DALLAS—Friends, family, and colleagues from around the country gathered in Dallas recently to celebrate the retirement of the renowned audiologists Drs. James and Susan Jerger from the University of Texas-Dallas (UT Dallas) School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences.
During the celebration, the UT Dallas News Center reported on September 17, the University and the American Academy of Audiology Foundation announced the establishment of the Susan and Jim Jerger Research in Audiology Fellowship.
“The Jerger Fellowship is an especially fitting tribute to the Jergers given their many contributions to the science and community of audiology,” said Ross Roeser, PhD, executive director emeritus of the Callier Center for Communication Disorders at UT Dallas. Roeser added, “I hope all those whose professional or personal lives have been touched by Susan and Jim will join me in making a gift in honor of these two very special people.”
Certainly the number of audiologists touched by the Jergers is legion. For one thing, it was Jim Jerger who hosted the meeting in Houston in January 1988 where the American Academy of Audiology was born. He went on to serve as the academy’s first president and editor of its journal, JAAA, from 1989 to 2011. During nearly 30 years at Baylor College of Medicine where he was chief of audiology, he established the world’s first Doctor of Audiology (AuD) program in 1993.
Even if he had not founded AAA or helped establish the professional doctorate in audiology, his accomplishments as a teacher, researcher, author, and editor would have made Jim Jerger a seminal figure in audiology.
He is the author or co-author of more than 300 publications in audiology. Among the areas where his work has advanced understanding are auditory processing disorders in children and seniors, auditory evoked potentials, auditory aging, and applied cognition and neuroscience.
Many of his former doctoral students have gone on to become leading audiologists in their own right.
When Jim Jerger joined the UT Dallas faculty in 1997 as Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence in the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, he worked with the programs in applied cognition and neuroscience, as well as the communication sciences and disorders program at the Callier Center.
Among the many honors he has received are the Aram Glorig Award of the International Society of Audiology, the first Lifetime Career Research Award from the American Academy of Audiology (which subsequently named that award after him), and the Raymond Carhart Memorial Award of the American Audiology Society.
Susan Jerger joined the UT Dallas faculty in 1997 as the Ashbel Smith Professor in the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences. Already well known for her research on childhood hearing impairment and its effects on learning, she directed the university’s Children’s Speech Processing Lab. There she studied the development of children’s knowledge of the meanings and sound patterns of words, and how childhood hearing loss affects this development. She was also director of the Undergraduate Honors Program at UT Dallas.
Susan Jerger was editor-in-chief of Ear and Hearing from 1992 to 2001 and was selected as the Carhart Lecturer by the American Auditory Society; Sursa Lecturer, Indiana University School of Medicine; James A. Moore Lecturer, Weill Cornell Medical College, Cornell University; Norma Slepecky Lecturer, Syracuse University; and as a member of the College of CSR Reviewers, National Institutes of Health.
ABOUT THE FELLOWSHIP
The Susan and Jim Jerger Research in Audiology Fellowship will support the studies and research of exceptional audiology doctoral students at the Callier Center. UT Dallas will match donations to the fellowship up to $25,000. The goal is to raise at least $25,000 to endow the fellowship at $50,000.
Those wishing to contribute to the fellowship fund can visit the Callier Center or call Shanon Patrick at 214/905-3084.