Eric Hunter currently serves as the Associate Chair of the Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders as well as Chair of the College Advisory Council. Dr. Hunter came to MSU from the National Center for Voice and Speech, where he served as Deputy Executive Director for six years. In this role, he played an instrumental role in transitioning the center to its current home at the University of Utah.
For the last 15 years, Dr. Hunter has researched occupational voice use, specifically examining voice disorders in elementary and secondary school teachers. The goal of his current NIH-funded research is to quantify the risk for and recovery from tissue damage, as well as to ascertain why female teachers appear to be at greater risk.
Hunter’s research interests include biomechanics of speech articulators, occupational voice use, biomechanical models of the vocal system, muscle mechanics and muscle models, and signal processing. Broader academic interests include recording techniques, speech perception, musical acoustics and machine recognition of speech.
Dr. Hunter’s expertise on the vocal health of teachers and the aging voice has been consulted in newspaper and television interviews across the United States and Asia, including The New York Times and MSNBC.
Dr. Hunter earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Physics and Mathematics from Brigham Young University, with an emphasis in acoustics and vibration. His master’s thesis, which focused on designing and testing computer-generated visual aids, shifted his interest from general acoustics to speech acoustics. He completed his training in the area of speech science and received his doctorate from the University of Iowa. His dissertation topic used continuum mechanics to model vocal fold posturing. He is married and has three children.
Roles and Responsibilities
Chair; College Advisory Council, College of Communication Arts and Sciences, Michigan State University; Member, Faculty Senate, Michigan State University; Member, University Council, Michigan State University; Trifecta Intellectual Leaders Governing Committee; Member, Health and Risk Communication Center; Musician’s Wellness Team, College of Music, Michigan State University
CSD 840: Voice Disorders
Key Research Interest Areas
Voice Disorders, Occupational Voice Risks, Biomechanical Modeling, Research Recording Techniques
Project Title and Source
“Gender Differences and Speech Accommodation in Occupational Settings” (NIH, NIDCD R01 DC012315) Role: PI Aims: Quantify gender-specific voice accommodation strategies used in occupational settings and acoustic environments. Develop models of exposure and recovery from heavy voice use.
“Influence of subglottic anatomy on voice production” (NIH, NIDCD R01DC009616) Role: Subcontract PI Tasks: Consult in procurement of laryngeal specimen, micro-CT imaging, and histological slides. Develop research protocols and train primary site location students in locating and selecting anatomical landmarks on images. Image histological slides and design online repository for images.
“Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard,” Herb Brooks, the coach of the 1980 U.S. Ice Hockey team that beat the Russian Hockey team for the gold medal.