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Rita Lenhardt

  • Assistant Professor
    Speech-Language Pathology

Dr. Rita Lenhardt is an Assistant Professor for the Speech-Language Pathology Program at Gannon University since 2021. Dr. Lenhardt earned her Honour’s B.A. in Sociology at the University of Toronto. She completed a Master of Science in Education degree in Communication Disorders at The College of Saint Rose and her Doctor of Health Science in Global Health at Nova Southeastern University. She teaches courses in research methods, neuroscience, fluency disorders, hearing disorders, and child language disorders. She is also responsible for co-teaching the capstone and professional issues courses in the program.

Dr. Lenhardt has over 15 years of clinical experience in the field of traumatic brain injury and related disorders. She was recognized by the Brain Injury Association of Ontario as the Professional of the Year in 2015 for her work with individuals with acquired brain injuries. She continues to provide evidence-based treatment to the individuals she serves including her graduate students; and she remains a life-long advocate for underrepresented populations.

• Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC), American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
• Licensed Speech-Language Pathologist: State of Florida & the Province of Ontario, Canada

• 2021 Faculty Research Grant recipient
• Professional of the Year Award by the Ontario Brain Injury Association
• Alumnus of Excellence Award, The College of Saint Rose, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders
• Dr. Master Scholarship, University of Toronto, Department of Hungarian Studies

• 2020 Inducted into the Alpha Eta Honor Society for high academic achievement and leadership within the Doctor of Health Science program
• 2006 Magna Cum Laude Graduate, The College of Saint Rose, Albany, New York

• Doctor of Health Science – Global Health Concentration; Nova Southeastern University, Davie, Florida, USA (2020)
• Master of Science in Education - Communication Sciences and Disorders; The College of Saint Rose, Albany, New York, USA (2006)
• Communicative Disorders Assistant Diploma; Durham College, Oshawa, Ontario, CAN (2004)
• Honours Bachelor of Arts - Sociology Specialization/Linguistics; University of Toronto at Mississauga, Ontario, CAN (2001)

• Assistant Professor, Speech-Language Pathology Program, Gannon University; Ruskin, Florida (2021 – Present)
• Stakeholder Engagement Specialist, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP); St. George’s, Grenada (2020)
• Post-graduate Scholar, Leadership and Excellence in Academic Development (LEAD) Division; St. George’s University, Department of Educational Services, True Blue, Grenada (2020)
• Instructor and Clinical Supervisor, Department of Speech-Language Pathology, Nova Southeastern University, Dr. Pallavi Patel College of Health Care Sciences; Davie, Florida (2017-2019)
• Speech-Language Pathologist/Owner/Director at Rita Lenhardt & Associates; Mississauga, Ontario, CAN (2007-2017)

• American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (2007-Present)
• Florida Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology (2016-Present)
• College of Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists of Ontario (2007-Present)

• Publications in progress: Hinckley, J., Lenhardt, R., Gaziani, A. & Merlino, A. (in preparation). Evaluation of linguistic demand in multi-tasking assessment. Manuscript to be submitted to Applied Neuropsychology: Adult (January 3, 2022)
• Poster Presentation: ‘The Game Is On: An Interprofessional Escape Room Experience’ (February 5, 2022, San Antonio, Texas)
• Presenter at Canada International Conference on Education and World Congress on Education: Executive Dysfunction in the Classroom from the Speech-Language Pathologist’s Perspective, Mississauga, ON, Canada (June 22, 2021)
• Presenters (Gaziani, A., Merlino, A., Lenhardt, R., Hinckley, J.) Proposal Number: 12215 Multi-tasking Assessments with Low Linguistic Demand: Analysis and Demonstration of Published Tools. Proposal accepted at the Annual Convention of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, San Diego, CA (November, 2020; Convention canceled)
• Technical Presentation at the 77th Annual ASHA Convention – ‘Ecologically Valid Multi-tasking Assessment in Neurologic Communication Disorders: Importance and Future Directions’, Orlando, FL (November 19, 2019)
• Webinar Presenter for the Brain Injury Association of America – ‘Rehabilitation for the Tough to Engage – Strategies that Work’ (February 7, 2018)
• Poster Presenter at the 75th Annual ASHA Convention - Focus on the Big Picture – ‘Traumatic Brain Injury: A Case Study in Community Practice’, Los Angeles, CA (November 11, 2017)
• Presenter at the 24th Annual Conference on Neurobehavioral Rehabilitation in ABI – ‘Traumatic Brain Injury:  A Case Study in Community Practice’ (May 4-5, 2017)
• Presenter at Provincial Acquired Brain Injury Conference: 'The Power of Collaborative Projects in Community Practice' (October 29-30, 2009)

Dr. Lenhardt’s research focuses on the continuum of recovery following a traumatic brain injury and the resulting cognitive-communication disorders. She is also interested in cultural and global health issues related to the field of speech-language pathology (e.g., access to health services in the Caribbean). Lastly, she conducts interdisciplinary research with faculty and graduate students from the speech-language therapy, physical therapy and occupational therapy programs at the university.

• National Student Speech Language Hearing Association Faculty Advisor (2021 – Present)
• Faculty Hiring Committee Member (2021 – Present)
• Communication Group Co-Facilitator with BIG@Gannon
• Gannon University’s GIVE Day Participant Organizing Committee Member

Rita            Lenhardt

Phone: 813-658-4940
Office: R C102

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