Say hello to Seyma!

Seyma is a multilingual and multicultural individual born and raised in Turkey. With three sisters, including a twin sister, she pursued a bachelor’s degree in audiology in her home country. The adventure didn’t end there – she then embarked on an exciting journey to the United States, where she is currently enrolled in the Doctor of Audiology program at Gallaudet University.

Fluent in English, Turkish, and American Sign Language, her linguistic prowess extends even further, as she also learned some German, thanks to her mother’s roots in Germany. Talk about a well-rounded and diverse background! Her primary interests are vestibular testing, tinnitus evaluation and management, and clinical research.

What does diversity and/or diverse representation mean to you as an audiology student?

As an audiology student, diversity means having many different kinds of people and experiences in the field. It’s not just about having a variety of people; it’s also about treating everyone fairly and making sure everyone gets equal opportunities, regardless of their background.

Diverse representation is about making sure that people from different races, genders, economic situations, and cultures, including those in the Deaf community, are included and treated well. In audiology, this is crucial because it helps us understand and meet the needs of a wide range of people, considering their unique backgrounds and experiences.

Having a diverse group of people also makes learning more interesting and helps create a friendly community that respects and values everyone’s perspectives, ensuring that the field of audiology reflects the variety of people in the world and works to improve healthcare for everyone.

What are your future professional goals?

I am dedicated to addressing disparities in audiological services by focusing on underserved communities. My primary goal is to provide comprehensive evaluations, hearing aids, and rehabilitative services to individuals facing barriers to care.

Informed by my experiences at Gallaudet University, where I gained insight into the Deaf experience and learned to advocate against discrimination towards Deaf culture, I am determined to create an inviting environment for underrepresented minorities, women, and socioeconomically underprivileged students. Through this commitment, I aim to make a meaningful impact on the lives of those in underserved populations, enhancing their communication abilities and overall quality of life.

Simultaneously, I am passionate about advocating for higher education among females and individuals from minority backgrounds. Drawing from my experiences as a woman from Turkey, I aspire to create an inclusive academic environment.

As a future audiologist, I plan to offer mentorship, support aspiring students, and collaborate with organizations like SAA to empower individuals from minority backgrounds. Using conferences, social media, and active engagement with local communities, I aim to be a role model and advocate for the importance of diversity and inclusion in education.