ORLANDO, FL—A pioneering audiologic researcher for more than 40 years at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the founder of a leading manufacturer of audiologic equipment, and a scientist who draws on her clinical experience in rehabilitative audiology and her training in experimental psychology to help older adults who suffer from both hearing and cognitive impairments will be among those recognized at the American Academy of Audiology (AAA) Honors and Awards Banquet March 27 during AudiologyNOW! 2014 in Orlando.
The James Jerger Award for Research in Audiology, named for the academy’s founder and first president, will go to Richard H. Wilson, PhD, who has been chief of the audiology and speech pathology service at the James H. Quillen VA Medical Center in Tennessee since 1992 (following 20 years in the same position at the VA Medical Center in Long Beach, CA). At both VA centers, Wilson essentially started the research function from scratch. Then, together with the many talented young investigators he attracted, he established two of the leading audiology research centers in the world.
M. Kathleen Pichora-Fuller, PhD, who will receive the International Award in Hearing, holds a doctorate from the University of Toronto and is a professor in psychology at that university’s campus in Mississauga, ON. Pichora-Fuller began her career in audiology, serving as supervisor of audiology at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, where she conducted research in hearing rehabilitation. Combining her expertise in audiology and psychology, she has earned an international reputation for her interdisciplinary approach to linking research on auditory and cognitive processing during communication in everyday life. A former president of the Canadian Association of Speech Language Pathologists and Audiologists, she will co-chair the 2016 World Congress of Audiology in Vancouver, BC.
Another Canadian, the scientist and engineer William A. Cole, has been selected to receive the Samuel F. Lybarger Award for Achievements in Industry. In 1983, Cole founded Etymonic Design, manufacturer of Audioscan portable hearing aid analyzers, and has been president ever since. The company developed the first digitally programmable in-the-ear hearing aid with a hand-held programmer in 1985 and the first head-worn cochlear implant processor for the House Ear Institute. In 2001, the Audioscan Verifit was introduced as the first desktop hearing aid tester/real-ear measurement system that used digitized speech signals. Before starting Etymonic, Cole did pioneering work in hearing aid technology for Westinghouse, Canada, and Unitron. He has also been a leader in the development and harmonization of ANSI and IEC standards for measuring hearing aid performance standards.
Three prominent audiologists will receive Distinguished Achievement Awards from the Academy.
One is Carmen Brewer, PhD, who over her 40-year career has become known as an innovator in clinical teaching and mentoring and in delivery of clinical services. She has been audiology section chief and research officer at the Otolaryngology Branch, Division of Intramural Research, of the National Institutes of Health for the past 11 years. She has twice received President’s Distinguished Service Awards from AAA.
William (Billy) Hal Martin, PhD, will be honored as an outstanding researcher, clinician, and teacher. Martin, who was recently appointed by the National University of Singapore to build its audiology program, is well known for his achievements in the areas of sensory evoked potentials and intraoperative monitoring, treatment of tinnitus, and hearing loss prevention, where he helped develop AAA’s Dangerous Decibels initiative.
Michael Valente, PhD, who will also be honored for distinguished achievement, has been associated for nearly 30 years with the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, where he has served as director, professor, researcher, and clinician. His areas of research have included dual- and directional-microphone technology, real-ear verification, and treatment of single-sided deafness. He has also been a leading supporter of audiology’s adoption of evidence-based practice.
Honored for Humanitarian Work
Paige Stringer, the recipient of this year’s Humanitarian Award, is not an audiologist. Rather, she is someone whose bilateral profound hearing loss inspired her to found the Global Foundation for Children with Hearing Loss. As executive director, she has led the foundation’s service to over 1000 children with hearing loss and their families living in Vietnam. To address gaps in that country’s system of support for children with hearing loss, the foundation has trained over 300 professionals.
Hearing and Balance Award
Receiving the Career Award in Hearing and Balance will be Timothy Jones, PhD, a professor in the Department of Special Education and Communication Disorders at the University of Nebraska. As a PhD in physiology, Jones brings an outside perspective and skills to audiology and hearing science. His areas of research have included the development of the inner ear and the underlying mechanisms for development and recovery of balance function. He has done pioneering work in vestibular sensory evoked potentials.
NHCA HONORS RICHARD DANIELSON, NORTHROP GRUMMAN
LAS VEGAS–Meanwhile, on March 15 at its annual meeting in Las Vegas, the National Hearing Conservation Association (NHCA) gave its Outstanding Hearing Conservationist Award to Richard Danielson, PhD, who has devoted his career to audiology-related issues in the military and at NASA.
Danielson, who holds joint appointments at Baylor University’s Department of Otolaryngology–
Head and Neck Surgery and at the Center of Space Medicine, served 28 years in the U.S. Army, including being officer-in-charge of the audiology task force during the 1991 Persian Gulf War. This was the first such task force ever deployed to a combat theater.
Danielson, who retired from the army in 2003, currently directs the Audiology and Hearing Conservation Program at the Johnson Space Center, which works to prevent noise-related hearing loss among active and former astronauts. Astronauts and cosmonauts undergo audiological tests before and after space missions, and Danielson also monitors them with in-orbit hearing assessments on the International Space Station.
Also honored at the NHCA conference was the Electronic Systems Sector of Northtrop Grumman Systems Corporation in Linthicum, MD, which received the 2014 Safe-in-Sound Excellence in Hearing Loss Prevention Award. This honor is awarded by NIOSH (the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health) to organizations that have shown a commitment to preventing noise-induced hearing loss in the workplace by developing strategies for noise control and hearing loss prevention.
NIOSH said that Northrop Grumman, a developer and manufacturer of advanced electronic and maritime systems, was cited for its “commitment to implementing hearing loss prevention strategies in a challenging workplace environment. NGES uses a process to identify and control hazardous noise sources and eliminates daily worker noise exposures.”