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Emerging Scholars

Emerging Scholars are individuals currently engaged in a research project or research synthesis related to Bridging the Word Gap.


Meet our current scholars:

Kelsey Dillehay, M.Ed. is pursuing her Ph.D. in Early Childhood Special Education at Vanderbilt University. She received her M.Ed. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Vanderbilt in 2016 and her B.S. in Psychology and Family Studies from Berry College in 2013. Prior to starting the Ph.D. program, she worked as a registered behavior technician in private practice and as an early interventionist with a research lab on caregiver-implemented interventions for children with language delays. Primarily working with Spanish-speaking families, Kelsey’s Bridging the Word Gap project is an extension of a previous study using telehealth to deliver evidence-based language intervention for Spanish-speaking families from low-income households. The current study will include a packaged format of the intervention to make it more easily disseminated and widely available to the community. She is excited for this BWG opportunity to make connections with other institutions, gain insight from mentors, and collaborate with other scholars.


BWG Mentor: Anne Larson

Julie C. Smith, MS, CCC-SLP is a doctoral student in Communication Sciences and Disorders at Teachers College, Columbia University. She received her master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology there in 2017 and completed her clinical fellowship working with Spanish-English dual language learners (DLL) in Head Start preschools throughout Northern Manhattan. Julie returned to Teachers College in 2018 to study language and literacy development in DLLs. Her research interests include the social and cultural factors across the home and school contexts that promote bilingual development in early childhood. As a BWG Emerging Scholar, Julie will explore the relationship between family profiles of bilingual language and literacy practices and child profiles of bilingual oral language and emergent literacy development during preschool.

BWG Mentor: Anne Larson

Chloe Beachum, M.Ed. is a Doctoral Candidate in the College of Education and Human Development in the School Psychology program at Georgia State University. She is a Graduate Research Assistant in the Mark Chaffin Center for Healthy Development, Kenneth and Mary Matheny scholarship recipient, and a Pediatric Neuropsychology Extern at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Chloe earned her Master of Education degree in 2020. Prior to attending Georgia State University, she graduated from Georgia College and State University in 2016 and worked at the Marcus Autism Center as a Social Neuroscience Research Coordinator. Her research interests include early intervention services for children who are at-risk for developmental delays and infant-mother interactions on child language development.  As a Bridging the Word Gap Emerging Scholar, Chloe will evaluate the efficacy of the parent-coaching intervention, the Mom and Baby Net Program, on maternal parenting practices and social communication and expressive language development of infant siblings of children with autism.

BWG Mentor: Kathleen Baggett