Current PAVA Board of Directors
President: Kittie Verdolini-Abbott
Katherine (Kittie) Verdolini Abbott, PhD, CCC-SLP, MDiv, is currently Professor of Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD) at the University of Delaware. Prior academic posts include CSD at the University of Iowa, Otolaryngology at Harvard Medical School, and CSD at the University of Pittsburgh. With a background in performing voice, she has worked clinically as a voice-specialized speech-language pathologist since 1979. She completed her PhD in Experimental Psychology/Cognitive Science at Washington University in St. Louis in 1991, with an emphasis in implicit and explicit processes in perceptual-motor learning. Her research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health since 1997. Research topics have spanned a series of topics including hydration, exercise physiology, wound healing, personality, meditation, and clinical trials in voice.
Past President: Aaron Johnson
Like most vocologists, Aaron Johnson’s career path has been varied and multidisciplinary. He began as a singer, studying vocal performance at Northwestern University, and then sang professionally and taught singing for over a decade. In 2005 he shifted his focus to the health and science of the voice and discovered his passion for voice research at the Summer Vocology Institute. He earned a master of science in speech-language pathology from Rush University and a research doctorate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and spent four years on the faculty in the Department of Speech and Hearing Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In 2016 he joined the New York University (NYU) Voice Center as an assistant professor of otolaryngology in the NYU School of Medicine. At NYU he is able to draw upon his multidisciplinary background as a clinician, researcher, and educator. As a speech-language pathologist and singing voice specialist, he evaluates and treats voice disorders in performers. He also directs an NIH-funded research laboratory investigating the neuromuscular mechanisms underlying vocal exercise. Through collaborations across NYU he is able to direct singing-voice research, teach future vocologists, and move the field of vocology forward.
Vice President: Ingo Titze
Dr. Ingo R. Titze has served as Founder and President of the National Center for Voice and Speech since 1990. His was a University of Iowa Foundation Distinguished Professor of Voice, Speech, and Vocal Music prior to retirement from Iowa in 2019. He has published over 500 articles in scientific and educational journals. His book publications include Principles of Voice Production (1994), The Myoelastic-Aerodynamic Theory of Phonation (2006); in collaboration with Katherine Verdolini, Vocology: The Science and Practice of Voice Habilitation (2012); and Fascinations with the Human Voice (2010), which is printed in eight languages. His research interests include biomechanics of human tissues, acoustic phonetics, speech science, voice disorders, professional voice production, and the computer simulation of voice. His formal training is in Electrical Engineering (MS) and physics (PhD) Dr. Titze is a founding member and first elected President of the Pan- American Vocology Association. Other professional affiliations include the Acoustical Society of America, The National Association of Teachers of Singing, the American Speech Language Hearing Association, and the American Laryngological Association. Honors include The Gould Award for outstanding research in laryngeal physiology (1984), the Silver Medal Award from the Acoustical Society of America (2007), the Honors of the Association Award from ASHA (2010), and the Sundberg-Titze Award from the Voice Foundation (2020). He has administered and taught in the Summer Vocology Institute, the premiere Vocology training program, for 20 years. He has been married to Kathy Titze for 52 years, with whom he has four children and nine grandchildren. He remains an active singer.
Treasurer: Annika Wilson
Annika Wilson is a recent hire as a clinical speech language pathologist at Duke Voice Care Center. Previously, Wilson was a high school music teacher and elementary school speech language pathologist. She has remained an active choral singer since childhood and has directed church choirs/bands throughout the Midwest for 12 years. She is a graduate of Concordia University Wisconsin with a bachelor's degree in vocal performance/ K-8 educational studies, and St. Ambrose University with a master's degree in speech language pathology. Most recently, Wilson is a graduate of the Summer Vocology Institute, class of 2019. As a passionate pioneer for multidisciplinary vocology, Wilson provides rehabilitation for singers with voice disorders, lectures on voice habilitation/rehabilitation, and continues her musical directing via her own LLC.
Rachel Velarde is currently professor of music at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, AZ, teaching voice, song literature, and voice pedagogy to undergraduate students. She grew up in Bloomington, IN (Mary Goetze, then-director of the Indiana University Children’s Choir, has continued to be a musical mentor). When she was six years old, her family moved to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia for two years. Her experiences gave her a lasting impression about the universality of humanity. She has traveled to France and Austria, and has regularly traveled to Italy, as a performer and as voice faculty. Dr. Velarde received her BA in Music from Smith College in Northampton, MA in 1994. She earned two master of music degrees, in vocal performance and vocal pedagogy, from Arizona State University in 1997, and her DMA in vocal performance from from the same institution in 2013. Dr. Velarde began teaching private voice and piano lessons in 1993 and became a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) in 1996, and has served in multiple board positions. In 2012, Rachel received Honorable Mention for the Van L. Lawrence Fellowship in vocal pedagogy research, and completed the Wicklund Singing Voice Specialist (SVS) Certification. She became a PAVA member in 2016 and is passionate about spreading the PAVA mission to colleagues worldwide.
