Nidhi Mahendra, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
Associate Professor and Department Chair
- (510) 885-3182
- TR 653B
- Home Page:
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My primary research interests are in the cognitive and communicative changes that result from healthy aging, mild cognitive impairment (MCI), dementia and aphasia. My research aims to precisely document spared and impaired language and memory abilities in older adults, persons with MCI, dementia and aphasia. A related goal of this research is to better design clinical interventions that promote cognitive and communicative wellness and quality of life of persons with dementia and aphasia. As a bilingual speech-language pathologist, I am passionate about multicultural issues affecting speech-language pathology service delivery. I currently teach classes on neurocognitive disorders, dementia and multicultural issues.
My research interests are in two broad areas:
I. Cognition in aging and dementia
Topics of interest: Cognition and linguistic communication in healthy adults, adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), dementia and aphasia; use of everyday technology to deliver evidence-based interventions; novel approaches to assessment
My research has been funded internally by California State University East Bay and externally by the Alzheimer's Association (www.alz.org), and the Masonic Homes of California (www.masonichome.org). Current work focuses on:
- Variables influencing episodic memory performance in healthy older adults and persons with dementia
- Reading comprehension in healthy aging, mild cognitive impairment and dementia
- Use of music as a therapeutic tool to improve communication and quality of life for persons with dementia and aphasia
- Efficacy of service learning paradigms for better training speech-language pathology students to competently serve adults with neurogenic speech and language disorders
- Feasibility and outcomes of computer-assisted cognitive interventions for training fact and procedures in persons with Alzheimer's disease, vascular dementia, and aphasia
To learn more about my research lab, visit us at the Aging and Cognition Research Clinic (ACRC)
- II. Multicultural issues in speech-language pathology and audiology
- Topics of interest: Bilingualism, health disparities, ethnogeriatrics, minority clients' perceptions of encounters with speech language pathologists, barriers to health care access
My research has been funded internally by California State University East Bay and externally by the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (www.asha.org) and The California Wellness Foundation (www.tcwf.org). Current work focuses on:
- Barriers faced by minority clients accessing speech-language pathology and audiology services
- Culturally competent and evidence-based assessment and treatment of adults with neurogenic language disorders and dysphagia
- High-impact practices for teaching about cultural and linguistic diversity and its relevance for health care practitioners
- MIni-Fellowship in Ethnogeriatrics, Stanford University School of Medicine
- Ph.D. in Speech Language Hearing Sciences, University of Arizona
Not teaching this quarter.
Select Publications (2007-2013) * denotes student author
Mahendra, N., & Hopper, T. (2011). Dementia and related cognitive disorders. In I. Papathanasiou, P. Coppens, C. Potagas (Eds). Aphasia and Related Neurogenic Communication Disorders. Boston, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.
Bayles, K. A., Mahendra, N., Hopper, T. (2011). Dementia. In K. Hilari and N. Botting (Eds.) The impact of communication disability across the lifespan. London, UK: J & R Press.
Mahendra, N. (2011). Overview of aphasia and approaches to aphasia intervention. In R. Koul (Ed.) Augmentative and alternative communication for adults with aphasia. London, UK: Emerald Publishers.
Mahendra, N. (2010). An adult with dementia of the Alzheimer type: A roadmap for screening, assessment, and cognitive-linguistic interventions. In S. Chabon & E. Cohn (Eds). The Communication Disorders Casebook: Learning by Example. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.
Select Articles (2007-2013)
Mahendra, N., Fremont, K.*, & Dionne, E.* (2013). Teaching future providers about dementia: The impact of service learning. Seminars in Speech and Language, 34(1), 5-17.
Mahendra, N. (2012). The logopenic variant of primary progressive aphasia: Effects on linguistic communication. Perspectives on Gerontology, 17(2), 50-59.
Mahendra, N. (2012). South Asian stories: First hand perspectives on barriers to accessing speech language pathology services. Perspectives on Communication Disorders in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Populations, 19(1), 29-36.
Mahendra, N., Scullion, A.*, Hamerschlag, C.* (2011). Cognitive-linguistic interventions for persons with dementia: A practitioner’s guide to three evidence-based techniques. Topics in Geriatric Rehabilitation, 27:4 , 1-12.
Mahendra, N. (2011). Computer-assisted spaced retrieval training of faces and names for persons with dementia. Nonpharmacological Therapies for Dementia, Volume 3.
