In 2012, the Student Academy of Audiology (SAA) Board of Directors established the Chapter Challenges to encourage SAA members to work toward common goals, help further the profession of audiology, and increase public awareness about hearing health care. Two years later, Hearing Healthcare Recruiters (HHR) made a pledge to the AAA Foundation to fund the challenges for five years, markedly expanding the potential impact of the initiative. With the five-year pledge coming to a close at the end of the 2018–2019 challenge year, George Mathis, owner and CEO of HHR, graciously renewed his organization’s commitment for another five years, thus enabling the SAA to continue supporting its chapters in grassroots activism and the promotion of public awareness for the profession. The SAA couldn’t be more excited!  

How Does It Work? 

With each activity a chapter hosts, it earns points in different categories—advocacy, humanitarian, education, and fundraising—with bonus points added in each category to capture unique activities across chapters (everything counts!). At the end of the challenge year, the chapter with the most points in each category wins a CASH prize! Additionally, there are prizes for the chapters with the most overall points and the most well-rounded Chapter Challenge participation.  

Winners are announced during the SAA Membership Meeting at the annual AAA Conference and are showcased on SAA social media. To express our sincerest thanks to HHR, to the AAA Foundation for stewarding the partnership, and to illustrate the impact the initiative has on SAA Chapters and the profession, the SAA reached out to chapter winners from the 2018–2019 Chapter Challenges: 

University of Cincinnati

We are so excited to be awarded the Most Well-Rounded Chapter! Winning this award means so much to us. We would love to thank Hearing Healthcare Recruiters. It means so much that they care about our SAA chapters and sponsor the Chapter Challenges. These challenges encourage us to become active in the field as students and help us become the best hearing-care professionals we can be.  

The funds we earned this year will be used to help purchase hearing aids for those in need during our service trips like the Red Bird Mission. Our chapter has worked incredibly hard to continue to reach more people in our local community and winning this award means that we are doing just that.” 

The Graduate Center, CUNY

This past year was the first time the CUNY Graduate Center participated in the SAA Chapter Challenges and we are very thankful we did. The efforts led us to receive the Fundraising Award, allowing the CUNY Graduate Center to donate over $2,400 for the Hearing Loss Association of America. We plan to use the funds earned from Chapter Challenges to host educational programs for students in the New York City area and increase awareness of hearing loss and the effects of noise exposure.  

As students, we must share the lessons we’ve learned in the classroom with those around us and what better way to do this than through your advocacy, education, humanitarian, and/or fundraising efforts. I would strongly encourage all SAA Chapters to take part in the challenge because you never know the impact of what you can do until you’ve done it!” 

The 2019–2020 Chapter Challenges are already underway, but there is still plenty of time to participate. Round Two ends December 13, with submissions due by December 20, 2019, to the SAA Chapter Relations Committee. Visit the SAA website, keyword: chapter challenge, for more information. 

Thank you to Hearing Healthcare Recruiters, the AAA Foundation, and to all the SAA chapters and members that work to further the profession of audiology!