King Chung, NIU professor of Audiology, was recognized by the American Academy of Audiology as the recipient of the 2020 Humanitarian Award for her significant contributions to humanitarian research and services. Chung will accept the Humanitarian Award during the Academy’s virtual meeting in April 2021.
“I am thrilled to receive the Humanitarian Award, which really belongs to all my international collaborators, my students and many people who helped us along the way,” Chung said. “The need for ear and hearing services is great in the world; innovations to improve hearing health is even greater.”
The American Academy of Audiology represents the interests of approximately 14,000 audiologists nationwide, and is dedicated to providing quality hearing care services through professional development, education, research, and increased public awareness of hearing and balance disorders.
Chung was lauded by the Academy for using her expertise and her passion for teaching to tackle different needs in humanitarian audiology. Over the past decade, Chung has led students in 11 humanitarian trips and provided hearing services to more than 4,000 underserved children and adults in seven countries/governing regions.
“We appreciate Dr. Chung’s expertise and enthusiasm as she works with her students and NIU colleagues,” said Beverly Henry, interim dean, College of Health and Human Sciences. “She is very deserving of this award.”
In addition, the Academy cited Chung’s research instincts and her collaboration with international colleagues and advocacy for better hearing services around the world. Their clinical findings provided key evidence for the high hearing service demand in many communities. Her advocacy also extends her to be a founding co-editor of the column, Audiology Without Borders, and the director of Best Practices of Coalition for Global Hearing Health.
They said Chung’s entrepreneurial spirit and creativity in research and development have resulted in the development of a low-cost calibration system and automatic hearing test applications for children and adults. With the success of pilot testing in the United States, she received a 2019 Fulbright Scholar Award to verify the applications’ efficacy and accuracy in Brazil, and the hearing screening app is available to be downloaded at no charge.
“A humanitarian is a person promoting human welfare and social reform; by definition, we are all humanitarians,” Chung said. “I would like to encourage everyone to use your expertise to raise the audiology service standards, to disseminate clinical findings, to develop quality and low cost equipment and to give the gift of hearing to underserved and unserved populations around the world.”
Chung thanked Sherrill Morris, chair, School of Allied Health and Communication Disorders, for nominating her for the award.