Kristin Schaffer Mendez, PhD, CCC-SLP

Assistant Professor, SLP Programs


Austin, TX


College of Rehabilitative Sciences


Neurological Disorders


Doctor of Philosophy in Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, The University of Texas at Austin
Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology, Vanderbilt University
Bachelor of Arts in Communication Sciences and Disorders, The University of Florida

Research Interests

Neurogenic Communication Disorders
Psychosocial Factors
Care Partner Training
Interprofessional Practice

Dr. Kristin Schaffer Mendez is a clinician-scientist and educator who specializes in adult neurogenic communication disorders. After earning her Bachelor of Arts in Communication Sciences and Disorders from the University of Florida and her Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology from Vanderbilt University, Dr. Schaffer Mendez started her career as a speech-language pathologist.

She partnered with patients, families and medical professionals for eight years in several clinical settings, including home health, inpatient rehabilitation and private practice. These clinical experiences inspired her translational research questions and motivated her transition into academia. Dr. Schaffer Mendez enjoyed a five-year tenure at The University of Texas at Austin from 2017-2022, first as a research speech-language pathologist and later, as a doctoral student.

Her research examines and addresses psychosocial factors in aphasia/primary progressive aphasia through patient-centered and care partner-inclusive treatment paradigms, including counseling, support groups and the use of telerehabilitation platforms. Dr. Schaffer Mendez values interprofessional practice and incorporates these collaborative partnerships clinically, didactically and in her research.

For more than a decade, Dr. Schaffer Mendez has had the honor of teaching and mentoring students, research assistants and allied health professionals. Dr. Schaffer Mendez is a diversity, equity and inclusion advocate and is invested in infusing these principles in the classroom, clinic and laboratory. In 2022, Dr. Schaffer Mendez joined the core faculty at the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences on the Austin, TX campus, as an Assistant Professor in the Speech-Language Pathology Program.