A Debt to Robert West I was delighted to read the recent tributes to Robert West provided by Gerald Siegel and Annette Zaner. I’d like to add my own tributes to the memories of this remarkable man. For those who don’t know, he was one of the founders of the disciplines that led to the ... Inbox
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A Debt to Robert West
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Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Hearing Disorders / Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants & Assistive Technology / Professional Issues & Training / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Inbox
Inbox   |   November 01, 2008
A Debt to Robert West
The ASHA Leader, November 2008, Vol. 13, 4. doi:10.1044/leader.IN1.13152008.4
The ASHA Leader, November 2008, Vol. 13, 4. doi:10.1044/leader.IN1.13152008.4
I was delighted to read the recent tributes to Robert West provided by Gerald Siegel and Annette Zaner. I’d like to add my own tributes to the memories of this remarkable man. For those who don’t know, he was one of the founders of the disciplines that led to the professions of speech-language pathology and audiology, and was the first ASHA president. I was fortunate in having him as one of my professors at Brooklyn College. With his deep, booming voice and profound knowledge of his material, he made a lasting impression on all of his students. He didn’t just provide theoretical lectures, but example after example as we watched him perform diagnostics through a one-way mirror. He convinced us that these were professions to be respected and in which we could make a difference in people’s lives.
I also owe him a personal debt. He encouraged me to go on for my PhD at Stanford University and I’m convinced that it was his letter on my behalf that ensured my acceptance. This was at a time when one never saw a graduate student wearing a hearing aid (and mine was one of these visible body aids). I functioned well and evidently this was all that mattered to him (and, for the record, all that mattered during my entire career). Still, at the time no training program that I knew of would admit a student who used hearing aids. Fortunately, we’ve learned better since.
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November 2008
Volume 13, Issue 15