This year the American Academy of Audiology (AAA) set a new record for the largest attendance in its history at AudiologyNOW! 2011. At the time of the general assembly, a total of 7,364 registered attendees made their way to the convention in Chicago, but an update from the Academy's April 8th Daily News issue reported that the number had reached 7,551. That figure topped the previously held record of 7,333 participants set just last year, and boasted a total of more than 800 students than 800 students an 800 students.
In her presidential address during the opening general assembly, Patricia Kricos, PhD, emphasized the Academy's “Get in the Hearing Loop Initiative,” in collaboration with the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA), highlighting several of the convention's sessions on looping as well as the Second International Loop Convention to be held June 16-19 in Washington, DC.
Kricos also shared good news about the American Academy of Audiology Foundation (AAAF), which will be increasing its student scholarships this year thanks to two donations. Angie Singh, wife of the late Sadanand Singh, PhD, donated $5,000 to the foundation and Oticon pledged $25,000 to fund five news scholarships, allowing AAAF to now expand from offering two scholarships last year to at least six this year.
It was also noted that 65 students were able to attend ARC11 for free as a result of funding from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. In all, 346 people attended the Academy Research Conference which focused on tinnitus this year.
Chair of the American Board of Audiology Board of Governors, Anthony Joseph, AuD, PhD, announced the creation of a Specialty Certification in Pediatric Audiology. The first test for the certification was held the day after the conclusion of AudiologyNOW! and the second will be held November 3 during the Academy of Doctor's of Audiology Annual Meeting in Bonita Springs, FL.
Ian Windmill, PhD, Chair of the Accreditation Commission for Audiology Education (ACAE) Board addressed the need to hold academic programs accountable to the profession during the report from the Academy's four branches.
“We cannot be truly autonomous until we own the accreditation of our profession,” said Windmill, who announced that ACAE is currently accepting applications for an AAAF grant to make funds available for academic programs.
Student Academy of Audiology (SAA) President Ryan Bullock also gave an update on SAA's growth, which at the end of 2010 reached 55 chapters and 1,500 members.
It was also announced that Deborah Carlson, PhD, will serve as president-elect of the Academy when Therese Walden, AuD, steps in as president July 1.
Kricos presented six professionals with President's Awards during the general assembly. Brenda Battat, Executive Director of HLAA; David Myers, PhD, Professor of Psychology at Hope College; and Linda S. Remensnyder, AuD, President of Hearing Associates, PC, and member of the AAA/HLAA Joint “Get in the Hearing Loop” Task Force; along with fellow Task Force member Juliette Sterkens, AuD, owner of the Fox Valley Hearing Center, were honored for their work promoting hearing loop initiatives throughout the nation.
Kricos also presented Carmen Brewer with a President's Award for her work on the Future Leadership of Audiology (FLAC) program, which helps cultivate leadership qualities in young practitioners. During the presentation of the award it was announced that the program will now be renamed the Jerger Future Leadership of Audiology (JFLAC) in honor of AAA founder James Jerger, PhD.
“Do not follow where the path may lead,” Jerger said quoting Ralph Waldo Emerson. “Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. That is the essence of leadership, and that is the goal to which these young people aspire.”
A surprise President's award was also given to Lisa Yonkers, Senior Director of Meeting Services for the Academy, in recognition of her work in planning the AudiologyNOW! conventions.
LAUGH IT OFF
While keynote speaker Jody Urquhart encouraged attendees to find one way to laugh for no reason at all every day, her energetic presentation gave the audience a million and one. Author of All Work & No Say and syndicated column, Joy of Work, Urquhart explores how humor and the ability to laugh can be powerful methods of coping with daily disappointments. She is also the 2008 Bronze Winner of the 29th Annual Telly Awards for excellence, given for her work as a featured guest speaker for the GE Healthcare Tip-TV program broadcasted in over 2,600 healthcare facilities.
“The first thing that will go when you are stressed is your ability to communicate, but humor puts you in control of the way you feel and your environment,” Urquhart said. “All you have to do is put a smile on your face.”
Dealing out tips for how to handle confrontation, Urquhart added that humor decreases tension and builds rapport: “You do three things when you make someone laugh. You change the way they feel, you change the way they think, and you change the way they act.”
HONORS AND AWARDS
The 2011 Honors and Awards Banquet was held in the Empire Room of the Palmer House Hilton. There, Brenda Ryals, PhD, Chair of the Honors Committee, presented awards to four accomplished leaders in the field.
