Stacie Ray named finalist for 2018 Inspire Award for Excellence in Education

Stacie Ray named finalist for 2018 Inspire Award for Excellence in Education

29 Aug 2018     By Kelcey Buck

University of Nebraska-Lincoln associate professor of practice Stacie Ray has been named one of three finalists for the 2018 Inspire Award for Excellence in Education. The 2018 Inspire Awards ceremony, hosted by the Lincoln Journal-Star, will be held at noon Wednesday, Sept. 12, at Pinnacle Bank Arena. 

Overall, 122 women were nominated for the 2018 Inspire Awards in 10 different categories. Ray was one of three finalists chosen from 15 nominees in the Excellence in Education category, joining Brittney Hodges-Bolkovac, a teacher at Dawes Middle School, and Patsy Koch-Johns, a member of the Nebraska State Board of Education. 

“There are so many strong and talented women educators in our community,” Ray said. “Women who empower their students, embrace their talents, and mentor them while they develop skills they need to become our future leaders. To be nominated for an award that celebrates these characteristics is an absolute honor.” 

Stacie RayRay, who was also nominated for an Inspire Award in 2017, has been a faculty member at Nebraska since 2004. In addition to her teaching and clinical duties as an audiologist in the Barkley Speech Language and Hearing Clinic, Ray also manages the three hearing aid banks in the state of Nebraska – Sertoma, Lions and HearU Nebraska. Her commitment to providing children with accessibility to amplification led her to establish the Nebraska Children’s Hearing Aid Bank, now HearU Nebraska, 10 years ago. In the decade since, HearU Nebraska has provided 688 hearing aids to 407 children ages 0-18 years old from nearly 80 different communities across Nebraska. 

“I’m most proud of the relationships I’ve developed with my students, colleagues and patients,” Ray said. “Everyone has a driving force, and mine is serving others. The students who come into our program are here for the same reason, and so are our faculty and staff members. Together we have a much bigger impact on our community and the people we serve, which is why I’m proud to be able to work with such amazing and talented people.”

In 2016, Ray and assistant professor of practice Hannah Ditmars expanded the reach of the Huskers audiology program by creating HearU International. The humanitarian audiology project allows students in Nebraska’s Clinical Doctorate in Audiology (Au.D.) program to provide hearing healthcare to people in Nicaragua, a country with only one known full-time audiologist. In the two years since that program started, Ray and Ditmars have led 10 students to Nicaragua, and the 12 Huskers have fit 332 people with 225 hearing aids.

Ray serves as a board member appointed by Governor Pete Ricketts on the Nebraska Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, and is the chair of the Nebraska Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Committee. She is also active on campus as a member of the faculty senate, Department of Special Education and Communication Disorders chair’s advisory committee, and College of Education and Human Sciences scholarship committee.

Special Education and Communication Disorders