2019 Academy Honors Recipients

2019 Academy Honors Recipients

Honors of the Academy Award

Angela Loavenbruck, EdD

Angela Loavenbruck is an illustrious leader in the field of audiology, whose high standards, innovations, and commitment have crafted positive and lasting changes in hearing-care services. Throughout her career, her efforts at the local, state, and national levels spurred audiology to an autonomous profession. As a clinician, Dr. Loavenbruck has dedicated her career to delivery of high-quality, patient-centered services. She is among the first audiologists in the nation to start her own independent practice, generating new delivery models for comprehensive, evidenced-based audiology services directly from audiologists.

At a time when audiologists were prohibited from dispensing hearing aids, Dr. Loavenbruck coauthored the first textbook on Hearing Aid Dispensing for Audiologists in 1978. She was among early advocates of the AuD degree and was a principal developer of rigorous educational standards for academic programs. As the first chair of the Accreditation Commission for Audiology Education, her dialogues spurred the separation of university program accreditation from simple certification. She served on the Board of the Audiology Foundation of America, helping to raise millions of dollars to support the transition to the AuD. During her term as president of the American Academy of Audiology, she focused on assuring that ethical standards for audiologists were unsurpassed in health care.

Dr. Loavenbruck has fruitfully applied her unique ability to resolve complex challenges with reasonable and clear solutions (for the benefit of the audiology profession and the patients we serve), in locations ranging from the halls of Congress to individual audiology clinics.

Jerger Career Award for Research in Audiology

M. Patrick Feeney, PhD

Patrick Feeney initiated his academic career in 1971 at Kent State University. He went on to study at the master’s level at Washington State University. Ultimately, after serving a number of years as a clinical audiologist, he earned a PhD at the University of Washington in 1993. His illustrious career spans more than 30 years and is highlighted by a record of excellence and leadership in teaching, scholarship, and professional service and clinical service provision. He was a faculty member at Ohio University, the Ohio State University, and the University of Washington before taking his current position in 2011 as director of the VA Rehabilitation Research and Development, National Center for Rehabilitative Auditory Research (NCRAR) at the VA Portland Health Care System in Portland, Oregon. He is also a professor in the Departments of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery and Neurology at Oregon Health and Science University. Dr. Feeney is a highly respected scholar who has received numerous and prestigious grants/awards from federal, state, and local agencies. His research has focused on peripheral and central auditory function in children, adults, and veterans. He is also an active volunteer in professional organizations having served as the 2008-2009 president of the American Academy of Audiology.

In total, Dr. Feeney’s research has resulted in more than 50 publications in peer-reviewed journals, 11 chapters in seminal texts for the profession of audiology, and more than 50 published abstracts. More important than these remarkable achievements are Dr. Feeney’s dedication to the profession of audiology and to the patients served by our profession. Dr. Feeney mentored and assisted other hearing professionals in developing their own unique lines of academic research and has dedicated a large portion of his significant talent to educating hearing health-care professionals to improve quality of care. His nominator, Tina Penman, AuD, said, “I cannot think of anyone more [deserving] than Dr. Feeney to receive the Jerger Career Award for Research in Audiology.”

Early-Career Audiologist Award

Erin G. Piker, AuD, PhD

Erin G Piker began her graduate studies at Vanderbilt University, where she obtained her degrees in 2006 and 2012, respectively. Dr Piker is notable for outstanding clinical practice, teaching or mentoring, research, and service. Such qualities aptly describe the substantial successes she achieved with respect to participating in academia as an assistant professor, academic adviser, dissertation adviser, director of vestibular and auditory research at a major university—only some six years beyond earning a PhD. Not only has she made significant contributions to the field of audiology through research and teaching future audiologists, her clinical research and direct patient care has resulted in significant contributions to advancing diagnostic tests for identifying balance disorders in the vestibular clinic.

In addition to being both a productive clinician and effective teacher, Dr. Piker exhibits an exceptional level of productivity in the form of 24 peer-reviewed reports, of which she is first author on 41 percent of these, and five book chapters. Other evidence of her extraordinary productivity includes obtaining four internal grants along with six external ones, including the AAA Foundation’s New Investigator Grant in 2014. In addition to her clinical, teaching, and research work, Dr. Piker has given back to the audiology field by contributing service in the area of peer reviews and editorial-board work for academic journals, committee work for professional societies, and state-level advocacy efforts. To summarize, in the six short years after earning a PhD, Dr. Piker has accomplished much in all four areas of assessment for the Early-Career Audiologist Award, including state-of-the-art research on pathological vestibular issues, full teaching and mentoring loads, providing appreciable clinical duties, and giving back to the audiology profession through extensive service.

Humanitarian Award

Debra Fried, MS

Debra Fried began traveling to Nicaragua more than 15 years ago to participate with Mayflower Medical Outreach in an audiologic/otologic medical mission. Since her first trip, she has worked tirelessly on behalf of the hearing-impaired community in the rural, coffee-producing town of Jinotega. She carved time out of her busy career as an audiologist and coordinator of audiology services at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York to make multiple trips per year, providing comprehensive and on-going services to the people of Nicaragua. Her relentless servitude earned her the positions as the director of audiology and a member of the board of directors for Mayflower Medical Outreach, Inc.

