Symposium Advisory Committee

The symposium advisory committee leads the event planning staff at AG Bell in determining the education program for the event, ensuring that the professional community is a primary voice in furthering the educational path of the listening and spoken language method.


Uma Gokhale Soman, Ph.D., LSLS Cert. AVEd, chair

Uma Soman is a teacher of the deaf, mentor to pre-service and in-service professionals, consultant, and a deaf-education researcher. She is a Listening and Spoken Language Specialist Auditory Verbal Educator (LSLS Cert. AVEd) and received her doctoral degree in Hearing and Speech Sciences from Vanderbilt University in 2017, through the National Leadership Consortium in Sensory Disabilities Fellowship (2010-2014).

Dr. Soman is currently the Outreach Coordinator at Carle Auditory Oral School in Urbana, IL, and works with students who are deaf or hard of hearing, their families, and their educational teams in mainstream school environments. She also trains and mentors professionals who are pursuing listening and spoken language specialist certification in the United States of America and India. She is an active member of Alexander Graham Bell Association for Deaf and Hard of Hearing, OPTION Schools, and a founding member of The Radical Middle. Dr. Soman’s research explores the impact of hearing loss on development of neurocognitive processes that underlie language development in children who are deaf or hard of hearing, as well as the long-term academic and social outcomes of children who are deaf or hard of hearing.


Andrea Vargas, M.S., CCC-SLP

Originally from Costa Rica, Andrea received master’s degrees in Early Intervention in Deaf Education and in Speech-Language Pathology from Fontbonne University in St. Louis. Currently, she is providing services to bilingual-multicultural children with diverse communication disorders including hearing loss and is active in bilingual language intervention research at Vanderbilt University.


Blane Trautwein, Ed.D., CED

Blane is the Program Director of the Deaf Education and Hearing Science (DEHS) Program at the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio. He was formerly a teacher and later principal at Sunshine Cottage School for Deaf Children. Dr. Trautwein has an undergraduate degree in deaf education and graduate/doctoral degrees in educational leadership.  He has co-presented and co-authored about the topic of reciprocal peer coaching/mentoring in the professional preparation and continuing education of deaf education educational faculty.


Ellen A. Rhoades, Ed.S., LSLS Cert. AVT

Ellen is the co-editor and author of  Auditory-Verbal Practice: Family-centered early intervention (2017) and Auditory-Verbal Therapy for young children and their families (2016), Ellen continues to provide consulting, lecturing, and mentoring services for AV colleagues while serving as review editor for professional journals on an international level.


Elizabeth Rosenzweig,  M.S., CCC-SLP, LSLS Cert. AVT 

Elizabeth is a Speech-Language Pathologist and Listening and Spoken Language Specialist, Certified Auditory Verbal Therapist.  She is in private practice, providing therapy, advocacy, and consulting services to families around the world via teletherapy.  Elizabeth mentors aspiring Listening and Spoken Language Specialists and provides continuing education seminars to audiences of parents and professionals worldwide. She writes about all topics related to hearing loss on her website,  Elizabeth is pursuing her Ph.D. at Teachers College at Columbia University and is a fellow in the National Leadership Consortium for Sensory Disabilities.


Mary Ellen Nevins, Ed.D.

Mary is an experienced educator of children who are deaf or hard of hearing.  She is a professor at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and is the Director of the Program in Auditory-Based Intervention. Her attention to,  and publications regarding professional learning for hearing and speech professionals, complement her longstanding work with children using listening technologies to learn to listen, talk and read. 


Lisa Park, AuD, CCC-A  

Lisa is the Audiology Clinic Manager at The Children’s Cochlear Implant Center at UNC and has been an audiologist at the program since 2006.  Lisa earned her Master’s Degree in Speech and Hearing Sciences from Washington University, St. Louis and Doctorate in Audiology from the University of Florida.