Sarah Kucker Ph.D

Assistant Professor



Office Location

Expressway Tower 1326





Callier Center for Communication Disorders at the University of Texas Dallas, Postdoctoral Fellowship

University of Iowa, M.A., Ph.D

Drake University, B.A., B.S. 

Dr. Kucker’s research focuses on word learning, cognitive development, and the influence of digital media on infant and toddler’s language development. She takes a dynamic systems approach to studying developmental change and is particularly interested in how the context or environment in which an individual is learning and developing interacts with individual differences to predict developmental outcomes. Her work has included studies on novelty biases in infants during word learning, embodied cognition impacts on learning, temperament and personality influences on vocabulary, word learning and categorization in late-talking children and children with language delays, and dyadic communication about STEM between caregivers and children in museums. She currently holds an R15 grant funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute for Child Health and Human Development that is exploring the mechanisms of word learning and vocabulary growth in digital media.

Dr. Kucker is joining SMU in January 2023 and has previously held faculty positions at Oklahoma State University and the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. She is originally from Minnesota, doesn’t mind the cold, and loves snow. Outside the lab, Dr. Kucker enjoys drinking tea, cooking, and running.

Areas of Research Expertise:

Cognitive Development

Language Acquisition

Digital Media,

Word Learning



Sarah Kucker