Kristofer Brock, assistant professor of human communication studies, brings his enthusiasm for teaching to the campus community this fall. The scholar’s research interests are in technology-based augmentative and alternative communication devices to enhance the communications ability of individuals who have minimal to no functional speech.
Brock received a doctorate in communication sciences and disorders from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, and master’s and bachelor’s degrees in speech-language-pathology from the University of the Pacific.
Why did you pursue the opportunity to join the Titan community?
As a California native, I wanted to come to Cal State Fullerton because it was time to come back home.
What do you most look forward to now that you’re here?
I’m looking forward to meeting other professionals across campus. I’m also very excited to offer undergraduates an opportunity to engage in augmentative and alternative communication research.
What areas of continued scholarship and research are of particular interest to you?
My research focuses on enhancing the communicative competence of individuals who have little to no functional speech, such as children with autism and persons with aphasia who have suffered a stroke. Specifically, I focus on technology-based augmentative and alternative communication devices. An example would be the type of device used by Stephen Hawking. These devices include different interface designs that may facilitate communication or be detrimental to communication in social settings. Additionally, I investigate the effects of animation and video on the learning of verbs and prepositions in children with autism and adults with aphasia.
I also am interested in developing two interdisciplinary projects: Communicative disorders graduate students could train healthcare professional students at CSUF to facilitate communication using augmentative and alternative communication strategies in acute and rehab settings; and create an interdisciplinary assistive technology fair where faculty and students can teach other departments about the tools and devices used to help persons with disabilities be more independent. Examples include motorized scooters, modified bikes, communication devices and grasping tools.
What are some of your outside activities, hobbies or interests?
I am an avid basketball player looking for pick-up games. After those games, it’s nice to cool down at a local crafthouse or brewery restaurant. I also enjoy cooking Italian and Cajun/Creole cuisine, and my pasta sauce will knock your socks off.