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Announcements & Accolades

Great news!  A paper from the Human Auditory Physiology Lab(HAPLAB) has been accepted for publication in Experimental Brain Research.  Authored by Dr. Andy Bowers (a PhD grad), DrTim Saltuklaroglu, Dr. Ashley Harkrider, Dr. David Jenson (recent PhD grad), and David Thornton (current PhD student), the paper entitled,  Power and phase coherence in sensorimotor mu and temporal lobe alpha components during covert and overt syllable productionreports data collected in the HAPLAB by our interdisciplinary research team and analyzed by Dr. Bowers at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville.  This fruitful collaboration between alumni and current faculty members continues to produce peer-reviewed data of interest to a broad scientific audience studying neurophysiology in the US and abroad. Congratulations to Dr. Bowers and his co-authors.

A manuscript, "Sex differences in early sensorimotor processing for speech discrimination," by David Thornton, Ashley Harkrider, David Jenson, and Tim Saltuklaroglu recently was accepted for publication in the journal Nature, Scientific Reports. These data were collected by David Thornton under the mentorship of Drs. Harkrider and Saltuklaroglu to fulfill the requirements of his second research project towards the earning of his PhD degree.  Congratulations to David and the entire Human Auditory Physiology Lab team!

Congratulations to Vickie Barnes who was recognized by the Tennessee Academy of Audiology and Speech Language Pathology with one of their most prestigious awards, the Lifetime Achievement Award. Everyone in the department agrees that Vickie is well deserving of this honor. It is wonderful to see the state that she has served so tirelessly for well over 30 years recognize the lasting impact of her contributions to families and children. Thank you, Vickie, for representing our Department, College, University, and professions in such a remarkable way.

Congratulations to Drs. Tim Saltuklaroglu, Ashley Harkrider, Devin Casenhiser, Kevin Reilly, David Jenson, Andy Bowers, and Ph.D. student David Thornton for the acceptance of their invited, peer-reviewed manuscript entitled, “EEG mu rhythms: Rich sources of sensorimotor information in speech processing” to the journal Brain and Language. This paper highlights the usefulness of EEG mu rhythm activity in elucidating the role of sensorimotor processing in speech, with supporting data culminating from research completed by current ASP faculty, matriculated PhD students (Jenson & Bowers), and a current student (Thornton) over the last 5 years.  Super work! 

Thank you to Dr. David Haynes, Director of the Department of Otolaryngology, Neurosurgery, and Hearing and Speech Sciences at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, for being our featured presenter at the 6th Annual Tom Davidson Conference.  Dr. Haynes shared his experiences in establishing and growing a cochlear implant program as well as considerations in the management of chronic ear diseases.  ASP’s own Dr. Patti Johnstone and cochlear implant representatives Dr. Lindsey Early and Ms. Taylor Sands also presented about research and advancements in cochlear implants.  Some of the presentations can found on our Continuing Education Page.  It was an informative day!

Congratulations to Dr. Sue Hume who, with co-authors Drs. Ilsa Schwarz and Mark Hedrick, recently had her paper “Preliminary Investigation of the Use of Phonological Awareness Paired With Production Training in Childhood Apraxia of Speech” published in ASHA Perspectives this month. Great work!

Congratulations to Dr. Molly Erickson who has a publication, entitled “Inexperienced Listeners’ Perception of Timbre Dissimilarity Within and Between Voice Categories” accepted to the Journal of Voice. This manuscript is the epitome of persistence pays off, as Dr. Erickson was able to collect additional data on a small number of highly experienced listeners to provide ratings of stimuli she used to collect data on inexperienced listeners years ago. Way to go!

Congratulations to Dr. Molly Erickson and co-author and former PhD student Payton Philips for their paper “Can Listeners Hear Who Is Singing? The Role of Listener Experience in Singer Discrimination Across Pitch” which has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Voice. Great work!

We welcome Jestina Bunch to our faculty as an Assistant Professor on the non-tenure track.  Jestina has been on staff with us for some time in the role of Demonstration Teacher, specializing in aural (re)habilitation with patients who have hearing loss.  Congratulations!

