It’s that time of year to vote for your new SAA Members-at-Large! They’re equally as important as the President-Elect. Each one will be in charge of a SAA committee that represents the diverse initiatives and interests of the national SAA.
Education Committee explores student needs surrounding audiology education and the externship process, and to share these findings with appropriate stakeholders in audiology education. To foster mentorship of audiology students, including the development of students interested in research opportunities within the field of audiology
Chapter Relations Committee works on a variety of projects throughout the year. Work may include, but is not limited to, collaborating with the SAA State Ambassadors Program, administering the annual Chapter Challenges, Chapter Needs Assessment, and regional calls, as well as maintaining chapter resources such as the SAA Monthly Updates, SAA Chapter Resource Packet, and the SAA regional Facebook Groups.
Member Relations Committee increases individual membership, engagement, collaboration, and communication at the undergraduate and graduate levels, through outreach, recognition, and resource development.
Humanitarian Committee works on various humanitarian-based projects throughout the year such as World Hearing Day and SAA Humanitarian Month, and routinuely collaborates with its partners Special Olympics Healthy Hearing and Red Bird Mission.
Public Outreach Committee promotes audiology as a profession to students and the general public through public awareness, education, and government relations on the local and national levels.
Communications Committee connects and informs students about the profession of audiology, including current issues and important topics relating specifically to audiology students, through the use of SAA and Academy-sponsored communication outlets.
SAA Programs Committee organizes, coordinates, and promotes programming for audiology students, including educational workshops, social events, and networking opportunities during the AAA annual conference. Additionally, they coordinate the annual SAA Conference and oversee the planning and execution of student leadership development activities pertaining to the Student Leaders in Audiology Conference (SLAC).
PLEASE NOTE: This year, applicants were permitted to run for both SAA president-elect and member-at-large if they so desired. Once voting opens, you will be asked to vote for one (1) candidate for president-elect and your top eight (8) candidates for member-at-large.
You may vote for the same candidate for president-elect and a member-at-large position. The winning president-elect candidate will be removed from the member-at-large tally and the eight (8) candidates that receive the most votes will be awarded member-at-large positions.
For those of you attending the AAA 2020 + HearTECH Expo conference in New Orleans, stop by Academy Central for a special “I VOTED” ribbon to add to your conference badge!
Don’t know who your candidates are? Well, here are some fun facts about themselves and why they want to be your next leaders!
Hometown: Nashville, Tennessee
Fun fact: I am a HUGE Taylor Swift fan, and have seen her in concert 25 times. So, uh, Taylor, if you ever need a hearing test, hit your girl up!
Reason you want to be on the board: I’ve been serving on the SAA Board of Directors for the past year as the SAA Programs chair, and it has been incredibly rewarding. I truly believe that professional organization involvement is crucial for both audiology students and professionals, as it is how we make progress, continue to advance our own knowledge and education, and advocate for change. I want to be able to continue to help advance audiology for all students and professionals and be an advocate for the student’s voice. In addition, I’ve learned a lot during my time this past year as the SAA Programs Committee chair. It’s a hard job, and while I’ve had some successes, I’ve also made some mistakes. I’m hoping to use everything I’ve learned throughout the last year to be an even better board member next year!
Sebastian J. Bravo-Martinez
University of Puerto Rico
Hometown: Arecibo, Puerto Rico
Fun fact: Before audiology, I wanted to play pro basketball in the NBA and have a career as a physician on the team I’d end up with.
Reasons to be on the board: Increase representation in the profession of audiology from different backgrounds as our patients are becoming more and more diverse.
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
Hometown: Heber Springs, Arkansas
Fun Fact: I love to paint. It’s a great way to escape the stresses of school, clinical practicum, and work.
Reason you want to be on the board: One reason that I would love to serve on the SAA Board of Directors is to enhance a sense of advocacy amongst SAA members. I think it is so important that we all learn to advocate for ourselves, our profession, and our scope of practice. I think if we do so, then our profession is going to make great strides forward in the future. Thank you very much for your support.
