Chermak to receive national career achievement award

By Doug Nadvornick, College of Medical Sciences

Chermak-80SPOKANE, Wash. – Gail Chermak has compiled a long list of awards during her 37 years at Washington State University. But she admits the honor she will receive Friday in Orlando, Fla., may be the most prestigious.

The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) will give her its highest award, the Honors of the Association, in recognition of career accomplishments. The ceremony at ASHA’s annual convention will have the feel of an Academy Awards ceremony with cameras, bright lights, a video extolling Chermak’s achievements and an escorted walk across the stage to receive her award.

“I am both thrilled and humbled to be recognized by my peers for my contributions to my profession and discipline,” said Chermak, WSU Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences chair and professor. “It is truly the capstone of my career.”

She said the award is especially meaningful because it comes from an organization with a huge membership (175,000) made up of professionals from two disciplines, speech-language pathology and audiology.

Chermak is an internationally recognized authority on central auditory processing disorder, a term that describes the various conditions that affect the way people’s brains process sounds.

Sometimes people with CAPD hear jumbled words. Sometimes they have difficulty distinguishing sounds or words, especially in noise or competing conversations. The condition is treatable, especially when caught early.

Chermak has written or edited six books. Her two-volume “Handbook of Central Processing Disorder” was written with longtime research collaborator Frank Musiek, now a professor at the University of Arizona. The second edition was released this year. She has published more than 110 articles and book chapters.

The New York City native joined the WSU faculty in 1977 and became chair of her department in 1990. She served as interim dean of the College of Liberal Arts 1997-98.


Gail Chermak, WSU speech and hearing sciences, 509-358-7598, 509-335-8849,


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