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Principle Investigator & BRAIN Lab Director
Cathy Off, Ph.D.


I am a Professor and Chair in the School of Speech, Language, Hearing, & Occupational Sciences in the College of Health at the University of Montana and I direct the Behavioral Research for Aphasia and Intensive Neurorehabilitation (BRAIN) Lab.


I have affiliations with the Montana Department of Public Health & Human Services Stroke Work Group, the Academy of Neurologic Communication Disorders and Sciences (ANCDS), the British Aphasiology Society (BAS), and the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association's Special Interest Group 2: Neurogenic Communication Disorders. I am also a active member of Aphasia Access.

​Before taking my tenure-track position at the University of Montana, I worked as a lecturer at California State University - Northridge, where I began to clinically explore the implementation of an intensive comprehensive aphasia program (ICAP).  Montana. The BRAIN Lab's research focuses on integrating principles of neuroplasticity into post-acute stroke and aphasia rehabilitation inteventions. As a lab, we are also dedicated to improving stroke and aphasia rehabilitation in the rural Mountain West, with a focus on both patient and family care partner outcomes and graduate student clinician training, in the context of the World Health Organization International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health (WHO-ICF) model and patient-centered care.

I completed my PhD at the University of Washington in the Department of Speech & Hearing Sciences under the mentorship of Dr. Margaret Rogers and Dr. Kristie Spencer. I completed my MS in Speech-Language Pathology at the University of Wyoming under the mentorship of Dr. Christie Thompson. I completed by BA in Linguistics with a concentration in Cognitive Science at the University of California-Berkeley. You can find out more about my background at my University of Montana website:

Meet the BRAIN Lab Team

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Doctoral Student & Clinical Associate Professor

Jenna is a doctoral student in Speech, Language, & Hearing Sciences at the University of Montana whose research focuses on intensive service delivery models and psychosocial well-being outcomes for stroke survivors with aphasia. Jenna is in the final stages of writing up her dissertation project.

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Doctoral Student

Kaylee is a doctoral student in Speech, Language, & Hearing Sciences at the University of Montana. Kaylee's areas of research include stroke, trauma, and the impacts of stroke-related trauma on cognitive-linguistic and psychosocial outcomes for stroke survivors with aphasia. 

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Masters of Science Graduate Student Researchers

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Adele Derendinger

MS Thesis 2022-2024

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Helena Riley

MS Thesis 2022-2024

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Undergraduate Student Researchers & High School Researchers

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McKinlee Mihelish

Sr. Capstone 2022-2024

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Shannon Welby

Sr. Capstone 2022-2024

Amelie Etter

Hellgate High School

Student Researcher


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Past BRAIN Lab Student Researchers


Doctoral Student Researchers

....none just yet


MS Student Researchers

Kortney Sims (2021-2023)

Ellen Geary (2021-2023)

Natasha Harwood (2021-2023)

Dawson Jakober (2021-2023)

Amanda Sallay (2020-2022)

Mackenzie Brown (2020-2022)

Kaylee Walter (2018-2020)

Harley Kincheloe (2019-2020)

Kathy Molesh (2017-2019)

Anya Leyhe (2017-2019)

Maggie Colstad (2015-2017)

Victoria Hinther (2015-2017)

Jenna Griffin (2012-2014)

Megan Eandi (2011-2013)


Undergraduate Student Researchers

Isabelle Faschour (2022-2023)

Dove Hoffman (2022-2023)

Kaelyn Kaftan (2021-2022)

Rylee Kremer (2021-2022)

Madison Larson (2019-2020)

Dawson Jakober (2019-2020)

Harley Kincheloe (2018-2019)

Alyssa Kozlowski (2018-2019)

Zoa Phillips (2018-2019)

Abigail LeClair (2018-2019)

...more to come...


High School Student Researchers

...none just yet

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