Few people have probably had as much use or reward for that question over the last 25 years than Dr. Audie Woolley, director of pediatric otolaryngology and medical director of the Pediatric Cochlear Implant Program at Children’s of Alabama medical center in Birmingham, Ala.
A 1984 Angelo State graduate, Woolley went to medical school at the University of Texas Health Science Center. Following a fellowship at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, he was recruited by Children’s of Alabama, where he and his team have fitted hundreds of deaf and hearing-impaired children with cochlear implants.
The lessons I learned from my professors at ASU, I still use today…
Dr. Audie Woolley
“I became very interested in childhood hearing loss and deafness as a medical student,” Woolley said. “Luckily, I was training at a time when cochlear implants were just starting to be performed in deaf infants. Once I saw the miracle of this device and the surgery that could restore hearing, I knew it was what I wanted to pursue in my career.”
In 2009, Woolley also helped establish the Alabama School for Hearing, which has evolved into a cutting-edge preschool for deaf and hearing-impaired children. He was named chairman and president in 2018, and the school was renamed the Woolley Institute for Spoken-Language Education.
For these and other extensive and impressive career accomplishments, Woolley has been named the ASU Alumni Association’s 2019 Distinguished Carr Scholar Alumnus.
“The Carr Scholarship not only paid for my education, it inspired me to honor the scholarship and the Carrs’ gift by being the very best student I could be,” Woolley said. “I learned to study at ASU, to prepare for exams, and how good teachers reach and motivate their students. The lessons I learned from my professors at ASU, I still use today in training and teaching medical students, residents and fellows.”
A Cisco native, Woolley also met his wife, Allyson (nee Boyd), at ASU, where she was 1982 Homecoming queen. His brother, Michael, also graduated from ASU.
“I’m very proud to be the Distinguished Carr Alumnus,” Wooley said. “It is a great honor, and I’m looking forward to returning to my alma mater.”