Regional Councilor Madison Saunders
Contact Madison at Region8.NSSLHA@gmail.com.
Major: Doctorate of Audiology
Expected date of graduation: May 2017
University: Louisiana State University
Area of professional interest: Audiologic health, hearing conservation, humanitarian audiology
Connect with other students in Region 8: Region 8 Facebook page, ASHA Community Region 8
Future of NSSLHA: In general I believe audiology is under represented in professional organizations. Not only are we a smaller group comparatively, but we are also autonomous by nature. I would like to see NSSLHA become a bigger presence of audiology students across the nation. I would love to see more audiology students and currently practicing audiologists attending ASHA events and conferences as these opportunities are important for the continued progression of our field. The only way to ensure this is to get students involved when they are impressionable and educate them on why NSSLHA and eventually ASHA membership is so beneficially to them as professionals. My university does not even have a local NSSLHA chapter for the graduate students and I see that as a hindrance not only for myself and my classmates but for ASHA. We represent a group of future hearing science professionals uninvolved and uninfluenced at the national level. I would like to see a more active NSSLHA when it comes to securing future involvement of the audiology community. I think we must reach out to universities to stress the importance of local chapters at the graduate level and express to individual students the importance of being actively involved in their education and their professional future.
NSSLHA Benefit: As with most things in life you generally get out of an experience what you put into it. I believe being a member of NSSLHA or any professional organization is the same way. If you view your membership as a "resume builder" or just something you are in until you transfer to ASHA, then the benefit NSSLHA can provided to students is minimal. I think the greatest benefit both tangible and intangible the NSSLHA gives to students is opportunity. From personal experience and observations of my classmates from my undergraduate education until now, I have seen that students just don't know what is out there. The majority have tunnel vision when it comes to getting through their coursework. Though in my opinion most students want to expand their knowledge base, branch out and meet other like minded individuals, or truly make a difference in the community, the opportunity rarely presents itself organically. This is where professional organizations and particularly student focused ones like NSSLHA are so important. NSSLHA provides the opportunity for networking and bonding with like minded individuals in the communication sciences and disorders profession, the opportunity for students to educate themselves on the most current advancements of our field, the opportunity to make a difference in their community, the opportunity to access externship or job placements, and the opportunity to advocate for their own beliefs or take up a leadership role an influence the profession themselves. All these reasons and more are why I would like the opportunity to be a bigger part of this organization.
Regional Delegate Jennifer Doughan
Major: Doctorate of Audiology
Expected date of graduation: May 2018
University: Washington University in Saint Louis
Area of professional interest: Pediatrics, aural rehab
NSSLHA Benefit: The biggest benefit NSSLHA gives to students is its wealth of online resources. My undergraduate institution had limited course offerings when it came to CSD. The advice about graduate schools, course selection, pre-requisites, etc. was difficult to come by. Once I became a NSSLHA member, I set up my online profile and began following community discussion boards. I even posted a question for a research paper and was able to get some really helpful advice and direction from current professionals. Between The ASHA Leader, the Student to Empowered Professional program, and NSSLHA's social media presence, I was able to keep up to date on current research in the field and feel more confident in my decision to pursue a
doctorate of audiology. Further, because I learned to take advantage of these online resources through my NSSLHA membership in undergrad, it was important to me to maintain my membership in NSSLHA and to get involved on a national level despite my graduate program not having a local chapter.