Steven Madix, PhD
Associate Professor, Louisiana Tech University
BA: Pre-professional Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, Louisiana Tech University, 1995
MA: Audiology, Louisiana Tech University, 1997
MA: Speech-Language Pathology, Louisiana Tech University, 1999
PhD: Speech and Hearing Science, University of Tennessee, 2005
Why are you interested in serving on the Academy board?
I am interested in serving on the Academy board because I have spent the last several years advocating for audiology in my home state of Louisiana, and have been successful in advancing our profession there. I would like to share the things that I have learned through advocacy with the Academy board to help plan and implement positive changes for the profession on a bigger scale.
Working at a university, it is important to me that the students we recruit and prepare to be audiologists enter into a field where other health-care professionals are aware of their value and respect their contributions to health care. Many things are occurring around us that will change the way the public views us, and the way we will interact with them, as well. There is an opportunity for these changes and I want to help ensure that audiology has the leading voice in these conversations so that we can advance our profession.
What challenges or key issues do you see for the audiology profession in the next five years? What would you hope to accomplish relative to these challenges during your term on the board?
In my opinion, the profession of audiology faces two significant challenges that we should focus our efforts on in the next five years, and they are connected and equally important. Audiology has not achieved the autonomy that it deserves and has prepared for, and in spite of the recent promotion of audiology as a top-tier career in popular mainstream media outlets, we still suffer from an identity crisis.
We don’t enjoy the autonomy that other doctoral professions have and we need to diligently focus our efforts, one step at a time, in identifying and then implementing measures that will help us realize our goal of autonomy. Achieving autonomy will increase public awareness and knowledge of who we are and what we do. Our identity crisis comes from being paired too closely with speech-language pathology, and not always being easily separated from hearing instrument specialists by the general public. I believe that the steps to solving this problem include addressing the academic preparation and experiences of our future audiologists, both at the undergraduate and graduate level, and working more closely with the state audiology organizations to make audiology more visible.
I strongly feel that as we improve the general public’s awareness of what an audiologist is and its value in health care, the issue of obtaining autonomy will become more manageable and ultimately realized. The Academy is already initiating closer relationships with the state audiology organizations, and we need to keep fostering these relationships. Both of the issues that I have addressed require numbers to achieve a better outcome, numbers in the form of membership and in financial donations and contributions. I believe that we will see increases in both forms of numbers as we highlight to our membership the progress that has already been made, the plan for securing more ground, and how they can be a significant part of this achievement at both the state and the national level.
What experience do you have in the planning, evaluation, and implementation of a strategic plan?
I am the founding president of the Louisiana Academy of Audiology and currently its executive director. I fully understand the anxiety, excitement, challenges, setbacks, and joys of pioneering a strategic plan, implementing that plan with little to no money but a handful of dedicated people, and then seeing that plan successfully realized.
I formed the Executive Board of the Louisiana Academy five years ago, and since that time I have had the pleasure of seeing our membership grow, securing a lobbyist to be our legislative advisor and voice, and breathing a sigh of relief as we became financially sound. Although I far from accomplished this alone, I was the architect of our state’s strategic plan of a professional home for audiology. I have also had the pleasure of working with the Academy on various committees where we are continually defining and refining strategic plans to accomplish the Academy’s goals for the profession. Most recently, I became the chair for the Student Academy of Audiology Advisory Council (SAAAC) and have begun work on helping them implement the strategic plans they already have, and am working with them to define the changes they would like to see in the future. I have learned a tremendous amount about strategic planning and implementation through these experiences, and I believe I have also contributed.
List any experience in financial management. Describe your experience in developing and implementing a budget for practice, business, department, or organization?
My first professional experience as an audiologist was to develop an audiology practice within a hospital setting. My first task was constructing a meager budget that had to be justified to the hospitals' executive board. Two years later, I was constructing a budget for my own private practice. I learned a tremendous amount through those experiences and I still carry those lessons with me today. As the founding president of the Louisiana Academy of Audiology, I was responsible for determining the budget for the formation of our Louisiana Academy, securing the necessary funds, and then budgeting for our first annual professional conference. Through conservative fiscal planning and implementation, our initial membership drive was successful both in terms of member recruitment and net financial gain.
Within our state Academy, my greatest strategic planning success was crafting the budget for our first annual professional conference. Again, through conservative fiscal planning and implementation, we enjoyed a very financially successful event that paved the way for the formation of our Foundation and our legislative component that included securing a legislative lobbyist. As executive director of the Louisiana Academy, I am responsible for the short and long-term financial health or our organization. I evaluate our financial numbers monthly with regard to our professional goals, and report our status to our board, along with my recommendations of what will help us maintain our financial health and prosperity.
From the list below, select three competencies you feel best to represent your leadership strengths.
Commitment, leadership skills, and relationship-building
Based on the three competencies selected above, comment on how you feel these qualities would positively affect your ability to serve on the Academy board.
Nothing of any real value occurs long term without commitment. Commitment is the realization that what you are proposing to do is worthwhile, valuable, and serves a greater good. If your proposed endeavor meets those criteria, then commitment will not be difficult to embrace. Commitment is a dedication to something where the fruits of that undertaking may not be enjoyed by you, but rather those who come after you, and you are accepting and find pride in that. What the American Academy of Audiology stands for and works for meets my criteria of something deserving of commitment. I am committed to our profession because I believe what we do is worthwhile, valuable, and serves a greater good. I will be committed to the Academy Board because it protects and advances an honorable profession.
I feel that every member of the Academy Board should have some level of leadership skill. Leadership skills come in many forms and can be expressed in many different ways. My personal leadership style is motivating others through demonstrating my commitment and passion to the goal or the organization, recognizing and publicly acknowledging the contributions of those working with me, and constantly evaluating if we have the right person in the right position with the appropriate support. I have always been hesitant to label myself as a leader, as saying that out loud takes on a character of boldness that doesn’t always fit my personality. However, I have come to realize that my passion and commitment to the profession is contagious, and I have had success communicating the profession’s needs to the right people so that we realized our mission and were successful. I have also come to realize through my advocacy at the state level, that I am capable of formulating efficient, effective strategic plans and can manage their implementation successfully.
No one will care to work with you if they feel you don’t care about them. Building relationships based on trust, collegiality, and respect are essential to realize worthwhile goals. Building strong relationships take time as well nurturing. Great teams are built on strong interpersonal relationships. Great victories are accomplished by great teams, and I have had the pleasure of building some great teams.