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Associate Professor Barbra Zupan

Assoc Prof/HOC - Speech Pathology
School of Health, Medical and Applied Sciences
Rockhampton North
Building 34 - 2.27
About Me

I am an Associate Professor and Head of Course for CB87 Bachelor of Speech Pathology (Honours) at Central Queensland University Australia, based at the Rockhampton North Campus.

I am originally from Canada where I received an undergraduate degree in Applied Linguistics with a focus on Communication Disorders. In 2000, I graduated with my Masters in Speech Pathology from the State University of New York at Buffalo. After graduating, I worked in the preschool sector, primarily assisting children with hearing loss to listen and talk using an auditory verbal approach. I also did worked with children who had disfluency, speech, and language challenges. In 2005, I returned to the State University of New York at Buffalo to complete a PhD in Speech Pathology. My dissertation focused on how children and adults perceive and integrate visual and auditory cues of emotion. This work extended into research with people with traumatic brain injury, with a focus on emotion recognition, empathy, alexithymia, and sex differences. In addition to publishing in academic networks, I am committed to transferring research to the community by working with clinicians to introduce them to the emotional recognition treatment programs I have created alongside my team of international researchers.

My primary aim in teaching is to create an enthusiasm for learning through a facilitative environment that challenges students to think independently. I aim to make the class facilitative, interactive, and engaging regardless of class size by creating a positive and respectful environment. I encourage students to not only respond to questions I may ask, but to provide their own comments and questions that will further the discussion and thus their understanding of a particular topic.

Universities Studied At

Brock University, St. Catharines, ON Canada (BA Honours in Applied Linguistics, Communication Disorders Stream)

State University of New York at Buffalo, MA and PhD in Speech Pathology

Universities Worked At

Brock University, St. Catharines, ON Canada

Department of Applied Linguistics, January 2003-July 2017


American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine (ACRM) BI-ISIG Early Career Best Poster Award. Inferring Emotion in Social Stories by People with Traumatic Brain Injury. Poster presented at ACRM Annual Conference in Orlando, FL, October 2013.

Media Citations

Zupan, B. (2015). Listening to emotions. Scientia, Knowledge Translation Media.

Hlady-McDonald, V., & Zupan, B. (Spring, 2011). Helping parents choose communication options. Communique, 20-21.

Hlady-McDonald, V., & Zupan, B. (Fall, 2010). Communication options for children with hearing loss: Helping parents make a choice for their child. Exceptional Family.

Professional Memberships

Certified Practising Member of Speech Pathology Australia


Head of Course and Associate Professor, Bachelor of Speech Pathology (Honours)

Professional Interests

Research Interests:

Traumatic Brain Injury

Recognition of facial and vocal emotion expressions following traumatic brain injury (TBI); empathy capabilities following TBI, sex differences in areas of social cognition generally following TBI; treatment of social cognition deficits following TBI.

Hearing Loss

I am interested in how modes of communication impact perception and integration of facial and vocal cues (for speech perception and emotion) for children and adults with hearing loss.

Emotion Recognition Across the Lifespan

I am currently working towards building a new test of emotion recognition that includes both static and dynamic visual stimuli, and auditory stimuli with both semantically neutral and emotionally congruent/incongruent verbal language. I am interested in expanding the emotions typically assessed in currently available tests of this nature and to norm these stimuli across the lifespan so we may learn more about how emotion recognition develops and changes within and across the different modalities.

Research Supervision

I am currently accredited for supervision in the following:

  • 3202 Clinical Sciences
  • 5299 Other psychology

At the level of Principal Supervisor

Current Capacity
I am currently available to supervise more research candidates
No Supervisions to display.
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