Bianca Sumutka, PhD

Associate Professor of Psychology
Chair, Psychology Department

Bianca Sumutka



  • PhD, Psychology, Pennsylvania State University, 2003
  • MS, Psychology, Pennsylvania State University, 2001
  • BA, Psychology, Loyola College (now Loyola University Maryland), 1998

Experience and Background

After completing her graduate studies, Dr. Sumutka was a postdoctoral fellow at Haskins Laboratories for two years where she worked on a research project examining vocabulary development in elementary school-aged children.

Professional affiliations

  • APS: Association for Psychological Science
  • VPA: Virginia Psychological Association

Teaching and Research Interests


  • Introductory Psychology
  • Statistics for Psychologists
  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Theories of Personality

Dr. Sumutka’s primary research interests are first and second language acquisition and how language is acquired and utilized by monolinguals and bilinguals. During her graduate studies, she examined how bilinguals process their second language and whether the processing strategies that they utilize are more similar to monolingual speakers of their first language, or monolingual speakers of their second language. Currently she is interested in examining the question of whether late second language learners show cognitive gains in executive function similar to those found in early bilinguals. Her secondary research interest is the cognitive impact of multitasking with technology.

Selected Publications and Conference Presentations

  • Barnhill, G., Sumutka, B., Polloway, E., Lee, E. (2014). Personnel Preparation Practices in ASD: A Follow-Up Analysis of Contemporary Practices. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, 29.
  • Sumutka, B. Multitasking and Memory: What are the costs of classroom distractions? Poster Presented at the Lilly Conference, Greensboro, N.C.
  • Kroll, J. F., Sumutka, B., and Schwartz, A. (2005). A cognitive view of the bilingual lexicon: Reading and speaking words in two languages. International Journal of Bilingualism, 9, 27-48.