Professor Mills’ 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. 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, 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: Code-Switching and Linguistic Justice (COMD 3396)
- Special Topics: Communication Screening and Community Engagement (COMD 3396)
- Language Development (COMD 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
(for full list of publications, see CV and Google Scholar profile)
- Mills, M. T., Moore, L. C., Chang, R., Kim, S., & Frick, B. (2021). Perceptions of Black children’s narrative language: A mixed-methods study. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 52, 84-99. Editor's Award. https://pubs.asha.org/doi/full/10.1044/2020_LSHSS-20-00014.
- 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.
- Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, Build and Broaden: Bridging Critical Research Collaborations for Faculty Success in Texas Minority-Serving Institutions, National Science Foundation (February 2021)
- 1,000 Inspiring Black Scientists in America, The Community of Scholars (January 2021) http://crosstalk.cell.com/blog/1000-inspiring-black-scientists-in-america
- Cougar Chairs Leadership Academy, University of Houston (Fall 2020-Spring 2021)
- Editor-in-Chief for Group 1 in Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups, 2023-2026
- Journal of Speech, Language, & Hearing Research, Editorial Board, January 2021-present
- Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, Guest Editor, 2019-2021