Donald Schum, PhD, vice president of audiology and professional relations for Oticon, Inc, Somerset, NJ, has received the 2010 Distinguished Alumni Award from the College of Applied Health Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Schum was honored for his outstanding contributions to education and research in speech and hearing science.

After graduating from the University of Illinois in 1982 with a bachelor’s degree in speech and hearing science, Schum went on to earn a master’s of audiology from the University of Iowa in 1984 and a PhD in audiology from Louisiana State University in 1988.

Dr. Schum joined the Department of Otolaryngology and Communicative Sciences at the Medical University of South Carolina as an assistant professor after completing his doctoral degree. From there, he moved to the University of Iowa as an assistant professor and director of the Hearing Aid Lab. In 1995, he joined Oticon’s main office in Copenhagen, Denmark, as a senior audiologist, and three years later was promoted to vice president of audiology and professional relations in the company’s Somerset, New Jersey, facility. In this position, he creates and implements training materials, oversees live and distance professional training activities, develops professional support materials and tools, coordinates all contacts with customers, associated professionals, and the public at large, speaks at national and international professional meetings, and coordinates the clinical research program. 

Dr. Schum has also published more than two-dozen authored or co-authored research articles in such journals as Journal of Speech and Hearing Disorders, Hearing Journal, and Journal of the American Academy of Audiology. He is also co-editor of Assistive Devices for the Hearing Impaired, published in 1994 by Allyn & Bacon and has served as an assistant editor of the American Journal of Audiology and as a reviewer for the Journal of Speech and Hearing Research and the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America.

He currently serves on the Executive Board of the American Auditory Society and on the editorial board of the Journal of the American Academy of Audiology, and is a reviewer for Ear and Hearing.

Dr. Tanya Gallagher, dean of the College of Applied Health Sciences, said in the press statement, “Dr. Schum has done so much to improve the lives of people with hearing impairments. I have no doubt that his work will have lasting impact on individuals and the profession.”

SOURCE: Oticon