American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

Audiology Advisory Council Candidate Statements


Heather Wigley Baty, AuD, CCC-A

I want to serve on the state level to have input and provide a voice to our members on various policy issues impacting our profession. Service on the ASHA Council will allow me to leverage my 15 years of experience as a clinical audiologist to benefit the whole state in dealing with those issues affecting our members.

I have practiced as an audiologist in Alabama for over 15 years. My clinical work during this time has been as a pediatric audiologist in a hospital setting.

Additionally, I have served in a leadership capacity for 10 years which has given me the opportunity to understand the issues that impact our profession on another level.


Daniel A. Williams, AuD, CCC-A

I am seeking this appointment because I am passionate about the field of Audiology, and feel I would be a great advocate for our profession. Audiology is constantly growing and is faced with unique challenges on a regular basis. We need members who have an informed outlook on clinical and professional issues to successfully meet these challenges. It would be an honor to serve in this capacity.

I am currently practicing in a medical facility that covers the entire Audiology scope of practice. I manage large programs such as hearing conservation and universal newborn hearing screening. I am actively involved with a TBI clinic that treats armed forces service members for vestibular disorders, peripheral hearing loss, and central auditory dysfunction. I provide comprehensive vestibular evaluations, comprehensive hearing evaluations, tinnitus rehabilitation, and aural rehabilitation for a diverse population. I have an active interest in research, and am a co-investigator in a hearing protection verification project. As a military Audiologist, I am an autonomous health care provider who works on many trans-disciplinary teams to include ENT, Family Health, Psychology, Speech-Language Pathology, Physical Therapy, and many other allied health and medical professions. My patient demographics cover all ages and socioeconomic backgrounds. I believe my current position gives me great insight on clinical and research issues, as well as professional issues such as how Audiology fits into the global health care picture. Outside of Audiology, my military training has focused on problem solving and critical thinking for a wide range of issues. I am constantly required to collaborate with colleagues from various backgrounds who are in different geographic locations. I’m very familiar with overcoming the many professional and technical challenges that can be associated with such a large and diverse council such as the AAC.


Andrea L. Pittman, PhD, CCC-A

I am seeking the nomination to be Arizona’s representative to the Audiology Advisory Council in an effort to serve the clinical and research professionals in the Association. I have been a member of ASHA since 1992 and am a certified Audiologist. I am currently an Associate Professor at Arizona State University and the Director of the AuD program. My research involves the communication needs of children and adults with hearing loss.

In my experience, translation of knowledge from the lab to the clinic is vital for patient care while a similar translation of knowledge from the clinic to the lab is vital for informing future research in hearing science. I believe the profession of Audiology benefits from a close relationship between clinical, research, and professional partnerships. As a member of the Audiology Advisory Counsel, I would have opportunities to form relationships with members of the Association at both the national and state levels with the goal of forming and maintaining these partnerships. I look forward to serving my colleagues and the Association in this position.


Natalie J. Benafield, AuD, CCC-A

I am seeking this appointment to the ASHA Audiology AC in order to become more involved at a national level with issues that relate to our profession. As huge changes have taken place in the last several years with health care and education in the United States, ASHA is the best organization, in my opinion, to take the lead for issues relating to professionals and consumers with communication disorders. As an audiologist there are other organizations I could be involved with at this level, but I choose to devote my efforts to work with ASHA. I believe that audiologists and speech-language pathologists serve their patients better when they understand the connection between our two disciplines and I am not happy with the distance some audiologists and organizations have attempted to place between audiology and speech-language pathology. I continue to support ASHA and look to this organization to represent my professional interests at the national level. I enjoy working toward that goal with audiologists in my state.

I am currently finishing out the AAC term of Donna Smiley, who left the AAC to serve on the ASHA Board of Directors. Last year I attended my first AAC meeting and participate in visits to Capitol Hill to meet with our state’s legislators. That experience led me to understand how important ASHA’s role is in getting accurate information to our legislators. It also helped me to understand how important it is for constituents from the individual states to be the ones to make these visits. As a whole, ASHA can advocate, lobby, etc. But the legislators want to hear from “their people,” if you will. I have a much better understanding of the process at this point than if I were coming in with no experience on the AAC.

