Faculty Spotlight: Susan Brehm

photo of Susan Brehm

  • professor and chair of the Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology
  • specializes in voice disorders of the upper airway
  • does research both on campus and at the Center for Pediatric Voice Disorders at Cincinnati Children's Hospital


"I have all of my degrees in Speech Pathology, including my doctorate degree, which I received from the University of Florida. My undergraduate and master's degrees, however, are from Miami, and I was excited to come back here to teach.

"I got into my field because I have a strong history of deaf culture in my family, and then when I was in high school, I did musical theater and was very interested in that aspect of it. I chose to specialize in voice disorders, including disorders of the upper airway, and I work with children who have vocal nodules."


"I currently teach Anatomy and Physiology of the Head and Neck, Neuroanatomy, and Speech and Hearing Science. I love teaching these fundamental courses and helping students understand how these will translate to the clinical work they'll do later in their careers.

"I really enjoy when students are able to make connections between courses that they take and how everything fits together. I love preparing students for their future career.

"I feel it is important to engage students by offering hands-on opportunities and experiences, so I try to keep current with what motivates students and how students learn."


"Most of my research focuses on children that have airway problems and/or voice disorders. Most of the research that I do is at Cincinnati Children's Hospital in the Center for Pediatric Voice Disorders, where I've been a clinical researcher for over ten years. We do assessment of those children and work on treatment outcomes.

"For example, we work with a lot of kids who were born prematurely and had to have an airway tube to assist with their breathing. Sometimes when a tube is placed for breathing, it disrupts some of the anatomy and can create issues in their later life, such as those related to voice quality.

"Here on campus, I work with both undergraduate and graduate students on research projects related to the assessment of older adults, college-aged students, and young children with these disorders. We often use video modeling to improve their assessment by showing our subjects a video of someone sustaining a vowel for as long as possible or gliding their voice up and down. By doing this, we might improve the efficiency and reliability of these assessments. We plan to extend the use of video modeling to voice therapy programs in the future.

"My research students all present at a research conference each year, and I also publish with some of my graduate students."

Outside the Classroom

"My kids keep me busy and motivated. There is never a dull moment!"

[August 2015]