Nina Kraus has received The Alumnae of Northwestern University’s 2022 Alumnae Award in recognition of her outstanding contributions to auditory learning and neuroscience research.
Kraus is the Hugh Knowles Professor of Communication Sciences, Neurobiology and Otolaryngology in the School of Communication at Northwestern. As a biologist and musician, she studies the relationship between sound and brain health. A common thread in her research is the idea of understanding auditory processing with the goal of improving social communication.
“As the 46th recipient of our Alumnae Award, Nina will join a distinguished group of women bringing honor to Northwestern University,” said The Alumnae president Carol Willis.
Since 1976, the award has recognized women for their professional achievements. The Alumnae chose to honor Kraus this year as a leading scientist who has also placed special emphasis on partnerships that benefit the public, including in education, industry, arts, athletics and other domains.
Kraus’s research, the organization wrote in its announcement of the award, “makes the case for the far-reaching impact of sound, showing how the hearing brain engages how we think, feel, move and combine our senses.” Her latest book is “Of Sound Mind: How Our Brain Constructs a Meaningful Sonic World.”
Kraus’s work has engaged topics including music, concussion science, bilingualism, reading, listening amid noise, aging, autism, neuroeducation and technology. She has worked with under-resourced communities around the world, including in places as close to home as Chicago and as far afield as China and Tanzania.
“This award is not about me. It honors the work we do — sound touches everything we care about — and the people who do it,” Kraus said.
The Alumnae of Northwestern is an all-volunteer organization of women that raises funds for a wide range of projects to benefit the University. The organization administers a continuing education program and has given more than $9.5 million to the University in the form of grants, fellowships, scholarships and an endowed professorship.