Eisenhart Award winner: Linda Gottermeier

Audiologist has boundless energy and a passion for helping the community

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A. Sue Weisler

Linda Gottermeier, National Technical Institute for the Deaf

When Linda Gottermeier began her 
career at RIT/NTID in 1977, it seemed unlikely she would ever be honored as 
a teacher because she worked as a tech­nician in NTID’s hearing aid shop.

Thirty-five years later, Gottermeier 
is an associate professor/rehabilitative 
audiologist in NTID’s communication studies and services department, and a 2013 recipient of the Eisenhart Award 
for Outstanding Teaching. 

Born in Norfolk, Va., Gottermeier 
grew up in Rochester and moved to Canoga Park, Calif., and El Paso, Texas, following her father who was a technical sales representative for Eastman Kodak Co. She earned bachelor’s degrees in philosophy and audiology/speech pathology from Nazareth College in Rochester. She received her master’s degree in audiology from the State University College at Geneseo and her doctorate in audiology from Salus University in Elkins Park, Pa.

“I started off doing public school speech therapy, but I felt I could not make an 
impact seeing 800 children a week,” she says. So she accepted a job as a hearing 
aid technician at NTID.

She was asked if she wanted to teach, but she originally declined, thinking 
she’d be too shy to stand in front of a class. Her mentor, Jerry Walter, now a research faculty member at NTID, convinced her to try it.

“Jerry had the confidence in me and pushed me to get my master’s degree 
and put me in the classroom,” she says. “He was and continues to be a superstar advocate of women at a time when it 
usually did not happen.”

He said she seemed to have unbounded energy. “Linda was always very detail oriented,” he says. “She had a huge amount of pent up energy that could 
be put to use.”

Gottermeier still uses her expertise working with students and their hearing aids and helping them improve their
receptive skills including speechreading and listening if they seek that help. 

But she’s just as comfortable now in 
the classroom. She motivates her students to do community projects, which have included raising money for storm victims and helping the homeless. She also helps them prepare for job interviews, asking questions an employer would and 
offering tips about what to wear and 
how to act when applying for a job.

“I really grew to love teaching and 
enjoy advocating for students who are deaf,” she says.

Some of Gottermeier’s students have limited English skills, like Eva Skovli, a student from Norway. Skovli has returned to Norway but has continued her contact with Gottermeier.

“She truly wants and believes that 
her students can be successful,” Skovli says. “She is a hard-working teacher 
and creative in her way of teaching.”

Her boundless energy is still apparent. Off campus, Gottermeier has volunteered for the Special Olympics, Southeast YMCA Swim Team, Synchronized Skating Team for the Genesee Figure Skating Club and the Advent House.

But she’s not content with her status quo. “I am still learning how to be a 
better teacher,” Gottermeier says. “Any time someone observes me in the classroom, I ask how I can improve. I feel so privileged to work at RIT/NTID.”