NCSHLA Board of Directors

The association is led by a group of committed audiology and speech, language professionals from across North Carolina elected by the membership. The board meets regularly throughout the year and at the association's Annual Convention and Audiology Conference. If you would like to attend one of the Board meetings, let us know by contacting

Jackie Jacobs, MS, CCC-SLP

Jackie Jacobs was born in Silver Spring, Maryland, but after several family moves they ended up in Moore County, NC. She lived in Southern Pines, NC until attending college in South Carolina in 2001. She played Division II soccer for four years and earned a bachelor's degree in Elementary Education at Francis Marion University in Florence, SC. She earned her master's degree in Speech Pathology at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro. Jackie has been active in NCSHLA since graduating from UNCG through a variety of committees and roles. She currently works for Wake County Public Schools, in Raleigh, NC. She provides services at the elementary level and is the Northern Area Team Lead in WCPSS. Her interest areas include functional communication with low incidence populations, augmentative/alternative communication, articulation, language development, and supporting special education team members and other staff. She is married and has 3 boys; 8, 5, and 3. Jackie is thankful for the opportunity to serve on the NCSHLA Board of Directors.

Jordan Lupton, MS, CCC-SLP

Jordan Lupton received undergraduate degrees from UNC-Chapel Hill in Linguistics and Spanish, and her Masters in Speech and Hearing Sciences from UNC-CH in 2006. She has worked as a school-based speech-language pathologist (SLP) for 14 years and has experience working with children from ages 3 to 21. After 12 years of working for Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools, Jordan and her family moved back home to Thomasville in 2018, where she now works for Davidson County Schools and serves Pre-K through 5th grade students. Her interest areas include facilitating functional communication in young children with autism and cognitive disabilities, teaching and using augmentative/alternative communication, collaborative teaming with other professionals, and literacy and language development. Jordan has served NCSHLA as VP of Public Relations and University Affairs (2019-2020), Secretary to the Board (2018-2019), and 2018 Convention Chair. When she is not wearing her SLP hat, Jordan loves hanging out with her husband, Jonathan, and their two awesome kids.

Bliss Hemric, MA, CCC-SLP

Bliss has been working in the field of Speech Pathology since 1986 and has had experience with both adults and children. She is currently a Clinical Educator in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD) at Appalachian State University where she provides services in the evaluation and treatment of speech-language disorders in young children. At the present time, Bliss supervises graduate students during Clinical Practicum at the ASU Communication Disorders Clinic on campus as well as various off-campus locations.

She has previously been involved with a three year preschool literacy grant at Appalachian State University and the NC Dept. of Health and Human Services, Project SIFTOUT/SCRIPT through FRANK PORTER GRAHAM. Bliss serves as a guest lecturer for CSD courses and has presented at the local, state, and regional levels in her area of expertise.

Bliss participates on the Local Interagency Coordinating Council (LICC) in Watauga County and Girls on the Run of the High Country. Bliss has been involved with the Southeastern University Clinical Educators (SEUCE) as well as the North Carolina Association of Supervisors in Speech Pathology and Audiology (NCASSPA) for the past 20 years. She has held many positions with NCASSPA and is currently the Historian.

Bliss has been a member of and involved with the North Carolina Speech, Hearing, and Language Association (NCSHLA) for over 23 years where she has held various offices. She is currently the NCSHLA President

Jessica Raby, MA, CCC-SLP
Granite Falls

VP of Membership

Jessica Raby is a nationally certified and NC licensed SLP. She completed her BA in CSD from NC State University in 2002 and her MA in CSD from Appalachian State University in 2004. She worked as an SLP for Burke County Schools and Caldwell County Schools for 9 years, and 6 years as Clinical Coordinator/Instructor of the SLP-Assistant program at Caldwell Community College & Technical Institute (CCC&TI). She is currently Director/Instructor of the SLP-Assistant program at CCC&TI. She served on the Quality Enhancement Leadership Team at CCC&TI beginning in 2014 which led to successful reaffirmation of accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). Jessica currently serves as chair of the SLP-Assistant Program Advisory Board, is a member of the North Carolina Association of Supervisor’s in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, and serves on the Autism Education Foundation. While Jessica recognizes the impact she has been able to make on the lives of preschool and school-age children with communication disorders, she now finds tremendous joy in teaching and sharing her knowledge of the field with future SLP-Assistants. Jessica is married and has two children. She spends much of their spare time at Sunset Beach, NC.

