Dr. Mills’s research program employs mixed methods to examine the cognitive, social, and linguistic resources that school-age African American children draw upon to narrate, or tell stories. She directs the Child Language Ability Lab which is currently engaged in projects examining narrative assessment and dialectal code-switching between African American English and Mainstream American English. Dr. Mills teaches her students about language development, language variation, and research methods in communication sciences and disorders. She believes that her utmost vocation, or calling, is to help humans thrive. In addition to her work, Dr. Mills loves being on her couch, cooking, hiking, listening to music, playing with new ideas, reading, spending time with friends and family, and thrift shopping.
- Postdoctoral Fellow, Waisman Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI
- Ph.D., Speech and Hearing Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Champaign, IL
- M.A., Speech and Hearing Science, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
- B.S., Speech and Hearing Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Champaign, IL
- Research and Critical Thinking (COMD 6261)
- Special Topics: Communication Screening and Community Engagement (COMD 3396)
- Language Development (2339)
- African American English
- Educational disparities
- Narrative assessment
- School-age children
(past 5 years)
- 2020 University of Houston – Women of Color Stimulus Research Grant, Assessing Black Students’ Narrative Language: Emic & Etic Perceptions, Role: Principal Investigator
- 2019 University of Houston – Women of Color Stimulus Research Grant, An Examination of Speech Disfluencies in Bidialectal Children: A Preliminary Study, Role: Co-Principal Investigator
(for full list of publications, see CV and Google Scholar profile)
- Mills, M. T., Moore, L. C., Chang, R., Kim, S., & Frick, B. (accepted). Perceptions of Black children’s narrative language: A mixed-methods study. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools.
- Mills, M. T., Mahurin-Smith, J., & Steele, S. C. (2017). Does rare vocabulary use distinguish giftedness from typical development? A study of school-age African American narrators. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 26, 511-523.
- Mills, M. T., & Fox, M. (2016). Language variation and theory of mind in typical development: An exploratory study of school-age African American narrators. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 25, 426-440.
- Mills, M. T. (2015). The effects of visual stimuli on the spoken narrative performance of school-age African American children. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 46, 337-351.
- Mills, M. T. (2015). Narrative performance of gifted African American school-aged children from low-income backgrounds. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 24, 36-46.
- Awardee, Academic Women in Leadership Program, University of Houston, 2020
- Awardee, Visit to DC: NIH and the Hill, Division of Research, University of Houston, 2020
- Awardee, Society for Research in Child Development Ethnic and Racial Issues Committee’s Inaugural National Institutes of Health Grant-writing Bootcamp, 2017
- Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, Guest Editor, 2019-present
- Optimizing Health Outcomes: Health Literacy, Communication & Public Health Initiatives, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, Committee Member 2020
- Symposium for Research in Child Language Disorders, External Advisory Committee Member, 2017-present