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ACU Home > Major Events > News > 2004 News Archive > Longtime ACU professor receives several awards upon retirement
Jon Ashby
Dr. Jon Ashby

Longtime ACU professor receives several awards upon retirement

For immediate release
May 17, 2004

Dr. Jon Ashby, professor of communication and director of the Voice Institute of West Texas and Communication Sciences and Disorders Program, retired this year -- after 32 years of service to Abilene Christian University and 36 years as a practicing Audiologist and Speech-Language pathologist -- and will receive various awards for his years of service.

He will receive the nomination for the Frank Kleffner Lifetime Clinical Career Award by the Texas Speech-Language-Hearing Association at its annual convention in November.  This award recognizes an individual's exemplary contributions to clinical science and practice in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology over a period of at least 20 years by the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association.  One professional from each state may receive a nomination, and Ashby is this year's nominee from Texas.

Dr. MaLesa Breeding, associate professor of communication disorders who nominated Dr. Ashby, said "This award is given to people who make sweeping and comprehensive changes to the fields of speech pathology and audiology through service, and people who work to expand charitable goals in particular."

In addition, the Texas Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation will establish an endowed scholarship in Ashby's name to be awarded annually to a student at ACU.  This honor was announced at a banquet at the Texas Speech-Language-Hearing Association's state convention in San Antonio on April 16.  The Jon K. Ashby scholarship is currently in its fund development phase.

"Dr. Ashby has baptized his students, been a mentor to them and performed their weddings," Breeding said, "and that affects his nomination and the foundation of a scholarship in his name.  His vitae and accolades speak for themselves, but it tends to be those things for which he seeks no recognition for which he deserves this award."

Dr. Ashby has also provided humanitarian aid to many countries including Ethiopia, Russia, Egypt and Haiti through his services as a speech language pathologist and audiologist.

He is personally responsible for establishing five schools for the deaf in Ethiopia.

"He returns to Ethiopia on a regular basis with hearing aids, books, and of course to spend his time teaching at no benefit to himself.  No wonder he is considered a man of great honor in that country," Breeding said.

On a local level, Ashby, along with Dr. Charles Nelson and Dr. Austin King, is responsible for establishing the Voice Institute of West Texas, for which they received notable recognition in Texas Monthly as well as a proclamation from the Texas State Legislature.

The Voice Institute of West Texas provides diagnosis and treatment options to people who haven't been able to find help anywhere else, services for which they pay very little or nothing.  The institute has provided ground-breaking innovations including the use of botox for treatment of spasmodic dysphonia, and has led efforts in the diagnosis and treatment of the effects of laryngo-pharyngeal reflux.

Breeding, associate professor of communication disorders, will take Ashby's place as director of the Voice Institute of West Texas and Communication Sciences and Disorders Program.

Ashby also received the Professional Service Award from ACU's College of Arts and Sciences.

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