Congratulations to Dr. Mary Easterday (PhD student) and her faculty mentors, Drs. Patrick Plyler, Steve Doettl, and James Lewis, on the acceptance of their paper, "Effect of Intensity Level and Speech Stimulus Type on the Vestibulo-Ocular Reflex" in the Journal of the American Academy of Audiology.  These translational data are the result of Mary’s 2nd research project towards the fulfillment of her PhD program criteria and will impact clinical protocols for vestibular assessment.  Way to go, all!

Kudos to our own Dr. Eun Jin Paek for receiving the Advancing Academic-Research Careers (AARC) Award from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)! The AARC Award, a highly-competitive award given to only 10 individuals across the nation each year, is intended to support the academic-research careers of junior-level faculty in the field of communication sciences and disorders (CSD). The AARC Award supports mentored activities in both teaching and research. Dr. Paek will be honored for this achievement at the ASHA conference in Boston in November. Thank you, Dr. Paek, for representing UTHSC so well!

The UT Board of Trustees officially approved Dr. Kelly Yeager's promotion to Professor. The rank of Professor is the highest possible academic promotion and is awarded only to individuals who have served their institution with the highest distinction and earned and demonstrated a national/international reputation in their area(s) of expertise. Dr. Yeager has done both. One of the external reviewers who reviewed her dossier put it best when she said, “Dr. Yeager has remained on the cutting-edge of doctoral education in audiology, serving as a life-long learner and contributor” to her institution and the profession while “successfully educating the leaders of tomorrow.” This is a tremendous accomplishment. Congratulations Dr. Yeager!

Congratulations to Dr. Patrick Plyler, Dr. Mary Easterday (also an ASP Ph.D. student), and Thomas Behrens (from Oticon) on their recently accepted manuscript entitled, "The Effects of Extended Input Dynamic Range on Laboratory and Field-Trial Evaluations in Adult Hearing Aid Users." These data resulted from a grant Dr. Plyler received from Oticon and will be published in the Journal of the American Academy of Audiology.

Several ASP faculty and staff were featured presenters at the 2018 Building Best Practice Early Intervention Conference in Murfreesboro. Libby Beidelschies and Leanne Widmer presented "What CAN the Early Interventionist (EI) do to Help with Feeding?" and Vickie Barnes and Lydia Barry presented "Talking Should Be Easy, Right?". Impressive representation of our department!

Congratulations to Dr. Sue Hume and Allison Wegman on their article published in ASHA LEADER Live about the importance of protecting the voices of our teachers, highlighting strategies for doing so, and celebrating World Voice Day. See the full article here. 

Dr. Kenn Apel, professor and chair of Communication Sciences and Disorders at the University of South Carolina, was ASP’s featured speaker for the annual Sol Adler Conference, which was attended by more than 100 people from around the region. Dr. Apel provided important information about literacy and spelling in his presentation entitled, “It’s All About Word Study: A Multi-Linguistic Approach to Literacy Instruction.” We appreciate Dr. Apel for enthusiastically sharing his expertise on the subject!

Congratulations to Tiffani Kittilstved, Drs.. Reilly, Casenhiser, Harkrider, Bowers, and Saltuklaroglu, Tricia Hedinger, and David Thornton and David Jenson on their manuscript entitled “The effects of fluency enhancing conditions on sensorimotor control of speech in typically fluent speakers: An EEG mu rhythm study,” which was recently accepted for publication in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. These data resulted from Ms. Kittilstved’s master’s thesis.

Congratulations to Dr. James Lewis who recently had the following manuscript accepted for publication:  The area discontinuity between probe and ear canal as a source of power-reflectance measurement-location variability in The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America.

Dr. Erin Plyler and Jestina Bunch provided an in-service on auditory processing (AP) disorders to the Episcopal School of Knoxville, who specifically requested the training for their educators.  The presentation focused on the red flags of AP disorders, knowing when to seek an evaluation, and strategies for the classroom.

