Imagine what it must be like to hear music for the first time, the sounds of a busy street, or even the tone of your own mother’s voice. A search on YouTube or Google will unearth numerous videos of first time hearing experiences in which the new listener’s facial expression is worth a thousand words.
Medical practices have come a long way in terms of hearing and speech, and these strides can be seen locally at UALR and UAMS. The Department of Audiology and Speech Pathology is nationally recognized for educational, clinical and research programs that serve Arkansas.
To promote the program Jazz & Juleps benefits the joint program between UALR and UAMS. The fourth annual event also celebrates May’s Better Hearing and Speech Month.
Attending guests gathered at the Governor’s Mansion as jazz flowed from the band, Mojo De Jazz. This year’s event honored Loris Mayersohn Fullerton by creating the Loris Mayersohn Fullerton Student Scholarship fund. Fullerton has been instrumental in raising money for the program, and her work has opened doors for many students.
Graduate students Jack Johnson and Alyssa Staton, recipients of the Nan Ellen Dickinson East Student Student Scholarship fund were on hand to say a few words, and are direct proof to the hard work of many, including Fullerton. She has a personal connection to the program, which can be seen in her tireless work to support it.
Department Chairman Dr. Tom Guyette said, “Very few people have had the kind of impact on the lives of our students than Loris.” Vice Chancellor for Development Bob Denman agreed, “Honoring Loris with a new named scholarship fund is in no way a large enough thank you for all she has done.”
Fullerton took the podium for a short but meaningful speech. After playing a video of a young child’s reaction to a new set of working ‘ears,’ she shared a story about her niece.
Her niece did not have the access to the medical resources in Little Rock that she needed some years ago. Fullerton explained that her niece ended up traveling to Saint Louis to get the medical attention needed. “This is a program that we really need,” she explained.
Little Rock has since grown to harbor the program at UALR and UAMS, and Fullerton’s contribution cannot be overlooked. She has worked to support the program by raising 250,000 for student scholarships. On top of that hard work, she was a large force in the first Jazz and Juleps event, which debuted in 2010.
As Fullerton stepped back into the crowd, KTHV’s Craig O’Neill took the microphone to auction off various items in name of the program.