The first ACAE Corner article was published in the November/December 2011 issue of Audiology Today. As some of you may recall, the American Academy of Audiology Annual Conference that year was held in Chicago, with Richard Roberts serving as program chair.
The inaugural ACAE Corner column, titled simply “On Accreditation,” was written by Gerald Church, then a professor in, and the director of, the doctor of audiology program at Central Michigan University.
Doris Gordon, who was the executive director of the Accreditation Commission for Audiology Education (ACAE) at that time and until 2018, introduced the new column with the statement: “…ACAE Corner…topics will concern educational issues pertaining to accreditation, audiology, and higher education. ACAE is pleased to highlight these articles and would like to have your feedback and thoughts.”
During the past eight years, a total of 48 ACAE Corner articles have appeared in Audiology Today. Although these articles addressed a variety of specific topics and issues, all focused on a common theme—the education of audiologists.
Honoring Pat Kricos
Dr. Patricia B. (Pat) Kricos served on the American Academy of Audiology Board of Directors from 2007 to 2012. She was the president of the Academy when this column first appeared in Audiology Today.
Her president’s message in the January/February 2011 issue of Audiology Today reflected her positive approach to audiology and to life: “Happy New Year, with Plenty to Be Thankful For!”
Sadly, Pat died on July 5, 2019.
“A main goal of her involvement in audiological societies at the national level focused on ensuring academic and clinical consistency among the many doctorate programs in audiology that were being developed in the late 1990s,” Linda Lombardino wrote in a tribute to Pat that appeared in a July 12, 2019, posting on the Academy website and in the September/October 2019 issue of Audiology Today.
Pat devoted her entire career to audiology education through her on-campus and distance-learning teaching at the University of Florida; her service as AuD program chair there from 1999 to 2003; her mentoring of hundreds of doctoral-level audiology students; her publications, including books, book chapters, and research articles; and her many continuing audiology education lectures in the U.S. and internationally on the topic of audiological/aural rehabilitation.
This article pays tribute to the memory of Pat Kricos and to her valuable contribution to audiology education.
We’ll begin with Scott Griffiths, PhD, who, along with Ken Gerhardt, Alice Holmes, and me, was a colleague of Pat’s at the University of Florida: “Pat Kricos was one of the most passionately driven audiologists I have ever met. She cared very deeply for the profession and the people we collectively serve.
“This became obvious to me in my first faculty retreat in 1990, where Pat spoke of when, not if, the University of Florida was going to have an AuD program. How could I doubt it when Pat knew it must be so?”
“With that commitment, eight years later, we enrolled our first AuD students (124 of them in our first online class). As we faced challenges over the years, you could always count on Pat—as she warmly but relentlessly called us forward—never losing sight of our mission to prepare thoughtful and compassionate professionals.”
It’s only fitting for a tribute to Pat Kricos to also include representative statements from former students at the University of Florida. The first is from Victoria A. Ledon, AuD, an assistant professor in the Department of Otolaryngology at the University of Miami: “When I hear her name, my heart warms and my face smiles. When I see her picture, I envision her laughing or teaching a room full of students or patients.
“I learned how to be the audiologist that I am today under the guidance and mentorship of Pat Kricos. Dr. Kricos has an international reputation as a pioneer in the area of audiological rehabilitation for the aging population.”
“I regularly apply audiological rehabilitation skills she taught me in the classroom, in the clinic, and in all those Living with Hearing Loss classes, including how to be a great counselor and to always put my patient first.”
The second student statement is from Kari E. Morgenstein, AuD, Director of the University of Miami Children’s Hearing Program: “Dr. Patricia Kricos was one in a million. She was an outstanding professor and a fierce advocate for our profession.
“During my time at the University of Florida, Dr. Kricos, as my mentor, was always available and had an open-door policy. She treated all students with kindness and respect. She had a passion for teaching and ensuring our program graduated students who truly understood how to treat the whole patient and his/her family.
“The lessons she taught me in her aural rehab classes have greatly impacted how I practice and how I teach my students. In addition, her volunteer spirit was contagious and she encouraged me to get involved in audiology organizations, at both the state and national level, which later led me to my current role as a member of the American Academy of Audiology Board of Directors.”