Meet the 2015-2016 SAA Board of Directors

Meet the 2015-2016 SAA Board of Directors

August 28, 2015 SAA News

From left to right: Laura Chenier (Past President), Kaitlyn Kennedy (President), Nikki Jordan, Arun Joshi (Secretary), Nicole Denney, Sarah Blue, Joshua Huppert, Hanna Tarsunova, Aaron Roman, Jennifer Martin (Vice President), Anna Jilla (Treasurer) at the American Academy of Audiology in Reston, VA


Name: Kaitlyn Kennedy
University: Missouri State University
Hometown: St. Louis, MO
Externship: Advanced Hearing Care
SAA Position: President, Nominations Committee Chair

Kaitlyn serves as the President of SAA and as the Chair of the Nominations Committee, which is responsible for organizing and finalizing the election process of the SAA Board. She also acts as a liaison to the American Academy of Audiology Board, where she serves as an active voice for all students involved in SAA throughout the country. Her goal for her committee is to have another outstanding board for next year! Her goals for the SAA include seeing the organization grow in engagement with students and chapters, as well as become more integral in the transitions all students face (ex – undergrad to grad, grad to career/PhD, etc).

Kaitlyn’s personal areas of interest and goals regarding audiology include pediatrics, educational audiology, and translational research and she hopes to successfully defend her thesis, graduate, and find a wonderful job for the next year. In her free time, Kaitlyn loves to bake and decorate desserts, especially cookie dough cupcakes. She also plays the flute and is learning to play the guitar. In the past, Kaitlyn worked at a band camp and was a water ski instructor for two summers during graduate school.

Name: Jennifer Martin
University: Gallaudet University
Hometown: Columbia, TN
Externship: Boston VA Medical Center
SAA Position: Vice President and SAA Conference Committee Chair

The SAA Conference Committee Chair aims to organize and coordinate the annual SAA Conference, which is held in conjunction with AudiologyNOW! Jennifer will be co-leading the SAA Conference committee along with the very dedicated Dr. Samantha Lewis. The committee will focus on attracting great speakers that will educate, motivate, and cause students to critically analyze case studies. One of the goals for the SAA Conference Committee for this year is to increase conference attendance. Ideally, the committee aims for the students that attend the conference to walk away with great knowledge that makes them think critically, empowers them to be better clinicians, and challenges them in new ways. The committee will also invite today’s leaders of the Academy for a networking event during the conference. 

Jennifer’s personal area of interest regarding audiology involves working with Veterans, specifically those suffering from debilitating tinnitus. Jennifer hopes to have a successful year working with Veterans at the Boston VA. She is very eager to earn her AuD and wants to continue working with the Veteran population at a VA hospital once her degree is completed. In her free time, Jennifer is involved with the Boston Derby Dames roller derby league as well as her local Marine Corps League. 

Name: Anna Marie Jilla
University: University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center
Hometown: Montgomery, Alabama
Status: 3rd Year AuD; PhD (expected 2019)
SAA Position: Treasurer, Fundraising Committee Chair, AAAF Liaison

The Fundraising Committee strives to maintain budget neutral status, to strengthen current fundraising projects to ameliorate budget status, and to identify, plan and implement fundraising opportunities for the SAA, in affiliation with the AAA Foundation. Anna’s main goals for the year are to continue to foster SAA’s relationship with the AAA Foundation, while improving the effectiveness of fundraising outreach and promoting involvement and participation among students through fundraising initiatives and scholarships.

Anna’s research interest is in aural rehabilitation, specifically hearing aid uptake, treatment adherence, and outcomes. She is currently studying the influence of audiologic and non-audiologic factors of hours per day hearing aid usage. While Anna wraps up her capstone research project, she hopes to prepare her manuscript for publication and present her findings at AudiologyNOW! 2016 in Phoenix, Arizona.  With help from the SAA Humanitarian, Education, and Awareness Resources (HEAR) Chapter Grant from the AAA Foundation in 2014, Anna and her colleagues also hope to continue extending the influence of their audiologic services in her philanthropic clinic in Oklahoma City. In what little free time she has, Anna enjoys reading, attending local jazz concerts, and getting out on the links to sharpen her golf skills.

