Starkey Names Harvey Abrams as Director of Audiology Research

Harvey Abrams, PhD

Starkey Laboratories Inc, Eden Prairie, Minn, has appointed Harvey Abrams, PhD, as director of audiology research. He will lead the Audiology Research Department within the research division at Starkey, and will manage research relationships with university audiology researchers worldwide.

Abrams is well known within the audiology community, having written many papers and book chapters on evidence-based practice, outcome measures, treatment efficacy, and patient quality of life, as well as writing articles for HR. He has played a prominent role in organizations such as the American Academy of Audiology and the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, participating as a member and chair on many committees and task forces.

“His research focus on patient benefit perfectly matches Starkey’s mission to improve the patient journey,” said Brent Edwards, PhD, vice-president of research. “We look forward to his leadership in audiology having an immediate impact on audiologic research at Starkey and strengthening our already strong evidence-based development approach.”

A native of Brooklyn, NY, Abrams obtained his bachelor’s degree at George Washington University and both his master’s and doctorate degrees at the University of Florida. He most recently was associate chief of staff for research and development at the VA Healthcare System, Bay Pines, Fla. Earlier positions include director of research at the Audiology & Speech Center, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, and chief of audiology and speech pathology at the VA Healthcare System, Bay Pines. Abrams has held academic appointments at the University of South Florida, the University of Maryland, Salus University, and the University of Florida.

In Memoriam:

Jerome D. Schein
Jerome D. Schein

Jerome Daniel Schein

1923 – 2010

Jerome Daniel Schein, PhD, born May 27, 1923, professor emeritus at New York University, former professor at Gallaudet University, and adjunct professor at the University of Alberta, passed away at his home in Coconut Creek, Fla, on April 16, 2010.

Dr Schein was an international authority on deafness/deafness studies. He was the only person to have held both of the only two endowed chairs of deafness research in the world: the P.V. Doctor Chair at Gallaudet University and the David Peikoff Chair at the University of Alberta (Canada).

He published 25 books and more than 200 refereed papers on sensory disorders and received numerous honors and awards. His most recent book, Hearing Disorders Handbook, with Maurice H. Miller, PhD, was published in 2008, and an article by Drs Schein and Miller titled “Genetics and Deafness: Implications for Education and Life Care of Students with Hearing Loss” appeared in last month’s HR.

Dr Schein’s first experience with deafness and persons who are Deaf began in 1960 when he joined the faculty at Gallaudet College (now University) as a professor of psychology and director of the Office of Psychological Research. While at GU, he was also the editor of dsh Abstracts (1961 to 1965) and held various offices in the District of Columbia Psychological Association, including the presidency. He was elected a Fellow of the American Psychological Association in 1976.

In order to teach at Gallaudet, it was necessary to be a proficient user of American Sign Language (ASL). Dr Schein was fortunate to be given a variety of intensive, informal sessions with Deaf staff who introduced him to ASL, which he learned quickly and felt at home with. He always felt close to the Deaf Community because of the way he was introduced to it. He went on to write several books and dictionaries concerning sign language as well as chairing doctoral committees on the subject. Fred Schrieber, who was the executive director of the National Association of the Deaf, laughingly called Jerome’s communication “Scheinese.” Royalties from a biography he wrote about Fred Schrieber, A Rose for Tomorrow, support NAD activities for the welfare of Deaf people as well as an annual award to individuals who served the Deaf in volunteer capacities. He himself was a recipient of the Golden Rose award in 2002.

In 1968, he accepted the position of dean of education and home economics at the University of Cincinnati. While there, he wrote The Deaf Community: Studies in the Social Psychology of Deafness.

From 1970 to 1986, he was professor of sensory rehabilitation at New York University, then emeritus professor. At NYU, he was the director of the Deafness Research and Training Center. He also served as president of the New York Society for the Deaf and wrote many papers and books, including the landmark Deaf Population of the United States, with Marcus Delk, A Complete Guide to Communication with Deafblind Persons, with Linda Kates, and edited The Deaf Jew in the Modern World, with Lester J. Waldman. He directed many projects including Communication Abilities for Deafblind Students, resulting in a curriculum for Deafblind students, AIM: Assessment Intervention Matrix, written with his wife, Enid Wolf-Schein, a noted speech-language pathologist. AIM was updated in 2009 to a CD-ROM format.

