Assistant Professor
School of Health Professions
Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders
Office: 2124 CHS Building 2
Email: sszynkie@samford.edu
Phone: 205-726-4579

Sarah Szynkiewicz joined Samford University in 2020 as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders. Dr. Szynkiewicz holds a research Doctor of Philosophy in Communication Sciences and Disorders, as well as a clinical Master of Science in Speech-Language-Pathology. In addition, Dr. Szynkiewicz is an American Speech-Language-Hearing Association certified Speech-Language Pathologist and a Full Member of Dysphagia Research Society. Her primary areas of interest are dysphagia (swallowing impairments) in pediatrics and adults. Dr. Szynkiewicz’s current projects include examining approaches to enhance dysphagia rehabilitative exercise, including the use of motor imagery exercise. Dr. Szynkiewicz is a trained diagnostician using FEES (Fiberoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing) and VFSS (Videofluoroscopic Swallowing Study).

Degrees and Certifications

  • Ph.D., James Madison University
  • M.S., James Madison University
  • B.A., University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill

Expertise

  • Swallowing disorders

Recent Publications

  • Szynkiewicz, S. H., Kamarunas, E., Drulia, T., Nobriga, C. V., & O’Donoghue, C. R. (2020). A randomized controlled trial comparing physical and mental lingual exercise for healthy older adults. Dysphagia. Online ahead of print. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00455-020-10164-5
  • Szynkiewicz, S. H., Nobriga, C. V., Cheung, A., Khoury, L., Piven, M., & Quibin, K. (2020). Mental practice using motor imagery in dysphagia rehabilitation: A survey of practicing Speech-Language Pathologists. Seminars in Speech and Language. Online ahead of print. https://doi.org/10.1055/s-0040-1709204
  • Szynkiewicz, S. H., Nobriga, C. V., O’Donoghue, C. R., Becerra, B. J., & LaForge, G. (2019). Motor imagery practice and increased tongue strength: A case series feasibility report. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 62(6), 1676-1684. https://doi.org/10.1044/2019_JSLHR-S-18-0128
  • O’Donoghue, C. R., & Hegyi, S. E. (2018). Children with acquired language disorders. In V. A. Reed (Ed.), An introduction to children with language disorders (pp. 340-357). Pearson.
  • Szynkiewicz, S. H., Mulheren, R. W., Palmore, K. W., O’Donoghue, C. R., & Ludlow, C. L. (2016). Using devices to upregulate nonnutritive swallowing in typically developing infants. Journal of Applied Physiology (Bethesda, Md.: 1985), 121(4), 831-837. https://doi.org/10.1152/japplphysiol.00797.2015

Recent Presentations

  • Kamarunas, E., Szynkiewicz, S. H., Drulia, T., & Griffin, L. (2020). Cortical activation changes driven by mental practice of motor imagery in a swallow-related tasks. Paper presented orally (virtually) at the Dysphagia Research Society annual meeting, San Juan, Puerto Rico.
  • Szynkiewicz, S. H., Kamarunas, E., Drulia, T., Nobriga, C., Griffin, L., & O’Donoghue, C. (2019). Enhancing effectiveness of active tongue strengthening exercise using mental practice. Paper presented orally at the Dysphagia Research Society annual meeting, San Diego, CA.
  • Khoury, L., Piven, M., Szynkiewicz, S. H., & Nobriga, C. V. (2019). Motor imagery treatment approach in dysphagia: A survey of practicing SLPs. Mentored undergraduate student oral presentation at the annual convention of the American-Speech-Language-Hearing Association, Orlando, FL.
  • White, J., O’Donoghue, C. R., Szynkiewicz, S. H., & Ireland, M. (2019). Dysphagia management by the school-based SLP: A model of continuing education in Virginia. Paper presented orally at the annual convention of the American-Speech-Language-Hearing Association, Orlando, FL.
  • Szynkiewicz, S. H., Nobriga, C., O’Donoghue, C. R., & Johnson, E. (2017). Mental practice of tongue strengthening exercise: Pilot study in older, healthy adults. Technical research session presented orally at the annual convention of the American-Speech-Language-Hearing Association, Los Angeles, CA.

Research Areas

  • Swallowing disorders, swallowing rehabilitation, mental practice using motor imagery, tongue strengthening exercise

Involvement/Professional Societies

  • American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
  • Dysphagia Research Society

Awards and Honors

  • Encompass Therapy Grant Award, 2020