Name: Arun Joshi
University: The University of North Texas
Hometown: League City, Texas
Status: 3rd year AuD student
SAA Position: Education Committee Chair and Accreditation Commission for Audiology Education (ACAE) Liaison

As Education Committee Chair and ACAE liaison, Arun serves to encourage a positive experience and smooth transition from student to professional life, as well as to promote audiology to the general public through awareness campaigns and government relations. His primary goal is to provide increased educational programming and resources to current audiology students to supplement graduate coursework. Additionally, Arun hopes to support new professionals in their transition from student to audiologist.

Arun’s primary interests regarding audiology lie in pediatric audiology and (re) habilitation, as well as cochlear implants and remote microphone technology. He is also interested in practice management. As Education Committee Chair and ACAE liaison, Arun hopes to serve audiology students nationwide to the best of his ability. As for the externship search, he aims to secure a comprehensive, well-rounded externship position – preferably with a focus on pediatrics. In my spare time, Arun enjoys grassroots activism, traveling, and rooting on the Texas Longhorns!

Name: Sarah Blue
University: Northeast Ohio AuD Consortium (NOAC)
Hometown: Springboro, OH
Status: 3rd year  AuD student
SAA Position: Chapter Relations Committee Chair

The Chapter Relations Committee aims to strengthen the SAA family through increased membership, engagement, and communication between local university chapters and the national SAA group. The goal is to educate doctoral students and undergraduate students interested in audiology on the mission of AAA and SAA as well as networking opportunities, organizational efforts and goals.  Sarah’s goals this year are to open up communication between regional chapters and national SAA as well as increase inter-chapter communication. She wants local chapters to be as engaged as possible in national events and happenings.

Sarah loves cochlear implants and electrophysiology. It is her hope to someday work in a big hospital setting where she can encounter a variety of different areas of audiology so as to “stay current” as much as possible. Her personal goals for this next year are to have as much fun enjoying the profession and her peers. Sarah wants to participate in new events and network with new people. Her own chapter is going to Guatemala in the spring (their very first humanitarian trip) and she is so excited to be a part of that. In her free time, Sarah loves to run, binge watch Netflix, and eat anything made of carbs. She loves everything from country concerts to Broadway musicals and anything in between.  People are the most important thing in her life, and therefore most weekends you’ll find her driving off to visit an out of town friend or family member! 

Name: Nicole Denney
University: The University of Kansas Medical Center
Hometown: Kansas City, KS
Status: 3rd Year AuD student
SAA Position: Media Committee Chair

The Media Committee Chair aims to connect students to the field of audiology through the use of media outlets including Facebook, Twitter, and the SAA website as well as through publications in SAAy Anything and Audiology Today. The Media Committee keeps students up-to-date on not only current events, but what other students and chapters are doing all over the country! This allows students to share their accomplishments, stories and general ideas for further involvement in the field of audiology. Nicole’s goal is to keep students connected to the Academy and up-to-date on current events, local chapter news, as well as to provide articles of professional interest.

Nicole’s primary interests regarding audiology include diagnosis and treatment of hearing loss with the use of hearing aids, counseling and aural rehabilitation. She is also especially interested in the prevention of hearing loss through hearing conservation and educational efforts as well as tinnitus management techniques. Nicole is also highly intrigued by the practice management and business side of audiology and aspires to one day own her own practice. Nicole’s personal goals for her third year of graduate school are to finish the academic portion of her AuD degree with flying colors, find an externship that shares the same areas of interest as her, and remembering to breathe at some point! In her free time, Nicole enjoys traveling, spending time with friends and family, attending audiology conferences, and playing with her pet kitty. She also loves to explore the wonderful place that is Kansas City and cheering on the Chiefs, Royals, Sporting KC, and Jayhawks!

Name:  Joshua Huppert
University:  Pacific University
Hometown:  Oswego, IL
Status:  2nd year AuD student (3 year program)
SAA Position: Advocacy Committee Chair

The Advocacy Committee is charged with organizing events and facilitating communication to promote the field of audiology through public awareness, education, and government relations. This includes educating students about advocacy initiatives and helping them as they become involved in government relations at the state and national level. With the help of his committee members, Josh hopes to make advocacy more approachable to students and globally, help students understand that their voices matter and have the power to impact the profession of audiology. To make this ideal a reality, several events will be initiated this year to not only bring a better understanding to advocacy, but also encourage students to get out into their communities and help spread the word about the profession and scope of practice for audiology.