In the 1970s, he was told that the only interpreter in Puerto Rico had died, and there was no one else to take his place. Immediately, he designed a program to train the first professional interpreters in Puerto Rico. One of his favorite experiences was speaking at a Deaf club in San Juan where he spoke English and signed ASL, which was then translated into Puerto Rican sign language.

Because of his personal experience at Gallaudet University, Dr Schein introduced a long-running series of intensive sign language classes for not only students but anyone interested in learning ASL. Most of these courses were taught by prominent Deaf people such as Martin Sternberg and Mary Beth Miller. He also initiated the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf both to improve the quality of interpreting and to make more interpreting services available.

When he retired from NYU, he accepted the P.V. Doctor Chair of Deaf Studies at Gallaudet where he wrote a popular book about the Deaf Community called At Home Among Strangers. From 1989 to 1993, he held the David Peikoff Chair of Deafness Studies at the University of Alberta where he also was chairman of the Premier’s Council on the Status of Persons with Disability. He also did a study of Deaf persons in Canada for Statistics Canada and held an International Conference on Postsecondary Education for the Deaf, and edited a Proceedings of the Conference.

Dr Schein’s most recent books were: Language in Motion (with D.A. Stewart); Sign Language Interpreting (with D.A. Stewart and B.E. Cartwright); and Hearing Disorders Handbook (with Dr Miller). He received numerous awards from several of the most distinguished organizations in the field. Many of his students went on to doctoral degrees and positions in universities, schools for the deaf, and government.

He is survived by his wife Enid Gordon Wolf-Schein, daughters Carole Owens and Raleigh Schein, stepsons Marcus Wolf and Laurence Wolf, five grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren. Materials and papers of Jerome Schein are in the Gallaudet University Archives.

Source: Dr Maurice H. Miller

In Memoriam:

Sadanand Singh, PhD
Sadanand Singh, PhD

Sadanand Singh


The hearing health care field lost, on February 27, Sadanand Singh, PhD, perhaps the industry’s most prominent book publisher, who founded three publishing houses that focused on hearing and audiology titles.

Although Dr Singh was a respected university educator, he was best known as a publisher. Speech-language pathologists, audiologists, otolaryngologists, and a host of other specialists need only look at their bookshelves to see the numerous titles published by College-Hill Press, Singular Publishing Group, and Plural Publishing Inc, to realize the magnitude of the contribution Dr Singh made to the education of everyone in those professions.

Dr Singh was born in 1934 in the State of Bihar in India. Predestined to be a farmer in the fields of Bihar, he credited the written word and his love of books with getting him out of the field and launching a career as a speech scientist and, eventually, a publisher.

He earned two doctorate degrees, one in aesthetics from Ranchi University and the other in speech and hearing science from Ohio State University. From there, he launched a distinguished career as a speech scientist, with appointments as professor at Ohio University and professor and chairman at Howard University, at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center, and later at San Diego State University. He was highly regarded as a scientist and educator, and he had numerous related accomplishments and awards.

Among Dr Singh’s most cherished accomplishments was being an author. He wrote a number of important books in his early career, including a notable treatise on phonetics, which is now in its third edition. It was his experience as an author that led him naturally into his other career, that of publisher.

In 1980, Dr Singh founded College-Hill Press, which quickly became one of the largest publishers in the speech and hearing sciences field with more than 250 titles. He later sold College-Hill Press to Time Inc under the Little-Brown holdings. He returned to publishing several years later, creating the Singular Publishing Group in 1990. In 8 short years, Singular held in print more than 350 titles and seven journals.

Dr Singh tried again to retire from publishing in 1999 when he sold Singular to Thomson Delmar (now Delmar Cengage). In his retirement, however, he founded ContentScan, a company that created an Internet-based literature search program, and in 2004, he and his wife Angie founded Plural Publishing in response to the needs of many of his former authors. Today, Plural Publishing has a growing library in speech, language, hearing, dysphagia, singing, otolaryngology, and related fields.

