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Meet The Lab


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Fred H. Bess is the Director of the National Center for Childhood Deafness and Family Communication and the Vickie and Thomas Flood Professor of Audiology in the Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences (DHSS). He served as Chair of DHHS, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine from 1978 until 2009. Also, he served as Director of Vanderbilt Bill Wilkerson Center for more than 20 years. Dr. Bess completed his undergraduate education at Carthage College, his master’s degree at Vanderbilt University, and his Ph.D. at the University of Michigan. In 1969, he initiated and directed the Audiology Program at Central Michigan University, where he remained until joining the Vanderbilt faculty in 1976. Dr. Bess’ research has centered on minimal hearing loss in children including their developmental outcomes. Identification, and management. He has expanded his scope of study to investigate listening effort, stress and fatigue in pediatric hearing loss and the possible impact of these constructs on listening and learning.

Curriculum Vitae


Benjamin W.Y. Hornsby is an Associate Professor of Audiology in the Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. He received his master’s and PhD degrees in audiology from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and currently teaches AuD, and PhD students within the department. Dr. Hornsby’s research focuses on the perceptual consequences of hearing loss, and how these consequences affect speech recognition, communication and benefit from hearing aids and cochlear implants. His current work examines relationships between speech processing deficits, cognitive processing demands and listening-related fatigue in adults and children with hearing loss.

Curriculum Vitae

S. Camarata
Stephen Camarata is Professor of Hearing & Speech Sciences and an Associate Professor of Special Education. Dr. Camarata is the Director of the Developmental Disabilities Lab. He received his PhD in 1984 at Purdue University with a major in Audiology & Speech Sciences and a minor in Statistical Methods. Post doctoral appointments have been held at the University of Arizona (Speech & Hearing Sciences) and at the University of California, San Diego (in Cognitive Science). Dr. Camarata held faculty positions at Penn State University and in the Autism Research Center at the University of California, Santa Barbara prior to coming to Vanderbilt in 1990. He is also an Investigator at the John F. Kennedy Center for Research on Development and Disabilities (serving as Acting Director of that Center from 1999-2002). Dr. Camarata’s research interests are focused on the identification and treatment of speech and language disorders in children, specifically children with autism, Down syndrome, phonological disorders, and language disorders.

Curriculum Vitae

Hilary Davis is the Project Coordinator for the Listening and Learning Lab.  She completed her B.S. in Communication Sciences and Disorders at the University of Texas at Austin and her Doctorate of Audiology from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. As a pediatric audiologist, she sees patients in the clinic setting for hearing evaluations and hearing aid appointments, serves as an educational audiologist consultant for local school districts, and works in the research lab as a participant recruiter and data manager. She currently serves as the Conference Coordinator for the Educational Audiology Association. Her interests include fatigue in school-age children with hearing loss and working with educators for successful academic outcomes for their students.


The Listening and Learning Lab enlists the help of students from our graduate programs to help with the day-to-day operations of our lab. Our current lab research assistants are Sam Sekator (Au.D. graduate student) and Melissa Henry (Au.D. graduate student).