Speech Therapy Department

Staff Bios

Jacqueline Rampersad, M.S., CCC-SLP, TSSLD

Jacqueline Rampersad, M.S., CCC-SLP, TSSLD

Name: Jacqueline V. Rampersad
Title: M.S., CCC-SLP, TSSLD
Occupation: Director, Speech and Language Pathology
iHOPE Email: Jaqueline.iHOPENYC@gmail.com
Bio: Jacqueline V. Rampersad graduated from Columbia University with a Masters of Science degree in Speech Language Pathology and Audiology. At Columbia University, Jacqueline studied under Dr. Lois Bloom (one of the foremost researchers in language acquisition). She also studied extensively under Dr. Nelson Moses, where she conducted research on procedural knowledge and problem solving strategies with the blind and multiply handicapped populations. Jacqueline is a highly qualified speech language pathologist. She is a nationally certified member of The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), with a Certificate of Clinical Competence. She is a Licensed Speech Language Pathologist as well as a Certified Speech Language Pathologist Service Provider for Early Intervention. Jacqueline has extensive experience in various areas of the speech, language and hearing disorders/mechanisms including Apraxia, Articulation, Attention Deficit, Auditory Processing, Augmentative Communication, Developmental Delays, Neurogenic Disorders, and Sensory, Social and Behavioral Deficiencies. Jacqueline also has extensive knowledge of rare disorders, including: Leigh’s Disease, Trisome 9, Angelman’s Syndrome, Velocardiofacial Syndrome, and Creutzfeldt-Jakob Syndrome.

Jacqueline has spent 15 years working at various sites in New York from pre-mature pediatric feeding evaluations to geriatric swallow. She has also facilitated language intervention across all age groups. Jacqueline has worked with children and adults with Cerebral Palsy creating language and feeding goals. Jacqueline has worked with pediatric and geriatric Autistic and Down’s Syndrome populations. Jacqueline has also worked with the blind and multiply impaired populations and has created and implemented unique therapy materials to facilitate their goals. In addition to working at iHOPE, Jacqueline continues her professional growth in one of her areas of expertise as a Speech and Language – as well as motor and sensory based – feeding evaluator for public institutions such as the Committee on Preschool Education as well as the Early Intervention Program. Jacqueline has participated in various research projects including: Complex Language in Typically Achieving Children, Constructing (In)Competence from the Perspective of Critical Diversity and Bilingual Education, and The Discovery Program for Children with Autistic Spectrum Disorders: Learning through Problem Solving. Additionally, Jacqueline is currently researching Intentionality and Play in Children with Traumatic Brain Injury. Jacqueline’s dedication and passion for helping children and their families, coupled with her unbridled enthusiasm for working with them has led to tremendous success for the people she has served. Jacqueline’s determination and dedication to her work has led her to implement evidence-based strategies and successful cottage industries for children with special needs, moving them towards more independence. While Jacqueline has traveled the world, from back packing in the Sahara Desert to climbing the High Atlas Mountains, New York is now her home. Jacqueline’s special interests outside of work include gardening, flying in Ultra-light Motors, traveling, and being a proud mother to her two young sons.
Family Origin: Trinidad, West Indies

 

Alexandra Caroli, M.A., SLP, TSSLD

Alexandra Caroli, M.A., SLP, TSSLD

Name: Alexandra Caroli
Title: M.A., SLP, TSSLD
Occupation/Role: Speech and Language Pathologist
iHOPE email: Alexandra.iHOPENYC@gmail.com
Bio: Alexandra Caroli, M.A., SLP, TSSLD, completed her Bachelors of Arts at Marymount Manhattan College. She then continued on to earn her Masters of Arts in Speech and Language Pathology at Hofstra University. As part of a small research team, during her undergraduate and graduate career, Alexandra conducted research which resulted in publication of the research findings as well as presentations at various research conferences. During her time prior to iHOPE, Alexandra developed a well-rounded competency in working with individuals with various cognitive, language, and swallowing disorders at the James J. Peters VA Medical Center. Here, she administered various diagnostic dysphagia, speech, language and cognitive evaluations and implemented treatment for individuals in this particular population. Subsequently, she gained significant experience in working with school-age children with language and learning disabilities where she administered various diagnostic speech and language assessments and provided intervention. Some of Alexandra’s interest include cooking, painting, and traveling to new places.
Family Origin: Italy