Despite her clinical and managerial responsibilities at Mount Sinai, Debra Fried knew she wanted to expand her footprint and bring her services to those in need. However, she was not content in simply bringing her services to overlooked populations, but rather she wanted to change the landscape of a community by creating opportunities for sustainable health-care access. Her achievements with the Mayflower Medical Outreach team cross the boundaries of audiology, medicine, and education.

Debra’s accomplishments in Nicaragua over the past 15 years are impressive. She designed and implemented an audiometric technician training program for the Nicaraguan Ministry of Health (MINSA) with grant support from the Hearing the World Foundation. This program now has more than a dozen Nicaraguan graduates who provide hearing care in their own country. She doesn’t stop there. With a grant from the Oticon Foundation, she designed and implemented an early hearing loss detection program in Jinotega. She cofounded the International Humanitarian Hearing Aid Purchasing Program (IHHAPP), which is designed to provide low-cost, high-quality hearing aids to low-resource environments. Each of her actions and accomplishments indicates she is the epitome of a servant leader. Her service is not just for a moment, not just for two weeks out of a year, but rather for a lifetime committed to lift and lead the hearing-impaired people of Jinotega on a path to self-sufficiency and access to sustainable hearing health care.

Outstanding Educator Award

Gail M. Whitelaw, PhD

Gail M. Whitelaw serves as the director of clinical instruction and research at the Ohio State University Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic. She works directly with students as a preceptor in the clinic, as a professor, as the fourth-year clinic placement coordinator, and capstone supervisor/committee member. She is the audiology faculty member on the Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Other Disorders housed at the Nisonger Center at Ohio State.

Her students describe how she always goes above and beyond. One of her former students sums it up: “Dr. Whitelaw is much more than a professor and preceptor. She is a remarkable mentor who cares deeply about the profession of audiology and the success of her students. She works harder than most to ensure that her students are receiving exceptional educational and clinical experiences.” Among her recognitions are the Central Ohio Speech–Language–Hearing Association Honors as Outstanding Supervisor, and the Distinguished Faculty Award by the Ohio State University Student Academy of Audiology.

Dr. Whitelaw’s influence extends far outside of Ohio State. She cares not only for her own students but also strives to create a better experience for all students in the profession. She was instrumental in the development of the American Board of Audiology’s Audiology Preceptor Certification and served on the board of the Council of Academic Programs in Communication Sciences and Disorders (CAPCSD). Dr. Whitelaw is also a member of the Accreditation Commission on Audiology Education (ACAE).

Marion Downs Pediatric Audiology Award

Alison M. Grimes, AuD

Alison M.Grimes has served the profession of audiology and the Academy with distinction over the course of her 40-year career. She has been a leader in the field, specifically in the practice area of pediatric audiology, and has served the profession through service at the national, state, and local levels. Dr. Grimes has been a tireless advocate for pediatric patients through her service on professional committees, advocacy, and through task force service. Among her numerous achievements, Dr. Grimes was instrumental in the development of standards for the American Board of Audiology specialty certification in pediatrics. Dr. Grimes has served as the Academy’s representative to the Joint Commission on Infant Hearing since 2005; in this capacity, she participated in the formulation of two iterations of the Principles and Guidelines for Early Hearing Detection and Intervention, as well as acting as chair of the commission.

In addition to her participation in the critical mission of establishing these guidelines for newborn hearing screening, she ensured dissemination of the guidelines to the audiology community with countless presentations at national and state level meetings. Dr. Grimes has been an instructor for the Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and related Disabilities (LEND) programs in California since 2008. She is also chair of the Academy’s Guidelines and Strategic Documents Committee.

International Award for Hearing

David T. Kemp, PhD, FRS

David T. Kemp clearly merits the Academy’s 2019 International Award for Hearing, due to his revolutionary and paradigm-shifting contributions to audiology practices and auditory research around the world. His landmark discovery of otoacoustic emissions (OAEs) in 1978 revealed that the cochlea generates sound and is much more than a passive receptor. Subsequently, David Kemp’s basic and translational hearing research with OAEs illuminated our theoretical understanding of hearing. He refined the use of OAEs as a critical method of characterizing auditory function, as now adopted by newborn hearing screening programs worldwide. OAEs have become key tools used to understand auditory neuropathy, probe other forms of cochlear and neural hearing loss, and provide important crosschecks with behavioral test methods.

In addition, David Kemp’s discoveries, inventions, collaborations, and teaching serve as the foundations for careers of many audiologists and hearing scientists. He developed a commercial resource to facilitate implementation of OAEs that continues, under his leadership, to be a driving force in the arena of clinical instrumentation. The resources from that company have helped to build a premier auditory research center at the Centre for Auditory Research, University College of London Ear Institute. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society, has earned the Award of Merit from the Association for Research in Otolaryngology, and the von Bekesy Medal from the Acoustical Society of America. He is respected for sharing his time and his talents abundantly with colleagues and students.