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NP Spotlight

We may be new to the profession, but there are many New Professionals doing really amazing things! Check out some of your fellow colleagues here to see what they’re doing with their careers.

Interview with Hanna Tarsunova Page, AuD

Interview with Hanna Tarsunova Page, AuD

I am a Northern Illinois University alum working as an Educational Audiologist in the mountains of Colorado near Denver. Why do I do Audiology? When I was born with a unilateral hearing loss, my family couldn’t do much, or so they were told, to help me. I work as an Audiologist to change that experience for other families and kids.


1. What did you find most challenging about transitioning from student to professional?
It’s a tie between two challenges. I’m sure I’m not alone in saying one challenge is the mismatch between the “textbook” and the real-world clinic. This is especially true with pediatrics! The textbooks don’t always prepare you for sitting on the floor with a child and teaching them not to fear an OAE probe tip for an hour. The other area that was challenging and can sometimes still be challenging is learning to depend on yourself. In school or even in clinical placements, there is always someone there to guide and help you if you were unsure. As a professional, you need to learn that you have all the tools and you don’t need someone to double check everything you do. Although – working on a team and getting advice from peers is always helpful!

2. What is your most rewarding experience since becoming an independent professional?
As a professional, it’s been extremely rewarding to know that you have specialized knowledge that can help someone. In the degree program, you’re constantly surrounded by peers that understand the field. Working on interprofessional teams, I have loved being an advocate for hearing related issues as well as learning about what the other professionals do. You finally get to see the picture that your puzzle piece of hearing helps complete.

3. Why did you get involved in the Academy?
I first got involved in AAA as an undergraduate and have continued to stay involved ever since. Being connected to members diversified not only in geographical location but also in their specializations of Audiology has really opened my eyes to the depth of our profession. It is inspiring to hear about the work that is being done. My leadership skills have grown exponentially, especially with the opportunity to serve on the Board of Directors of the Student Academy of Audiology. It takes many people to make the organization function and I have always enjoyed working with other Audiologists to carry out AAA’s goals.

4. Are you involved in any other State or National activities?
I currently serve on the Colorado Academy of Audiology Board of Directors as the Secretary and Educational Liaison. For AAA, I currently serve as a member on the Outreach Subcommittee and as the Member Connect Subcommittee Chair on the Membership Committee.

5. What is your advice to a student or new professional looking to get involved with the profession of Audiology?
Once you graduate, it is your responsibility to stay involved. Legislation will move forward regardless of what we, as Audiologists, believe is best practice unless we make our voice heard. Many voices are stronger than one; joining a state organization ensures that your ideas will be heard. Getting involved can be as simple as reaching out to your local board members. I doubt anyone will turn you away! Not only will you be able to network with professionals in your state but you will be able to keep an ear to the ground for what’s next in Audiology. Furthermore, volunteering for national organizations, like AAA, has very similar benefits but on a larger scale. Bottom line – get involved, someway, somehow!



Interview with Chris Cox, AuD

Interview with Chris Cox, AuD

Since graduating from University of North Texas in 2011, I have spent my years working at Audigy helping private practice owners reach their goals, serving patients through better hearing, and connecting students with each other and audiology professionals nationwide. I'm passionate about private practice, supporting my fellow audiologists and advancing the profession of Audiology. Also beer. And also donuts.

1. What did you find most challenging about transitioning from student to professional?
Besides responding to my name with a 'doctor' in front of it? Probably finally realizing that it was career time and there isn't a syllabus for that!

2. What is your most rewarding experience since becoming an independent professional?
There have been many because what we do is so rewarding, but knowing that the work I'm involved with isn't just helping patients but also strengthening our profession as a whole makes me feel thankful I get to do what I do for a career. Also rewarding: that one time a patient brought me a whole pack of double stuffed Oreos.

3. Why did you get involved in the Academy?
As a student I had the honor of serving on the first full SAA national board of directors and it was an amazing experience. I felt it to be important to stay involved once I graduated so I continued to volunteer. The Academy is OUR organization and I believe we as young professionals can plug in to it and have a positive impact on the direction of our profession as long as we work together and make a deliberate effort. 

4. Are you involved in any other State or National activities?
Yes and looking to get more involved with my state organization.

5. What is your advice to a student or new professional looking to get involved with the profession of Audiology?
Network, network, network. One way to do that is to sign up to volunteer on a committee, state or national, doesn't matter which one. Start with something you're passionate about, find a volunteer spot that is related, then contribute what you can. The Academy is always in need of volunteers at all levels so don't be shy. It is only through all of our efforts combined that we will see positive movement in our profession. We get to shape the future for all of us!

Interview with Kaitlyn Kennedy, AuD

Interview with Kaitlyn Kennedy, AuD

Kaitlyn Kennedy, AuD is currently a pediatric audiologist at Cook Children's in Fort Worth, Texas. She received her AuD from Missouri State University in 2016 and is the current committee chair for the New Professionals Committee.


