Adria Leno, MS, CCC-SLP
President / Director of Clinical Services
Adria Leno, MS, CCC-SLP, received a Master's degree in Speech Language Pathology from the University of Wisconsin at Madison in 2005 and is licensed in the state of Illinois. She is an energetic and enthusiastic therapist with clinical experience in a wide variety of settings, including therapeutic schools, hospitals, and clinics. Her experience with clients from birth through geriatrics has given her a true lifespan perspective.
Adria is a diligent and zealous generalist. Unsatisfied with being confined to a box professionally, she has sought training and experience with a multitude of disorders. Adria is skilled in treatment of speech, language, reading, spelling, written expression, auditory processing, feeding/swallowing, fluency, and pragmatic/social delays and deficits. Adria enjoys working with families to build supports at home and find the approaches that best meet the needs of her individual clients.
Adria continues to seek out new therapies and techniques that will benefit her clients. Because of her passion for working with individuals with a wide range of needs, Adria feels strongly that continuing education is necessary to provide optimum care and treatment to each of her clients. She has received four ASHA ACE awards to date – one in 2013, two in 2016, and one in 2018. These awards are formal recognition that she has demonstrated excellence and dedication to lifelong learning by completing more than double the required number of continuing education units.
To date, Adria’s continuing education credits include courses on therapeutic interventions for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders, feeding and swallowing disorders, literacy (including spelling and reading, text comprehension, and written expression), play, social behaviors, fluency, aphasia, and traumatic brain injury, to name a few. Adria has also completed the basic course on the DIR/Floortime Model.
Adria is a certified SPELL-Links to Reading & Writing™ provider, having completed more than 50 hours of continuing education in SPELL-Links to Reading & Writing™ alone and has been personally mentored and trained by author Dr. Jan Wasowicz. She is also a SPELL-Links to Reading & Writing™ trainer, mentoring professionals in the curriculum and assisting Dr. Wasowicz at educational seminars.
Because of her strong belief in education, Adria has acted as a graduate student site supervisor for a variety of universities since 2008. She has mentored and trained over a dozen beginning clinicians. In 2016, Adria was honored by Governor’s State University as the Site Supervisor of the Year.
In her free time, Adria relishes spending time with her husband and their cats. Her hobbies include reading and travel. She is an avid home cook who loves entertaining. Adria has also been on a gluten-free, dairy-free, and egg-free diet for many years and loves sharing information and recipes with families who are making the difficult transition to restricted diets.
Dr. Jayne Jaskolski, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
Dr. Jayne Jaskolski, Ph.D., CCC-SLP is passionate about the areas of language, literacy and learning. She earned her doctoral degree in Language and Literacy from Cardinal Stritch University, in addition to degrees from at Marquette University (Master of Science Degree) and University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (Bachelor of Science Degree). She received her Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) and is a licensed Speech Language Pathologist in the States of Illinois and Wisconsin. With over 25 years of clinical experience, Jayne has practiced in a variety of setting including the NICU, home-health, birth-to-3, public schools and private practice. She continues to see clients in both Milwaukee, WI and Chicago, IL working with families and their children with speech, language and literacy disorders.
Teaching and providing professional development is one of Jayne’s passions. She has taught numerous undergraduate and graduate courses while holding faculty positions at Midwestern University, Aurora University and St. Xavier University in IL. She has also taught adjunct courses at Rush University and Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI. Dr. Jaskolski has presented at numerous local, state and national venues on numerous topic related to language, literacy, and speech.
Much of Jayne’s research has focused on the link between oral language and learning to read. Her new book, Phonological Awareness Training Program (PATP) (2017), is a tool for training educators who work with children on phonological awareness, or the ability to think about, reflect on and manipulate the sound structures of language (i.e., syllables, onset-rime, phonemes). PATP is now available through ASHA Press. For more information Click Here.
In addition, Jayne collaborated with Dr. Jan Wasowicz to create a Learning By Design webinar about the sounds and symbols in reading. The webinar is titled, The Language of Reading & Spelling: Sounds, Symbols, & Meanings Language Essentials for Best Practices – Part 2. The webinar is available here. Jayne is completing her certification as a SPELL-Links to Reading & Writing™ provider. She is also the Higher Education Liaison at SPELL-Links to Reading & Writing™ Learning By Design.
Jayne has received numerous awards, including the Phenomenal Woman Award (Aurora University, 2017), Outstanding University Faculty Advisor Award (Midwestern University, 2015), and Teacher of the Year (2008). Jayne was selected to be in the 2018-19 ASHA Leadership Development Program.
Dr. Jayne is passionate about service to both her community and profession. She is a member of the Junior League of Chicago - Fight Against Human Trafficking Committee; and a volunteer at the Tutoring Chicago and Old St. Pat’s Parish. She is the 2019 Illinois Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ISHA) Convention Child Language and Phonology Track Chair; a 2018 mentor for the ASHA S.T.E.P. - Student to Empowered Professional Mentoring Program; 2018 Chair of the ASHA School Connect Poster Committee; 2018 International Literacy Association (ILA) award committee member; and an ASHA SIG1 Professional Development Committee Member (2017-19).
For leisure, Jayne loves to spend time with her husband and their 5 adult children and families. They enjoy biking the lake front, the amazing theater opportunities in Chicago, as well as cooking interesting cuisines at home and the amazing dining experiences in the city.
