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Audiology professor Schow retires after 32 years

April 27, 2007
ISU Marketing and Communications

Ron Schow, PhD, professor of audiology in the Idaho State University Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, & Education of the Deaf (CSED), is retiring from ISU this spring after 32 years at the University.

A retirement reception for Dr. Schow is scheduled from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Friday, April 27, at the ISU Magnuson Alumni House, 554 S. 7th Ave., Pocatello. Friends and colleagues are welcome to come and celebrate with him.

 “I’ve just had a terrific experience at ISU and worked in a wonderful department,” Schow said. “The colleagues and students I’ve had here are top rate and we have a program here that has earned a national reputation for its quality.”

One legacy Schow will leave behind is the textbook “Introduction to Audiologic Rehabilitation” that he co-edited with Michael Nerbonne. The fifth edition of the textbook was recently published. It was originally written in 1980.  Besides being used by ISU students, it is one of the top-three selling textbooks for its subject matter in the United States.

A native of Preston, Idaho, Schow earned his Bachelor of Science degree in zoology and Master of Science degree in speech-pathology and audiology from Utah State University in the late 1960s. He received his doctorate in audiology from Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., in 1974. He taught three years at Illinois State University before returning to his beloved southeast Idaho and starting at ISU.

During his time at ISU, Schow has taught hundreds of undergraduates and has been the faculty advisor, major professor and/or mentored more than 150 graduate students. ISU has Idaho’s only audiology program, which is taught in Pocatello and Boise. Originally a master’s level program, it is now a four-year doctoral program.

Schow is proud of the students he has worked with. Three of his master’s students went on to earn doctoral degrees elsewhere and have returned to teach in the ISU CSED program. Others have distinguished themselves in the audiology field and remain in contact with Schow. The son of one of Schow’s first students is currently enrolled in the audiology program at ISU, so Schow has taught two generations of one family.

His roots at ISU are deep. His brother, Wayne Schow, PhD, was an English professor at ISU for many years. He retired several years ago. All five of Ron Schow’s children attended ISU. Four received bachelor degrees from this institution, and the other one is a D.D.S. who completed the Idaho Dental Education Program. One of his daughters, Leann, also graduated with a master’s degree from the Speech-Language Pathology program at ISU and now works at Portneuf Regional Medical Center. Schow’s interests go well beyond just teaching. He has done extensive research at ISU and has been a pioneer in the self-assessment of hearing and central hearing processing of children.

Besides his textbook, Schow has written several other books and monographs. He has written more than a dozen book chapters and is widely published in his field, with 35 major publications. He has presented papers and research nationally and internationally, including being an invited guest speaker at the International Conference on Hearing Aids in Alexandria, Egypt, in 1984. Within his field his peers have recognized him. He is a Fellow of the American Speech-Language & Hearing Association (ASHA), a charter member of the International Collegium of Rehabilitative Audiology and was honored as an ISU Outstanding Researcher two times. His public service includes being a member of the State of Idaho Council for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, 1991 to the present, and a member of the Governor’s Task Force for the Hearing Impaired from 1987 to 1989.

“Working with motivated, bright college students has been a choice privilege.  I feel very grateful to ISU for allowing me the opportunity to do the research I’ve done and for providing professional development support all during my career,” Schow said.


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