Pumpki Lei Su

Pumpki Lei Su is currently a doctoral candidate in the department of Hearing and Speech Sciences at Vanderbilt University, working with Drs. Jim Bodfish, Stephen Camarata, and Paul Yoder. She started her combined M.S./PhD program in Hearing and Speech Sciences at Vanderbilt in Fall 2015 and received her M.S. Summer 2018. Before here, she received her Bachelor of Science from Northwestern University, with double majors in Linguistics and Communication Sciences & Disorders and minor in French Language and Literature .

Her current research focuses on language impairments in children with developmental disabilities. Language deficits are common in children with developmental disabilities and tend to persist and affect long-term academic achievement, communication outcomes, social participation, and quality of life. She hopes to serve the field of speech-language pathology and improve long-term language outcomes in children with developmental disabilities through two lines of research:

  • Identifying malleable factors during parent-child interactions that improve the uptake and processing of language input in children with developmental disabilities
  • Developing culturally and linguistically sensitive approaches to assess language development, identify language impairment, and provide language intervention in bilingual children

Her work has been published in multiple journals, including Journal of Early Intervention, Autism & Developmental Language Impairments, Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, and American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology. She has also presented her work at national and international conferences.

Pumpki is originally from Shanghai, China but has lived in Shanghai, Evanston, Arles, Copenhagen, and Nashville. In her spare time, she likes to swing dance, play ukulele, bake and cook, travel, take and develop photos, and cuddle with her two cats.


Email: lei.su@vanderbilt.edu