The Power of Motion: Thomas J. Hixon's Legacy to Speech Science & Speech Pathology In 1984, I was faced with the daunting task of selecting a mentor for my doctoral program. In the course of completing my master's thesis, I had studied the now-classic article by Smitheran and Hixon (1981), its critique by Rothenberg in a Letter to the Editor (1982), and Hixon ... Article
Article  |   October 01, 2009
The Power of Motion: Thomas J. Hixon's Legacy to Speech Science & Speech Pathology
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Nancy Pearl Solomon
    Army Audiology & Speech Center, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, DC
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Articles
Article   |   October 01, 2009
The Power of Motion: Thomas J. Hixon's Legacy to Speech Science & Speech Pathology
SIG 5 Perspectives on Speech Science and Orofacial Disorders, October 2009, Vol. 19, 102-105. doi:10.1044/ssod19.2.102
SIG 5 Perspectives on Speech Science and Orofacial Disorders, October 2009, Vol. 19, 102-105. doi:10.1044/ssod19.2.102
In 1984, I was faced with the daunting task of selecting a mentor for my doctoral program. In the course of completing my master's thesis, I had studied the now-classic article by Smitheran and Hixon (1981), its critique by Rothenberg in a Letter to the Editor (1982), and Hixon & Smitheran's (1982) response to that critique. These fascinating papers provided irrefutable evidence that Thomas J. Hixon was a careful, thorough, and critical thinker. This is exactly what I was looking for in a mentor.
I later learned that Smitheran & Hixon (1981) was completed as a master's thesis, with the resulting publication winning the Journal of Speech and Hearing Disorders 1981 Editor's Award. The concepts and techniques introduced in that paper have been incorporated into several commercially available software applications and are used routinely in the work of speech-language pathologists and voice scientists. Although others before them had explored noninvasive determination of subglottal pressure, this study transformed this assessment into a clinically feasible and informative technique. Read this article and you will at once appreciate Tom's careful mentorship, methodological thinking, and thorough consideration of every detail behind each small decision that was made.
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