Dr. Reem Khamis-Dakwar directs the first EEG lab at the Hy Weinberg Center at Adelphi University.
by Cecil HarrisThis article is included in a four-part series focusing on Adelphi’s Neurophysiology in Speech Language Pathology Lab and director Reem Khamis-Dakwar, Ph.D., Joseph Hoffman, Ph.D. ’14, and graduate students Melody Zambriski and Veronica Jimenez-Harrison.
As the chair-elect of the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders and the director of the Neurophysiology in Speech Language Pathology Lab (NSLP Lab)—the first electroencephalogram (EEG) lab at the Hy Weinberg Center for Communication Disorders—Reem Khamis-Dakwar, Ph.D., supervises Adelphi University students in research projects that involve the use of EEG to better understand challenges in speech and language pathology.
In an EEG test, flat metal disks, or electrodes, with thin wires are attached to the scalp to measure electrical activity in the brain.
Dr. Khamis-Dakwar, who is also a speech-language pathologist and associate professor in the department, teaches graduate courses in neuroscience, bilingualism and communication disorders, with an emphasis on understanding brain functioning related to observed speech and language behaviors.
Graduate students Melody Zambriski and Veronica Jimenez-Harrison in the Ruth S. Ammon School of Education and former grad student Joseph Hoffman, Ph.D. ’14, have used the NSLP Lab to work on research projects that Dr. Khamis-Dakwar calls “unique and very important in the development of our field.”
Dr. Hoffman, now a visiting professor at the Stony Brook University, studied the effect of insulin treatment on the vocabulary skills of children with diabetes. Dr. Khamis-Dakwar supervised his dissertation.
Zambriski is researching the impact of different approaches to reading rhyming books on children’s awareness development to rhymes.
Jimenez-Harrison’s study concerns how African-American children who communicate at home in colloquial “black English” process Standard English when they hear it versus when they read it.
Zambriski and Jimenez-Harrison traveled to Eugene, Oregon—at Adelphi’s expense—to acquire EEG skills certification at Electrical Geodesics, Inc.
Jimenez-Harrison’s project is inspired by Dr. Khamis-Dakwar’s research into the Arabic diglossia in her hometown of Nazareth, Israel. (A diglossia refers to the presence of two varieties of the same language within one community–one acquired naturally and used mainly in daily communication, and the other learned in schools and used in formal communication.)
Dr. Khamis-Dakwar, a Palestinian citizen of Israel, earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Tel Aviv University before receiving a Fulbright Scholarship through AMIDEAST, an American nonprofit organization, to Teachers College, Columbia University, in 2003.
“My academic experience in the U.S. has been very fulfilling. Our original plan was to stay in the country a few years, but we’ve been here ever since,” said Dr. Khamis-Dakwar, who has an O-1 visa and lives in Manhattan with her husband, Jamil, who heads the human rights program at the American Civil Liberties Union, and their sons Fouad, 14, and Nadey, 8.
Dr. Khamis-Dakwar received her Ph.D. in 2007 from Columbia, where she continues to collaborate on research projects with Karen Froud, Ph.D., her former professor, while training future speech-language pathologists at Adelphi.
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