Willow Sauermilch is a doctoral candidate and graduate researcher in the College of Media and Communication and co-lab manager of the Cognition and Emotion Lab. She brings a unique, interdisciplinary perspective to her research, integrating her background in mass communication with her expertise and experience in communication sciences and disorders.
Willow’s primarily line of research focuses on exploring media processing and effects related to parent-child communication during technology use, including implications associated with language development and interventions for individuals with communication impairments. Her secondary line of research focuses on the portrayal of individuals with disabilities in mass media programming and how such messages shape public perception and the adoption of health-related information. Through such research projects, Willow has built partnerships with media and disability scholars, both within and outside the university, garnering professional recognition as well as financial support from both the college and university.
Willow earned her bachelor’s degree in communication sciences and disorders from Baylor University, followed by her master’s degree in communication disorders from the University of Houston. After working 12 years as a pediatric speech-language pathologist, Willow earned a second master’s degree in mass communications from Texas Tech University. She is currently finishing her PhD in media and communication with an emphasis in communication sciences and disorders.