Mahendra, N., Engineer, N.* (2009). Effects of vascular dementia on cognition and linguistic communication: A case study. Perspectives - ASHA Special Interest Division 2: Neurogenic and Neurophysiologic Disorders, 19(4), 106-115.
Zientz, J., Rackley, A., Chapman, S. B., Hopper, T., Mahendra, N., Cleary, S. (2007). Evidence-based practice recommendations for dementia: Caregiver-administered active cognitive stimulation for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease. Journal of Medical Speech Language Pathology, 15 (3), liii-liv.
Zientz, J., Rackley, A., Chapman, S. B., Hopper, T., Mahendra, N., Kim, E., & Cleary, S. (2007). Evidence-based practice recommendations for dementia: Educating caregivers about Alzheimer’s disease and training communication strategies. Journal of Medical Speech Language Pathology, 15 (1), liii-lxiv.
Mahendra, N., Arkin, S., Kim, E. (2007). Individuals with Alzheimer’s disease achieve implicit and explicit learning: Previous success replicated with different stimuli. Aphasiology, 21(2), 187-207.
Select Presentations (2011-2013)
Mahendra, N. (April 2013). Brain Fitness 101: Protecting your Noggin, LEEP Lunch-n-Learn Series, California State University East Bay.
Mahendra, N. (May 2012). Adult neurogenic language disorders: Preparing speech language pathologists to work with South Asian clients. 60-minute webinar, San Jose State University (part of OSEP Grant Curriculum).
Mahendra, N. (September 2010). Evidence-based intervention for dementia management. Live Web Seminar, American Speech Language Hearing Association.
Select Peer-reviewed Presentations * denotes student author
Jones, B., Bernstein-Ellis, E., Mahendra, N., Rose, M. (November 2013). Aphasia Choirs Go Global: An international survey comparing structure, goals, and outcome measures. Poster, 2013 ASHA Convention, Chicago.
Mahendra, N. (March 2013). Preparing providers to serve diverse seniors: Combining multiculturalism, evidence-based practice and service learning. Platform presentation, 8th Diversity Rx Conference, Oakland, California.
Mahendra, N. (February 2013). Recall of short stories versus routes by persons with dementia. Poster presentation, International Neuropsychological Society Meeting, Waikoloa, Hawaii.
Mahendra, N., Fremont, K.*, Dionne, E.* (February 2013). Making music: Quantifying communicative and affective outcomes of a music-based intervention for residents with dementia. Poster presentation, International Neuropsychological Society Meeting, Waikoloa, Hawaii.
Bayles, K.A., Mahendra, N., McCullough, K., & Tomoeda, C. (November 2012). Mild cognitive impairment: Definition, diagnosis, and treatment. 2-hour seminar, 2012 ASHA Convention, Atlanta.
Mahendra, N., Solomon, T.*, & Ludlow, L.* (November 2012). Story reading speed, recognition, and comprehension in aging and dementia. Technical research session, 2012 ASHA Convention, Atlanta.
Mahendra, N. (October 2012). The logopenic variant of primary progressive aphasia: Effects on language and cognition over four years. Poster presentation, Academy of Aphasia 50th Meeting, San Francisco.
Mahendra, N., Bernstein-Ellis, E. (April 2012). Promoting cognitive and communicative wellness among persons with dementia and aphasia. 1st Conference on Healthy Aging in Multicultural Populations (CHAMP), San Jose.
Mahendra, N., Fremont, K.*, Dionne, E.*, & Heckenberg, J.* (April 2012). Teaching future providers about aging and dementia: Combining reflective practice, multiculturalism, and service learning. 1st Conference on Healthy Aging in Multicultural Populations (CHAMP), San Jose.
Mahendra, N., & Hamerschlag, C.* (March 2012). Three types of dementia: Case studies for clinicians. Mini-seminar, Annual Convention of the California Speech Language Hearing Association (CSHA), San Jose.
Mahendra, N. (November 2011). Computer-assisted video-enhanced spaced retrieval training (CAVE-SRT) for persons with dementia. Technical Paper, Annual Convention of the American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA), San Diego.
Scullion, A.*, Mahendra, N., Ituarte, S. (November 2011). Training future first responders about aphasia: Knowledge is power. Poster presentation, Annual ASHA Convention, San Diego.
Mahendra, N., Hamerschlag, C.*, Scullion, A.*, Cooper, S.*, & La, J.* (March 2011). Barriers influencing minority clients’ access to speech language pathology services. Platform presentation, Annual CSHA Convention, Los Angeles.
2012-2015 Training Grant, The California Wellness Foundation.