Dr Singh’s contributions as a book publisher have had an enormous impact on the professions through the dissemination of knowledge to students and practitioners in the speech, hearing, medical, and singing professions. He was honored with a wealth of professional awards and recognitions. A partial list includes three honorary degrees, honorary Phi Beta Kappa membership, the Wilber Gould Highest Honors award from the American Voice Foundation, and the Distinguished Services Award from the Council of Graduate Programs in Communication Services and Disorders. In 2004, San Diego State University honored him with the endowed Sadanand Singh Professorship in Communication Sciences and Disorders. And, in 2006, he received the Honors of the American Speech-Hearing-Language Association—the professional association’s rarely bestowed highest award—as well as the Lybarger Award, the highest honor of the American Academy of Audiology. Most recently, he received the Diversity Award from ASHA.

Dr Singh not only had a brilliant mind; he also had a huge heart. Family was at the forefront of his priorities. Despite the distance of miles, he and his brothers spoke daily. He spent much of his time with Angie, his wife of 20 years; his twin teenage daughter and son, Sapna and Sanjay; and his adult children from previous marriages, Samir, Kalpana, Meena, Sheila, and Munni, and their children. He also returned to India to visit family annually. It seems that every field this man—who had been predestined to be a farmer—touched proved fertile. In addition to seeking balance through cultivating a prolific edible garden in his terraced backyard, Dr Singh cultivated scores of lifelong friendships around the world. He also leaves behind a staff saddened but devoted to carrying on the unique publishing vision he had for Plural Publishing and the professions it serves.

In honor of Dr. Singh’s many educational philanthropies, a fund has been established: The San Diego Foundation. Dr Sadanand Singh Fund. Contributions can be sent to: TSDF/Dr. Sadanand Singh Fund, 2508 Historic Decatur Rd, Suite 200, San Diego, CA 92106

Source: Plural Publishing

In Memoriam:

Russell Bennett

Russell Bennett


Russell Bennett, the Hearing Industries Association’s (HIA) general counsel from 1955 to 2003, died in March from cancer. A partner of the Minneapolis law firm Gray, Plant, Mooty, Mooty and Bennett, he joined the firm in 1954 following his discharge from the US Navy. At about the same time, hearing instrument manufacturers in Minneapolis agreed to organize a trade association, spearheaded by Leland Rosemond of Otarion and Leland Watson of Maico. They chose the name Hearing Aid Industry Conference (HAIC), which was essentially an offshoot of the public relations organization called the American Hearing Aid Association.

Bennett was deeply involved with many of the most important legislative moments in the industry’s history. In spring 1962, he served as HIA counsel at the famed Kefauver Committee hearings; the Health, Education and Welfare Department, Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) actions of the 1970s; as well as the anti-hearing aid testimony of Senator Church. In the 1980s, Senator Claude Pepper and the House Subcommittee on Health and Long Term Care carried out an investigation of the hearing industry with no result. The mid-90s brought with it FDA Commissioner David Kessler and his investigative actions of hearing-related advertising, as well as the agency’s intention to revise Federal regulations on the sale and distribution of hearing aids (which was ultimately tabled). Through it all, Bennett was a keen negotiator and expert in guiding the industry through these trying times.

Bennett’s association with the hearing industry nearly cost him his life in 1960 in an incident that he said profoundly affected his outlook on life. Upon arriving at the Minneapolis airport for a trip to Miami, Bennett and Watson were told that, due to a mistake in reservations, there was only one seat left on the aircraft. Since Watson was his client, Bennett offered to give up his seat and take a plane leaving in the evening. When Bennett arrived at the Miami airport, he learned that the Northwest flight on which Watson was flying had crashed. There were no survivors.

Said Carole Rogin of HIA: “Russ was great in every respect—he was a great big guy (remember those handshakes?). He had a great big smile and attitude, and an even bigger heart. Despite the fact that his illustrious law career took him way beyond the HIA board table, he stayed with us and guided HIA through the most challenging developmental years of the industry.”

Bennett had tremendous respect and influence in both Washington and the Twin Cities area. He was involved in the Boys Club and the United Way, and in 1988 he and his wife, Beth, received the National Society of Fund-Raising Executives Award for Outstanding Volunteer Leadership. Bennett also served as chairman of the University of Minnesota’s fundraising campaign—an effort that yielded $1.6 billion. Bennett was an accomplished mariner (he crossed the Atlantic in a 36-foot catamaran), and he and his wife spent much of their time on the water.

He is survived by his wife Beth, and his two daughters, Robin and Marym. Memorials can be sent to: The Bennett Family, 21957 Minnetonka Blvd, Unit 20, St Albans Bay Villas, Excelsior, MN 55331.