Speech pathologists are clinicians with a master’s degree or PhD who specialize in evaluating and treating conditions related to communication. Speech pathologists at DVCC have additional specialized training in voice and swallowing disorders.
Singing voice specialists are speech pathologists with extensive background in singing and vocal pedagogy.
Leda Scearce, MM, MS, CCC-SLP is a performing voice specialist and the director of the Performing Voice Programs and Development for the Duke Voice Care Center at Duke University Medical Center. She serves as an adjunct assistant professor of the Practice of Music in the Duke University Department of Music.
As a voice therapist and singing voice specialist, Scearce combines her passion for helping people with voice disorders with her extensive background as a singer and voice teacher.
She holds the bachelor and master of music degrees in voice performance from Indiana University. Her performance experience includes appearances as leading soprano and soloist with opera companies, orchestras, and music festivals across the United States, and she maintains an active performance career.
A voice teacher for over twenty years, she has served on the faculties of seven universities and colleges. Scearce obtained an MS in speech-language pathology from Boston University, where she completed an internship in voice disorders at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary.
As a member of the Duke Voice Care Center team, she provides voice evaluation and rehabilitation therapy to singers, actors and other vocal performers with voice injuries.
Scearce is a frequent speaker on the topic of the singing voice at national and international voice conferences, including the American Academy of Otolaryngology, the Voice Foundation, the National Association of Teachers of Singing, the International Conference on the Physiology and Acoustics of Singing, and the McIver Lecture in Vocal Pedagogy.
She is a member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, the Voice Foundation and the National Association of Teachers of Singing.
Caroline Banka, MS, CCC-SLP, is a clinical speech-language pathologist in the Duke Voice Care Center at Duke University Medical Center.
Banka received her MS in speech-language pathology at University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. She has specialized in the management of voice disorders for over nine years. She has advanced training in the area of voice, including study at the Summer Vocology Institute at the National Center for Voice and Speech.
Her particular interest is occupational voice users -- that is, anyone for whom voice is an essential tool of the trade, including teachers, clergy, attorneys, and telemarketers. She frequently presents lectures on vocal health for this population.
Banka is a member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. She is also an avid choral singer and is a member of the Choral Society of Durham.
Hilary Bartholomew, MS, CCC-SLP is a clinical speech-language pathologist for the Duke Voice Care Center at Duke University Medical Center. Bartholomew received her BA in music and linguistics from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2005 and her MS in speech-language pathology from Vanderbilt University in 2007.
While in graduate school, she completed an externship at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, where her training focused on voice and swallowing disorders in cancer patients, including head and neck cancer patients.
She gained extensive knowledge in the area of voice while completing her clinical fellowship at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary in Boston.
Bartholomew has experience treating a variety of voice disorders, including tracheo-esophageal voice prosthesis management, pediatric voice, and vocal cord dysfunction. In addition, she is a co-instructor for a graduate level voice disorders course at UNC-Chapel Hill.
Bartholomew is a member of the American Speech-Language Hearing Association. She enjoys music, cooking, reading, and continually exploring potential interests and hobbies.
Gina Vess, MA, CCC-SLP, is a clinical associate in the School of Medicine and a speech-language pathologist for the Duke Voice Care Center at Duke University Medical Center where she also serves as the director of the clinical voice programs.
She is also a clinical instructor in the School of Medicine at UNC-Chapel Hill where she co-teaches a class on voice.
Vess received her BA from UNC-Chapel Hill and her masters degree in communication disorders from Appalachian State University. She has over 15 years experience working with people who have voice and swallowing disorders and head/neck cancer.
Her voice expertise is evaluating and treating people who have medically complex and multi-factorial voice conditions as well as the aging voice. She also specializes in voice restoration and prosthetic management via tracheo-esophageal speech after cancer of the larynx, and management of swallowing disorders.
Additionally, Vess is considered an expert in the area of paradoxical vocal cord dysfunction, chronic cough, and related irritable larynx conditions. She is a member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and the North Carolina Speech Language and Hearing Association.
Her personal interests include rock climbing, hiking, and cycling.
Emily Wolber, MEd, CCC-SLP, is a clinical speech-language pathologist for the Duke Voice Care Center.
Emily received her BA in vocal performance and speech and hearing science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2008 and her MEd in speech-language pathology from the University of Virginia in 2010.
During graduate school, Emily completed her final clinical practicum in speech-language pathology at Duke Voice Care Center, where she underwent extensive training in the diagnosis and treatment of voice disorders.
While Emily enjoys working with patients representing the full gamut of voice disorder populations, she holds special interest in rehabilitating the singing voice, spending time outside of DVCC on furthering her expertise in vocal performance and pedagogy.
Emily particularly enjoys opera, cooking, yoga, and travel.