Main Content:

Opportunities to Participate

  • Research Participant Opportunities - Not only is it great to be a research contributor for the sake of helping to build a strong knowledge base, but @HelouLab also gives out great #labswag! Whether you’re joining us for the pins, the faux tattoos, the pens, or just to nerd out with us, we are happy to have you! 
    • We are also recruiting subjects to participate in a listening study. If you participate, you will listen to and rate a variety of recordings over five visits. You will be compensated $10/hour if you participate. If you are interested, please email us at helou_lab@groups.pitt.edu with "LQE" in the subject line!
    • We are interested in learning more about how people experience stress in their bodies. If you are between the ages of 18 and 65 and are a U.S. citizen, you are eligible to participate! By participating, you may be randomly selected to receive an iPad. Please click here to participate
    • Do you hate the sound of your voice? Hate the way you talk? Wish you communicated differently? We want to hear from you! We wish to know more about these feelings from people who don't like or even hate the sound of their voice, speech, or other communication features. If you are over the age of 18 and a U.S. citizen, you are eligible. By completing the survey you may be randomly selected to receive a $100 Amazon or Target gift card. Please click here to participate
       
  • Research Assistant and Lab Volunteer Opportunities - We are always interested in meeting new potential lab volunteers and collaborators. If you wish to volunteer with us as a student research assistant, please email helou_lab@groups.pitt.edu with your resume, and we will get back to you as soon as possible!

News

For real-time lab updates, follow us on Twitter @HelouLab. A brief synopsis of past news and events follows.

2021:

September

  • We're thrilled to have Julia Pan, a first-year SLP graduate student, join our lab!

August

  • Two of our lab's abstracts were accepted as podium presentations at the Fall Voice Conference! One of them, Voice Patients’ Reports of Pre- and Peri-Pandemic Stress: Implications for Our Understanding of Stress and Muscle Tension Dysphonia, is from our collaboration and partnership with Drs. Gartner-Schmidt and Smith at the UPMC Voice Center.  Working together, this abstract was one of the highest-rated submissions and earned the title of All-Star Abstract! Brett Welch will be presenting this project at the Fall Voice Conference; see yinz then
  • Brett Welch received a travel grant from the Laryngology Education Foundation. Way to go!

June

  • Lab Manager and PhD student Brett Welch was one of two individuals to receive the New Investigator Research Forum Award from the Voice Foundation Symposium. Congratulations!

April

  • As the semester winds down, our projects are ramping up! It's a pleasure to welcome Colette Bezanis and Rachel Bittner to help us in these efforts!

March

  • Brett Welch served on an LGBQIA+ Healthcare Panel where he spoke to The Coalition of Occupational Therapy Advocates for Diversity about issues in healthcare pertaining to LGBTQIA+ and other minoritized identities. Excellent work!

February

  • Lab Manager and PhD student Brett Welch was invited to present at Delta Epsilon Mu's Diversity and Inclusion in Healthcare Conference about how future healthcare providers can better serve the LGBTQIA+ Communities, and how to improve care for gender-diverse individuals. Way to go!

January

  • We can't stop growing! Welcome to the lab Erin Schmura, a Pitt CSD post-bac, who's joining us as a research volunteer, and Dr. Charles (Chip) Dugan as a laboratory affiliate!

2020:

December

  • We are thrilled to welcome Isabella Stofko, Samantha Huynh, and Gabrielle Cavagnet to our lab!

November

  • We are very excited to have Michael Peagler, Katherine Gold, and Sarah Hoch, three fabulous Pitt CSD MA students, join our lab!

October

  • Keep an eye out for Brett Welch's and Dr. Helou's poster at the Fall Voice Conference! Did we mention the Fall Voice Conference is free this year?! Be sure to check it out!
  • Brett Welch and Dr. Helou will present at this year's TransPride Pittsburgh Health and Wellness Conference! They will present on gender-affirming voice and communication training - common myths and misconceptions. They will also partner with Ali Lewandowski from the UPMC Voice Center for an interactive presentation helping people to begin exploring their voice!

