When Alice Holmes, Ph.D., programs a child’s cochlear implant, the room is full of tears.
Cochlear implants, medical devices that replicate the function of the inner ear, help people whose inner ears have been damaged to hear again.
The tears come for a few reasons. The child is usually scared of the sound. Parents cry because their child can hear — either again or for the first time.
“And we’re crying because it’s such a wonderful thing to be a part of,” the UF Health audiologist said.
A professor of audiology in the UF College of Public Health and Health Professions’ department of speech, language and hearing sciences, Holmes considers her teaching career a large part of her legacy at UF. She was instrumental in starting the Doctor of Audiology program, which was founded in 1998.
Holmes also started the Doctor of Audiology distance-learning program, which allowed working professionals with master’s-level training to earn a doctorate.
“We have graduated more than 1,700 students with audiology degrees, and I am extremely proud of that,” Holmes said.
Over the years, Holmes has also chaired or co-chaired 14 Ph.D. students.
After working at UF for 34 years, Holmes, who was hired in what was then the UF College of Liberal Arts and Sciences’ department of speech, will retire in June. Initially, Holmes planned to stay at UF for two years.
“Obviously that didn’t happen,” she said. “Florida doesn’t have my two favorite things, which are mountains and winter sports, but I’ve adapted. I love going to the beach and going fishing.”
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