 

Alyssa Esposito, M.Sc

Alyssa Esposito, M.Sc

Name: Alyssa Esposito
Title: M.S. SLP, TSSLD
Occupation: Speech-Language Pathologist
iHOPE Email: Alyssa.iHOPENYC@gmail.com
Bio: Alyssa Esposito earned both her Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology, and her Bachelor of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Adelphi University. Before coming to iHope, Alyssa has been expanding her scope of practice across a wide range of populations including adults, preschool children, and school-age children by providing evaluations and treatment for a variety of disorders in various settings. At Adelphi University’s Hy Weinberg Center for Communication Disorders she provided speech, language, and hearing evaluations to individuals and groups of all different ages and disorders. Alyssa provided services for children in grades 2-5 with speech and language disabilities at a local elementary school, where she administered efficient ways to learn and maintain the proper skills needed by each student to flourish both functionally and academically. Alyssa continued to broaden her skills with the adult population while working with aphasia, TBI, dysphagia, and neurodegenerative diseases at Mercy Medical Center at Mercy Hospital where she targeted functional speech-language, cognitive, swallowing treatment, and evaluations. She also gained direct experience assisting with Fiberoptic Endoscopic Evaluations of Swallowing (FEES), while at Mercy Hospital. Alyssa is certified in The Lee Silverman Voice Treatment – LOUD (LSVT LOUD); a voice treatment for speech disorders associated with Parkinson’s disease that focuses on vocal volume. Alyssa not only has a passion for helping progress each individual she works with, but also for learning about each of them as individuals. She resides in New York, and enjoys yoga, bike riding, hiking, traveling and reading outside of work.
Family Origin: American

 

Jaclyn Litvack, MS, SLP, TSSLD

Jaclyn Litvack, MS, SLP, TSSLD

Name: Jaclyn Litvack
Title: M.S. SLP, TSSLD
Occupation: Speech-Language Pathologist
iHOPE Email: Jaclynlitvack.iHOPENYC@gmail.com
Bio: Jaclyn Litvack is a Speech-Language Pathologist at the International Academy of Hope. Jaclyn earned her Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology from Adelphi University and earned her Bachelor of Arts in Hearing and Speech Sciences and Disorders from University of Maryland. Before coming to iHope, Jaclyn has received a strong foundation in working with children and adolescents of all ages for a variety of disorders in various settings. At Adelphi University’s Hy Weinberg Center for Communication Disorders she provided speech, language, and hearing evaluations to individuals and groups of all different ages and disorders. Jaclyn provided treatment services for preschool children with expressive and receptive language delays,as well as play and cognitive delays. She also provided services to adolescents with traumatic brain injury that resulted in aphasia while incorporating AAC. Jaclyn’s experiences continued at a local elementary school, where she worked with children with second language learners, autism and language disabilities and delays. Further, Jaclyn continued to broaden her skills at a school for special needs children. Here, she worked with children of all ages with disabilities that included traumatic brain injuries, autism spectrum disorders, developmental disabilities, language delays and various other communication disorders. She gained a strong foundation working with nonverbal children and using both low-tech and high-tech Alternative and Augmentative Communication devices.
Family Origin: American

 

 

Jessica Kastenbaum, M.S., CCC-SLP, TSSLD

Jessica Kastenbaum, M.S., CCC-SLP, TSSLD

Name: Jessica Kastenbaum
Title: M.S., CCC-SLP, TSSLD
Occupation: Speech and Language Pathologist
iHOPE Email: Jessie.iHOPENYC@gmail.com
Bio: Jessica Kastenbaum, MS, CCC-SLP, TSSLD, earned her Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology from Boston University. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Vassar College. Before coming to iHope, Jessica provided evaluations and treatment for adults, preschool children, and school-age children with a variety of voice, speech, language, cognitive, and swallowing disorders at Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates in Boston, MA. Jessica also has experience working with adolescents with autism spectrum disorders, language-based learning disabilities, and complex communication needs through her work at Brookline High School in Brookline, MA. She has worked at Spaulding Outpatient Center in Medford, MA, where she provided assessments and treatment for adults with aphasia, traumatic brain injury, and neurodegenerative diseases. Jessica has presented her research on bilingual lexical access at national and international conferences, including the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Convention and the International Symposium of Psycholinguistics.
Family Origin: American

