Meredith Klinker is a third-year audiology student at Purdue University and a recipient of the 2018 Empowering Students Scholarship. We asked Meredith a few questions to get to know her and her thoughts about the profession.
What inspired you to go into Audiology?
I was in an introductory Communication Sciences and Disorders class by chance my freshman year of college, and a guest speaker came in to talk to us about audiology–my first exposure to the field. When I saw videos during his presentation and heard about how much hearing aids and cochlear implants can improve someone’s quality of life by allowing them to more fully participate in their communities, I thought that was pretty awesome.
If you could go back to your first day of grad school, what would you tell yourself?
I would probably need a reminder to be a little less hard on myself. Going to graduate school is a huge transition, and it can be difficult from time to time (or a lot of the time)! You’re not expected to know everything right away–that’s what school is for, and you have so much time ahead of you to learn and grow in confidence as a student and clinician.
What has been your favorite audiology-related memory so far?
I especially enjoy seeing older adults in the clinic, and I have multiple good memories of patients being especially kind (and patient) with me as a brand-new first year student clinician. I’ve also heard some great stories from patients over the last couple of years!
What does patient-centered care mean to you?
Patient-centered care to me means focusing on what each patient’s individual needs and goals are when they come into the clinic. Whether a patient needs to hear their teacher better in their 3rd grade classroom or wants to be able to go out to eat with their grandchildren, it’s important that we ask about what experiences are valuable and important to each person and focus on helping them participate more fully in these experiences.
What advice do you have for undergrads interested in audiology?
Try to get involved in your local SAA chapter and national SAA! It allows you to connect with both graduate and undergraduate students who share your interests, provides opportunities to serve your community, and gives you access to lots of great resources (some of which can help with the graduate school application process).
If you had to eat one meal everyday for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Does popcorn count as a meal?
What is your favorite Emoji?
“Face with tears of joy” is definitely a frequent response from me.
You have to sing karaoke, what song would you choose?
“Love on Top” by Beyonce
The Empowering Students Scholarship is awarded to five (5) students who show exceptional promise as a clinical audiologist and is generously underwritten by Oticon, Inc. The application for 2019 scholarships will be made available on the SAA website in early Spring.
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