Phonak has awarded the 2013 Cheryl DeConde Johnson Award for outstanding achievement in educational and pediatric audiology to Erin C. Schafer, PhD, associate professor in speech and hearing sciences at the University of Northern Texas.

“Dr Schafer is a tireless worker who has dedicated her life to improving the well-being of children with hearing loss. She is an innovative researcher who has positively changed educational audiology services provided around the world,” said Jace A. Wolfe, PhD, director of audiology at Hearts for Hearing, a nonprofit foundation in Oklahoma City, and adjunct assistant professor and coordinator of the Audiology Clinical Practicum at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, in his nomination of Dr Schafer.  

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From left to right: Hans Mulder, Phonak; Erin Schafer; Miranda Weidle, Phonak; and Cheryl DeConde Johnson


Wolfe added, “Most impressively, despite all of her accomplishments, Dr Schafer is one of the kindest and most humble persons you will ever meet. Her work is focused on optimizing outcomes in children, and she seeks no personal recognition as she pursues that objective.”

Schafer has continually been on the forefront of published research in the areas of appropriate FM settings, evaluation of FM benefit, and FM orientation, particularly in the context of use with cochlear implants. She also has explored other FM research topics, such as evaluating the benefit of ear level FM systems for children on the autism spectrum with normal hearing. 

Additionally, she has written several peer-reviewed publications and is the current editor of the Journal of Educational Audiology.

Phonak’s annual Cheryl DeConde Johnson Award honors an audiologist working in a school program or in pediatric research who made a significant contribution to improve the level of service to hard of hearing children, by sharing exceptional knowledge about communication systems, and by working to advance the use of available technologies.

The award is named for Cheryl DeConde Johnson, EdD, FAAA, the first hearing health professional to receive the award for her many years working as an educational audiologist and deaf educator, including 15 years directing the audiology and deaf education programs for the state of Colorado.

SOURCE: Phonak