The national Student Academy of Audiology (SAA) State Ambassador Program is an opportunity to be a leader in your state. For the 2021-2022 term, national SAA is proud to have 15 SAA State Ambassadors making a difference in their home state. Get to know our SAA State Ambassador Co-Chairs and three of our state ambassadors!
Come back next month when we introduce more state ambassadors!
Student Ambassador Program Co-Chairs
Kathryn “Katie” Sobon
Kathryn “Katie” Sobon is the 2021-2022 co-chair of the national SAA State Ambassadors (SA) Program. She has previously served as the North Carolina State Ambassador for the 2020-2021 term and continues to enjoy connecting with students and professionals around the country. Her goals for this term are to increase awareness of the resources provided by the SAA.
Katie is a third-year audiology student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She earned a B.A. in linguistics and a B.A. in interpersonal/organizational communication studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Katie is a Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) trainee, as well as an Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) grant recipient. Her clinical interests include working with children with multiple and complex developmental disabilities in addition to hearing loss. In her free time, she enjoys walking her dog, reading, and trying new recipes.
Lauren-Rose “LR” Nguyen
Lauren-Rose “LR” Nguyen is the 2021-2022 co-chair of the national SAA State Ambassadors (SA) Program. LR has also served as SA co-chair for the 2020-2021 term and as the California ambassador from 2018-2020. She is honored to continue to support the state ambassador mission of connection and camaraderie, a mission that pushed for the creation of the program in 2017. Her goals this term will be to drive public awareness about audiology and to promote interstate collaboration amongst state ambassadors and chapters.
LR is a second-year audiology student at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. Her primary audiological interests include aural rehabilitation, military/veteran care, and public policy. She is currently a research associate in an auditory rehabilitation lab focused on adult cochlear implant auditory cognitive training. With her past pursuit of a linguistics degree, LR maintains that spirit, surrounding her life with different cultures and languages. In her personal time, LR enjoys fitness, visiting the free Smithsonian museums around D.C., and going to cultural Deaf events.
Jeff Shymanski is currently a third-year audiology student at the University of Iowa. He has previously served as University of Iowa’s SAA undergraduate liaison (2018-2019) and treasurer (2020-2021). Jeff currently serves as chapter vice president. As national SAA Iowa state ambassador, Jeff hopes to promote engagement between Iowa undergraduate students, graduate students, and professionals across the state. He also aims to increase participation among audiology students within the Iowa Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ISHA), particularly to foster involvement during state legislative days.
Jeff earned his B.A. in speech and hearing sciences from the University of Iowa. His primary interests in audiology include: investigating language and learning outcomes in children with hearing loss, designing audiovisual aural rehabilitation resources, and examining attentional factors of background noise. Outside of audiology, Jeff enjoys playing board games with friends, making music, and going for runs along his favorite wooded trail.
Jenna Van Bosch
Jenna Van Bosch is the 2021–2022 North Carolina SAA State Ambassador. Last year, she served on the community outreach committee for her local SAA chapter. Jenna is excited and grateful for the opportunity to serve as the liaison for the local North Carolina SAA chapters and national SAA. In her new position, she hopes to continue facilitating interprofessional communication and support for students pursuing a career in audiology. In particular, by motivating students to partake in legislative initiatives, she will strive to increase advocacy at the state and national level. Additionally, she hopes to spotlight and educate members on many of the innovative research initiatives that are occurring in North Carolina and nationally.
Jenna is a second-year audiology student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She earned a B.S. in communication sciences and disorders and a minor in educational studies from the University of Nebraska- Lincoln. Jenna is a Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) trainee and Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) grant recipient. Her primary interests include pediatrics, cochlear implants, clinical research, and the genetics of hearing loss. Outside of audiology, Jenna enjoys backpacking, climbing, hiking, and running.
Alexis Brophy is the 2021-2022 national SAA State Ambassador (SA) for Oklahoma. She is a second-year audiology student at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center(OUHSC) in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, where she currently serves as an ambassador for the College of Allied Health at OUHSC. Her interests in audiology include cochlear implants, hearing aids, pediatrics, educational audiology, and auditory processing disorder. She is excited to work with the local SAA chapter to promote excitement about audiologic challenges, engagement in the state, and activities to increase awareness of our profession within the state.
Alexis earned a B.S. in communication sciences and disorders at Oklahoma State University, after beginning her education at Western Michigan University. She is currently learning about auditory processing disorder and the vestibular side of audiology. Outside of school, Alexis enjoys gardening, fitness, and spending time with her dog and husband.
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