This year, the American Academy of Audiology Foundation welcomes five new trustees to help carry on the Foundation’s philanthropic mission.

The March/April issue of Audiology Today featured two of our five new members: Sarah Sydlowski, AuD, PhD, and Ryan Bullock, AuD. In this issue, we are proud to introduce to you Patricia Gaffney, AuD, Hillary Snapp, AuD, PhD, and Helena Solodar, AuD.

We asked our new trustees a series of questions so we can get to know them better. Here are some of the highlights.

Patricia Gaffney, AuD
Patricia Gaffney, AuD
Audiology Professor
Nova Southeastern
Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

Why did you become an audiologist?

I became an audiologist because I wanted a health field that had a nice balance of patient interaction and challenge. My uncle is an ENT and I would shadow his audiologist and really enjoyed watching her appointments. Once in school, I chose to specialize in vestibular because I love the challenge of the dizzy-patient puzzle. 

What interested you in serving on the Foundation Board? 

I participated in the Jerger Future Leaders in Audiology Conference (JFLAC) 2010 class, which was sponsored by the Foundation, in addition to others. This put the Foundation on my radar. From there, I saw how important the Foundation is when I served on the Academy board, saw poster scholarships during poster sessions, and research grants. I was interested in serving on the Foundation Board because the fundraising efforts of the Foundation help to fund various activities that benefit our Academy members. 

What do you do for fun? 

For fun, my favorite thing is doing something with my two Shetland sheepdogs, particularly going on hikes with them. I love to travel between semesters when I can take off. I’ve been recently increasing my gym time, which has been fun, and while on the treadmill, I watch make-up tutorials on YouTube. I recently did my first 5k during the AAA Annual Conference in Columbus, 2019, with AuDLifestyle, and since then I’ve signed up for four more 5ks!


Tell me about where you work.

Hillary Snapp, AuD, PhD
Hillary Snapp, AuD, PhD
Chief of Audiology, 
Department of
University of Miami, 
Miller School of
Miami, Florida

The University of Miami Ear Institute is one of the most comprehensive centers of its kind, and is a center for research, education, and clinical excellence in pathology and diseases of the ear. Continually involved in innovative treatment and research, the UMEI is a leader in hearing-loss management offering the latest in hearing technology. This includes a state-of-the-art hearing and implants program, a dedicated Children’s Hearing Program, vestibular program, and tinnitus management. The team of researchers at the UMEI includes faculty with expertise in neurotology, audiology, human genomics, and biomedical engineering, and is currently ranked #14 in the country in terms of National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding. 

What is your favorite part of being an audiologist?

There are many wonderful things about being an audiologist. Certainly, patient care is at the heart of it all. However, at this moment in my career, I really enjoy mentoring students and junior faculty. Collectively, this group of early and emerging professionals has incredible power to affect great change in our profession. It is the steps they will take that will move our field forward. Their passion and excitement are inspiring, and I am grateful to have the opportunity to work with them and learn from them. 

What things do you do for fun outside of the profession?

I spend most of my time with my family. We like to spend our free time traveling or out on the water boating, skiing, or swimming.


Helena Solodar, AuD
Helena Solodar, AuD
Owner and President of 
HS Solodar Consulting 
Atlanta, Georgia

Tell me about where you work.

I am a private practitioner for 43 years and founded Audiological Consultants of Atlanta, ACA, which was sold in 2016. I retired from my clinical practice on November 30, 2018. I founded HS Solodar Consulting, which specializes in practice and business management, marketing, and Lyric education. I love establishing the relationships with my patients, staff, and colleagues, but mostly in creating the best place to receive the best audiological care in the communities we serve. 

What things do you do for fun outside of the profession?

Socialize with my friends and family, play in a weekly Mah Jongg game, pickle ball, and enjoy our mountain home in North Carolina and beach condo in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. 

Where is the most interesting place you’ve been?

It’s probably a tie between Israel and Tahiti.

What was your first career you dreamed of having as a kid?

A physician.

If you could instantly become an expert in something, what would it be?

A professional singer.