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G. Christopher Stecker, Ph.D., Receives Prestigious Fulbright Specialist Award


G. Christopher Stecker, Ph.D. Receives Prestigious Fulbright Specialist Award

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

​​Chris Stecker, Boys Town Hospital's senior scientist and director of the Spatial Hearing Lab in the Center for Hearing Research, was recently awarded a Fulbright Specialist Award from the U.S. Department of State and the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board. Stecker will travel to the city of Kosice in the Slovak Republic for three weeks to complete a project at the Institute of Computer Science at P.J. Safarik University.

“In the Boys Town Spatial Hearing Lab, we study how people use sound to understand the world around them," said Stecker. “On the Fulbright research project, we will be studying how people use multiple senses – vision, hearing and balance – to support spatial awareness. We are particularly interested in studying realistic, complex “scenes" such as places with lots of people talking and other sound sources."

Stecker will be working with a Safarik University colleague, Professor Norbert Kopco, and his students. Scientists from the United States and around the world, including Austria, France, Australia, Greece and Slovenia, also will be involved in a workshop held during the exchange.

“Our goal is to develop and test new ways to study spatial awareness in everyday listening and communicating," said Stecker. “The Fulbright Specialist Award is exciting as it allows time for us to live and work directly alongside our international partners. Too often, scientific exchanges are limited to a few days at a conference and hard problems take longer to solve. We may not solve everything in three weeks, but it will give us time to better analyze the problems and align our approach. I hope that this will be the start of a long and fruitful program of research."

“On behalf of the entire Boys Town Hospital research team, I want to congratulate Dr. Stecker, and wish him great success with this Fulbright Award research opportunity," said Ryan McCreery, Ph.D., Vice President of Research.