Josh’s areas of interest regarding audiology include working with vestibular patients. Not only is this system intricately and complexly beautiful, but it too is a system that is often taken for granted and, in many cases, overlooked. Josh feels that this population of individuals is comprised of some of the bravest and most inspirational patients and he is ecstatic at the thought of working with them more consistently once he graduates. Ideally, Josh would love to land an externship where he can frequently work with vestibular patients, but also to receive a comprehensive experience that will keep him well-rounded as a developing clinician. He also looks forward to the research opportunity involved in completing his Capstone. In the little free time that he has, Josh enjoys running, grabbing dinner with friends, watching movies, and singing. He also loves the great outdoors and hiking has become one of his many passions.

Name: Hanna Tarsunova
University: Northern Illinois University
Hometown: Minsk, Belarus
Status: 3rd year AuD student
SAA Position: Programs Subcommittee Chair

The SAA Programs Subcommittee is in charge of creating the AudiologyNOW! 2016 student experience through educational sessions, networking, and social events. Hanna hopes that all AuD students will attend the conference this year and take advantage of the opportunities! The goal for the committee this year is to ensure students find a way to connect to the field of audiology, whether through networking with professionals in the field and/or by learning about the relevant issues in audiology.

On the personal side, Hanna’s interests regarding audiology are working with the pediatric population and early intervention. This year, Hanna hopes to secure a fourth year externship that will help her enter the field with the training and knowledge to make her a successful audiologist. In her free time, Hanna enjoys biking, riding roller coasters, and watching Pixar movies.

Name: Aaron Roman
University: University of Pittsburgh
Hometown: Whitehall, PA
Status: 3rd year AuD student
SAA Position: Undergraduate Committee Liaison

The Undergraduate Committee helps develop undergraduate chapters at universities that do not have a graduate AuD program or an active SAA chapter, track the benefits and determine the need to expand to other universities, and work to expand and educate the undergraduate member population. The main goal is to improve and expand the present model of the SAA Undergraduate Chapters and investigate ways to increase undergraduate involvement.

Aaron’s personal areas of interest regarding audiology include cognition related to hearing loss, bilingualism and hearing loss, and music perception. He personal main goal for the year is to get a fourth year externship placement! He also has two research projects in the works, and would like to see them completed sooner rather than later. In his free time, Aaron likes to cook, play the piano, read, and pretend to be good at video games.

Name: Nicole (Nikki) Jordan
University: University of Texas at Dallas
Hometown: Cincinnati, OH
Externship: Kaiser Permanente, Oakland, CA
SAA Position: Humanitarian Committee Chair

The Humanitarian Committee’s goal is to promote service and philanthropic efforts to the community through audiology by encouraging the giving of time and effort to those who would or do benefit from audiology services. The committee aims to provide local chapters with connections to provide outreach for their local communities and efforts on a larger national and international level. This year, the Humanitarian Committee wants to focus on providing information for chapters to use in their humanitarian efforts, specifically, a database for local, national, and international efforts. It also aims to continue building the humanitarian ideas bank to provide more support to local chapters. More generally, Nikki would like to see more conservation/preservation efforts from chapters, such as involvement with organizations like DiscovEARy Zone, Dangerous Decibels, and Adopt-A-Band. The committee will also continue to build the SAA relationship with Special Olympics Healthy Hearing.

Nikki enjoys all audiology has to offer. In particular, she is interested in hearing conservation, humanitarian audiology, auditory processing disorder, and tinnitus, however it is difficult to choose just one area! Nikki wants to explore various interests this year to better understand what type of audiologist she wants to become and to prepare herself for the job application process. Ideally, she would love to develop an auditory processing protocol for her externship. In her free time, Nikki loves to hike with her husky. She loves traveling and taking weekend road trips whenever she can. She is also a big movie fanatic and enjoys fun themed movie marathons! 

Nicole Denney is currently a third-year AuD student at the University of Kansas Medical Center (KUMC) and serves as SAA Media Committee Chair as well as the president for the KUMC SAA Chapter. 

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