Both recipients of the International Award in Hearing joked about their lack of a traditional audiology background despite their numerous achievements. John Bamford, PhD, Chair and Ellis Llwyd Professor of Audiology and Deaf Education at the University of Manchester, is most notable for his work with Adrian Davis to develop a national program for infant hearing screening and extensive follow-up diagnostic and family-centered services in the UK. Between 2001 and 2005, Bamford also worked closely with the Medical Research Council in England to carry out a series of multi-center studies that ultimately led to the development and implementation of a comprehensive, evidenced-based national infant program.
William Keith, PhD, currently the Director of the National Audiology Centre in New Zealand, grew the profession of audiology in his country by recruiting psychology students into the field. He subsequently worked to establish scholarship support for audiology students through the New Zealand government and helping establish the first academic training program in New Zealand for audiologists at the University of Auckland in 1990. He was also one of the key founders of the New Zealand Audiological Society.
As a business man, Keith invented a pediatric audiometer and products for the blind as founding partner, director and manager of the Audiology Division of Pulse Data International. And as managing director for Phonak NZ, Keith was instrumental in making the company the top hearing instrument supplier in the country at the time of his retirement.
Recognized among her US-based colleagues as the Distinguished Achievement Award recipient, Theresa Chisolm, PhD, was said to have already been distinguishing herself amongst her teachers and peers while completing her MA and PhD coursework at Montclair State College and CUNY. From staff audiologist to lecturer to assistant/associate/full professor to departmental chair, and most recently, Special Assistant to the Dean in the College of Behavioral and Community Sciences at the University of South Florida, Chisholm has been recognized for her ability to combine creativity, relevance, collaboration, and innovation. She has given more than 100 presentations at the local, state, national, and international levels, and contributed over 50 peer reviewed articles and chapters throughout her 30 year career, mostly in the area of adult rehabilitation.
One of the leading researchers in audiology today, the National Institutes of Health has supported the research program of Judy R. Dubno, PhD, who was named this year's recipient of the Jerger Career Award for Research in Audiology, since 1981. Centered on human auditory system function, Dubno has made significant contributions regarding the encoding of auditory information in simple sounds and speech, as well as how these abilities change with age and hearing loss in adverse listening conditions. Her work has had a large impact on the fundamental knowledge of auditory perceptual abilities and on clinical audiologic methods of assessment and rehabilitation. The citation rate for her publications is also among the highest for any researcher in the field.
In accepting her award, Dubno humbly stated, “Being an audiologist is like the best thing in the world.” AudiologyNOW! 2012 will be held March 28-31 in Boston.
BEST OF SHOW
Over 200 companies exhibited during Audiology Solutions and at the close of the exhibit hall the Best of Show winners were announced in the following categories:
* Small: Amplivox
* Medium: Hansaton
* Medium-large: P2i
* Large: Sonus (booth shared with fellow Amplifon USA subsidiaries Elite Hearing Network and HearPO)
* Extra Large: Oticon
Oticon's win marked the third consecutive year that the manufacturer was named Best of Show in the supersize category. This year, the 9000-square-foot, double-decker exhibit featured a special “Pedal to Empower” virtual bike race in which attendees raced against the clock and each other to earn donations from Oticon, Inc. for Lambs Farm, a Chicago-area residence for disabled adults. The participation of hearing care professionals added up to a $10,000 donation from Oticon that will allow Lambs Farm to continue year-round support and services for disabled residents.
AUDIOLOGY TALK LIVE
John A. Coverstone, AuD, and Dean Flyger, AuD, the hosts of AudiologyTalk, recorded live shows in the McCormick Convention center during the meeting. In the interactive show, the “Guys with a Face for Radio,” played trivia with audience members who watched the live broadcasts and chatted with a few big names in the field to talk about upcoming research and initiatives.
Kathleen Campbell, PhD, Director of Audiology Research at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, discussed a recent Department of Defense grant she received to conduct clinical trials within the US Army to see if a drug she developed, D-methionine, might prevent noise-induced hearing loss in US troops.
“We're going to be testing 600 drill sergeant instructor trainees during their M-16 weapons training where they fire 800 rounds in a period of 11 days. So naturally, some of them end up with permanent hearing loss, even with the best use of physical protectors,” Campbell said, adding that she hopes data collection for the trial will start this year.
Other radio show guests included Douglas Beck, AuD, Robert DiSogra, AuD, Anthony Joseph, AuD, PhD, and Torryn Brazell, CMP, CAE. To download podcasts from the meeting, visit www.audiolgytalk.com.