Emily Borrelli, MHS, CCC-SLP
Emily is a clinical fellow at Communicate & Connect Therapy. She earned her Master’s degree in Communication Disorders from Governors State University and is licensed in the state of Illinois. During graduate school, Emily had the opportunity to work in the school and hospital settings with clients of all ages with a variety of speech and language disorders. She has experience providing assessment and intervention for articulation, language, fluency, pragmatics, and swallowing.
Emily is an enthusiastic and dedicated therapist who enjoys working with children. She believes in tailoring treatment specifically to the needs of each child, and thrives on seeing progress in her clients. Outside of work, Emily enjoys spending time with her husband, daughter, and son, exploring Chicago, reading, and gardening.
Elizabeth Novak, MS, CF-SLP
Elizabeth is an exuberant and dynamic SLP who is fervent about her work helping children and adolescents become successful communicators to achieve their personal and academic goals. Elizabeth completed her undergraduate studies in elementary education with endorsements in reading and social sciences at North Center College before completing her Masters degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Northern Illinois University. She uses her experience as an educator and her knowledge of communication disorders to support learning and generalization of skills in all of her clients.
Elizabeth has worked in the school, clinic, and home health settings with clients of all ages. She has experience assessing and treating language, articulation, pragmatics, literacy, fluency, and autism spectrum disorders, as well as, developing treatment plans for a variety of augmentative and alternative communication devices. She enjoys facilitating goal setting with her clients and encouraging independence.
n her free time, Elizabeth likes to cook, spend time outside, and explore the many coffee shops in Chicago.
Rena Spiegel, MA, CCC-SLP
Rena Spiegel is a certified speech-language pathologist, licensed in Illinois. Rena earned a Master’s of Arts degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Northwestern University in 2000. During her graduate school studies at Northwestern, she facilitated development of a research study, culminating in the published article “Semantic Representation and Naming in Young Children” (Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 2002), with Rena listed as one of the authors. Rena also holds an Illinois Professional Educator’s License and is a member of the Illinois Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Additionally, she has earned two awards for earning more than double the required number of continuing education hours from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.
Rena’s 17-year career in speech-language pathology has included a strong focus on reading and spelling, including working with clients with dyslexia and learning disabilities. Rena has worked with children and adolescents in the areas of phonological awareness, reading and spelling, especially using systematic, multisensory techniques. Aside from providing literacy intervention, Rena has enjoyed treating various clients with language and articulation disorders, and has taken pleasure in being a part of her clients’ success.
Rena is currently the Chairperson of the Department of Speech and Communication Disorders at Blitstein Institute of Hebrew Theological College, a member of the Touro College and University System. At Blitstein, Rena also teaches courses in normal language development and language disorders and advises undergraduate students in the field of speech-language pathology. Prior to her career at Blitstein, Rena was a Research Speech-Language Pathologist at Northwestern University’s acclaimed Aphasia and Neurolinguistics Research Laboratory.
Julie Irons, MA, CCC-SLP
Julie Irons, is a lifelong learner and educator who has found her home in pediatric speech-language pathology. Julie thrives on analyzing the unique puzzle represented by each new client and she tailors her therapy to their needs and interests. She has a special interest in literacy-based intervention and bilingual development and disorders. Julie values the personal relationships she builds with students and their families, and she still maintains contact with students she saw more than ten years ago.
Julie received a B.A. in Humanities from Stanford University before moving to Mexico to teach English in language immersion middle and high schools. In Mexico, she experienced her own language immersion, and she believes that her own hard-won acquisition of near-native Spanish gives her a unique perspective on the language learning challenges of her students. While there, Julie pursued an M.A. in Applied Linguistics from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México in Mexico City—training that eventually opened the door to speech-language pathology.
In 2008, Julie moved back to her home state of Illinois, where she taught middle and high school Spanish in Chicago. Several years later, after fourteen years in the classroom, Julie craved broader professional growth, so she made a career change to speech-language pathology. She received a Master's in Speech-Language Pathology from Indiana University-Bloomington, where she participated in the STEPS Spanish-English bilingual training program. Julie has experience working with children with developmental and genetic disorders and impairments in language, fluency, articulation and phonology, and pragmatics.
Nancy Mulkerrins, MHS, CCC-SLP
Nancy has been a speech language pathologist for the last four years, but has spent over 15 years of her life working with all ages and abilities in various capacities. In addition to her work at Communicate & Connect Therapy LLC, Nancy currently works as a speech language pathologist at a preschool and also serves an adjunct professor at Erikson Institute in Chicago, helping future teachers learn about communicative disorders and how to address them in the school setting. Nancy has a passion for early language development, integrative services, enhancing reading and literacy skills, as well as augmentative and alternative communication.
Born and raised in Andersonville, Nancy now enjoys sharing the amazing location and bustling neighborhood with her husband, one-year-old son, Michael, and Great Dane, Polly. In her free time, Nancy likes to take Michael on new adventures, spend time with cousins and friends, entertain, and travel basically anywhere; but especially back to Ireland where she lived and spent time with her and her husband's families.
Nancy is constantly seeking out new opportunities and knowledge in all things speech, language, and development!
Amanda Goldsmith, Admin and Billing
Amanda Goldsmith lives in West Lakeview with her husband and two school-aged children who attend CPS. A DePaul University graduate and a former sommelier, Amanda recently rejoined the workforce after taking time off to raise her family. She is excited to be a part of the Communicate & Connect Therapy LLC team and to work among such passionate and caring SLPs.
Amanda and her family are huge Chicago Blackhawks fans. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling with (and without) kids, cooking, tasting wine, gardening, and woodworking.