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Manchaiah named endowed professor in speech and hearing sciences

Dr. ManchaiahVinaya Manchaiah has been designated the Jo Mayo Endowed Professor in the Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences at Lamar University, a prestigious honor named after a former member of the LU Foundation board of trustees. Manchaiah, an associate professor of audiology in the department, assumed this position at the start of the spring semester.

An international scholar with an impressive research and publication record, Manchaiah has a wide range of experience in clinical, educational, research and managerial roles. He holds a Ph.D. in disability research from Linköping University in Sweden, an Executive MBA from Swansea University in Wales, a Doctor of Audiology from Nova Southeastern University, and a M.S. in audiology from the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom.

“Dr. Manchaiah's role as the Jo Mayo Endowed Professor will establish a national and international reputation of excellence for the program of audiology at Lamar University,” said Monica Harn, chair of the Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences. “He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the department because of his active research projects in audiology as well as research collaborations with disciplines such as engineering and computer science.”

The funds for Manchaiah's position were pledged with an initial gift from the estate of Annie Jo Mayo, who died in 1993. Mayo was a long-time resident of Port Arthur, where she owned Mayo’s Floor Covering with her husband Floyd. Known for her philanthropic work, she was Port Arthur’s Woman of the Year and was named one of the Outstanding Personalities of the South. In 1986, she became a member of Lamar University’s Foundation board of trustees and closely followed the activities of the communications disorders department, now the Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences. It was her desire that the university use the bequest to fund a faculty position, and, in so doing, satisfy her objectives of benefiting LU students and children with communication disorders.

“Dr. Manchaiah's research expertise will have a significant impact on both students within the program of audiology as well as other programs across Lamar University,” said Harn. “We already have noted the influence of his international reputation and collaborations through visits from renowned scholars in hearing and balance, such as Professor Ilmari Pyykkӧ, and the development of a study abroad program to the Swedish Institute for Disability Research.”

For more information on the Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences, visit or call 409-880-8338.