Brandon Towle, is the Founder & Director of Camp Words Unspoken. He received his Associates Degree in Business Administration from Holyoke Community College. Brandon is employed by the United States Postal Service. Brandon intends to partner with Camp Words Unspoken Speech Pathologist, Gina Biskupic, as the Western Massachusetts Chapter Leader for the National Stuttering Association.
As a lifelong stutterer Brandon can easily relate to the challenges those face with dysfluent speech. Brandon would not be as fluent as he is today without a solid support system and hours of practice utilizing the strategies he has learned over the years. Brandon continues to redirect and channel his speech to help become a more fluent speaker.
Brandon over the years has held various leadership roles for both recreation and dysfluency camps. He enjoys playing basketball and golf in his free time. He currently resides in Westfield, MA.
Words From the Director....
“I believe through hard work and the use of various speech strategies you can make improvements in your fluency. Confidence and being comfortable with yourself are key factors that my program strives to bring out in each person. My staff and I will work closely with the campers to help reach their personal goals and to increase their level of confidence. We will assure that the campers keep busy in a fun-filled environment. My hope is that each camper leaves with a lifetime of memorable moments during their stay with Camp Words Unspoken!”
James McNaughton steps into the role of Executive Director at Camp Words Unspoken, excited to support Brandon in manifesting his vision of creating New England's first overnight camp for youths and teens that stutter. James is also the Founder and Director of Adventure In Adventure Out. Since 1995, AIAO has been facilitating its mission of connecting individuals more closely to nature, community, and self. Its client base is vast and includes schools, camps, colleges,& non-profits. The business has three tiers;Team building,Leadership Development, and Outdoor Adventures. James is also on the Executive committee of Temenos Retreat Center, a small off the grid retreat center in Shutesbury, MA. He presently lives in Shutesbury, with his wife Gayle, and has been a Pioneer Valley resident all of his life.
Sujini Ramachandar, PhD, CCC-SLP, is an assistant professor at Southern Connecticut State University. She received her Doctorate from University of Pittsburgh. Her research focuses on neurological differences (sensorimotor processing) associated with stuttering. She is currently completing her Board Certified Specialist- Fluency certification (BCS-F).
Before her transition to academia, she was a partner and chief financial officer of an itinerant speech language agency in Syracuse, NY. She has over 20 years of experience working with children and adults who stutter, providing parent and family education, and collaborating with other disciplines. In, addition to teaching and research, she continues to work with and adults who stutter by helping them improve their quality of life.
She is the Clinical Director of Camp Words Unspoken. Camp Unspoken is committed to providing a safe environment for children who stutter to develop friendships, build self-confidence, and hone communication and problem solving skills.
She is also the Director of Lotus Foundation, which focuses on providing quality rehabilitation services to underserved populations globally. Her hobbies include reading, cooking, movies, hiking, and biking.
Alida Engel, CCC-SLP, BCS-F, has 50 years of professional experience in Connecticut private and public schools, and in her private practice in New Haven, Connecticut. Alida is a Board Certified Specialist in Fluency Disorders (BCS-F), making her one of only 160 such practitioners in the US and Canada. To qualify, she has acquired a high level of clinical expertise in treating fluency disorders, possesses advanced knowledge, and has demonstrated a commitment to serving people with fluency disorders.
Alida currently works with children and adults. In addition to her stuttering specialization, she is a generalist, with broad experience in autism, voice, language, articulation, reading, accent reduction, and other communication concerns. Articles about and by her have appeared in the New York Times, the New Haven Register and more.
In her continuing effort to keep abreast of developments in stuttering research and treatment, Alida has participated in many programs and studied therapeutic approaches, including:
Alida loves improvisational dancing and is an owner of a yearly dance camp. She also loves baking, cooking, walking and cultivating bonsai trees– as well as being a speech and language pathologist!
