After a thorough national search lasting more than a year, Jacksonville University today named respected speech-language pathology scholar and inventor Dr. Christine Sapienza as its Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost — the chief academic officer of the University.
Dr. Sapienza, who joined Jacksonville University as Associate Dean in 2013, has served as interim Provost since May 2018. The search committee, comprised of nine senior faculty members representing the University’s four colleges, formally recommended Dr. Sapienza as the top candidate among three accomplished national finalists.
“Having served alongside Dr. Sapienza in our University’s shared leadership model of governance since 2013, I have seen her drive, commitment, dedication, and decisiveness in action to the benefit of our faculty, students and community,” said Jacksonville University President Tim Cost, who accepted the formal recommendation of the search committee. “Dr. Sapienza has been a creative and passionate advocate for the outstanding work of our talented faculty. Her consistent orientation toward partnership, progress and innovation will serve us well in achieving our institutional ambitions in the years ahead.”
In her six years at Jacksonville University, Dr. Sapienza has paved a historic path. She has successfully developed hundreds of industry and community partnerships that continue to benefit faculty and students.
She launched a new undergraduate and graduate academic program in Communication Sciences and Disorders.
She also led the effort to establish the University’s first new college in over 30 years — the Brooks Rehabilitation College of Healthcare Sciences (BRCHS). Under her leadership, BRCHS has become the largest and fastest-growing college at Jacksonville University and secured significant research grants from the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Veterans Affairs.
A leading scholar in the discipline of speech-language pathology and rehabilitation, Dr. Sapienza has published 125 peer-reviewed articles, placing her among the most cited authors in her field with an overall scholar score of “outstanding.”
Known globally as the co-inventor of the expiratory muscle strength trainer (the EMST150), which is used by speech pathologists around the world, Dr. Sapienza continues to invent new devices to help deliver safe, quality patient care. She also has written best-selling textbooks and edited volumes that serve to teach rehabilitation strategies to clinicians.
Before coming to Jacksonville University, Dr. Sapienza taught at the University of Florida for 20 years, including eight years as chair of UF’s highly-ranked Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders. She holds a Ph.D. in Speech Science from the University at Buffalo, as well as an M.A. and B.A. in Communication Sciences. Her areas of specialization include voice, respiratory muscle strength training, swallow function, and neurodegenerative diseases.