A 1973 graduate of the College of Education, Tobey is associate provost, professor, and Nelle C. Johnston Chair in Early Childhood Communication Disorders at the University of Texas at Dallas. She recently received the the highest honor from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) for her contributions to the field, only one of 200 to receive the award to date from a membership of more than 140,000.
While an undergraduate in NMSU’s speech/language pathology program, Tobey chose to study American Sign Language, which led to her becoming a teacher for the deaf. At UT-Dallas, she heads the executive committee of the Dallas Cochlear Implant Program and was named the Polykarp Kusch lecturer, the highest honor granted by the institution to an individual faculty member.
Tobey said the late professor Edgar Garrett, founder of the Communication Disorders Program at NMSU, introduced her to research during her junior year at NMSU. He allowed her to participate as a paraprofessional clinician on his National Institutes of Health grant examining if paraprofessionals could deliver articulation therapy as effectively as master-level speech clinicians.
“Working on the grant solidified my curiosity about nearly everything having to do with speech,” Tobey said. “I have so many wonderful memories from that time.”
Tobey went on to obtain her master’s degree from Louisiana State University and her doctorate in speech science at the City University of New York.
She has also been a frequent guest lecturer at NMSU, hosting hearing lessons and workshops for students.
Tobey heads the Executive Committee of the Dallas Cochlear Implant Program and was named the Polykarp Kusch lecturer, the highest honor granted by UT-Dallas to an individual faculty member. She has published more than 100 peer-reviewed articles involving cochlear implants.
Other honors Tobey has received include summer distinguished lecturer-in-residence at Texas Woman’s University; distinguished academy scientist, Louisiana Academy of Sciences; fellow of the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association and Acoustical Society of America; visiting scholar at the Australian Bionic Ear and Hearing Research Institute and visiting research professor at the University of Montpellier.