What is your background in audiology?
Early in my career, I didn’t venture too far out of the adult diagnostic and amplification worlds. While the work was rewarding, I felt that I wanted to do expand my services and continue to grow as an audiologist. When I was hired at the Pittsburgh veterans association (VA), I was given the task of overseeing our auditory processing disorder (APD) clinic to monitor and modify our testing and management procedures as well as creating an APD interdisciplinary care team to ensure we were meeting all of the patient’s needs.
I also specialized in osseo-integrated devices, vestibular assessment, and aural rehabilitation.
Eventually I found myself wanting more and in 2013 I was given an amazing opportunity by my mentor, Catherine Palmer, AuD, to become an adjunct faculty member in the University of Pittsburgh’s AuD program. I now have the pleasure of teaching two courses and one lab at Pitt. Additionally, I’ve gained an appreciation for research and have been involved in numerous IRB approved research studies as both a principal investigator and co-investigator both at the Pittsburgh VA and University of Pittsburgh. In the fall of 2022 I enrolled in the University of Pittsburgh’s PhD program studying under Dr. Catherine Palmer and Elaine Mormer, PhD, focusing my research on studying Veterans without hearing loss who perceive a significant hearing handicap.Why do you volunteer with the Academy?
I was very lucky in 2010 when I was in my first year as an audiologist, my good friend Lindsey Jorgensen, AuD, PhD, ‘volun-told’ me to sign up for the Academy Resume Review Committee. The experience was amazing and I served two appointment terms as a resume reviewer for the Academy.
While I continue to volunteer because of my love for the Academy and continued excellent experiences in all of my volunteer capacities, I believe it is very important for all audiologists to have a commitment to service. We all have different skillsets and unique perspectives that when combined will lead to the progression and benefit of audiology as a whole. I cannot think of a better way to give back to the profession which has provided so much to me in life than to volunteer with an organization that supports every audiologist.
What is one thing that you can say volunteering has done for you and your personal success as an Audiologist?
Through my volunteer activities I have met incredible people and made amazing new friends. One of the biggest highlights of my career was being invited to write a chapter in a tinnitus textbook with my audiology BFFs Lori Zitelli, AuD, and Tricia Scaglione, AuD. Each year at the AAA annual conference we present a Tinnitus in Review session to highlight all of the new and exciting tinnitus literature at the conference. Without having the opportunity to volunteer, I would likely not have received this opportunity to check off a major item on my professional bucket list. One of my biggest non-audiology personal successes came in 2022 when I completed the Pittsburgh Marathon and I ran with my Academy Volunteer buddy Ashley Hughes, AuD!
If you could have dinner with someone who is alive or dead, who would it be and why?
My first choice would be my great-grandmother who is my biggest inspiration in life. She was truly and incredible woman and I miss her dearly. If I had to pick a fun answer, my selection would be Nikola Tesla. The man was a genius and I would love to have an opportunity to speak with him and take in the experience of learning how his brilliant brain worked.
What is your favorite movie genre?
I’m not sure if this counts as a genre, but I’m a sucker for a great treasure hunting movie. The Goonies is and will always be my favorite movie. Movies like Fool’s Gold, National Treasure, and the Da Vinci Code are ones I’ll always watch when they are TV. I may have taken my love for treasure hunting movies a bit too far as one of my favorite non-audiology activities is to try and solve armchair treasure hunts. (If you’re looking for a fun, treasuring hunting rabbit hole to dive into, check out “The Secret” by Byron Preiss.)
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