For the past 35 years, Dr. Tharpe has made a significant and lasting impact on pediatric audiology through her research, educational contributions, and service to the profession. Her contributions have altered and accelerated the course of treatment and improved the quality of care to young children with hearing loss. Her research, which is significantly federal funding, is timely, innovative, clinically relevant, and possesses far-reaching clinical innovations. Her research interests cover topics such as unilateral hearing loss, minimal bilateral hearing loss, auditory characteristics of children with autism, home-based versus center-based intervention for infants and toddlers with hearing loss, and the importance of evidence-based practices.

Dr. Tharpe’s book Comprehensive Handbook of Pediatric Audiology has become the seminal text on hearing loss in children. She has contributed to more than 80 publications and most of those publications are required in audiology training programs throughout the United States.

Dr. Tharpe has also influenced clinical practice in pediatric audiology through her teaching and mentoring. She has supported scores of graduate students in pediatric audiology through her training grants and has garnered several million dollars in scholarships to fund Vanderbilt trainees interested in serving infants and toddlers with hearing loss.

Dr. Tharpe is in great demand for speaking engagements and has made hundreds of presentations and short courses at local, state, regional, national, and international meetings. She is actively involved in the development of innovative approaches to teaching as well as the delivery of health-related services including distance-learning programs, intelligent tutoring systems for audiology students, and tele-audiology.

Through her landmark contributions to the profession and to children with hearing loss and their families her tireless efforts have made ground-breaking moves in the profession. She has served on numerous national task forces, working groups, and committees that focus on improving the quality of health-care services to children with hearing loss and supporting their families.