March 2018 President's Corner
With the 2018 AAA Conference fast approaching, I have been reflecting on the unique and vastly different experiences I have had at each conference since 2015. At my first conference in San Antonio, I was overwhelmed by the magic. I spent almost all my waking hours in sessions or exploring the exhibit hall—I was always on the move, skipping meals or squeezing in protein bars to avoid missing a minute. In Phoenix in 2016, as a member of the SAA Programs Subcommittee, I helped coordinate the AuD Toolbox event and spent more of the conference attending the student-focused events my fellow subcommittee members had planned! Last year in Indianapolis, as a member of the Board of Directors, I was in awe of how many students and professionals I recognized and couldn’t navigate the convention center without getting caught up in an amazing conversation with someone I knew.
Since 2014, the March edition of President’s Corner has been an opportunity for the President of SAA to share his or her tips on making the most out of your AAA Conference experience. Although I am no expert, I am happy to share with you my best (and somewhat biased) advice to help you craft your own unique student experience at AAA this year!
CONNECT with the SAA! Myself and the members of the Student Academy of Audiology Board of Directors cannot wait to meet you at our annual SAA Membership Meeting on Thursday (12:30-1:30 PM). Not only is this a great opportunity for all members to connect with national SAA, but each chapter with a representative present at this meeting will receive a $100 reimbursement! We also hope you will join us Wednesday for both the SAA Mix and Mingle (4:00-5:00 PM) and the SAA Cheers for Ears Benefit (8:00-11:00 PM) as well as the SAA Conference on Saturday (8:00 AM-2:00 PM). AND we can’t forget about all the amazing student programming throughout the conference including hands-on workshops such as the AuD Toolbox featuring information for undergraduates, first time attendees and beyond, and the second annual Student Leaders in Audiology Conference (SLAC). Our national volunteers have been hard at work this year planning student-focused programs for us to enjoy. April can’t come soon enough! #AuDsinTennessee
ASK a Past Attendee! If this is your first convention, ask a friend or classmate what their experience was like and what they recommend you attend. Be sure to also check out the advice from some of our fabulous Past Presidents, Drs. Joshua Huppert (2016-2017), Kaitlyn Kennedy (2015-2016), and Laura Chenier (2014-2015).
MAKE plans, but be prepared to change them! In the weeks leading up to conference, the conference planner, the AAA Conference student page, and schedule will become your best friends! If you’re like me, you might be stuck choosing between a few sessions happening at the same time. You don’t have to narrow them down! Plan to arrive early, but popular sessions could reach capacity before you get there and having back-up sessions will give you a place to head next. And don’t be afraid to get swept up in the moment! I stopped at a poster presentation in Phoenix and ended up meeting a friend I now refer to as my “Audiology Soulmate”. After the poster session was over, I was so engrossed in conversation with her I decided to join her at the SAA Externship Panel in lieu of whatever session I’d had in my conference planner!
I look forward to bringing our SAA family together in Nashville. In the meantime, connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, the Audiology Student Community, or email. Let me know what you’re most looking forward to at AAA 2018, or if you have tips/tricks we missed!
Jennifer Whittaker, SAA President
Past President's Corners