Advisors: Just a heads up! Please remind your students about the Undergraduate Associate Awards. It’s one way SAA Chapters can recognize an undergraduate’s involvement in their chapter. Click here to learn more. Deadline for applications is January 27, 2017.
As promised, this edition of the “Advisor’s Corner” is being transformed into the first installment of an advice column called “Ask the Expert.” If you or your students have questions that you would like answered, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Our first contributor is Lori Zitelli, AuD. Lori currently serves on the Student Academy of Audiology Advisory Committee (SAAAC) and is the liaison to the SAA Undergraduate Committee. She is also an audiologist with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) Audiology Department. Thank you, Dr. Zitelli, for your time!
Question: Should local SAA chapters be reaching out to undergraduate students interested in audiology and if so, what are some ideas to begin to do this?
Dr. Zitelli: The SAA Undergraduate Committee has been doing an amazing job of reaching out to local SAA chapters in order to answer this very question. The committee is charged with helping to develop undergraduate chapters at universities that do not have a graduate Doctorate Audiology program or SAA chapter, determining the need to expand to other universities, and expanding/educating their undergraduate population. I think that in many cases, undergraduate students are either too intimidated to join SAA or are not aware that they can join as an undergraduate student. Maybe they're not even aware that their university has an SAA chapter! If the SAA chapters take it upon themselves to reach out to these undergrads and let them know that their presence is wanted, it may make them a lot more likely to pursue membership.
Several local SAA chapters have been implementing ideas that range from elaborate (e.g. hosting a formal event with both undergraduate and graduate students, as well as faculty) to very simple (e.g. organizing a meeting with the undergraduate student group in order to provide information about what SAA is, describe the benefits of joining, and explain how to join). Some other ideas that we have heard include inviting undergraduate students to participate in SAA events such as public hearing screenings, community education programs about hearing loss, and SAA fundraisers. Another great idea is to consider a mentorship program where an undergraduate student who is interested in audiology is paired with an AuD student who can provide guidance, information, and a familiar face at SAA events. Regardless of how your chapter chooses to reach out to undergraduate students, it is certainly worth the effort because this group has a lot to offer.
Kate Marchelletta, AuD
National SAA Advisor / SAAAC Chair