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Jane Mertz Garcia

Jane Mertz Garcia


Contact Information

228 Campus Creek Complex
(785) 532-1493 or
(785) 532-6879


  • Ph.D. in Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of South Alabama
  • M.S. in Speech Pathology, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • B.S. in Speech Pathology and Audiology, Kansas State University

Credentials and/or Certifications

  • Kansas License for the practice of Speech-Language Pathology
  • Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech Pathology, American Speech, Language and Hearing Association
  • LSVT-LOUD Certified in voice treatment for Parkinson's disease

Area(s) of Specialization

Dr. Garcia's expertise is in communication and swallowing disorders caused by neurological conditions such as stroke, traumatic brain injury, cerebral palsy and disease processes. Research, instruction and service/outreach reflect this emphasis and commitment to excellence.

Research, Scholarship and Creative Endeavors

Dr. Garcia's research relates to medical speech-language pathology, including dysphagia (impaired swallowing). Diet modifications, such as thickened liquids, compensate for poor musculature control or changes in the natural protective mechanisms of the body that make it difficult to swallow beverages like water, juice, or coffee. Study results inform clinical practices about the use of thickened liquids, including factors that impact viscosity (thickness), flavor and texture characteristics, and service delivery (e.g., staff training). Publications appear in journals such as "Dysphagia," "American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology," and "The American Journal of Nursing." Her scholarship also contributes to the well-being of people who experience traumatic brain injury (TBI), including development of a public education program to increase awareness of TBI. K-State students (both undergraduate and graduate students) have actively participated in scholarly activities mentored by Dr. Garcia. Students have been contributing authors to more than 14 research publications and over 25 presentations at state or national conferences.

Courses Taught

  • CSD 745 Neuromotor Speech Disorders
  • CSD 841 Acquired Language and Cognitive Disorders
  • CSD 844 Dysphagia
  • CSD 725 Augmentative & Alternative Communication 
  • CSD 705 Practicum in SLP

Professional Biography

Jane Mertz Garcia is a professor in Communication Sciences and Disorders in the School of Family Studies and Human Services at Kansas State University. Her academic and clinical instruction relates to medical speech-language pathology. Garcia teaches graduate courses in communication studies and disorders that help prepare graduates to work in medical settings. Her responsibilities in the School of Family Studies and Human Services also include supervising student projects, such as honor's research and providing clinical instruction to graduate clinicians at the K-State Speech and Hearing Center. She also has led the Manhattan-area support group for survivors of traumatic brain injury and their families since 1998. Dr. Garcia was endowed with the Jack and Ruth Rice Distinguished Professorship at Kansas State University. She also was elected a Fellow of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association in 2014.

Personal Information

Dr. Garcia is a native of Kansas, having been raised on a farm near Manhattan. She is a fourth-generation member of her family to attend Kansas State University. She is married to Robert Garcia, who directs the program in CSD. Their son also is a K-State graduate.

Vita (pdf)