August

  • Dr. Helou accepted an invitation to serve as an Editorial Board Member for the Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, a top journal in the field of Communication Science & Disorders. 
  • Our lab is fully operational and collecting data with online experiments! Take that, COVID!

May

  • Dr. Helou was appointed the Founding Chair of the Working Group for Equity, Justice, and Inclusion for the University of Pittsburgh Department of Communication Science & Disorders. 

January

  • We're super excited to welcome Spencer Weiss and Francesca Caccamo to the lab as undergraduate research assistants!

2019:

December

November

  • Dr. Helou was a First Place Awardee for the Chancellor's Award for Innovation in Research! Her project involves creating a web-based platform for listeners to give speakers feedback about how they come across when they talk, with a longer-term goal of creating a massive speech repository with both speaker and listener demographic and personality data.

October

June

  • Dr. Helou is a featured interviewee in a Minnesota Public Radio segment titled "Through therapy, transgender women find their voice.”
  • Congratulations to Undergraduate Research Assistant Julia Fisher for her admission to the inaugural Brain and Communication Undergraduate Research Experience (BrainCURE) cohort.  Dr. Helou is a co-Investigator and Research Mentor for BrainCURE, which provides ten weeks of hands-on training in the Neuroscience of Communication. 

May

  • Newly-minted SLP Diana Becker presents her Master's thesis results at the Voice Foundation Symposium. 

April

  • Welcome to our new undergraduate research assistant, Julia Fisher! Julia is a Junior in Communication Science & Disorders at the University of Pittsburgh. 

March

  • Congratulations to lab member Diana Rose Becker on her successful Master’s thesis defense!  Diana’s thesis project was titled “Vocal manifestations of reported past trauma,” and she will be presenting her data at the Voice Foundation Symposium in May. 
  • Dr. Helou presented with Sandy Hirsch and Christie Block at Roosevelt U. in Chicago, IL.  This 3-day workshop titled "Transgender & Gender Nonconforming Speakers: A Course for Voice Clinicians" provided in-depth training for professionals serving the communication needs of trans and nonbinary people.
  • Dr. Helou presented to the Speech-Language Pathologists of Eastern Health in Newfoundland, Canada.  Her one-day workshop on the topic of transgender voice and communication addressed the interplay of communication and identity, how to be a professional ally, and techniques for modifying communication in order to promote gender congruence.

January

  • Brett Welch joins the Helou Lab for his Doctoral studies. 
  • Dr. Helou is co-Investigator on a newly funded undergraduate training project titled  Brain and Communication Undergraduate Research Experience (BrainCURE). This project, which is funded by the Office of the Provost, will provide a stipend for up to ten undergraduates to engage in an intensive research experience related to the neurosciences of communication.  Their 10-week summer training opportunity will combine didactic, laboratory-based, and real-world immersive experiences in research spanning perception-to-production and bench-to-bedside. BrainCURE will be administered by an interdisciplinary cluster of faculty cutting across Communication Science and Disorders, Neurobiology, Psychology, and Otolaryngology.

2018:

  • Congratulations to Dr. Helou for receiving the Certificate of Recognition for Special Contributions in Multicultural Affairs of the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association. This award recognizes her clinical, research, and teaching contributions in the arena of transgender voice and communication.
  • The Helou Laboratory spearheaded or contributed to papers on the topics of voice-stress psychophysiology, vocal motor control, and transgender voice in 2018.
  • Dr. Helou is invited to present for the Neurolaryngology Study Group at the American Academy of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery Meeting in Atlanta, GA. 
  • Dr. Helou is awarded a grant by the PA Department of Health for her project titled “Cortical control of muscles of vocalization.”      
  • Dr. Helou joins the Department of Communication Science & Disorders as assistant professor.