Ashley Hudson, M.Ed., CCC-SLP
Chapel Hill

VP of Professional and Governmental Affairs

Ashley Hudson received a Masters in Education from Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon and her Masters in Communication Disorders from NCCU. She worked as an SLP with Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools for 8 years and serves students in elementary and middle school. Her interest areas include fluency, autism, and literacy and language development. In her spare time, Ashley enjoys spending time with her kids, Emma, Ava, and Tyler.

Deb Culbertson, Ph.D, CCC-A

VP of Audiology

Deb Culbertson is a Clinical Professor of Audiology at East Carolina University. Her primary practice, teaching and interest areas relate to auditory rehabilitation and include communication strategies use, assistive listening devices, auditory training and counseling. She has taught and practiced in these areas for over 25 years. Currently, she is finishing a term as Coordinator of the ASHA Special Interest Group 7 Aural Rehabilitation and Its Instrumentation. While at her previous position in Virginia, she served a term as Vice President of Audiology for the Speech and Hearing Association of Virginia.

Megan McGrath

Student Representative

Megan McGrath is a current MA graduate student at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro studying Communication Sciences and Disorders. In Fall 2019 she was appointed a two-year position as Student Representative on the North Carolina Speech Hearing and Language Association (NCSHLA) Board of Directors. She graduated from The Pennsylvania State University Spring 2019 with a BS degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders. She participated in two years of research at The Pennsylvania State University examining how musical performance and improvisation can be used as a novel therapy technique to promote social communication skills in both typically developing and special needs populations alongside her professor Dr. Krista Wilkinson, Ph.D. McGrath is in preparation of her first publication concerning this research and hopes to continue this work in the future.

Lena Myers

Student Representative

Lena is a current graduate student at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She also received her undergraduate degree a semester early from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in December 2018, graduating with summa cum laude honors. She started graduate school in the fall of 2019 with an expected graduation date of May 2021. She is interested in working with adult populations in a variety of settings, especially medical. Lena recently got married in October 2018 and resides in the small town of Harmony, NC. She enjoys her spare time in the outdoors hunting and fishing, visiting the mountains. She also enjoys spending time with her three dogs: Diesel the Weimaraner, Gretel the German Shepherd, and Woody the Miniature Dachshund.

Beth Fisher, M.Ed, MBA, CCC-SLP

VP of Finance

Beth Fisher M.Ed, MBA, CCC-SLP currently works as a Performance Improvement Advisor at Wake Forest Baptist Health. Prior to that she was the Clinical Director at the Cheshire Center, a pediatric private practice in the NC Triad area. Beth worked at the Cheshire Center for more than 10 years, providing early intervention services, supervision of clinical fellows, and general support and management of the clinical staff. She has seen NCSHLA engage in important advocacy efforts, provide quality continuing education to SLPs and AUDs in North Carolina, and keep members informed of issues impacting the field. Beth has been honored to serve on the NCSHLA Finance Committee for the past 3 years and is looking forward to the opportunity to serve the association and support its mission as VP of Finance.

Erica Altamirano, MS, CCC-SLP

VP of Public Relations and University Affairs

Erica Altamirano completed her undergraduate and graduate studies at Appalachian State University and she is a doctoral student at Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions. She has worked in the North Carolina public school system and clinical settings since 2014. She currently serves the NCSHLA committee of Public Relations and University Affairs. She has provided services to all age ranges with special interests in complex communication needs, autism, AAC, and early intervention. She currently resides in Charlotte, NC with her husband.