Victoria McKenna

Victoria Sue McKenna , PHD

Assistant Professor

Health Sciences Building
3225 Eden Ave
Cincinnati, Ohio 45267

Professional Summary

Victoria McKenna, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, is an assistant professor in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders and secondary faculty in Biomedical Engineering and Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery. Dr. McKenna is the director of the Voice and Swallow Mechanics Lab at UC. She leads a multidisciplinary team of scientists that use clinical knowledge and engineering techniques to study sensorimotor function in individuals with voice and swallowing disorders. The goals of her research are to improve clinical care by developing technology and methods that enhance diagnostic efficiency. Her programmatic research draws from her clinical experience as a speech-language pathologist and her doctoral training in an engineering-based laboratory.

Please visit the Voice & Swallow Mechanics Lab website for more information:


Ph.D. : Boston University, Boston, MA, 2018 (Speech, Language, & Hearing Science)

M.S.: University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH, 2010 (Communication Sciences and Disorders)

B.S., B.A. : Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY, 2008 (Communication Sciences and Disorders; Psychology)

Research and Practice Interests

Compensations & interactions between the respiratory & laryngeal systems

Use of technology to improve diagnosis and treatment efficiency

Community and patient educational initiatives

Positions and Work Experience

2020 -To Present Assistant Professor, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH

2018 -2019 Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN

2017 -2018 Speech-Language Pathologist, Boston Medical Center, Boston, MA

2012 -2015 Speech-Language Pathologist, Rehab Resources, Cincinnati, OH

2010 -2012 Speech-Language Pathologist, RehabCare, Kittery, ME

Research Support

Grant: #2UL1TR001425-05A1 (NCATS). 07-15-2020 -03-31-2021 CCTST COVID-19 Critical Community Challenge Grant (Phases 1, 2, 3, & 4), "The impact of masks on speech acoustics and voice fatigue in healthcare workers: A pilot study during the COVID-19 pandemic." Role: PI- Victoria McKenna; $31,228.00. Completed

Grant: #NIRG Investigators:McKenna, Victoria 10-01-2020 -12-31-2021 American Speech Language and Hearing Foundation: Sensorimotor Reflexes in Hyperfunctional Voice Disorders. Role:PI $10,000.00 Completed

Grant: #R25093 Investigators:McKenna, Victoria 03-01-2021 -03-31-2023 UC URC-Faculty Scholars Res Awd-McKenna Role:PI $25,000.00 Completed

Grant: #2021 Advancing Academic-Research Career (AARC) Award Investigators:McKenna, Victoria 09-01-2021 -02-28-2023 American Speech Language and Hearing Foundation: Advancing culturally responsive teaching and research practices in the Speech sciences. Role:PI $5000.00 Completed

Grant: #2022 03-2022 -03-2023 Next Lives Here Urban Health Pathways Seed Grant: The relationship between vocal congruence and wellness in gender-diverse patients: Gathering evidence to increase access to medical care. Role:PI $17,000 Active

Grant: #2023 Investigators:McKenna 05-01-2023 -04-30-2025 Office of Research Collaborative Research Advancement Program: Pilot Grants; Development and pilot evaluation of a smartphone app for transgender voice training Role:Co-I $25,000 Active

Grant: #2023 Investigators:McKenna 05-01-2023 -03-31-2024 CCTST Symposia Award; Voice, Speech, & Technology Symposium Role:PI $3000 Active

Grant: #OSLHA-McKenna Investigators:McKenna, Victoria 08-08-2023 -12-01-2024 Ohio Speech Language Hearing Association Factors Influencing Automatic Speech Recognition Accuracies in African American English-Speaking Children Role:PI 1500.00 Hold Level:Non Profit

Grant: #1R21DC021537-01 Investigators:McKenna, Victoria; Novak, Vesna 12-01-2023 -11-30-2025 National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disor Improving the accessibility of transgender voice training with visual-acoustic biofeedback Role:Collaborator 427756.00 Awarded Level:Federal


Peer Reviewed Publications

McKenna, V.S., Kendall, C.L., Patel, T.H., Howell, R.J., & Gustin, R.L. (2021. ) Impact of face masks on speech acoustics and vocal effort in healthcare professionals .The Laryngoscope, , 1-7.

McKenna, V.S., Patel, T.H., Kendall, C.L., Howell, R.J., & Gustin, R.L. (2021. ) Voice acoustics and vocal effort in mask-wearing healthcare professionals: A comparison pre- and post-workday .Journal of Voice, ,

Vojtech, J.M., Cilento, D.D., Luong, A.T., Noordzij Jr., J.P., Diaz-Cadiz, M., Groll, M.D., Buckley, D.P., McKenna, V.S., Noordzij, J.P., & Stepp, C.E. (2021. ) Acoustic identification of the voicing boundary during intervocalic offsets and onsets based on vocal fold vibratory measures .Applied Sciences, , 11, ,1-24.

McKenna, V.S., Hylkema, J.A., Tardif, M.C., & Stepp, C.E. (2020. ) Voice onset time in individuals with hyperfunctional voice disorders: Evidence for disordered vocal motor control .Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, , 63, ,405-420

Groll, M.D., McKenna, V.S., Hablani, S., & Stepp, C.E. (2020. ) Formant-estimated vocal tract length and extrinsic laryngeal muscle activation during modulation of vocal effort in healthy speakers .Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, , 1-9

Cler G.J., McKenna V.S., Dahl, K.L., & Stepp C.E. (2020. ) Longitudinal case study of transgender voice changes under testosterone hormone therapy .Journal of Voice, , 34 (5 ) ,748-762.

