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Jones received her clinical doctorate in audiology and her doctorate of philosophy in audiology both from the University of South Alabama. She is an assistant professor in the department of communication disorders at Auburn University in Alabama. Jones’s 2018 Emerging Research Grant is generously funded by the General Grand Chapter Royal Arch Masons International.

My daughter, who turns 7 this year, was born at 29 weeks. A lot of the research I read on preterm births while she was in the NICU indicated children born prematurely were more at risk for learning disorders, including issues with auditory processing.

After she came home from the NICU, I didn’t really think about it that much until I began seeing many kids clinically for auditory processing evaluations who had a premature birth history. I had also begun seeing auditory processing issues in my daughter (who does not use hearing devices). I created a pilot study to explore the effects of preterm birth on hearing, which led to this current project.

The overall goal is to determine if there are significant differences in auditory processing, language, and cognition skills among adolescents with a preterm birth history compared with those born at full term. Once patterns of deficits are identified, we can work toward treatments.
Eventually I hope to design an early intervention program to prevent long-term effects of prematurity on the auditory system.

Growing up, I loved science and animals and had wanted to become a veterinarian. I interned at a vet clinic as an undergrad—and that made me realize that I would rather play with animals instead of performing medical procedures on them! I can see that being a vet overlaps with conducting research since both require detective work. As an assistant professor, I’ve been fortunate to channel my love of science
into mentoring students.

In college I was the sports mascot—Miss Pawla, a jaguar. We didn’t have a football team at the time so I performed (in a hot costume!) at basketball games for both the men’s and women’s teams. I saw the flier for tryouts and it just spoke to me. I am actually an introvert so I surprised everyone by doing it—it was my alter ego!

Alisha Lambeth Jones, Au.D., Ph.D.’s grant is generously funded by the General Grand Chapter Royal Arch Masons International. We want to thank the Royal Arch Masons for their ongoing commitment to research in the area of central auditory processing disorder (CAPD).

Click to download a PDF of Dr. Jones's Meet the Researcher profile.