Our Staff

Did you know?

Speech-Language Pathologists have extensive education and training!


120 credits for a Bachelor's degree as a pre-requisite to a required Master's program


A Master's program that includes 38 or more credits


400 Clinical practicing hours


9 month full time employment with direct supervision


State License


Certification through the American Speech-Language Hearing Association ( ASHA )


At least 30 continuing education credit hours every 2 years



Loren began her career as a speech-language pathologist after receiving her Bachelors and Masters Degrees at Towson University. While at Towson, Loren graduated Magna Cum Laude in her undergraduate studies and was a recipient
of the Faculty Award for Graduate Academic Excellence in graduate school. She has been a practicing speech-language pathologist for over 17 years. Loren has experience in evaluating and treating children and adults with varying diagnoses and disorders in a variety of settings. However, she has a passion for pediatrics and has chosen to specialize in childhood disorders and delays. She has received specialized training in Hanen’s “It Takes Two To Talk,” PROMPT and PECS. Loren holds her Certificate of Clinical Competency from the American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA) and is licensed to practice in the state of Maryland. She has received an ASHA Award for Continuing Education (ACE) in 2008 and 2017 for her commitment to lifelong learning by attending above and beyond the required hours of course work
to further her expertise within the field of speech-language pathology. She also subscribes to The Informed SLP to stay up to date monthly on the most recent research to implement into her evaluations and treatment sessions.



Bethany’s passion for speech language pathology started early in her life. While working on her undergraduate degree at Bloomsburg University, she was a member of the Bloomsburg University Honors Program. She graduated Magna Cum Laude with a bachelor’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology. Additionally, she received a minor in Psychology at Bloomsburg University and was invited to be a member of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi. She was selected to present her own Honors research study related to the field of speech language pathology at the National Collegiate Honors Council conference in Chicago in 2015. She went on to earn a master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology at Towson University. During graduate school and beyond, she has worked in diverse settings to treat and evaluate both children and adult clients with widespread diagnoses and disorders. Currently, Bethany services students for our local public school contracts and also sees clients in our clinic.

Lisa Jurkiewicz, M.S. CCC-SLP


Lisa began her career as an RN/BSN, working at Johns Hopkins NICU and later as a case manager. After deciding on a career change, Lisa graduated from Loyola University in 2015 with her Masters in Speech-Language Pathology (SLP). Following graduation, Lisa completed her CF with a pediatric private practice in Stafford, Va. This first SLP position solidified her love of pediatric feeding, as she quickly moved from training as a feeding therapist to becoming the practice’s lead feeding therapist due to changes in staffing. Lisa then transitioned to jobs in the Fairfax County school system and Early Intervention for the Infant Toddler Connection of Fairfax-Falls Church. Currently, Lisa works PRN at Inova Fairfax Hospital in their outpatient rehabilitation department seeing both pediatric speech and feeding patients. She has worked there since 2017. On a personal note, Lisa resides in Severna Park and enjoys spending time with her husband and two (very busy) toddlers. In her “spare” time, she enjoys riding the Peloton and reading her Kindle



lona Benderson graduated with a Bachelors and Masters degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Towson University. She received her Bachelor’s degree as a Magna Cum Laude in 2007 and Master’s degree in 2009. Ilona has over 10 years of experience as a Speech-Language Pathologist. In her practice, Ilona has evaluated and treated both children and adults with a variety of diagnoses in a multitude of settings. Yet, her true passion lies in working with the pediatric population. Ilona holds her Certificate of Clinical Competency from the American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA) as well as her Maryland state license. Currently, Ilona services clients in our clinic and at various sites convenient for our clients, including home, school, and daycare.



Julia’s passion for language and communication began early in life when she learned English as her second language at the age of 8. This experience emphasized the importance of language and communication. She earned her undergraduate degree in Hearing and Speech Sciences at the University of Maryland and her master’s of science in Speech Language Pathology at Loyola University of Maryland in 2014. Julia has experience working with clients of all ages (infants-geriatric) in a variety of settings. Currently Julia services students in local public schools as well as our clinic.



