Thomas Murry, a Professor of Speech-Language Pathology in the Department of Otorhinolaryngology at Weill Medical College of Cornell University and a professor of KSU’s Research Chair of Voice and Swallowing Disorders (RCVASD), was one of ten honorees recognized during the recent American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) Convention held in Philadelphia in November 2010.
The Honors of the Association, presented since 1944, is the highest award extended by the ASHA, an organization with 140,000 members.
ASHA urges that nominations be based on candidates whose contributions have enhanced or altered the course of the various professions within the organization. Emphasis is also focused on a candidate’s national and international recognition for a lifetime of innovative clinical practice, insightful and rigorous research, creative administration, effective legislative activity, outstanding teaching qualities and a quality communication through books and publications.
Candidates must be nominated by an ASHA member, who in Dr. Murry’s case was presented by Dr. Douglas Hicks, director of the Cleveland Clinic’s voice center and head of the clinic’s head of speech-language pathology section, whose nomination was accompanied by at least three supportives. Dr. Hicks’ supportive letters were presented by three previous ASHA Honors of the Association winners: members – Dr. Raymond D. Kent, 1994; Dr. Diane Bless, 2003; and Dr. Sadanand Singh, 2006.
“Tom’s nomination was based on the belief that [he] stands out in three unique roles: collaborator, ambassador, and teacher-mentor,” Dr. Hicks said. “He successfully advances the cause of scientific knowledge and clinical through collaboration. He is an ambassador for research and clinical practice in voice and swallowing through the world at large. He is an exemplary teacher and mentor.
“Dr. Murray embodies the professional attributes of excellence, innovation, consistency, endurance, integrity, visibility, and impact associated with [his] successful nomination.”
The number of candidates is not made available, but the recent recipients were selected from a list of approximately 30 finalists introduced to the selection committee.
“You don’t even know that you’ve been nominated” Dr. Murry said from his Cornell office. “So, it’s an extremely pleasant surprise when you are honored.”
Dr. Murry, 64, is indeed the consummate scientist, clinician, and educator in the area of voice and swallowing disorders, a man deserving of lofty recognition. Since receiving his doctoral degree from the University of Florida in Gainesville and a tour in the U.S. Navy, he continued his research and teaching at the University of California, University of Tennessee, University of Pittsburgh, and Columbia University before attaining his present position at Cornell.
He has authored or co-authored 14 books, written 54 book chapters, made 525 invited presentations in 35 countries, and published 124 peer reviewed articles. He has a Presidential Citation from the American Laryngological Association, one of only five speech-language pathologists to receive the award going back to 1879.
“I manage to keep busy,” Dr. Murry said wistfully after hearing his list of achievements recited.
Dr. Murry is an honorary professor at Prince Philip Hospital in Hong Kong and a consultant for the University of Crete, but perhaps his strongest international relationship is with King Saud University. In addition to his participation on the international medical board, he has been a major contributor to the Middle East Update in Otolarynology Exhibition and Conference, a major medical gathering of which this year will be co-chaired by KSU’s Khalid bin Hassan Al-Malki.