Communications Director: Amanda Flynn
Amanda Flynn is currently on the musical theatre voice faculty at Pace University and is also the owner of a private studio with clients performing on Broadway, Off Broadway, national tours, international tours, and regional theatre, in addition to pursuing their recording careers. Amanda was the Production Vocal Coach for The Lightning Thief on Broadway as well as the Production Vocal Coach for Be More Chill on Broadway. As a Singing Voice Specialist, she frequently works with injured singers, collaborating with laryngologists and voice therapists in NYC. As a performer, Amanda was an original cast member of the LA company ofWicked, part of the Las Vegas company of Mamma Mia, and toured the country on the national tour of the Broadway revival of Oklahoma. Amanda holds a MM in Vocal Performance with a Musical Theatre concentration as well as an Advanced Certificate in Vocal Pedagogy, both from NYU. She completed the Vocology Mentorship at Mt. Sinai Medical Center, the Distinguished Voice Professional certificate from NYSTA, and completed her Certificate in Vocology from NCVS and The University of Utah. A recipient of the Van Lawrence Fellowship, Amanda is an active voice researcher and presents frequently at conferences. In addition to her duties for PAVA, she serves as the Director of the Professional Development Program for NYSTA.
Latin American Governor: Ana Flavia Zuim
Ana Flavia is an award-winning musical director, an accomplished conductor, pianist, singing health specialist, and electric bassist. She is a music assistant professor serving as director of vocal performance at Steinhardt School at NYU. She earned her bachelor's at State University of Londrina (UEL - 2003) in her native country, Brazil. She holds a master’s in piano performance (Lynn University, 2006), a doctorate fine and performing arts (Florida Atlantic University, 2012) and a vocology certificate (University of Utah, 2015). Prior to joining NYU, she served as director of contemporary voice at the Frost School of Music with a secondary appointment as lecturer of otolaryngology at the Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami. Among her credits are the Broadway musical Hamilton (rehearsal pianist), the Broadway Across America tours of Billy Elliot (associate conductor/vocal coach), and key’s sub on Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Matilda, Kinky Boots, The Wizard of Oz, Annie, and The Sound of Music.
Western Governor: Reena Gupta
Dr. Reena Gupta is a Laryngologist, with a practice in Beverly Hills, CA. Dr. Gupta trained in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at New York University School of Medicine and in Laryngology at the American Institute for Voice and Ear Research. Upon graduation, Dr. Gupta relocated from New York to the West Coast to found the Division of Voice and Laryngology in a multi-specialty practice. In 2020, Dr. Gupta left to create the Center for Vocal Health, the only Laryngologist-led private voice center in Southern California, where she specializes in vocal care for the performing artist. Dr. Gupta is published in numerous journals and textbooks and has been invited to speak at universities and conferences locally and internationally.
Central Governor: Nandhu Radhakrishnan
Dr. Nandhu Radhakrishnan is an Associate Professor and Director of K-State Voice Clinic at Communication Sciences and Disorders, Department of Applied Human Sciences, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas. He received his doctorate at Bowling Green State University, Ohio and completed his clinical fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh Voice Center, Pennsylvania. His areas of specialty include clinical, professional, and performance voice issues. He has published chapters and articles related to voice science, and has conducted national and international workshops related to assessment and intervention of voice. Through his limited liability company (VASEE), he offers conitnuing education related to vocal arts and science. He has designed an innovative voice therapy approach called Nasal Resistance (NR) technique. He is a member of the Editorial Board of Journal of Voice, Voice Science Advisory Committee of NATS, and the founding faculty of one of the first chapters of PAVA (Southeast Texas Chapter). Apart from PAVA, he is a member of various organizations including the Voice Foundation, Voice and Speech Trainers Association, and Life Member of Indian Speech, Language, and Hearing Association. Apart from his profession, he is a playwright, stage artist, YouTuber, and hobby-chef.
Eastern Governor: Matthew Hoch
Matthew Hoch joined the voice faculty of Auburn University in 2012, where he was tenured in 2015 and promoted to the rank of professor in 2020. His research program focuses on the scholarship of voice pedagogy and the practical applications of singing voice research in the applied voice studio. Specific avenues pursued include quantification of vocal dose as a means to frame exercise physiology aspects of skill acquisition and fatigue resistance when training up for recital performance as well as furthering pedagogical scholarship in other aspects of voice pedagogy. Hoch’s published bibliography on these topics includes several books as single author, first author, or editor and peer-reviewed articles in over a dozen academic and professional journals. He earned his DMA in vocal performance at the New England Conservatory and is an NCVS-trained vocologist. He is the 2016 winner of the Van L. Lawrence Fellowship, awarded jointly by the Voice Foundation and NATS. In addition to his academic life, Hoch serves as choirmaster and minister of music at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Auburn, Alabama, where he lives with his wife, Theresa, and three children: Hannah, Sofie, and Zachary.
Canadian Governor: Melanie Tapson
Melanie Tapson is a singer and speech-language pathologist focused on voice care for professional voice users and performers and transgender voice and communication training. She holds a BFA in jazz voice, a BEd in senior vocal music/drama, and an MSc in SLP. She maintains multiple professional designations and a certificate in performing arts health from PAMA and ACSM.
Tapson keeps up with current research in therapeutic interventions for voice. She is an adjunct lecturer at the University of Toronto, lectures at the Glenn Gould School, and frequently gives workshops by invitation. Her twenty years as a professional performer, combined with her training and experience as an educator and SLP provides her with a unique perspective. She believes that treating the voice requires treating the whole person through a collaborative approach. She empathizes with the demands of the professional voice user’s schedule and lifestyle first-hand, and she fiercely advocates for preventative voice care. Tapson remains active singing in musical theatre productions and doing voiceover work.