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Tillman, Tom W. (Tom Whitten), 1931-2000



  • Existence: 1931-2000


Tom Whitten Tillman was born in Dill City, Oklahoma, on December 2, 1931. He received both his B.A. (1954) and M.A. (1955) from the University of Oklahoma. While completing his masters degree, Tillman was an Instructor in Speech at the University of Oklahoma’s Speech and Hearing Clinic. In 1957, he resigned from this position to attend Northwestern University in pursuit of a Ph.D. degree in Audiology.

Tillman presented his doctoral dissertation, “Masking by Narrow Bands of Noise in Normal and Hearing Impaired Listeners,” at the 1959 convention of the American Speech and Hearing Association Convention in Cleveland, Ohio. Upon completion of his Ph.D., Tillman returned to the University of Oklahoma as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Speech and Director of Audiological Research in the Speech and Hearing Clinic. He resigned his position in 1960 because he was dissatisfied with the administrative organization of the Department of Speech at the University.

In 1960, Tillman accepted a Research Audiologist position at Northwestern University, beginning an affiliation that lasted thirty-one years. He became a member of the faculty as an Assistant Professor in the School of Speech in 1961. From 1961-1964 Tillman was Associate Director of the Auditory Research Laboratories. He became an Associate Professor in 1964, a full Professor in 1968, and upon his retirement in 1991, Professor Emeritus. Tillman served as Associate Dean of the School of Speech from 1972-1990, Acting Dean of the School during the Summer of 1983, and Interim Dean of the School in January 1988. Tillman participated in and chaired numerous committees at Northwestern, including university-wide committees as well as those in the School of Speech, and the Department of Communicative Disorders. Tillman was a member of the American Speech and Hearing Association from 1955-1989 and was elected a Fellow of the ASHA in 1965. He served ASHA in various capacities, including Vice-Chairman for Examinations of the Committee on Clinical Certification (1970- 1972). In 1985, he represented the Ad Hoc Committee on Cochlear Implants at the International Symposium on Cochlear Implants in Melbourne, Australia. Tillman was awarded a Basic Clinical Certificate in Hearing in 1956, an Advanced Clinical Certificate in Hearing in 1962, and a Certificate of Clinical Competence in Audiology in 1965 from ASHA. Most of his scholarly papers were written for presentation at ASHA conventions.

From 1965-1970, Tillman was the recipient of a Research Career Development Award from the National Institutes of Health. He was member of several national technical committees, including the NAS-NRC Committee on Hearing, Bioacoustics and Biomechanics (1966-1971) and Exploratory Group S-3-X-43, United States of America Standards Institute to Study Methods of Calibration of Bone Vibrators (1968-1972). Tillman was President Elect, Northwestern Chapter (1982), and later President (1983) of Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society of North America.

Tillman contributed over thirty research articles to various scientific and professional journals, reflecting his major interests in speech audiometry, auditory masking, bone conduction, differential audiology, and measurement of sensorineural activity.

Tillman directed twelve Ph.D. dissertations at Northwestern University in the Audiology and Hearing Impairment Program. In addition, he served as a member of 61 other Ph.D. dissertation committees at the University, including 54 in the Audiology and Hearing Impairment Program, six in the Speech/Language pathology Program, and one in the Department of Civil Engineering.

Tom Tillman died on March 27, 2000. He was survived by his wife, Helen (Northwestern University, MS in Journalism, 1972), two children, and five grandchildren.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Tom W. Tillman (1931-2000) Papers

Identifier: 20/61

twelve boxes, span the dates 1949-2000 and include biographical materials, education files, general correspondence, subject correspondence, committee files, teaching files, research files, speeches/addresses/papers, and publications.

Dates: 1949-2000