Many years ago I served on the Board of Directors of our state organization, ArkSHA, as Vice-President for Governmental Affairs (1996-97). As I became comfortable lobbying at the state level, I also realized how important is it to keep in touch with those legislators who serve us in government, and I continue to provide my input on various state issues to our local representatives and senators to the Arkansas General Assembly.

Lastly, because of the various jobs I have held that have placed me in areas all over our small state, I believe I have good relationships with audiologists in every region. Those relationships help me reach out to these professionals to get opinions first hand, and pass that information along to ASHA, to help them develop policies that meet the needs of professionals and consumers at every level.


Robert Hanyak, AuD, CCC-A

It is an honor to be nominated to serve on the Audiology Advisory Council. Throughout my career, I have been involved in audiology education issues at both the state and national level. I served as California’s initial representative on the Audiology Advisory Council several years ago and also served several years as a member of the California Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology licensure board. I am currently leading the development of a new doctorate of audiology training program at my university’s San Francisco campus so I am passionate about the issues facing the profession of audiology and audiology education. If elected to serve, I will continue to promote the profession of audiology within ASHA.


Anna Kharlamova, AuD, CCC-A

I would be delighted to represent Audiologists practicing in Colorado, and feel that I am well-equipped to do so. My professional blend of clinical experience with a translational research trajectory, has allowed me to identify inadequacies and challenges within the profession. I want to be the catalyst for overcoming these barriers in order to enhance our autonomy as Audiologists, embrace evidence-based recommendations, and to improve our ability to provide comprehensive and client-centered care. Moreover, I would like to ensure that Audiologists in Colorado are provided with the resources that they need to succeed from ASHA and our state legislature.

I have completed the year-long ASHA Leadership program, and am eager to continue to serve my professional association and my fellow colleagues. I believe that I can assess the needs in my community, devise a vision for growth, work with others to devise and implement a plan, effectively monitor progress, and recognize and celebrate accomplishments. Moreover, I am an effective leader, teammate and advocate. I value the perspectives and initiatives of others, and believe balance, flexibility and honesty are critical components of every team. I am looking forward to working closely with other state representatives for the Advisory Board.


Ann (Nancy) Nancy C. McMahon, AuD, CCC-A

Audiology is my passion. You cannot do something for thirty years and not be passionate about it. I have seen the struggles that the field has encountered from outside sources as well as from within. I cannot sit by and watch the field evolve. I have chosen to be a part of the changes. I have been the Vice President of Governmental Affairs and Vice President of Education for the Connecticut Academy of Audiology over the past seven years. I am the Chair of several committees and a member on many others at the state level. Currently, as a member of the faculty of the Speech Language and Hearing Department at the University of Connecticut, I am getting the opportunity, hopefully, to instill in the next generation of audiologists the need for advocacy for the field. Only we can shape our future. With the opportunity to be part of ASHA Advisory Council in Audiology, I can offer insight into the field from multiple perspectives. I believe in Audiology. I do not always agree with the decisions that our national offices make but just like a fan of a sports team, I do not change my allegiances because the team may be facing adversity. I stay and cheer them on no matter what is happening. I am loyal, always. So I will be to audiology. I will fight to keep audiology an integral part of the process for the needs of those with hearing loss and balance disorders.

Jennifer B. Tufts, PhD, CCC-A

I would like the opportunity to serve on the ASHA Audiology Advisory Council as the representative for the State of Connecticut. I have been an ASHA member and holder of the CCC-A for 11 years. For the past nine years, I have been a faculty member in the Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences at the University of Connecticut. For three of those years, I was faculty co-advisor of our chapter of NSSHLA. During that time, our chapter grew in numbers and in activity, including attendance at “Lobby Day” at our state capitol in Hartford. Currently, I am president of the National Hearing Conservation Association. In this capacity, I have gained an appreciation for the fact that the needs of our constituents vary tremendously. To be a strong organization, we must be sensitive to these varied needs and we must be willing to take action. We also need to think long-term. A term may only last for a short time, but during that time, the foundation can be laid for the future success of an organization or a profession. Given this experience, I believe I would be an effective member of the Audiology Advisory Council. I would be privileged to represent the concerns of CT audiologists on the AAC.

