Kathleen Mears’ introduction to EEG was through on-the-job training as an EKG tech at Mills Memorial Hospital in San Mateo, CA. Believing that education was essential to advance neurodiagnostic technologists’ professional standing, she earned an Associates degree from the College of San Mateo.
Kathy’s energy and passion for neurodiagnostics was evident any time she was teaching, whether it was one-on-one with both technologists and residents, or when she was lecturing for large groups. She was a frequent speaker for neurodiagnostic associations at the local, regional and national level and was a John Knott Lecturer for Grass Instrument Company from 1981 onward. She served on Project Hope’s final voyage to Brazil in 1973 as the electroencephalographic technician responsible for training four students in EEG. Kathy was the catalyst for ASET’s hiring a technologist who would develop educational materials and expand the number of classes the Society offered to technologists. She served on the Task Force that led to the creation of ASET’s Director of Education position in 1990.
Kathleen Mears was an active volunteer on numerous other ASET committees and task forces, including the Training and Education Committee, Nominating Committee, Constitution and Bylaws Committee and Ad Hoc Job Descriptions Committee. She was a member of the ASET Board of Trustees from 1981 – 1983 and served as ASET President from 1985 – 1987.
Kathy was equally dedicated to the goals and endeavors of the American Board of Registration of Electroencephalographic and Evoked Potential Technologists (ABRET). Barely two years after she attained her registration certificate in EEG, she served as an associate examiner for ABRET. She was one of thirty-eight candidates who passed the first ABRET evoked potential registration exam in 1983. She was elected to the ABRET Board and served from 1987 – 1994, becoming chairperson from 1990 – 1993. At the time of her death in December 1994 when another car veered into her lane, Kathy had been working toward taking the registry exam for nerve conduction technologists.
The Kathleen Mears Memorial Fund was established by the ASET Board of Trustees at the request of Kathy’s family. In 2007, management of the fund was moved to the ASET Foundation. Interest from the principal of the fund and member donations marked specifically for the endowment fund are used to support the Kathleen Mears Memorial Lecture and the Kathleen Mears Education Award.
The Kathleen Mears Memorial Lecture has been given at the ASET Annual Conference since 1996. Each year, the Annual Conference Program Committee, ASET Executive Committee, and ASET Director of Education select the lecturer, who must be a registered technologist who is boarded in at least one area of neurodiagnostics. The fund supports a travel stipend and a small honorarium upon publication of an article based on the lecture in The Neurodiagnostic Journal (formerly titled the American Journal of Electroneurodiagnostic Technology). A perpetual plaque with Kathleen Mear’s picture and engraving of each lecturer’s name is on permanent display in the ASET and ASET Foundation Executive Office.
Past Kathleen Mears Memorial Lecturers
2017 Judy Ahn-Ewing, R. EEG/EP T., CNIM, CLTM, FASET, BA
2016 Jerry Morris, R.NCS.T., CNCT, FASET, MS
2015 Janice Walbert, CAE, R. EEG/EP T., FASET, FACNS, BA
2014 Kathy Johnson, R. EEG/EP T., RPSGT, FASET
2013 Sabrina Galloway, R. EEG/EP T., CNIM, CLTM, FASET, BS
2012 Janice Buelow, PhD, RN, FAAN
2011 Elizabeth Mullikin, R. EEG/EP T., CNIM, MPA, MA, MNM, FACHE, FASET
2010 Sherry Nehamkin, R. EEG/EP T., CLTM, CNIM, FASET
2009 Debby Baydoun, R. EEG/EP T., RPSGT, R.NCS.T.,FASET, MSEd
2008 Dorothy Gaiter, R. EEG T., R.NCS.T., FASET, BS
2007 Walt Banoczi, R. EEG/EP T., RPSGT, CNIM, FASET, BE
2006 Deb Carson, R. EEG/EP T., FASET, M.Ed.
2005 Janet Ghigo, R. EEG/EP T., FASET, ELS
2004 Chris Bolden, R. EEG. T.
2003 Larry Head, R. EEG/EP T., RPSGT, CNIM, FASET
2002 Adele Wirch, R. EEG/EP T., CNIM, FASET, MS
2001 Margaret Walcoff, R. EEG/EP T., CNIM, FASET, M.Ed.
2000 Sabrina Galloway, R. EEG/EP T., CNIM, FASET
1999 Andrea Erwin, R. EP T., CNIM
1988 Carol Everson, R. EEG/EP T., RPSGT, MBA
1997 Cindra Altman, R. EEG/EP T., RPSGT, FASET
1996 Lewis Kull, R. EEG/EP T.