Pumpki Lei Su

Pumpki Lei Su is an incoming postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorder at University of Delaware and a licensed speech-language pathologist. She received her PhD in Hearing and Speech Sciences from Vanderbilt University in 2020 and her Master of Science in Interdisciplinary Science in Neurodevelopmental Disorders from Vanderbilt University in 2018. She received her Bachelor of Science from Northwestern University in 2015, 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 and identify language impairment in children from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds

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