before, such as studying outer space with NASA or researching music.

When it came to presenting, the hard work paid off as Kristine was awarded an outstanding research award for her poster presentation at the ABRCMS conference.  The BDC is proud of lab member Kristine Thuy Dinh for achieving all that she has and all that she will.


Speech-Language Awareness & Information Day (SAID)

SAID is a community event that raises awareness about speech and language impairments and resources for affected individuals, their families, friends, and allied professionals in the San Diego area. The event is free and open to the public. It offers a community resource fair, a keynote presentation, along with other presenters, and an expert panel for questions.

As a San Diego State University SLHS research lab, we share with attendees what the BDC lab is about, what we study, and how the outcome and results will help the community. In doing so, we are able to talk directly to SLPs, parents, and related professionals about bilingual language development and disorders.

This event is co-sponsored by the SDSU Chapter of the National Student Speech-Language and Hearing Association (NSSLHA) and the SDSU School of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences (SLHS).



Every semester, we plan a social or two to celebrate our achievements and work in the lab. This time is an opportunity for us to strengthen our friendship with one another and we find that it creates a strongly supportive and inclusive environment to work in.


Campus Tour and Lunch with International Guests

In November of 2017, the BDC lab hosted Dr. Sharynne McLeod and PhD Student Ben Pham from Charles Sturt University of Australia. With such a beautiful campus here at San Diego State, we thought we would give our international guests a historical tour of the prominent buildings. We started at the Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences building and moved towards the Malcolm A. Love Library, the Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union, Hepner Hall, the Turtle Pond, and lastly, our 100 Years, 100 Stones Monument. With so much to be proud of as Aztecs, we knew that McLeod and Pham would feel our pride as we spoke about the school. 

Afterwards, the BDC lab ate lunch at Eureka, the new restaurant in the South Campus building. It was a beautiful day so we were able to sit outside to enjoy what truly makes San Diego spectacular – our consistently great weather, even in November! During our meal, it was quite humorous to hear what our Australian guests thought about the food. While sharing plates of fried mac and cheese balls, lollipop corn dogs, fried chicken sliders, crispy glazed brussels sprouts, and more, they simply stated that this meal was “very American!” at which we all laughed because of how true that statement was. Being able to sit down and eat together allowed for an open and casual dialogue between everyone. It was a fantastic way to get to know our guests beyond their work.

It was an honor for the BDC to host these distinguished guests in San Diego, and we are grateful for the joyful memories.




From left to right: Kristine Thuy Dinh, Quynh Dam, Ngoc Ann Do, and KimAnh Nguyen
“Aside from the knowledge and experience gained from my time at BDC, I have been fortunate in being able to work with the most ambitious and hardworking people I have ever met. They motivate, inspire, and support me. When I graduate and leave BDC, I will not only be walking away with a network of SLPs and other professionals, but new friendships as well, both of which are incredibly valuable to me.”

- KimAnh Nguyen

Bottom row (left to right): Kristine Thuy Dinh, Kelly Nguyen, and Daena Taylor.
Top row (left to right): Diane Pham Guerrero, Monica Nguyen Biscocho, Dr. Giang Pham (Principle Investigator), Judit Limon-Hernandez, Christine Melcher
"From my constant interaction with my lab mates, I have learned a lot about Vietnamese culture and new Vietnamese words. The exposure I get to Vietnamese language and culture is something that will help me when I work as a bilingual SLP."

- Judit Limon-Hernandez


Kristine Thuy Dinh (right) asks Ngoc Ann Do (left) questions about applying to graduate school.
 “I really like this lab. The lab mates are fun and cool! I did not only learn software and soft skills, but I also learned networking skills as I connected with students in the lab. Since they are older than me, I can ask them for advice on applying to graduate schools, taking the GRE, and other experiences. I look forward to coming back to the lab every semester.”

– Kristine Thuy Dinh