Riley DeBacker, SAA Secretary

Riley DeBacker, SAA Secretary

Name: Riley DeBacker
SAA Position: Secretary
University: Ohio State University
Year in Program: Third Year
Hometown: Delta, OH

Clinical/research interest: Ototoxicity

1. What is the most exciting thing you have learned so far in your AuD?
I'm a complete nerd for the cochlea and so my absolute favorite thing I've learned in the program so far is Liberman and Kujawa's theory of "hidden hearing loss." I think it has the potential to physiologically tie together some of the "loose ends" of audiology and provides an absolutely incredible counseling tool, especially when working with young and healthy patients.

2. What are your goals for SAA this year?
I'm really excited to work with the Accreditation Commission for Audiology Education (ACAE) over the next year as they re-examine the externship process. I look forward to providing a student’s voice in some very important conversations for both the individual futures of SAA members and for our profession as a whole. Please let me know if you have an externship experience you want to share or something you'd like to change about the process!

3. What advice would you give to current AuD students?
Allow yourself to take breaks. The AuD can feel like it's go, go, go all of the time, but you're more useful to everyone, especially your patients, when you're at your best! I wish I were better at taking this advice myself, but I'm hoping that over the next year I'll be able to remind myself to do this and avoid approaching local coffee companies for sponsorships of my AuD.

4. Tell us a fun fact about you!
When I was an undergraduate, I spent 4 years as the music director of Ohio State's show choir. I absolutely love singing and dancing (even if I could use some more practice) and look forward to finding the time to start singing again after grad school!

How can AuD students get in contact with you?
Please reach out to me at with any questions, suggestions, and especially with externship stories and feedback!