 

Laura Marinace, M.A. SLP, TSSLD

Laura Marinace, M.A. SLP, TSSLD

Name: Laura Marinace
Title: M.A. SLP, TSSLD
Occupation: Speech-Language Pathologist
iHOPE Email: LMarinace@ihopenyc.org
Bio: Laura Marinace earned her Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Journalism from Oswego State University, and her Master of Arts in Speech-Language Pathology from Hofstra University. Before joining the iHOPE team, Laura has been providing evaluations and treatment to individuals across a wide range of ages including birth-3 years old, preschool children, and school-age children. At the Joan and Arnold Saltzman Community Services Center at Hofstra University she provided speech, language, and hearing evaluations to children and adolescents of varying diagnoses including, autism, language-based learning delays, aphasia and fluency disorders (stuttering). Additionally, Laura worked in conjunction with the daycare at Hofstra, providing hearing, and speech-language screenings to the infant, toddler and preschool population. Laura provided speech and language services for adolescents ages 14-21 in a high school life skills program. Here, she worked closely with special education teachers, behavioral therapists, occupational therapists, physical therapists and other professionals to ensure the most optimal treatment plan for each individual. Laura then gained experience at a children’s hospital, working with children and adolescents ages birth-17. Here, she provided treatment and evaluations for individuals with a variety of speech/language, cognitive and swallowing disorders. Laura is excited to join the speech and hearing department at iHOPE and looking forward to developing individualized treatment plans for each of her students.
Family Origin: American

 

 

Pooja Patel, M.S. SLP, TSSLD

Pooja Patel, M.S. SLP, TSSLD

Name: Pooja Patel
Title: M.S. SLP, TSSLD
Occupation: Speech-Language Pathologist
iHOPE Email: Pooja.ihopenyc@gmail.com
Bio: Pooja Patel, M.S., SLP-TSSLD earned her Master of Science in Speech- Language Pathology at Adelphi University and her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Virginia Tech. Prior to working at iHope, Pooja provided speech and language intervention for pre-school and school-aged children presenting with communication disorders including autism spectrum disorder and expressive / receptive language delays at a clinical therapy center in New York City. Pooja also has experience implementing alternative augmentative communication with children with autism spectrum disorder through her work at a school in District 75 where she developed lesson plans, treatment goals, and individualized education programs to target and enhance functional communication. Pooja implemented individual and group therapy in a variety of settings and has participated in interdisciplinary team meetings to ensure optimal treatment and progress of students.
Family origin: Indian

 

Rachel Miller - M.S., SLP, TSSLD

Rachel Miller – M.S., SLP, TSSLD

Name: Rachel Miller
Title: M.S., SLP, TSSLD
Occupation: Speech and Language Pathologist
iHOPE Email: rachelm.ihopenyc@gmail.com
Bio: Rachel Miller, MS, SLP-TSSLD, earned her Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology from Syracuse University and her Bachelor of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders from The Pennsylvania State University. Rachel is Lee-Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT-LOUD) certified and has her Teacher of Students with Speech and Language Disabilities certification. Prior to working at iHOPE, Rachel provided evaluations and treatment for children and adolescents with speech/language delays, developmental/neurological disorders, autism spectrum disorders and feeding difficulties. In addition, Rachel worked at Crouse Hospital in acute inpatient and outpatient care where she provided assessments and treatments for adults with traumatic brain injury, aphasia, cerebrovascular accidents, degenerative diseases and head/neck cancer. Rachel also has experience working in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit with infants exhibiting feeding difficulties and has had training in the Modified Barium Swallowing Impairment Profile (MBSImP). Rachel is proficient in administering/interpreting Modified Barium Swallow Studies with a wide variety of disorders. Rachel is also passionate about sports, exercising, traveling and cooking/baking foods from around the world.
Family Origin: American