UT Dallas - The LINK
January 2015

Alumna Uses Sound Expertise to Make Difference for Patients


Dr. Angela Shoup with her daughter, Zodie, and husband, Brett Barron.

When it comes to helping people with hearing disorders, Dr. Angela Shoup BS'89, MS'92, PhD'94 has a big job –– one that requires her to manage a clinical team, provide patient care, teach students and conduct research at UT Southwestern Medical Center. When asked how she does it all, Shoup adopts Helen Keller's philosophy: "Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much."

Shoup is the director of the division of communicative and vestibular disorders at UT Southwestern. She provides oversight for her team of 28 clinicians, including audiologists and speech-language pathologists, across multiple institutions, including Parkland Hospital's adult services and universal newborn hearing screening program, Children's Medical Center at Dallas, Plano and Southlake, and the newly opened Children's Specialty Clinic at the Margot Perot Center for Women and Infants. Shoup and her team work together to ensure continuous, comprehensive, evidence-based practice across all of these sites.

Shoup's interest in helping people with hearing impairments began when she was in high school. Her grandparents, and then her aunt and uncle, owned a hearing aid center in Arlington, Texas. Although the native Texan lived in east Tennessee at the time, she spent her summers working at the center. When she began researching universities, her family recommended UT Dallas due to the Callier Center's international reputation in communication sciences.

"The interdisciplinary approach of the training program and collaborative atmosphere at UT Dallas gave me the opportunity to work with many different mentors, including outstanding clinicians and professors in hearing science, developmental psychology, cognitive science, speech and language, and neuroscience," Shoup said.


At UT Southwestern, Shoup (center) leads a team of audiologists, some of whom are UT Dallas graduates. Front row, left to right: Bethany Baumgart, Johanna Whitson, JeanneAnne Ramacho-Talley, Teriann Scheets MS'86, Angela Shoup BS'89, MS'92, PhD'94, Laurie Kwon, Melanie Shelburg (behind Kwon), Jenna Hilgert, Aneeqa Amin and Jodi Seligman, current UT Dallas student. Back row, left to right: Kimberly Nix, Jennifer Alford AuD'13, Krystal Atkins, Karen Ford, Bill Even, Stephanie West, Paige Wahl BS'03, AuD'10 and Stephanie Ware.

Later, when Shoup came to UT Southwestern, she helped design and implement the universal newborn hearing screening program at Parkland. The goal of the program is to ensure that every baby has a hearing screening before being discharged from the hospital. For those requiring additional care, follow-up services are coordinated.

"We started the Parkland program in 1999," Shoup said. "We are passionate about ensuring infants and children receive needed evaluations and appropriate treatment."

Shoup traveled to Austin multiple times to offer input for Texas legislation that would require all hospitals to provide newborn hearing screenings by 2000. That year, the Texas Hospital Association and the Texas House of Representatives flew a flag over the Capitol in honor of Shoup's outstanding service to the children of Texas.

In addition to managing her team, Shoup sees patients, both children and adults. As associate professor, she provides lectures for health care providers, including the UT Southwestern resident physicians in otolaryngology –– the study of the ear, nose and throat. When time allows, she conducts research on cochlear implants, hearing aids, infant hearing and auditory electrophysiology –– the study of how the brain processes sound by attaching electrodes to the head to measure brain waves in response to acoustic stimuli.

"By supporting my team members in their provision of excellent services to their patients, and by teaching the residents, I am able to reach more patients and impact more lives," Shoup said. "Then, when I work with a patient of my own, I have the opportunity to see firsthand how that person benefits from audiological care."

Shoup has extended her impact through professional activities, including previous service as president of the Texas Academy of Audiology and as the current chair of the American Academy of Audiology Foundation Board of Trustees.

Dallas is home for Shoup, her husband, Brett Barron, and their daughter, Zodie, whom they adopted from China. In all facets of life, Shoup believes in people helping people.

"When we work together toward a common vision and support each other in a positive way, we can improve the world."

This story, written by Kristi Shewmaker, appeared in the recent UT Dallas Magazine. Check out the rest of the issue here.

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