Title: Project R2M2 - Recruitment, Retention, and Mentoring of Minority Students: Diversifying the Speech Pathology Pipeline (PI: Nidhi Mahendra, Co-Investigator: Shubha Kashinath)
2013-2014 Research and Scholarly Creative Activity (RSCA) Grant, CSUEB
Title: Advancing Diversity in Aging Research
2012-2013 Research and Scholarly Creative Activity (RSCA) Grant, CSUEB
Title: No Community Left Behind: Developing multilingual resources about aphasia.
Service: International Level
2008-Present: Member, Editorial Board, Nonpharmacological Therapies for Dementia (Scientific journal published by Nova Publishers)
Service: National Level
2010-Present: Member, Multicultural Task Force (MTF), National Aphasia Association
2012: Member, ASHA Convention Program Committee (Language Disorders in Adults)
2008-2012: Member, Alzheimer’s Association Working Group, Benefits of Technology-Assisted Cognitive Exercise for Adults
2010: Member, ASHA Convention Program Committee (Multicultural Issues)
2001-2009: Member, ANCDS-ASHA Dementia Best Practice Guidelines Committee
2008: Member, ASHA Convention Program Committee (Language Disorders in Adults)
2008: Member, Planning Committee, ASHA Division 14 Research Conference on Cultural and Linguistic Diversity Issues
2004-2008: Member, Advisory Board, Asian-Indian Caucus, ASHA
2005: Chair, Multicultural Issues Board, ASHA
2005: Member, ASHA Convention Program Committee (Multicultural Issues)
2002-2004: Member, ASHA Multicultural Issues Board
2001-2003: President, Asian-Indian Caucus, A Related Professional Organization of ASHA
Service: State and Local Level
2008-2010: Chair, Diversity Issues Committee, California Speech and Hearing Association
2006-2008: Member, Diversity Issues Committee, California Speech and Hearing Association
2012-2013: Member, South Asian Healthy Aging Initiative (SAHAI)
2012, 2013: Planner and Facilitator, Brain Awareness Week activities, James Leitch Elementary School, Fremont.
2012: Presenter, Therapeutic use of music for persons with dementia (Staff Inservice), Masonic Home for Adults
2011-2012: Instructor, First-grade Math Labs, James Leitch Elementary School, Fremont
2007: Presenter, Maintaining cognitive and communicative wellness, Masonic Home for Adults
2006: Presenter, Maintaining cognitive and communicative wellness, Alma Via Care Facility
Service: University Level
2013-Present: Advisory Board Member, Board of Directors, Center for Student Research, CSUEB
2012-Present: Invited Participant, Instructional Programs Task Group, CSUEB Initiative on Program Prioritization: Planning for Distinction.
2009-2012: Member, CSUEB Institutional Review Board (second term)
2010-2011: Member, Committee on Research (CR)
2007-2009: Elected Member, CSUEB Faculty Hearing Panel
2006-2009: Member, CSUEB Institutional Review Board
Service: Department Level
2012-Present: Department Chair, Communicative Sciences and Disorders
2010 – 2013: CSUEB Chapter Advisor, National Student Speech Language Hearing Association
2011-2012: Co-Chair, Tenure Track Search Committee
2010-2011: Co-director, Aphasia Treatment Program
2009-2010: Associate Department Chair, Communicative Sciences & Disorders (January-June)
2008-2011: Standing Member, Masters Comprehensive Exam Committee
2007-2011: Member, Graduate Admissions Review Committee
2007-2008, 2008-2009: Member, Tenure Track Search Committee
Service as Reviewer of Policy Documents, Manuscripts and Grants
Policy Document Reviewer
Invited Reviewer, Alzheimer’s Association Practice Recommendations for In-Home Care of Persons with Dementia
Invited Reviewer, Alzheimer’s Association Policy Brief on the Benefits of Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy, and Physical Therapy for Persons with Dementia
Invited Reviewer, ASHA Documentation Template on Cognitive-Communication
Adhoc Reviewer for Journals
American Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias, American Journal of Speech Language Pathology, Aphasiology, Clinical Gerontologist
International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders, Journal of Medical Speech Language Pathology, Journal of Speech Language Hearing Research
Nonpharmacological Therapies for Dementia
Alzheimer’s Association (2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014)
American Speech Language Hearing Association (2005)
2012: Recipient, Certificate of Recognition for Significant Contribution to Multicultural Affairs, American Speech Language Hearing Association
2006: Recipient, American Journal of Speech Language Pathology Editor's Award