Why are you interested in joining the national SAA Board of Directors?

I was very excited to be nominated for the national SAA Board of Directors (BOD) this year, especially after being able to connect to national SAA and volunteer. Working with other AuD students across various programs has really grown my interest exponentially in being more involved on the national level. I am very interested in joining the national SAA BOD because I think it will help take the experience I have in volunteering and working with SAA both locally and nationally and train that experience into better leadership where I can help educate and be the middle ground between local and national SAA.

Each local SAA chapter focuses on different parts of our field that they collectively want to see flourish and being able to encourage that and help in all ways possible is something I would love the opportunity to do. I know my local SAA chapter specifically has put a focus on advocating this year and we have been researching and gaining information to put together a legislation day. Through this we have been educating our members how to talk to political figures in their area to raise awareness for bills that could help our career and patients. Being able to take projects like this and others to a national level and see positive growth would be amazing.

What unique traits or skills will you bring to a leadership position with the national SAA?

To answer this question, I think there are several traits in my personality that make me a great candidate for this position. I am very motivated, empathetic, and detail-oriented. Our field is very important to me and having a background in hearing loss, it makes me very motivated to help bring more education for hearing prevention as well as overall patient-centered care. I can connect with patients and help them realize that I am not just a provider on the other side of the table, I understand the frustration and that it is hard, but we are working toward a better solution, and I think that holds for many other audiologists as well.

Lastly, I am very organized and detail-oriented. Even in past-faced or work-heavy environments, I am able to keep a clean and calm head to think of different possibilities and solutions before impulsively carrying them out. Through this skill, my detail-oriented trait thrives since it is able to look at all the facts and gather information to make the best-informed decision for what the circumstances may be.

If you could change one thing about the profession of audiology, what would it be?

In our profession, I think things have changed consistently in the past few years. The introduction of over-the-counter hearing aids and more recognition in our field has sparked change around education, confidence, and practice. However, If I could change something in our profession, I would lean more into the education aspect and find a way to increase knowledge of our profession in younger generations. This has played a role in my volunteering with the education committee, and we are working on gathering information to give to high school counselors and putting together packets for colleges to go to career fairs. Putting our profession more in the light will help students know that it is an option they can choose for a rewarding, fast-paced, and fascinating career in the science field. By increasing the knowledge, hopefully more students get their clinical degrees and we can help increase the number of audiologists to help meet the demand required of our field.