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CEHS Hall of Fame: 2015 Inductees

Kristen Casto
Distinguished Alumni


Lieutenant Colonel, Medical Service Corps, U.S. Army
Audiology and Hearing Conservation Consultant to the Army Surgeon General

Lieutenant Colonel Kristen Casto earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Speech Pathology and Audiology and was the outstanding graduate and William G. Monahan award recipient fromWVU’s College of Human Resources and Education in 1991. Also in 1991, she received a US Army commission through WVU’s Reserve Officer Training Corps with Distinguished Military Graduate honors. She was granted a military service educational delay and earned a Master of Science degree in audiology from WVU in 1993.

During the first portion of her military career, Kristen successfully managed hearing conservation and clinical audiology services at a variety of Army installations where her work was focused on the prevention and rehabilitation of noise-induced hearing loss among military service members. During this time she earned a clinical doctorate in Audiology (Au.D.) from Central Michigan University (2004).

LTC Casto was selected by the Army Medical Department for advanced training and earned a Ph.D. in Human Factors Engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in 2009. Her dissertation titled “An Examination of Headset, Hearing Sensitivity, Flight Workload, and Communication Signal Quality on Black Hawk Helicopter Simulator Pilot Performance” was recognized as the Stanley N. Roscoe Outstanding Dissertation in Aerospace Human Factors in 2010.

She subsequently directed acoustics research at the US Army Aeromedical Research Laboratory at Ft. Rucker, Alabama, where she served as research investigator on projects focused on auditory injury prevention and the development of auditory return-to-duty standards. In her current position as the Audiology and Hearing Conservation consultant to the Army Surgeon General, LTC Casto provides policy, oversight, and advocacy to ensure an effective Army Hearing Program and provides consultation on Department of Defense hearing health service implementation.

Kristen is the President of the National Hearing Conservation Association, the mission of which is to prevent hearing loss due to noise and other environmental factors through education and research, information exchange, professional development, and participation in policy development.
LTC Casto is certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and by the Council for Accreditation of Occupational Hearing Conservationists, is a fellow of the American Academy of Audiology, a member of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, and the Order of Military Medical Merit. She was awarded the Army Medical Department’s ‘9A’ designator, which recognizes outstanding career performance and significant contributions to the Army Medical Department, and was recently recognized as the 2014-2015 Outstanding Recent Graduate by Virginia Tech’s College of Engineering.

Ron Iannone


Professor Emeritus
Department of Curriculum and Instruction, West Virginia University

Founder and former Executive Producer of West Virginia Public Theater

Dr. Ron Iannone has degrees from St. Bonaventure University, the University of Rochester and has attained his Doctorate from Syracuse University with post-graduate work at Harvard. He has written several educational books, articles, plays and screenplays. His books are known nationally especially School Ain’t No Way/Appalachian Consciousness and Alternatives to the Coming Death of Schooling. Additionally, he has chaired and been a member on over 120 doctoral student committees and through his teaching he has touched the lives and hearts of several thousand students.

After 35 years, Dr. Ron Iannone retired from his full time professor position at WVU. He is well known for his thoughts on bringing the arts, humanizing teacher education, and bringing the study of theory and philosophy to the classroom. Recently, he was given two lifetime achievement awards for his contributions as a writer, educator, poet, artist, and as an outstanding Italian-American in West Virginia.

His most cherished work is founding West Virginia Public Theatre (WVPT), which began in a small tent at the Sheraton Lakeview Resort in 1985. Over the past 30 years he has produced more than 260 productions including such shows as CATS, My Fair Lady, Carousel, 1776, South Pacific, AIDA, Forever Plaid, and A Chorus Line. Additionally, He founded an anti- drug education program for middle school children called TARGET. He also presented holiday shows with instructional packets for teachers, such as Annie, Cinderella, Peter Pan, A Christmas Carol, plus many more for over 150,000 students in the tri-state area. He has also presented new plays such as Streets of Gold for ten years in Uniontown and recently he produced the Monongah Mining Disaster Play, which he hopes to present as an educational touring play.