Riley M. Bass, AuD is the Student Program Manager with Audigy Group, LLC. She attended Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri and graduated with her Bachelor of Science in Communication Sciences & Disorders with a minor in Linguistics in 2009. She then attended Missouri State University in Springfield, Missouri and obtained her Doctor of Audiology degree in 2013. She is a member of the American Academy of Audiology and serves as a member of the New Professionals Committee. She is also a member of the American Doctors of Audiology and American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.
Media Committee member Samantha Ramirez manages the “So You Want to be a __ Audiologist?” article series. Samantha is currently a second-year AuD graduate student at Wayne State University. She also serves as the student representative for the AAA Membership Committee. Her audiological interests include pediatric early intervention, and AuD student development and success.
SR: How and when did you become interested in becoming an audiologist?
Dr. Bass: Like many audiologists, I found the profession almost by accident. I was a freshman in college with an undeclared major. After many introductory classes and a little soul-searching, I found my way into Communication Sciences and Disorders. I had a love for the medical profession, but also for teaching and working with people. During my junior year at Truman State University, I decided I wanted to pursue audiology rather than speech pathology or Deaf education. I felt much more connected to audiology and have definitely never looked back.
SR: How and when did your relationship with Audigy start?
Dr. Bass: I interviewed for a local Audigy practice in 2013. During an interview with a corporate Talent Acquisition Manager, she mentioned a Summer Graduate Program (SGP), which is a 12 week program aimed at fast-tracking new students to practice ownership. I admittedly had never thought about practice ownership before, but it seemed appealing. I decided it was a good opportunity and packed up what would fit (and my cat) in my car and drove to Portland, Oregon. As soon as I walked through the doors of Audigy, my whole perception changed. This company was full of creative, intelligent, and innovative professionals and for the first time, I could picture myself working in this type of setting.
During the SGP, I developed many of my own personal, professional, and financial goals, which was challenging, but extremely valuable in navigating my future. I decided that one of my new goals is to make sure that no student would graduate feeling like they don’t know where to go. After the SGP concluded, I met with the leaders of Audigy and expressed my interest in guiding students. Audigy saw the passion I had for working with other AuD students and gave me the opportunity to assist students in developing and advancing their career goals.
SR: What are your primary duties in your position?
Dr. Bass: Once I was officially part of the Audigy team, I quickly learned that there are many AuD students who are facing challenges, similar to mine, after graduating. That is when the idea for a student focused conference was developed. In June of 2015, we launched our Student Summit Program. It was my first really big project, and has become my primary role as the Student Program Manager. Student Summit is a 3-day workshop dedicated to leadership, professional development, business operations, and financial planning. In this role, I interview applicants, prepare the content that is delivered, and do my best to ensure that all students have a positive and impactful experience. We currently have 4-5 Student Summits a year, so one is always right around the corner!
I also participate in our University Outreach Program. I have the opportunity to travel to different universities and speak with students and faculty about the importance of advocacy, leadership, and private practice. It’s really inspiring to see so many bright minds pursuing a career that will change so many lives!
SR: Do you still get clinical exposure?
Dr. Bass: I often speak to both students and practicing audiologists about both private practice and patient care. I felt that I needed to be completely confident in my clinical abilities and able to speak concisely about private practice. I was able to spend about 10 months of my time at Audigy practicing full-time in a clinic in central Florida. While I’m not currently seeing patients daily, we do have several internal employees that are patients, as well as many with custom hearing protection or ear plugs. We also host annual “Healthy Hearing Days” and offer hearing screenings, where at least 80% of the office employees come to have their hearing tested. Everyone thinks its so cool to get their hearing checked and proudly wears their “I love my Audiologist” sticker all day. I also keep all my licensure, certification, and CEUs up-to-date, so I try to learn as much as possible about the evolution of hearing technology and the industry.
SR: What other inter-professional roles do you play?
Dr. Bass: We have many different departments here at Audigy HQ and I am lucky to get to collaborate with almost all of them. When our IT team developed the new interactive ear anatomy software, I was one of the first to see the renderings and voice my opinion on both the appearance and accuracy. When the marketing team is releasing a new campaign that mentions hearing technology or other audiologic terms, they always send it over to me for proofing to make sure everything is described correctly. I get a lot of questions about licensure, externships, patient-care, etc., from all of our teams here and I’m always happy to help them find the answers they need to successfully move their projects forward. I love working with other teams because although Audigy is focused on the business side of the industry, our teams want to ensure the work they are doing reflects positively on the field and is “audiologist-approved.”
SR: What advice do you have for students?
Dr. Bass: Get involved! Go to as many student focused events as you can. Shake hands and meet people. Become an advocate for our profession, lead with your heart, and always pursue your passions. Oh, and come to Student Summit!
Welcome to the Student Academy of Audiology (SAA) Pathways to Audiology Interview Series! While many audiologists come from a Communication Science Disorders (CSD) background, others have taken different pathways to the field. In this series, the SAA will interview both audiologists and AuD students who have or are taking non-traditional routes into the profession of audiology….
Welcome to the SAA Becoming a ____ Audiologist Interview Series! There are many pathways or fields of audiology. In this series, the SAA will interview audiologists who work in varying fields of audiology. Our next interview is with Rachel Cornwell, AuD, MBA, a Chief of Audiology at Fort Jackson Army Health Clinic. Dr. Cornwell also does contract…
Welcome to the SAA Interview Series! This month, we had the honor of interviewing current American Academy of Audiology President, Sarah Sydlowski, AuD, PhD, MBA! Can you give us a quick description of who you are, what your official title is, and where you are currently working? I’m an audiologist and am currently President of…