Alumni Spotlight: Elizabeth Eagan, PhD, CCC-SLP

Elizabeth Eagan is an SLHS BA, MA, and PhD alumna whose interest in the field of speech-language pathology stemmed from early exposure to her aunt’s work as an SLP, where she assisted in programming AAC devices for her aunt’s students whenever a child’s voice was needed. She also loved going to work with her mom, who worked with many children with complex communication needs as a pediatric physical therapist. Elizabeth completed her undergraduate and masters degrees at UConn. 

Following her clinical fellowship year at Hartford Hospital, she returned to UConn for her PhD. She wanted to learn more about conducting research projects and connecting research to practice. Elizabeth has always appreciated the great diversity of practice options this field has to offer. During her doctoral program, she initially joined Dr. Carl Coelho’s neurology-focused lab, working with adults with aphasia and incorporating AAC into their treatment plans. Until that point, she had envisioned herself always working with adults in a medical setting. Her path shifted when she began working with Dr. Tammie Spaulding on projects involving school-aged children with language disorders. Throughout her program, balancing motherhood with academia undoubtedly influenced her research and clinical direction and having her own children while doing research with children gave her a new perspective. 

With her newfound interest in pediatric therapy and research, Elizabeth worked in private and public school settings with children ages 3-21. Elizabeth currently works with children aged 3-5 in a preschool setting. She loves the variety of communication skills that the children on her caseload exhibit as well as their enthusiasm for participating in speech therapy each day at school. A common concern she hears from parents of preschoolers is that their children are more reluctant to practice speech skills at home. Pulling from her own experiences as a mother of four, with one child who has participated in speech therapy for the last seven years, Elizabeth empathizes with this sentiment. In response, she started publishing a children’s book series titled “Speech Sound Adventures.” The series aims to integrate speech practice into engaging narratives, with each book targeting a specific speech sound or phonological process. Along with the many models of the target sounds, these stories also include rich vocabulary, opportunities to discuss characters’ emotions, and rhyming verses. Each book also includes a hidden picture activity for more speech practice and a note to caregivers with tips and activity ideas. These books aim to serve as convenient tools for busy parents and therapists and are available on Amazon. Elizabeth’s very encouraged by the positive feedback so far on her first three books – Oliver and the Very Valuable Scarf (/f/ and /v/), King Crab Conor and the Golden Grotto (/k/, /g/, and velar fronting), Layla the Llama Loves to Sing (/l/)- and she’s very excited to continue the series! 

When Elizabeth is not working, she’s spending time with her family at the beach!


Photo of Elizabeth Eagan