Lourdes Ramos-Heinrichs, M.A, CCC-SLP, BCS-F, has been a certified speech and language pathologist for 28 years, and a fluency specialist for 16-years. She has worked in two large urban school districts, in California and Boston, since 1991, providing speech-language clinical services to school-age children.
Lourdes currently serves as CE Coordinator on the American Board of Fluency and Fluency Disorders (ABFFD). She has mentored numerous SLP colleagues through the processes of fluency specialization and has been a fluency consultant within the Boston Public School District. Throughout her career she has been teaching classes and supervising clinics on Fluency and Fluency Disorders in various settings including Northeastern University.
Lourdes enjoys engaging in all sports such as swimming, tennis, kayaking, biking, and hiking. She is a second year certified Ikebana practitioner and plays the ukulele for fun. Lourdes is glad to serve as the clinical co-director at Camp Words Unspoken.
Gina Biskupic, M.A., CCC-SLP, is the Director and Clinical Speech and Language Pathologist at Comprehensive Speech and Language Services (CSLS) in Westfield, MA. She provides evaluation and therapy services to children and young adults through her private practice. She is an independent evaluation contractor to local district special education departments. Gina partners with Camp Words Unspoken founder, Brandon Towle, as a Support Group Leader of the National Stuttering Association -Western Massachusetts chapter.
A 1991 Assumption College graduate with a B.A. in Social and Rehabilitation Services, Gina worked as a Case Manager for people with traumatic brain injuries in a community re-entry program. In 1996, she earned her M.A. in Communication Disorders-Speech and Language Pathology from University of Massachusetts-Amherst. Gina began her SLP career working with adults in rehabilitation and long-term care skilled nursing facilities. Several years later, she started working in Head Start programs and public schools from Pre-K to high school. She now works in private practice with over 23 years of speech and language experience. She has particular interest in the areas of stuttering, phonological process disorders, childhood apraxia of speech, language processing, executive function and memory, pragmatic language, caregiver education and social-emotional development.
Gina is an ASHA certified Speech and Language Pathologist. She holds professional licensure as an Academic Specialist Teacher in Speech, Language and Hearing Disorders from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and holds a license from the Massachusetts Division of Professional Licensure-Board of Speech, Language Pathology. Gina enjoys clinical supervision of SLPAs, interdisciplinary special education collaboration and mentoring those individuals interested in careers in speech and language pathology. She is passionate about her work with children and young adults at every age and stage. Gina strives to provide the best therapy in fun, goal-oriented and motivating sessions. She is excited to be a part of Camp Words Unspoken.
Jennifer Mackey, M.A., CCC-SLP, is a speech-language pathologist and Director of Clinical Education at the MGH Institute of Health Professions, where she works with graduate students in the Communication Sciences and Disorders Department. She has been an SLP for almost 25 years and specializes in pediatric speech and language disorders, including fluency, speech sound disorders, autism, and language disorders. Jennifer is also interested in the scholarship of supervision and mentorship.
She teaches the Early Intervention course and coordinates the Early Intervention Concentration at the MGH Institute. She is a member of the Higher Ed DPH Task Force and is also on the Massachusetts Early Intervention Consortium Conference Planning Committee. Jennifer enjoys reading, knitting, and going on outdoor hikes with her family.
Matt Didisheim brings an extensive background of leading teenagers to his role at CWU as Counselor-in-Training Director. He has led teens on backpacking trips in Alaska, along the Appalachian Trail in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, and through the Swiss Alps; he has also worked for several years in wilderness therapy with struggling teens in the back country of Utah, modeling life skills, leading meaningful activities, and facilitating therapeutic interventions.
In addition, he has worked with teens who stutter at a summer camp alongside Brandon, guiding older campers in developing leadership skills. Matt's goals at CWU are to help individuals who stutter understand more about their speech patterns, learn from each other, and to push through the negative feelings associated with their stutter to find self-confidence and self-acceptance. Matt stutters himself, and went through seven years of speech therapy as a teenager. He currently lives in Salt Lake City, Utah and is looking forward to camp!