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doi: 10.1097/01.HJ.0000389929.87668.34

Over the Wire, a monthly feature, reports the latest developments in the hearing healthcare profession, including the activities of state and national professional associations and other nonprofit organizations. Please submit information to David Kirkwood, Editor, The Hearing Journal, 108 E 96th St., Suite 16C, New York, NY 10128, fax 212/784-1149; or e-mail

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WARRENVILLE, IL—The Phonak Hear the World Foundation has announced that Nicole Duncan, an AuD student at the University of North Carolina (UNC), is the first recipient of its annual Judith Gravel Fellowship in Pediatric Audiology. The fellowship honors the late Judith Gravel, who was internationally renowned for her expertise in pediatric audiology and for her many contributions to clinical research and professional service.



At UNC, Duncan has demonstrated a passion for pediatric audiology and amplification. After her interest was sparked as a YMCA volunteer working with at-risk children in Florida, she pursued her doctorate at UNC, where she received specialized training in pediatric audiology through a U.S. Department of Education Pediatric Audiology Training Grant and LEND Fellowship.

“Nicole has demonstrated the abilities and commitment commensurate with the fellowship's requirements, including compassionate clinical care, rigorous research, and adherence to evidence-based practice, exemplified by the late Dr. Gravel,” said Richard Seewald, AuD, a friend and frequent collaborator with Judy Gravel. Seewald, the former director of the National Centre for Audiology at the University of Western Ontario, is a Hear the World Foundation advisory board member.

In conjunction with the Department of Otolaryngology at the UNC School of Medicine, the foundation awards the Gravel Fellowship annually to a fourth-year AuD student whose externship will be completed at UNC hospitals that focus on infants and young children with hearing loss.

Applications for the 2011 Gravel Fellowship are being accepted through October 15. Information is available at

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EDEN PRAIRIE, MN—Working with ABC's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, the Starkey Hearing Foundation is providing over 400 hearing aids to students, family members, faculty, and alumni from the Oregon School for the Deaf in Salem.

“We go where we can help and this project seemed perfect,” said Bill Austin, CEO and founder of the Starkey Foundation and a former resident of Oregon. “These are great kids and we knew we could improve hearing for most of them.” Since 2000, Starkey Hearing Foundation has distributed nearly 500,000 hearing aids throughout 86 countries.

On Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, the beneficiaries are typically sent on a vacation while local developers complete the building project. Therefore, said Austin, “It made sense to bring the students to Minnesota where we could address hearing issues with maximum resources at our disposal. We also created a fun and exciting adventure for them in the Twin Cities.

The students and their families visited a number of local attractions in the Twin Cities before returning home. One of the highlights including taking in a Twins game at Target Field, where they performed Take Me Out to the Ballgame for the seventh inning stretch.

Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” is shown on Sundays at 8 pm Eastern time on ABC. The program involving the Starkey Foundation is expected to air on October 31.

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NAERUM, DANMARK—The Ida Institute has created a video and educational cartoon card targeted at young people listening to loud music. The goal is to increase awareness among teens that loud music can lead to permanent hearing loss and encourages them to turn the volume down.

The Ida campaign was inspired by Deborah Von Hapsburg, PhD, an audiology professor at the University of Tennessee who worked with the Ida Institute this summer. While on a bus in Copenhagen, she noticed a teenager listening to loud music on his iPod. Since she didn't know Danish, she made a drawing of damaged hair cells on a notepad and gave it to him. She was pleased when the startled young man removed his earbuds after reading her note.



“When we heard her story at lunch, it occurred to me that we all see and hear young people listening to loud music yet we never approach them,” said Lise Lotte Bundesen, director of the institute. “Through partnerships in our network, we aim to inspire a grass-roots campaign to educate these young people. We hope everyone feels they can participate by just giving out the card, printing them as stickers, or sending a link to our video.”

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JACKSON HOLE, WY—Starkey Laboratories was title sponsor of the 2010 Jackson Hole Rendezvous held in August. Presenters shared their insights about hearing rehabilitation, industry trends, hearing aid research, hearing aid technology, and auditory processing disorders.

“This meeting brings together experts on a wide variety of topics in audiology,” said Barry Freeman, PhD, senior director of education and audiology for Starkey. Speakers included Drs. Dave Fabry, Brad Stach, Patricia Kricos, Jason Galster, Terry Chisolm, Harvey Abrams, Sergei Kochkin, Ian Windmill, Dave Preves, Sheri Smith, and Brent Edwards.

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STAFA, SWITZERLAND—Hear the World, a Phonak global initiative, organized an expedition that took students of mixed hearing abilities from across the U.S. to the Peruvian Amazon for 10 days this summer. The Amazon rainforest is a complex listening environment exploding with life where the ability to listen is especially crucial. Thus, Hear the World reckoned, it would be the perfect setting to educate students about the importance of hearing, the consequences of hearing loss, and the need to end the stigma around hearing loss.

Led by Bill Barkeley, a deaf-blind adventurer, the students participated in sound-related activities, including a hearing loss simulation and a sound exercise where two students heard underwater sounds for the first time. Videos from the expedition can be viewed at

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OLD WESTBURY, NY—Patricia Chute, EdD, has been appointed dean of the New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) School of Health Professions. She joined NYIT after serving as dean of New York-based Mercy College's School of Health and Natural Sciences.

Holder of an EdD in audiology from Teachers College at Columbia University, she is an expert on cochlear implants and has traveled throughout the world to help hearing-impaired children and adults.

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.