1. What did you find most challenging about transitioning from student to professional?
The most difficult part of transitioning from student to professional was realizing I had to make clinical decisions alone. I was in an ENT clinic as the sole audiologist and had to decide which intervention a patient needed or if I should bill for a specific code on my own. Luckily, I was prepared for these decisions. That did not make it any less nerve-racking. Additionally, because I was the only audiologist in this practice, I had to make proposals on pricing for testing and services. Creating those proposals based on available resources took a lot of research and thought, but it has prepared me for things I may have to do in the future.

2. What is your most rewarding experience since becoming an independent professional?
The most rewarding experience so far has been establishing a practice on my own. My first job was starting the audiology clinic in an ENT practice. The equipment was there, but nothing else was in place. It was my responsibility to establish our protocols, pricing, and train the staff on who needed audiology appointments. Being able to see how that paid off after a year was amazing. I was able to directly impact patients with the protocols put in place and help a lot of people who were not helped prior.

3. Why did you get involved in the Academy?
Initially, I was involved in SAA. It was something that a student a few years ahead of me recommended. She was on the national SAA Board at that time and recommended I apply for a committee. I did and really enjoyed that work. Ever since, I have been involved with the Academy on SAA committees, the SAA Board, and now the New Professionals Committee. Throughout these experiences, I've seen the importance of advocating for our professional on state and national levels. Additionally, I've been able to see the impact we can have on our organization by volunteering. It gives me the opportunity to have my views heard and act upon them.

4. Are you involved in any other State or National activities? 
In addition to being the New Professionals Committee Chair, I am a member of the Leadership Council and on the New Professionals in Audiology Conference (NPAC) Steering Group. NPAC is for professionals with 0-10 years of experience and offers information on approaching the hurdles we can face as new and newer professionals. It will be offered at AAA 2018 in Nashville on Wednesday and is included in conference registration.

Additionally, I had been a member of the Missouri Academy of Audiology and plan to join the Texas Academy now that I'm in Texas.

5. What is your advice to a student or new professional looking to get involved with the profession of Audiology?
If you want to get involved, you should. There are always more things that need to be done to help promote and advance our profession. If you're unsure of how to get involved, ask a mentor or reach out to the New Professionals Committee. We can help you with finding ways to get involved that fit what you like and want to do. State organizations are a fantastic place to start. Even though some are not very active, you could help make it a more active group.



Interview with Margaret Koeritzer, AuD 

Interview with Margaret Koeritzer, AuD 

Margaret Koeritzer, AuD is an audiologist at Fairview Health Services in the greater Twin Cities area of Minnesota. She graduated from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, MOin 2016. Margaret works with individuals across the lifespan from infants to geriatrics. She provides ENT support and manages patients with hearing aids. Margaret is focused on serving each patient with compassion, empathy, and excellence.

1. What did you find most challenging as a new graduate?
Crossing state lines. My training occurred in Missouri and Michigan, coming home to Minnesota was amazing, but state laws and insurance rules changed when I crossed the state lines; learning these different rules/regulations has been the hardest part of starting my career.

2. What did you find most surprising?
The most surprising thing for me, has been not checking in or going over my diagnostic/treatment plan with another audiologist before seeing a patient. I was so used to talking through my "plan of action" with my supervisor prior to seeing a patient, it feels very weird to not go though everything with another audiologist.

3. What has the Academy been able to help you with since graduation?
I love the job search tool on the Academy's website, it was a great tool when I was looking for my first job. Also, the transition from being a student member to becoming a fellow was very easy; the process is streamlined, well explained, and easy to complete. I was a fellow before I received my state license.

4. Are you involved in any state or national activities?
I am an Awards and Honors Committee member in the Minnesota Academy of Audiology, and I love it. I am honored to be a part of this committee, thanking our outstanding colleagues for their dedication to our profession is truly a privilege.

5. What do you feel that you bring to your workplace as a new professional that someone who is further from graduation cannot?
As a new professional, I have recently studied best practices, the most current research and theories, and have been trained across our scope of practice. As a new professional, I am able to ask questions about protocols, by asking the questions, protocols are re-examined and best practices are updated.

6. What issues do you feel are most important to audiology at this point in time?
The most important issues within audiology right now are combating the negative stigma of hearing loss/hearing aids, and continuing to work toward greater autonomy for audiologists.

7. What do you think could be done about them?
I believe we need to continue to educate our patients, their families, and the public about hearing loss and what hearing aids can/cannot do in order to slowly change the negative stigma surrounding these issues. We need to continue to work with our representing bodies (ASHA, AAA, and ADA) to push for greater autonomy. Obtaining the ability to prescribe hearing aids for our adult patients, without medical clearance from a physician, is a giant step in the right direction.

8. What are your hopes for the future of the profession?
I hope that we can gain more autonomy, respect, and financial equality within the medical community.