Theresa (Terry) Hnath Chisolm’s career exemplifies the intent of this prestigious American Academy of Audiology Distinguished Achievement Award. During the course of her MA work at Montclair State College and PhD work at the Graduate School of the City University of New York, she was already distinguishing herself amongst her teachers and peers. As one faculty recommendation noted, “…she exemplifies the ideal student: one who surpasses the master.”
Since the completion of her graduate schooling, Dr. Chisolm has held noteworthy positions at every level—staff audiologist, lecturer, assistant/associate/full professor, departmental chair, and most recently special assistant to the dean in the College of Behavioral and Community Sciences at the University of South Florida. In every role, she has distinguished herself as exemplary and influential.
From her early roots as an adjunct lecturer at City University Hunter College, where she developed her passion for rehabilitative audiology, to her current (and multiple) roles in academia, Dr. Chisolm has shown the ability to combine creativity, relevance, collaboration, and innovation. This contribution has not gone unnoticed, as she is also the recent recipient of the USF Incentive Program Award. Her teaching skills have been expanded to include 100 or more presentations at the local, state, national, and international levels. She has presented in nearly every state in the union, as well as in England, Belgium, Austria, Portugal, and Germany. Most recently, she was invited by the Ida Institute in Denmark to develop a preceptor program for university professors on the human dynamics of hearing loss. This invitation was due, in a large part, to the recognition of Dr. Chisolm’s creative and relevant teaching style. She embraces adult learning principles both in the training of future clinicians and academic, as well as the maintenance of expertise for current practitioners.
All of her teaching and travels have not interfered with the significant contributions from Dr. Chisolm in the research arena. She has contributed over 50 peer reviewed articles and chapters throughout her 30 year career, mostly in the area of adult rehabilitation. In fact, Dr. Chisolm’s name is practically synonymous with the topic area of the impact of hearing loss on quality of life. Her article, “A systematic review of the health-related quality of life and hearing aids” has become required reading in most audiology programs throughout the country. The quality of her research has been acknowledged by her peers throughout her career through multiple awards and grants.
Dr. Chisolm has also served her profession more than most over her career. She has worked on various committees for the Academy, ASHA, Academy of Rehabilitative Audiology, and the Florida Speech and Hearing Association. She was instrumental in developing a first-class AuD program at the University of South Florida, where she recently established one of the few AuD/PhD combined programs of excellence in the country. In all, her dedication and enthusiasm for the profession, as exemplified by her many accomplishments, makes her the ideal recipient for this year’s Distinguished Achievement Award.