Chicago — Beltone Electronics, Chicago, awarded the Larry Mauldin Award for Excellence in Education to Dr Joseph Smaldino and Dr Juliëtte Sterkens in a gathering of friends, students, and colleagues at the Hyatt Regency next to the AAA Convention in Chicago.

The Mauldin Award is unique because honorees are solely nominated and selected by their industry peers.

From left to right: Dr Smaldino, Todd Murray, Dr Sterkens  

Generally, the award is given to a single individual each year. However, this year, the award committee decided that it could not choose between two deserving nominees.

“Beltone is proud to present this award to Dr Sterkens and Dr Smaldino,” said Todd Murray, president of Beltone North America. “Their extraordinary contributions to the field of audiology and the hearing care industry are profound. We are grateful for their ongoing efforts to improve our industry through continuing education and innovation.”

Dr Smaldino has spent the majority of his career working in higher education, sharing his knowledge with future audiologists. He has held faculty appointments at the University of Minnesota-Duluth, Southern Illinois University, University of Northern Iowa, Northern Illinois University and Illinois State University. His recent research and writings have focused on classroom acoustics and the impact of acoustics on listening and learning.

In addition, Dr Smaldino co-authored the ASHA guidelines relating to classroom acoustics and was on the working group that produced the 2002, 2009 and 2010 American National Standards Institute on classroom acoustics. The 2005 text, “Sound Field Amplification: Applications to Speech Perception and Classroom Acoustics,” which Smaldino co-authored with Carl Crandell and Carol Flexer, is considered a standard resource for those working in the schools.

Born and raised in the Netherlands, Dr Juliëtte Sterkens is the co-owner of the Fox Valley Hearing Center, with locations in Oshkosh, Neenah, and Ripon, Wis. Dr Sterkens serves on the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) and American Academy of Audiology (AAA) “Get in the Hearing Loop” Joint National Task Force. For almost 30 years, her passion has been helping persons with hearing loss, which led her to found the Fox Valley Hearing Loop Initiative.

She advocates for hearing loops on a local, state, and international level through speaking engagements and by writing numerous articles supporting the use of this technology. By reaching out to hearing health care professionals, the audiovisual industry, church officials, and consumers, she has fostered hearing loop initiatives and installations across the country. Her efforts have resulted in more than 50 large hearing loop installations throughout Wisconsin, a number expected to double in 2011.

"I am honored to be chosen for this award by my colleagues,” said Dr Smaldino. “It is very rewarding to be recognized as an educator and advocate within the industry that has become my life’s passion," added Dr Sterkens.

The Mauldin Award was created to honor the accomplishments of the late Larry Mauldin, especially for his work and commitment to education in the field of audiology. His passion was to advance the knowledge of audiology and hearing aid fittings to as broad an audience as possible. Presented annually since 1999, the award is given to an industry leader committed to continuing education and unselfishly giving back to the profession, the community, and those with hearing loss.

SOURCE: Beltone and Hearing Review