Students walking through Bachelor Hall
Please Support Us!
The Department of Speech Pathology & Audiology offers both undergraduate and graduate degree programs.
Students become active participants in the on-site Miami University Speech & Hearing Clinic, where they learn clinical methods, observe speech and language evaluations, and eventually plan and implement therapy sessions.
Please help us fulfill our mission by making a gift.
Make a Gift
Email Us
Welcome from the Chair
Susan Brehm
Dear Friends and Alumni,
We are so pleased to reach out to all of you during this holiday season and share news about the Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology at Miami University. We have many exciting updates on opportunities for our students and on faculty and our alumni.
The Department remains committed to strong preparation for our undergraduate and graduate students. We currently have over 230 undergraduates in the program and 53 graduate students. In this newsletter, you will see the many research opportunities these students are involved in with our faculty. The Miami University Speech and Hearing Clinic remains active and our faculty and students are busy serving the communication needs of the community. We are so pleased to continue to have our undergraduates involved in our Clinic as well.
As you read through this newsletter, you will find links to our department website. We invite you to explore the website to learn more about what is happening in the department. We have highlighted a few alumni and we would love to provide more highlights in the future. Please send us your updates and pictures to We sincerely love to hear about what you have been doing.
We wish you a happy and healthy end to 2016 and best wishes for the New Year. If your plans bring you to Oxford in the near future, please do not hesitate to contact our department or just stop by to say hello.
Susan Baker Brehm
Professor and Department Chair
Miami University Alumna, BS ’97, and MA ’99
SPA Spotlights on Research
Highlighting the Importance of Evidence-Based Practice in Our Curriculum
Evidence Based Practice (EBP) is a course open to all graduate students in the Department. The Department has offered this course for over seven years and for the last four years has been completed with clinical mentors from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC). 
This academic year, Adjunct Faculty member and speech-language pathologist at CCHMC Katie Baker (B.S., ‘05; M.A. ‘08) is teaching the course, which is designed to ensure that students studying speech-language pathology demonstrate knowledge of processes used in research and of the integration of research principles into evidence based clinical practice.
Students learn how to ask strong and answerable questions about evidence, how to search the literature using inclusion/exclusion criteria, how to appraise evidence critically, and how to design, write, present and defend a strong and credible EBP study. Students are grouped and assigned a specific research topic. Students meet with their mentors throughout the semester while searching and critically appraising literature before writing a Best Evidence Statement (BESt) as a group. At the conclusion of the course a formal presentation is scheduled.
Isla Katz
EBP student Isla Katz MA ’16
"Now working in a school with a caseload of mostly children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, I often use the knowledge I gained during the EBP course even after graduation. Due to my relatively limited experience working with this population, I have been able to directly apply the research techniques used in the EBP class to inform my clinical decisions regarding treatment techniques in my own therapy."
Award winners Samantha Becker (3rd from the right) and Rita Kou (far right)
Two Undergraduate Students Receive Research Award
Seniors Rita Kou and Samantha Becker are 2016-2017 College of Arts and Science Dean’s Scholars working in Dr. Donna Scarborough's Pediatric Dysphagia Lab.
This competitive scholars program provides funding to students and their faculty members to conduct research and present their findings at regional and national conferences. Their current project is further developing a novel training cup that will assist children with dysphagia in a smoother transit from bottle drinking to open-cup drinking.
According to Samantha and Rita, “This training cup is a huge undertaking for Dr. Scarborough and her collaborator Dr. Bailey-VanKuren [Department of Mechanic and Manufacturing Engineering], and we hope, in the future, our contributions will help them in continuing the development of it. The cup is a novel design that the market really needs, and we cannot wait to see it progress.”
Master’s Thesis Students Completing Interdisciplinary Projects
Taylor Creech Maddie Flynn Kaitlyn Gilfert Audrey Walstrom
Four of our second year graduate students – (above, from left to right) Taylor Creech, Maddie Flynn, Kaitlyn Gilfert, and Audrey Walstrom – are currently working with their faculty advisors to complete a Master’s thesis project.
All of these students are completing projects that involve faculty from other disciplines including engineering, athletics, linguistics, and voice performance.
SPA Spotlights on Faculty
Aaron Shield
Dr. Shield Receives Teaching and Research Award from ASHA
Dr. Aaron Shield was recently awarded a prestigious Advancing Academic-Research Careers (AARC) Award from ASHA. The award amount is $5,000 over 18 months for junior faculty to work on both a teaching project and a research project with mentors.
Dr. Shield’s teaching mentor is Dr. Peter Jamieson of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. His research mentor is Dr. Karen Emmorey of San Diego State University, a world-renowned expert on what sign languages can reveal about the nature of human language, cognition, and the brain.