Thank you to Vince Vawter, who was the guest of honor at ASP’s “An Evening with Vince Vawter”. Vawter, a Louisville, Tennessee resident and author of Newbery award-winning novel “Paperboy”, spoke about his book, his experiences with stuttering, and his future creative plans to a room-full of community members, students, and faculty.

Congratulations to Dr. James Lewis who was awarded a CORNET Clinical Award from the UTHSC Office of Research for his collaborative grant proposal entitled, “Defining and predicting outcomes of congenital Cytomegalovirus infection.”   Dr. Steve Goodman, Vice Chancellor for Research at UTHSC wrote in the award letter, “Your team’s submission was chosen from a large and very competitive field of impressive applications from your fellow UTHSC colleagues. As the Vice Chancellor for Research, I wanted to let you know that Dr. Sam Dagogo-Jack, UTHSC, and myself are proud of your accomplishment and are very excited about this collaboration. We wish you every success in your research program.”

Angie Orr just completed an educational series on safe swallowing in senior adults to the Karns and Halls Senior Centers. After each presentation, Ms. Orr offered free swallowing screens to those interested. The series was so successful that Ms. Orr has been invited to return for additional educational presentations this summer.

Many thanks to David Levine, PT, PhD, DPT, Diplomate ABPTS (Orthopedics), CCRP, Cert. DN, Professor and Walter M. Cline Chair of Excellence in Physical Therapy at UT Chattanooga and Henry G. Spratt, Jr., Ph.D., Professor in Biology, Geology, & Environmental Science at UT Chattanooga for an excellent presentation titled, “Healthcare-associated Infections and Prevention Strategies in Clinical Settings”.  The lecture was attended by a host of UTHSC faculty, staff, and graduate students as well as community-based providers.


Congratulations to Dr. James Lewis who recently had a paper accepted by the Journal of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology called “Synchronized Spontaneous Otoacoustic Emissions Provide a Signal-to-Noise Ratio Advantage in Medial-Olivocochlear Reflex Assays.”

Congratulations to Drs.. Patrick Plyler, Brittney Tardy (recent ASP AuD grad), and Dr. Mark Hedrick on their manuscript "The Effects of Non-Linear Frequency Compression and Digital Noise Reduction on Word Recognition and Satisfaction Ratings in Noise in Adult Hearing Aid Users" recently accepted for publication in the Journal of the American Academy of Audiology.

Congratulations to Dr. Jill McCarthy and her co-authors Dr. Mark Hedrick and Cary Springer for the recent acceptance of their manuscript entitled, “Relations between Speech Production, Speech Perception, and Spelling in Children with Complex Communication Needs: A Preliminary Examination.” in the December edition of Speech, Language and Hearing.

Dr. Mark Gaylord, a long-standing member of ASP’s Community Development Board selected as one of UTHSC College of Medicine’s 2017 Outstanding Alumni
Congratulations to Ph.D. student, Ms. Jessica Defenderfer, on her manuscript, “Investigating the Role of Temporal Lobe Activation in Speech Perception Accuracy with Normal Hearing Adults: An Event-Related fNIRS Study”, recently accepted for publication in Neuropsychologia.  Her faculty mentors on this research project and co-authors on the publication are Dr. Mark Hedrick, and Dr. Aaron Buss and Anastasia Kerr-Germain (both from Psychology).  This is another great example of successful interprofessional collaboration!  
Welcome to Ms. Angie Orr, MA., CCC-SLP, who was recently hired as clinical Assistant Professor.   Ms. Orr is an expert in the area of swallowing/FEES (among other areas) and brings a wealth of clinical and educational experience to our SLP program. 
Congratulations to Dr. Kevin Reilly whose latest manuscript, "Vowel generalization and its relation to adaptation during perturbations of auditory feedback,” was recently accepted for publication by the Journal of Neurophysiology.  His co-author is a former thesis student of his from Northeastern.

Last Published: Dec 4, 2018