McKenna, V.S., Diaz-Cadiz, M.E., Shembel, A.C., Enos, N.M., & Stepp, C.E. (2019. ) The relationship between physiological mechanisms and the self-perception of vocal effort .Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, , 62 (4 ) ,815-834

McKenna, V.S., & Huber, J.E. (2019. ) The accuracy of respiratory calibration methods for estimating lung volume during speech breathing: A comparison of four methods across three adult cohorts .Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, , 62, ,2632-2644.

Diaz Cadiz, M., McKenna, V.S., Vojtech, J.M., Stepp, C.E. (2019. ) Adductory vocal fold kinematic trajectories during conventional versus high-speed videoendoscopy .Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, , 62 ,1685-1706

McKenna, V.S., & Stepp, C.E. (2018. ) The relationship between acoustical and perceptual measures of vocal effort .The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, , 144 (3 ) ,1643-1658

McKenna, V.S., Llico, A.F., Mehta, D.D., Perkell, J.S., & Stepp, C.E. (2017. ) Magnitude of neck-surface vibration as an estimate of subglottal pressure during modulations of vocal effort and intensity in healthy speakers .Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, , 60 (12 ) ,3404-3416

McKenna, V., Zhang, B., Haines, M., & Kelchner, L. (2017. ) A systematic review of isometric lingual strength training programs in adult populations with and without dysphagia .American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, , 26 ,524-539

Fujiki, R., Chapleau, A., Sundarrajan, A., McKenna, V., and Sivasankar, P. (2017. ) The interaction of surface hydration and vocal loading on voice measures .Journal of Voice, , 31 (2 ) ,211-217

McKenna, V.S., Heller Murray, E.S., Lien, Y.S., & Stepp, C.E. (2016. ) The relationship between relative fundamental frequency and a kinematic estimate of laryngeal stiffness in healthy adults .Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, , 59 (6 ) ,1283-1294

McKenna, V.S., Gustin, R.L., Howell, R.J., Patel, T.H., Emery, M.B., Kendall, C.L., & Kelliher, N.J. (2021. ) Developing educational health modules to improve vocal wellness in mask-wearing occupational voice users .Journal of Voice, , in press. ,

Leon, M., Washington, K., McKenna, V.S., Crowe, K., & Fritz, K. (2022. ) Linguistically-informed acoustic and perceptual analysis of bilingual children’s speech productions: An exploratory study in the Jamaican context .Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, , in press. ,

Reid, K., McKenna, V.S., & Smith, D. (2022. ) Mitigating dysphonia, pain, and vocal handicap after violent videogame voice overs: A pilot investigation into Vocal Combat Technique Training .Journal of Voice, , in press. ,

McKenna, V.S., Vojtech, J.M., Previtera, M., Kendall, C.L., & Carraro, K.E. (2022. ) A systematic scoping review of relative fundamental frequency in individuals with and without voice disorders .Applied Sciences, , 12 (16 ) ,1-18.

Leon, M., Washington, K., McKenna, V.S., Crowe, K., Fritz, K., & Boyce, S.E. (2022. ) Characterizing Speech Sound Productions in Bilingual Speakers of Jamaican Creole and English: Application of Durational Acoustic Methods. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, ,

McKenna, V.S., Gustin, R.L., Hobek, A.L., Howell, R.J., Dickinson, T.E., Shanley, S.N., & Patel, T.H. (2022. ) Factors related to treatment attendance for patients seeking gender-affirming voice therapy. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, ,

McKenna, V.S., Roberts, R.M., Friedman, A.D., Shanley, S.N., & Llico, A.F. (2023. ) Impact of naturalistic smartphone positioning on acoustic measures of voice.Journal of Acoustical Society of America, , 154 (1 ) ,323-333

More Information

Honors and Awards

2021 Faculty Development Award Funds: Supports emergency medical response (EMR) training and certification to ensure participant safety during flexible laryngoscopy procedures. Internal: College of Allied Health Sciences

2021 Best Poster Award: Second Place. Boston Speech Motor Control Symposium, Boston, MA.

2019 -2021 NIH Loan Repayment Award

2019 Honors of NSSLHA

2019 ASHA Lesson’s for Success Program Mentee

2018 -2019 NIH T32 Postdoctoral Fellowship, Purdue University

2017 ASHA Pathways Program Mentee

2016 -2018 NIH T32 Pre-doctoral Fellowship, Boston University

2016 Best Poster Award, Voice Foundation Annual Symposium

2021 NIH Loan Repayment Grant- Renewal

2022 ASHA Early Career Contributions in Research Award


Editorial Service: ASHA Perspectives, SIG 19 Speech Science Journal, Committee Member 2018 -To Present

Editorial Service: American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, Committee Member 2020 -To Present

Courses Taught

-CSD-7014 VOICE DISORDERS Level:Graduate

-CSD-7035 DYSPHAGIA Level:Graduate

-CSD-7033 NEUROGENIC COG DIS Level:Graduate

-HLTH-3098 RESEARCH METHODS Level:Undergraduate

Contact Information

Academic - Health Sciences Building
3225 Eden Ave
Cincinnati  Ohio, 45267;