What are your specific interests in audiology? What are your professional goals related to these interests?
My clinical and research interests include using patient narratives to inform interventions and improve patient outcomes, tinnitus assessment and management, hidden hearing loss, and central auditory processing of neurodiverse individuals and those with neurodegenerative disorders.
Currently, I am completing my capstone working with Dr. Khaya Clark, a qualitative researcher at NCRAR and OHSU, to investigate the lived experience of Veterans with bothersome tinnitus through the HERN/DIPEx methodology (healthexperiencesusa.org). After I graduate, it is my intent to continue working on projects within HERN, as well as extend my research efforts into the effects of neurodegenerative disorders, like HIV, on auditory processing with the goal of possibly finding predictive neural behaviors prior to larger neurodegeneration.
Have you previously volunteered with the SAA?
Throughout my graduate career, I have volunteered with my local University of Connecticut (UCONN) SAA chapter many times. We routinely do hearing screenings on campus, promote hearing conservation at university health and wellness fairs, and are currently working on setting up a network of volunteers with local nursing homes and assisted living facilities. This new volunteer opportunity has been a goal of mine as the current vice president of the UCONN chapter, and we hope to finalize the details by the end of the spring semester.
I’m not sure if this is “volunteer” work or not – but my primary goal for the 2022-2023 academic year in SAA is to promote inter-year collaboration and networking within the AuD program as well as bringing in undergraduates who are interested in audiology so we can help educate them on the program and be a resource when they are deciding to go to graduate school. At UCONN, COVID tremendously broke up the camaraderie typically found within the graduate program and between the AuD students and potential AuD undergrads, and we need to strive to mend that. This work has included working with UCONN’s NSSLHA chapter to promote the AuD program through panels and offering specific SAA panels with audiologists in differing areas to come to talk and answer questions for our members.
Aside from the SAA, what other relevant volunteer experiences do you have?
I am always the first to volunteer to be involved when our program is doing good in the community. Along with the on-campus hearing screenings for SAA, I have consistently volunteered my time to screen children at local head-start programs. While in the CT LEND program, I worked with non-verbal children at a local preschool to further my education and as a resource for the special educator and para-educators since one of the children also had hearing loss. Recently, I have also volunteered my time to join the UCONN audiology programs diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice board, which aims to promote inclusivity and diversity within audiology. DEIJ topics are something that I am very passionate about, and I am excited these discussions are starting to take place in our program.