District of Columbia

Claire Buxton, AuD, CCC-A

I am honored to be nominated to serve on the ASHA Audiology Advisory Council. As audiologists working in the District of Columbia, we face unique challenges related to maintaining licensure in multiple jurisdictions and working with an increasingly diverse patient population.

I have six years of experience as a pediatric audiologist and as part of the cochlear implant team at Children’s National Medical Center. As an audiologist in a large pediatric hospital, I regularly collaborate with other audiologists, speech language pathologists, physicians, and parents to make decisions about patient care. I serve as a board member of the Infant Hearing Screening Council for the State of Maryland, which has increased my awareness of the importance of advocacy at the local, state, and national levels. In addition to my professional experience, I served a year as the co-coordinator of a growing children’s ministry program at my church. Through this role, I have gained experience recruiting and scheduling volunteers and developing policies and procedures. It would be my privilege to represent the audiologists of the District of Columbia as a member of the Advisory Council.


Susan Fulton, PhD, CCC-A

I have worked as an ASHA certified audiologist in Florida since 1987 and have seen many changes over the years. Recent events (e.g., changes in healthcare, billing and reimbursement, and technology) have created new issues of concern to ASHA members. I want to represent Florida on the Audiology Advisory Council (AAC) to help ASHA identify current issues of importance to our profession. I would like to be involved in creating resources and services to help audiologists be informed of current events and changes that affect our practices and the education of our students. I am in a unique position, as I have years of experience working both as a clinical audiologist and as an educator in a university setting. I have served on many councils and boards. These experiences have helped me develop many skills that would be an asset to the AAC. I would like to use these skills to help our profession address new issues and changes effectively.

Currently working both as a clinician and an educator, I have a unique perspective on the issues of concern to ASHA audiologists. I have 27 years of experience working clinically and 10 years of experience working in academia. My work on boards of various community organizations, non-profit organizations, and university committees has enabled me to develop the skills necessary for service on the AAC. I am currently serving on the Faculty Senate Executive Committee for the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee, the Board of Trustees for the Hearing Loss Association of America Sarasota Chapter, the Board of Trustees for Sertoma Kids, Inc., and the Board of Trustees for the Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing in Sarasota. I have experience with the business aspects of serving on a council, such as creating or following an agenda, attending and participating in meetings, reviewing financial statements, and developing strategic outreach programs. I have the skills necessary to work through conflicts and differences of opinion and have demonstrated the ability to work well with individuals one-on-one, as well as in a group situation. I have the knowledge and ability to effectively use current technology. I have developed innovative and creative methods to engage and educate online students, consistently receiving outstanding teacher evaluation scores. I look forward to the opportunity to serve and would consider it an honor and privilege to represent Florida on the Audiology Advisory Council.


Theodore L. Johnson, AuD, CCC-A

I am seeking this appointment in order to serve the Association and represent audiology professionals in the state of Georgia regarding issues pertinent to policy and practice. We are all in the communication business, and communication is the key to understanding and advancement. I pride myself in my organizational and communication abilities, as demonstrated by a highly successful, multi-faceted career in audiology.

As a career audiologist (30 years) I have served in many professional capacities, from private practice, to multi-practice corporate management, to my current role in full-time research and instruction in higher education. In addition, I have served most recently as a member of the Board of Directors for the Educational Audiology Association. My background has provided me with insight to the issues that challenge our work, in addition to developing a great deal of clinical, management, and consulting experience. The environment in which we practice today has become increasingly complex in terms of education, credentialing, recognition, legislation, reimbursement, and interaction with allied health care professionals. The issues we face require representation by members who have a broad understanding of the health care market, and a commitment to service in order to effectively disseminate and communicate information to both the membership and the leadership of the Association. I believe I am at a unique point in my career where I can work for the membership to move our profession forward and maintain the highest possible standards of care to those we serve.

