Page 58 - Winter2018
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Sound Perspectives
Sandra Gordon-Salant
Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences University of Maryland 7251 Preinkert Drive College Park, Maryland 20742 USA
Micheal L. Dent
Department of Psychology University at Buffalo State University of New York B76 Park Hall Buffalo, New York 14260 USA
Ask an Acoustician: Sandra Gordon-Salant
 Meet Sandra Gordon-Salant
In this edition of “Ask an Acoustician,” we hear from Sandra Gordon-Salant. Sandy is a professor in the De- partment of Hearing and Speech Sciences at the Univer- sity of Maryland, College Park ( She is well known for her studies on speech perception and ag- ing. Sandy is a Fellow of the Acoustical Society of Amer- ica (ASA) and a Fellow and Honoree of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) and has won numerous awards for her research and teaching ac- tivities. Sandy can tell you the rest.
 56 | Acoustics Today | Winter 2018
A Conversation with Sandra Gordon-Salant,
in Her Words
Tell us about your work.
My position as professor of Hearing and Speech Sciences at the University of Maryland encompasses the three prongs of academia: research, teaching, and ser- vice (administration), although the majority of my time is devoted to research. My research program broadly examines factors that contribute to speech perception difficulties of older people in everyday listening situations (Gordon-Salant and Fitzgibbons, 1993, 2001). The underlying theory driving much of this work is that auditory temporal-processing deficits of older people contribute to altered per- ception of speech (Gordon-Salant et al., 2008). Work in the lab also examines the impact of reduced audibility associated with age-related hearing loss and age-re- lated cognitive decline in specific cognitive domains to understanding fast speech, accented speech, reverberant speech, auditory-visual asynchronous speech, and speech in a background of competing talkers (e.g., Gordon-Salant et al., 2010, 2017). References and links to all of my published work can be found on my lab website at Also, see the article in this issue of Acoustics Today by Anderson, Gordon-Salant, and Dubno that talks about some of our work.
Describe your career path.
I grew up in an era in which the double standard was firmly entrenched in our so- ciety and in my parents’ home in Plainview, NY. There were three professions that women could pursue: teacher, nurse, or secretary. My parents decided I would be- come a speech-language pathologist in the public schools, which in their view was the best teaching job possible. I was not the rebellious type and followed my par- ents’ plans for me. As an undergraduate at the University at Albany, State Univer- sity of New York (SUNY), however, I was completely mesmerized by my courses in audiology and hearing science and was decidedly unenthusiastic with the curricu- lum in speech-language pathology. Following my new-found passion, I obtained a master’s degree in audiology at Northwestern University (NU), Evanston, IL, and completed a one-year clinical fellowship at Gallaudet University, Washington, DC. During that year, I had a chance encounter at an ASHA convention with one
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