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Swallowing, Voice and Neuroimaging Laboratory
Teachers College, Columbia University
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Swallowing, Voice and Neuroimaging Laboratory 

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Staff and Research Assistants

Lab Manager

Cagla Kantarcigil, MS

Cagla is a doctoral student in the Speech-Language Pathology program at Teachers College, Columbia University. She is currently the lab manager of the SVN Lab. She is responsible for the organization of many activities and carrying out administrative tasks. After receiving her Bachelors Degree in her home country of Turkey, Cagla moved to the United States. Here, she received an MS in Child Development with an Early Intervention Specialization from the Erikson Institute and worked as an Early Intervention Specialist. During that time, she became interested in Speech and Language Pathology, specifically dysphagia. Upon graduation, Cagla plans on working with individuals with dysphagia and voice disorders.

Doctoral Students

Avi Mishra, MS

Avi is a doctoral student in the Speech-Language Pathology program at Teachers College, Columbia University. He earned a BA in Speech and Hearing Science from the University of Iowa and an MS in Speech-Language Pathology from Northwestern University. His primary research experience has been in the area of dysphagia, though he has conducted research in otoacoustic emissions, cleft palate, and dosage effects of therapy. Avi is currently interested in treatment efficacy and neuroimaging studies as they relate to swallowing in both normal and abnormal populations. Outside of academia, Avi enjoys playing tennis and watching all sports.

Akila Rajappa, MS, CCC-SLP, BRS-S

Akila is a doctoral student in Speech-Language Pathology at Teachers College, Columbia University. She is a board recognized specialist in swallowing and swallowing disorders with an educational background in speech pathology, audiology, and psychology. Akila has 15 years of experience in the treatment of speech, language, cognitive, and swallowing disorders in the adult/geriatric population. She has also supervised Clinical Fellows in the healthcare setting. Akila has a passion for dysphagia rehabilitation and her interests include swallowing neurophysiology, neuroplasticity, exercise physiology, multimodal treatment, aging, movement sciences, home program planning, and spreading dysphagia awareness in the community. Akila is actively involved with ASHA and serves on the Public Relations committee of BRS-S. Akila is multilingual in English and Indian languages and also enjoys Indian Classical Dance. She spends her leisure time with her family and actively coaches her two daughters in learning a variety of multicultural arts. She also enjoys providing community service to the elderly.


Andrew Angeles, BA

Andrew is in his first year of the MS program in Speech and Language Pathology at Teachers College, Columbia University. He earned his BA in Psychology with minors in Linguistics and Biological Sciences at the University of California, Irvine. He has always been interested in the medical field and naturally became interested in medical speech-language pathology which lead him to a career change. Andrew's current interests include adult dysphagia, aphasia, and multilingual processing. Outside of school, he enjoys singing, spending time with friends, watching Broadway shows, and learning languages. Andrew is excited to be volunteering in the SVN Lab.

Amber Khan, BS

Amber is in the MS program in Neuroscience and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University. She assists with fMRI analysis tasks which identify various swallowing variables as they relate to neural control and development. Her research interests include locating and predicting the manifestation of changes which occur across neurological, behavioral, and cognitive processes. Amber would like to use neuroimaging techniques to further measure and describe brain and behavior.

Luke Soletic, MSe

Luke is entering his second year at Columbia University, College of Dental Medicine.  He earned a double BS in naval architecture and marine engineering from Webb Institute, and a MSe in Ocean Engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology.  After spending two years working in the engineering field, he decided to switch paths to his competing interests in healthcare.  Following completion of his pre-dental post-bacc program, he enrolled in dental school at Columbia.  He elected to participate in summer research at the SVNL, assisting in a variety of lab projects.  His personal project involves investigating the lingual strength of cerebral palsy and post-stroke patients.  In his free time, Luke enjoys watersports, skiing, and enjoying NYC.


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