Colleen M. O’Rourke, PhD, CCC-A

I have volunteered in our association before and I want to continue that commitment. It is often difficult finding audiologists willing to serve on the Advisory Council; my institution supports professional service, making it easier for me to serve than for some audiologists. It is important the Board of Directors hears the voices of audiologists through the Advisory Council as the Board plans for the Association’s future and makes decisions that will impact our clients, colleagues, and future professionals.

My experience in association leadership at the state and national levels has prepared me to serve on the Advisory Council. I am a past Vice President for Academic Affairs in Audiology, an AAC member, and I have served on numerous ASHA committees and councils including: Board of Ethics, Convention Planning Committee, Council on Academic Accreditation in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, Committee on Honors, Committee on Nominations and Elections, and steering committee of SIG 10, Issues in Higher Education. I am also an active member in other professional organizations including the Council of Academic Programs in Communication Sciences and Disorders and the Georgia Speech-Language-Hearing Association. I understand the structure of our organization and the importance of input from members and Advisory Councils to the Board of Directors. I am a careful listener and I do not hesitate to give input – important characteristics of Advisory Council members!


Chris A. Sanford, PhD, CCC-A

I am seeking this appointment because I was invited to be put on the ballot. Additionally, I would like to help in any way I can to advance the field of audiology and improve the visibility and accessibility of the services we provide. I currently teach, conduct research, and provide clinical services to pediatric populations in an academic setting. I currently serve as the Associate Coordinator for ASHAs SIG6.


Tena W. McNamara, AuD, CCC-A/SLP

I feel that any organization that has a vested interest in the field of audiology should be represented by someone who is active both clinically and professionally in our field. I belong to multiple organizations affiliated with audiology and I have an eclectic view of our profession. This is important if you are representing the positions of a large number of individuals. With my background and experiences, I believe I can be a valuable member of the Advisory Council.

I have served on the Executive Board for the Illinois Academy of Audiology and for the Educational Audiology Association. In addition, I have served on numerous committees for the Illinois Speech Language Hearing Association and for the American Speech Language Hearing Association. I try to stay current on critical issues and legislation affecting the profession of audiology and feel I have a good understanding of topics of concern that are being debated in our field. Even though I work in higher education, I am clinically active and also practice outside the university setting. I think this is important in order to adequately represent audiologists in the state of Illinois.

Scott E. Seeman, PhD, CCC-A

Over the last decade I have seen the field of audiology change dramatically. At this point in time, the profession of audiology and ASHA are at a crossroads. The future role of ASHA in the education and clinical certification of audiologists is uncertain. I wish to be more actively involved in where both ASHA and our profession go from here. Membership on the ASHA Advisory Council would provide an excellent opportunity to have an active role in shaping the future of our profession.

I have been a certified ASHA member for over 10 years as a clinical audiologist, a Ph.D. student and as a university professor. I feel I have a unique perspective on our profession and the needs and concerns of ASHA members. I am also very familiar with many of ASHA services, policies, and programs.


Hala M. Elsisy, PhD, CCC-A

I’m a clinical faculty at the Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, Purdue University, IN. I received my M.S. degree in 1987, and my PhD degree in 2005 from Purdue University. I hold the ASHA CCC-A since 2004. I am a state licensed audiologist since 2003 and a certified educational audiologist in Indiana since 2004. I worked as a clinical audiologist in university hospital settings, and as an educational audiologist in school settings.

My current responsibilities include providing clinical supervision to AuD students in the Audiology Clinic within the Department, along with providing clinical services to clients of all ages. My experience includes diagnostic audiology, auditory processing disorders evaluation, Hearing aid fitting and repairs and auditory electrophysiology. I also teach two graduate level courses: Basic Procedures in Assessment Audiology and Educational Audiology. I serve on several committees in the department including; the AuD curriculum committee, on several AuD research committees, and as a NSSLHA advisor. I am the co-chair/organizer of the department annual Crossroads Conference on Communicative Disorders.

