Margaret Walker Skinner was born in Washington, DC on February 13, 1935. Inspired by a high school teacher, she majored in chemistry at Wellesley College graduating in 1956. She earned a masters degree in audiology from Case Western Reserve University in 1960 and worked as an audiologist for almost two decades before earning her doctorate in audiology from Washington University in St. Louis in 1976.
For over four decades, Skinner has worked in the field of audiology earning an international reputation in auditory rehabilitation. Her research and insightful clinical skills culminated in the publication of a book considered the bible on hearing aids. Since the mid ’80s she has been a pioneer in the field of cochlear implants to help patients that do not benefit from hearing aids. She has served on the executive boards of state and national auditory societies and chaired international conferences in this area.
Skinner began her academic career at Washington University as a Lecturer in the Department of Speech and Hearing in 1977. She became an Assistant Professor in 1979 in the Department of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, an Associate Professor in 1992, and Professor in 1997. She has been the Director of the Cochlear Implant and Hearing Rehabilitation Program in the Department of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery from 1984 to the present.
Skinner is the recipient of many awards and honors including the Pioneer in Hearing Aids (1996), the Jerger Career Award in Hearing (2000) from the American Academy of Audiology, and the Carhart Memorial Lecturer (1998) from the American Auditory Society.
Growing up in a world in which most women became wives and mothers, Margo juggled being a homemaker and raising two boys with her clinical responsibilities as an audiologist. Although she did not complete her Ph.D. until her 40s, her progress was rapid due to her legendary clinical expertise and her well-honed multi-tasking capabilities. A translational scientist before the term was coined, Skinner’s intense fascination and passion for her work has led many patients back into the world of sound. Noted for her integrative teamwork approach and problem solving skills, colleagues commend her vision, leadership and momentum. Skinner advises young scientists to develop goals for themselves based on an in depth assessment of their unique talents, capabilities, temperament, and interests. She suggests that the optimal/life balance requires self-attunement and nurturing so that one can be the most creative.
Memorial service at Trinity Episcopalian Church at 600 North Euclid Sat. Jan 19 at 2:00 p.m.