Alice H. Suter

Dr. Alice H. Suter

In 1997, the Acoustical Society of America awarded Dr. Alice Suter the Distinguished Service Citation for her exemplary service to the ASA over the two decades.

Alice’s contributions to the Society have been numerous. She served as editor of the ASA newsletter ECHOES from 1991 to 1997, and as co-editor in 1990 – its year of inception. Over that time, Alice conceptualized, organized, produced, and oversaw the quarterly publication for a total of 30 issues.

Some of Alice’s other notable contributions to the Society included service on: the Executive Council (1986-89); the Committee on Public Relations since 1988 (Chair: 1988-94); the Technical Committee on Noise (1980-89, 1991-94, and 1995 to present); and the Technical Committee on Psychological and Physiological Acoustics (1976-79). At the regional level of the Society, Alice was elected President, Vice-President, and Secretary of the Cincinnati Chapter (1989-1992). She was elected a Fellow of the Society in 1987.

Other professional organizations have also commended Alice’s work in acoustics. She received the Outstanding Leadership and Service Award and the Outstanding Hearing Conservationist Award from the National Hearing Conservation Association. She is also a Fellow of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

Alice began her career in acoustics after earning an M.S. in education of the deaf at Gallaudet University. During the 60’s and early 70’s, her focus was clinical audiology – initially working as a clinical and subsequently supervisory audiologist at the Washington D. C. Department of Health. She, then moved to the DC Veterans Administration Hospital as a clinical audiologist while pursuing doctoral studies in audiology at the University of Maryland. She later became Director of the Audiometric Assistant Program of the National Association of Hearing and Speech Agencies. She received her Ph.D. in 1977.

Work on hearing conservation and noise control were central to Alice’s career from the mid 70’s on. It was during this time that she became influential in noise criteria development, regulation, and public policy. She was Senior Bioacoustical Scientist at the Office of Noise Abatement and Control, US Environmental Protection Agency from 1973-78 and Senior Scientist and Manager – Noise Standard, US Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) from 1978-82. At OSHA, she made a vital contribution toward preservation of hearing health in US industry; she was principal author – overseeing development and preparation – of a significantly strengthened enacted amendment to OSHA’s noise standard for hearing conservation programs. Her last tour of regular employment, 1988-90, was as a Visiting Scientist in Research Audiology at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health where she originated and implemented research and information for dissemination on hearing-protection and conservation programs.

Throughout the 90’s (in addition to editing ECHOES), Alice has worked as a consultant and writer in various areas of hearing conservation and noise for clients in medicine, industry and government. Her clients have included the World Health Organization, citizens’ groups, and government agencies at the federal, state, and local levels.

Various professional organizations that have benefited from Alice’s participation during her career include the Council for Accreditation in Occupational Hearing Conservation, for which she was on the Board of Directors from 1984-86, and also served as a Certified Course Director. For the American National Standards Institute, she was on the Acoustical Standards Management board and four different working groups concerned with noise, its measurement, or hearing conservation, among the years of 1978-91. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association enjoyed Alice’s service in various ways, including membership on five different committees and a task force. Alice continues to serve on the Publications Committee of the National Hearing Conservation Association and also participated on the Executive Council from 1984-87.