I am also an active member of the Indiana Speech Language and Hearing Association (ISHA). I serve on the Executive Council as the VP of audiology for our state organization. I also serve on the committee of professional development as a member of the annual convention organizing team since 2006.

I have served on the advisory council for one term and would like to continue serving a second. While the first year has been a learning curve for me, I have gain so much from being on the advisory council. I’ve learned how to address legislators with important topics pertinent to our profession and the people we serve. I’m also more aware of tracking important legislative matters and bills that could have an impact on our service delivery.

Serving on the advisory council has enabled me to communicate the issues pertaining to the profession from the state level to the national level, and vice versa. It has allowed for engaging in the discussion of current topics, and for providing feedback to the ASHA Board of Directors on important subjects presented to the advisory council.

I believe serving on the advisory council, as well as, on several committees at my work place, and at the state level provided me the ability to communicate well with others, listen to different viewpoints, think creatively, and work as a team member to achieve the desired goals of serving the profession of audiology.


Diane P. Niebuhr, MA, CCC-A

I am seeking a second term appointment to the Advisory Council. It wasn’t until this final year of my first term that I have begun to truly understand my role in this council and the importance of this work to my profession. As the health care environment changes, audiologists cannot wait for changes to happen at the national level. We all need to become advocates for our profession and the people we serve. I have been a rather passive member as I was not sure what I had to offer, but the training and experiences I have had in my first term have given me a bit more confidence. As an educator of audiologists, I see my role expanding to help my students learn to become advocates for their profession as well helping them to learn the importance of the grassroots input into the process to effect change. I would appreciate the opportunity to serve an additional term.


Raymond H. Hull, PhD, CCC-A/SLP

My name is Raymond (Ray) Hull, PhD, FASHA, CCC-A and SP, and I am seeking election to membership on the ASHA Audiology Advisory Council. I have been an enthusiastic member of ASHA for 28 years, and was an equally enthusiastic member of the ASHA Audiology Advisory Council from 2009 to 2011 while I also served as Vice Chair of that Advisory Council. I was honored to serve. My desire to serve on the ASHA Audiology Advisory Council is centered not only on my desire to serve the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, but also because I am confident that I can provide beneficial input on behalf of our exciting field of audiology in the position of Advisory Council member representing the state of Kansas.

Besides being a former member and Vice Chair of the ASHA Audiology Advisory Counsel, I am past Chair of the ASHA Committee on Communication Problems of the Aging, past member of the ASHA Committee on Governmental Regulations, past member of the ASHA/ETS National Audiology Praxis Advisory Committee, past member-ASHA Advisory Committee for Upgrading Services to Communicatively Impaired Persons, past member of the Advisory, Guidance and Evaluation Team for the ASHA Project on Satellite Training on Communicative Behavior of Older Americans, a member of the ASHA Member Advisory Group (MEG) for review of IDEA, and a member of the ASHA Leadership Development Program review panel, among other services.

At the Federal level, I am, or have been Consultant and Advisor the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives on issues of health, communication disorders, and service delivery issues for health services, including the Bureau of Health Professions, DHHS; the National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Aging, PHS; Administration on Aging; U.S. Department of Education, OSERS/OSEP/NIDRR/RSA; the U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee on Health, Sub-Committee on Health and Long-Term Care, the Senate Special Committee on Aging, and the U.S. Senate Small Business Innovative Research Program; the Health Care Financing Administration, DHHS; the Office of Minority Health, DHHS; and currently with the Smithsonian Institution, Wash., D.C. on their Accessibility Program for the hearing and visually impaired.

In regard to related experience and qualifications, I am Professor, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders--Audiology/Neurosciences, Coordinator of the Doctor of Audiology Program, College of Health Professions at Wichita State University, Wichita, Kansas, and have worked as an audiologist and administrator both in university environments and in private practice for over 28 years. I have authored six published books on hearing loss in adults and children, am an author of over sixty articles on audiology and auditory disorders in adulthood and other topics, and presenter of over 150 scientific presentations and workshops.

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