Yuliya practiced speech language pathology full time since 2002, when she earned her Master’s Degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Towson University in 2002. Prior to that, Yuliya earned Bachelor’s Degree in Hearing and Speech Sciences at the University of Maryland College Park in 1999. Yuliya is licensed in the state of Maryland, a member of American Speech Hearing Association, and an affiliate of its Telepractice group. Yuliya is registered with ASHA as a bilingual therapist fluent in Russian language. Over the 18 years of clinical work, Yuliya practiced speech language pathology serving clients of all ages in a variety of settings in Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area, which included rehabilitation centers, home health care, pediatric community-based services, public schools, charter schools, and private schools. Yuliya joined the team of Strides Speech therapists in the summer of 2020. Yuliya is an experienced clinician in treatment of developmental and acquired speech-language disorders and swallowing. Her specialty training includes ABA, PECS, PROMPT, E-stim for dysphagia, and Myofascial Release Therapy for dysphagia.



Cassidy Suggett is licensed to practice in the state of Maryland and is a member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). She received Master of Science in Communicative Sciences and Disorders from New York University in 2019. and received a bachelor’s degree in Communicative Sciences and Disorders with a minor in Spanish from University of Redlands in 2017. Throughout her clinical career, Cassidy has evaluated and treated a variety of pediatric and adult clients across a diverse group of settings. She has also traveled abroad to provide speech and language services to students in Guatemala. She has a passion for working with pediatric clients and has notable experience with treatment of autism spectrum disorders, developmental disabilities, speech sound disorders, and specific language impairments. She has specialized training in augmentative and alternative communication. (AAC) devices, treatment of voice disorders, and treatment of fluency disorders. Cassidy strives to help others express themselves and embrace the power of communication.



Tara Geller is from Ellicott City, Maryland. She received her Bachelor’s degree with Highest Honors from the University of Virginia and her Master’s degree from the University of Maryland. Tara is licensed by the state of Maryland and has her Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech Language Hearing Association. She has been working as a Speech-Language Pathologist for over 29 years, primarily in early intervention programs (birth – 6 years) in local schools and Head Start centers. In her free time, Tara enjoys hiking, practicing (and teaching) yoga, reading, and cooking.



Heidi graduated from the College of Saint Rose with a Master of Science in Education. Since graduating, she has worked as a traveling speech-language pathologist in varying states including Georgia, Alaska, and Maryland. During her undergraduate studies at the University of Pittsburgh, she received a certification in the area of American Sign Language (ASL). She has clinical experience in a variety of settings including public schools, outpatient clinics, articulation camps, fluency clinics, feeding clinics, and centers for adults with developmental disabilities. Heidi has performed diagnosis and treatment in the areas of fluency, autism spectrum disorder, receptive and expressive language, cognitive disorders, pragmatic language, articulation, and augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). She has specialized experience working with autism spectrum disorders in an applied behavior analysis (ABA) one-on-one setting. She is extremely excited to be joining the team and cannot wait for the opportunity to work with you and your child!



Maya’s passion for speech pathology started after volunteering at a summer camp organized by a local speech clinic. As a result of this experience, she worked in a private practice for further exposure where she decided that this was her calling in life. Maya then attended George Washington University and completed her Master’s degree in Speech Language Pathology. Through the years she has gained experience working in different settings to evaluate and treat both children and adults with various disorders. She currently services clients in our clinic as well as in local public schools.



Hi. I’m Karen Knight. I am excited to join the Strides Speech Therapy team! I am a former elementary school teacher and a mom of 3 kids, 2 of whom currently receive speech therapy. I have 10 years of experience teaching in both MD and TX. I have taught First, Second, and Third grade, as a General Educator as well as a Special Educator. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and a Master‘s Degree in Special Education. I am also National Board Certified in Early Childhood Generalist. I enjoy CrossFit, reading, and snowboarding when I get the chance. I also love Disney! I’m looking forward to assisting the team with administrative needs as we move forward.

Every child is gifted. They just unwrap their packages at different times.


Spread the light. Be the lighthouse.


Raise your words, not your voice. It's the rain that grows the flowers, not the thunder.


Every child is a different kind of flower and altogether make this world a beautiful garden.


One of the hardest things in life is having words you can't utter.

-James Earl Jones

Ther is no greater agony than hearing an untold story inside you.

-Maya Angelou