Washington University in St. Louis
Hometown: Naperville, IL
Fun Fact: I was involved in competitive sailing for a few years in Chicago. I love being on the water!
Reason you want to be on the board: I have really enjoyed my time serving as Communications chair on the 2019-2020 SAA Board of Directors and would love the opportunity to continue serving as a leader for students in audiology.
University of Texas at Dallas
Hometown: Sugar Land, Texas
Fun fact: I am currently training to run three different Spartan races known as the Spartan Trifecta.
Reason you want to be on the board: I have two main goals for if I were to be elected onto the board:
- Bring research to the forefront of student participation. One of the three pillars of Evidence-Based Practice is research, and with some of our members are already in universities where a plethora of research occurs and others participating in research grants across the country, SAA can be an amazing tool for future and current clinicians to learn of best practice.
- Encourage Undergraduate participation and involvement. Coming from an undergraduate program that was mainly Speech Language Pathology based, I felt left out of most of my classes. Luckily the SAA chapter at my university helped get me involved and keep me active when most of my classes had nothing to do with audiology or the ear. I want to now encourage other chapters of SAA to find a way to incorporate and get undergraduate students involved in any way they can.
Idaho State University
Hometown: Browns Valley, California
Fun Fact: I can shear a sheep in under 20 minutes
Reason you want to be on the board: I would like to be on the board because SAA is not something that I knew about until I got involved during graduate school. I want to increase awareness of the organization to both students and communities.
City University of New York, The Graduate Center
Hometown: Westchester, New York
Fun fact: I have climbed all 46 of New York State’s highest mountains
Reason you want to be on the board: I aspire to work with others to integrate a common goal amongst audiologists to provide the necessary healthcare benefits to all patients. I value leadership and commitment to this profession and am extremely honored by this nomination. Thank you.
Hometown: Newburgh, IN
Fun fact: I am the oldest of the three girls, one being my identical twin sister!
Reason you want to be on the board: I wanted to be more involved with the Academy, I’m currently the President of Purdue’s SAA chapter and I thought it would be a great way to challenge myself, meet others in the profession, and give back!
University of Texas at Dallas
Hometown: Arlington, TX
Fun fact: I love riding my bike and exploring new places around Dallas-Fort Worth whenever I have spare time away from school.
Reason you want to be on the board: I think students can play a big role in the shaping of our profession moving forward. As future leaders in the field, our opinions and actions, as demonstrated through advocacy, humanitarian, education, and outreach efforts, will greatly impact development in audiology. By being on the board, I want to encourage students to participate in more volunteer and leadership aspects of the field and facilitate their involvement through the many projects SAA has to offer. I believe there are so many opportunities for us as students to bring change to our communities now that I want to promote.
University of South Florida
Hometown: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Fun fact: I have an identical twin sister.
Reason you want to be on the board: As an SAA Member-at-Large, I hope to bridge the gap among other student-led organizations to initiate successful relationships and promote open communication. As a current National Student Speech Language Hearing Association (NSSLHA) board member, I can help make these changes as it is a great starting point and I know there is plenty of room for growth and advancements!
Jenna Marie Sparacio
City University of New York, The Graduate Center
Hometown: Brooklyn, New York
Fun fact: I love to perform and stage manage for musicals at my local community theatre!
Reason you want to be on the board: I would like to be elected in order to be an advocate and a voice for all audiology students, and use my experience as a committee leader for my school to help strengthen relationships within the profession of audiology on a community, regional, and national level.
Hometown: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Fun Fact: I have had the opportunity to travel to Guatemala twice on audiology outreach trips!
Reason I want to be on the board: Like many people in our field, I am very passionate about the work we have the opportunity to do. For me, SAA has been an avenue that supported my growth outside the classroom and showed me the importance of advocacy for our profession. I want to be a part of the SAA Board of Directors because I want to continue to be part of the organization that helped mold me into the clinician I am and have the opportunity to further provide tools and experiences to enhance future audiologists’ passion for this work.
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