Dr. Emmorey will be mentoring Dr. Shield on a new research project investigating the language and cognitive development of bilingual children of deaf parents, known as KODAs (Kids of Deaf Adults). Dr. Shield will be studying KODAs with and without autism in order to better understand the effects of bimodal bilingualism on face processing, perspective-taking, and other social-cognitive skills. Dr. Emmorey will also be advising Dr. Shield in the development of the research protocol and collection of pilot data.
Kelly Knollman-Porter
New Roles for Faculty
We are pleased to announce that Dr. Kelly Knollman-Porter became an Assistant Professor in the Department at the beginning of this academic year.
Dr. Knollman-Porter earned her Bachelor of Science, Master of Arts, and her Doctorate of Philosophy from University of Cincinnati. She has published research in the areas of reading and auditory comprehension strategies and supports for individuals with acquired neuorological disorders. In addition, she directs the concussion management program at Miami University and has presented nationally and internationally on the neurocognitive and neurobehavioral impact of concussion. Dr. Knollman-Porter also directs the Miami University Stroke Support group where students work with individuals with aphasia to facilitate functional communication. Dr. Knollman-Porter has filled many important roles in the Department since 2007.
Renee Gottleibson
We are pleased to announce that Dr. Renee Gottliebson has recently become a Clinical Faculty member at Miami.
Dr. Gottliebson earned her Bachelor of Arts from Loyola University New Orleans, her Master of Arts from Northwestern University and her Doctorate of Philosophy from University of Cincinnati. She is featured on several publications on the topic of voice disorders and currently serves as externship coordination and Adult Day Services coordinator at Miami. Dr. Gottliebson has filled many important roles in the Department since 2012.
Faculty Updates Mission Statement
Over the past six months the Department faculty updated the graduate program mission statement and strategic plan for 2016-2021. The current mission statement for the Department is:
“The Miami University Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology (SPA) is committed to helping students develop superior critical thinking and clinical skills through an integration of academic information with research and clinical experience. These clinical skills will also serve the speech, language, swallowing, and hearing needs of the individuals in our community.”
Please see the detailed strategic plan on our website. We are always appreciative of feedback from our alumni as the program strives to provide the most current and comprehensive training for our students.
Faculty Recognized for Teaching Excellence
We are pleased to announce that Dr. Donna Scarborough and Dr. Kelly Knollman-Porter are listed among Miami University’s “Top 100 Faculty and Staff” for the 2014-2015 academic year.
This is the third year in a row Dr. Knollman-Porter has made this honored list and the fourth year in a row for Dr. Scarborough.
The list is established by the Center for the Enhancement of Learning, Teaching, and University Assessment based on student feedback upon graduation about teachers who greatly impacted their lives. This recognition reflects both Dr. Scarborough and Dr. Knollman-Porter’s commitment to their students’ growth and success, both academically and personally.
Victoria Xidas, Marisa Policicchio, and Katie Duffy
ASHA award winner Marisa Policicchio is pictured (center) with co-authors and current graduate students Victoria Xidas (left) and Katie Duffy (right).
SPA Spotlights on Alumni
Alumna Receives ASHA Award
Marisa Policicchio (M.A.’16) received the SPARC Award (Students Preparing for Academic and Research Careers) given through the American Speech Language Hearing Association.
The SPARC award involves completing both a teaching project and a research project. For her teaching project, she developed an online assignment and a grading rubric for students in Dr. Susan Baker Brehm’s Speech and Hearing Science course.
Marisa’s research project is entitled The Use of Video Modeling for Home Practice of Voice. Her study examined the effect of using a video model during home practice of vocal exercises as compared to standard instruction in healthy participants. Marisa presented preliminary results before the Ohio Speech Language Hearing Association in March. Awards for the projects will be presented this November.
    Kelli Linder and Kristen Siskovich
    Alumni Receive First Place at OSHLA
    Kelli Linder (M.A. ‘16) and Kristen Siskovich (B.S. ‘14, M.A. ‘16) were awarded first place in the annual Ohio Speech Language Hearing Association (OSHLA) poster contest this year. The title of their poster was Biomechanical Measurement of Cup Drinking.
    The study examined aspects of open-cup drinking in typically developing children, such as flow rates and posture, which will provide researchers and clinicians foundational information regarding the relationship between body positioning and flow rate. Kristen is now working at the CI Pediatric Therapy Centers in Fitchburg, Wisconsin and Kelli is working for Aurora Public Schools in Aurora, Colorado.
    College of Arts and Science at Miami University
    2 Bachelor Hall 
    Oxford, OH 45056 
    powered by emma
    Subscribe to our email list.