Bari Ruddy, Ph.D.
My path to my chosen profession was not direct. That is, I did not begin my college experience with a major in communication sciences and disorders in mind. Rather, I began my academic pursuits as a vocal performance major.
Growing up in Jupiter, Florida I enjoyed singing and entertaining, studied classical and musical theater, participated in community theater and choir but always had a strong interest for science and medicine. As I completed my first year in college, I grew disinterested in pursuing vocal performance as a major and began my search for a new one. I was fortunate at the time to seek advice and mentorship from faculty who have become lifelong mentors and friends. Without the strong guidance and support of Drs. David Ingram and Thomas Mullin at the University of Central Florida, I would not have had the opportunities afforded to me in the area of voice science, clinical voice care and rehabilitation of performance voices.
I quickly learned that my background in the performing arts would provide an excellent foundation for learning and training in clinical voice care. Later during my undergraduate training I was invited to volunteer and participate in an apprenticeship at a local Ear Nose and Throat medical practice that housed a state of the art voice care center. This experience confirmed for me that I had chosen the right course of study. One might say, I had happened upon a perfect combination of both my personal interests and areas of professional study. And because of this experience, once again, I had the good fortune of meeting another lifelong mentor, Jeffrey J. Lehman, M.D., a laryngologist at The Ear Nose & Throat Surgical Associates (who provided a collaborative environment which I have had the privilege of practicing for over 10 years).
Although pursuing a doctoral degree was not my intent when I began my college experience, the collective mentoring of these distinguished colleagues that led me to the laboratory door steps of Dr. Christine Sapienza at the University of Florida. My experience in her lab and as a student at the University of Florida was an exciting and challenging experience, shaping my clinical and research skills and leading me to my current career path.
Currently I am an associate professor in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at the University of Central Florida and work clinically at The Ear Nose and Throat Surgical Associates. My research focuses on the study of normal and abnormal voice production in pediatrics, professional and neurologic populations. Implementing methods of endoscopy, acoustics and aerodynamic analysis
More recently, my work has focused on studying outcomes in voice and swallowing post-radiation in for Head and Neck cancer patients implementing expiratory muscle strength training. Other current projects include a multidisciplinary modeling project of non small cell lung cancer undergoing radiation treatment; documenting outcomes in cough post- vocal fold medialialization surgery; and The effects of laryngopharyngeal reflux disease on vocal function in singers. This work has resulted in funded grants and numerous publications including peer reviewed journal articles, books, workbooks, book chapters and multimedia materials.