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NMSU alumna to receive highest honor from speech association

A New Mexico State University alumna has been selected to receive the highest honor from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).



New Mexico State University alumna Emily A. Tobey has been selected to receive the highest honor from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). Out of more than 140,000 ASHA members, only 200 have been awarded the Honors of the Association to date. (Submitted Photo)

Emily A. Tobey, a 1973 NMSU graduate and associate provost, professor and Nelle C. Johnston Chair in Early Childhood Communication Disorders at the University of Texas at Dallas, will receive the Honors of Association for her contributions to the field of speech, language and hearing.

Out of more than 140,000 ASHA members, only 200 have been awarded the Honors of the Association to date.

"I am thrilled to receive the honor," Tobey said. "Although I will accept the award as an individual, the award really represents a team effort. I am very appreciative of my family, friends, students and colleagues for their support of my career."

Tobey was raised in Deming, N.M., and she received her undergraduate degree in speech-language pathology from NMSU.

She chose to study American Sign Language for her foreign language requirement, which ultimately led her to become a teacher of the deaf. She also became interested in working with people who use cochlear implants, devices which restore aspects of hearing for people who are deaf.

Tobey said the late professor Edgar Garrett, founder of the Communication Disorders Program at NMSU, introduced her to research during her junior year at NMSU. He allowed her to participate as a paraprofessional clinician on his National Institutes of Health grant examining if paraprofessionals could deliver articulation therapy as effectively as master-level speech clinicians.

"Working on the grant solidified my curiosity about nearly everything having to do with speech," Tobey said. "I have so many wonderful memories from that time."

Tobey went on to obtain her master's degree from Louisiana State University and her doctorate in speech science at the City University of New York.

She has also been a frequent guest lecturer at NMSU, hosting hearing lessons and workshops for students.

Tobey heads the Executive Committee of the Dallas Cochlear Implant Program and was named the Polykarp Kusch lecturer, the highest honor granted by UT-Dallas to an individual faculty member. She has published more than 100 peer-reviewed articles involving cochlear implants.

Other honors Tobey has received include summer distinguished lecturer-in-residence at Texas Woman's University; distinguished academy scientist, Louisiana Academy of Sciences; fellow of the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association and Acoustical Society of America; visiting scholar at the Australian Bionic Ear and Hearing Research Institute and visiting research professor at the University of Montpellier.