PhD Spotlight: Melissa Kokx
Research Area: Frequency lowering algorithms, cochlear dead regions, TEN test
Mentors: Robert Ackley, PhD (Advisor), Kristin Cholewa Roush, PhD, and Dragana Barac-Cikoja, PhD
- Why did you choose audiology?
Although my father and grandfather have hearing loss, I do not have an inspirational story about why I chose audiology. I knew I wanted a career in medicine and my grandparents neighbor, Jack, suggested that I look into audiology to see if it was the right fit. Im not exactly sure what inspired Jack to encourage me to pursue audiology but, after taking my introductory course paired with an American Sign Language course, it was obvious that audiology was the career fit I had been looking for.
- What has been the most exciting or rewarding part of your path to the PhD degree?
Falling in love with research and having the opportunity to present data while working as a research assistant for Dragana Barac-Cikojas at the American Auditory Society this past March.
- Who are your lifetime mentors, encouragers, or role models?
My parents and sister, Megan, have provided a listening ear and invaluable guidance throughout my life. I know that I would not be where I am today if it was not for their encouragement.
- What do you foresee the biggest difference will be for audiology in the next 25 years?
This is a tough question! I feel there will be several differences in our profession in the next 25 years. I think that central audiology processing disorders will become a larger part of our diagnostic test batteries for adults and children. I also feel that hearing aids will continue to improve their technologies by offering our patients better noise reduction, audibility, intelligibility, and directionality and we will see more and more insurance companies providing benefits. It is also my hope that our profession will continue to grow as a respected autonomous profession.
- Why did you join SAA?
I joined SAA because I felt it was important to be part of a nationwide organization that pools student ideas, priorities, and resources. SAA is the future of our profession, and it is crucial to have a network of peers and colleagues to work together.
Media committee member LeAnn Clements manages submissions for the PhD/Research column. LeAnn is a current second-year student at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center where she is currently serving as Secretary of her SAA chapter.