Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences In Focus: Lisa Mener
Tell us about your path to Hofstra University and why you decided to pursue the Audiology program.
Looking back on my college career, it’s safe to say that audiology really found me. I first began my study at Hofstra University as an undergraduate student, majoring in mathematics; I had always believed that I would pursue a career in teaching. However, after taking introductory courses within the Speech-Language and Hearing Sciences program, I found that speech-language pathology, and later audiology, was of great interest to me. I find all of the diagnostic work and technology involved very intriguing and the ability to help others to be my passion. Having formed strong relationships with the Hofstra faculty and loving my experience as a Hofstra undergraduate student, I knew I would love to remain at Hofstra as a graduate student and therefore, decided to pursue my education in audiology at the Long Island Au.D. Consortium.
Tell us about your practicum experiences.
Thus far, the Long Island Au.D. Consortium has provided me with wonderful clinical experiences. Before heading into an outside placement, I was required to spend a semester within each university clinic, where I performed diagnostic audiological testing and hearing aid fittings to both geriatric and pediatric populations. After completing my rotation at all three university clinics, I was well prepared to head into my first outside placement at Mineola ENT. At Mineola ENT I further engaged in comprehensive audiological testing and hearing aid fittings, mainly with the adult and geriatric population, but also gained experience in vestibular testing. My next placement was at the Hearing and Speech Center at North Shore Long Island Jewish Medical Center, in which I further expanded my knowledge observing cochlear implant cases and engaging in auditory brainstem testing in addition to performing comprehensive hearing evaluations and hearing aid fittings on many pediatric patients. For the upcoming Spring 2014 semester, I will conduct my practicum at Lexington School for the Deaf, which will allow me to gain experience working with not only hearing impaired students, but also with students and families who use sign language to communicate. Looking back on all I have learned throughout my practicum experiences, I am thankful for having received excellent well-rounded training in numerous settings and working with all populations, which has left me confident and well prepared to enter into my fourth year as an Au.D. student.
Describe the benefits of studying at the consortium made up of Hofstra, Adelphi, and St. John’s.
Being in a graduate program consisting of three universities has proven to be extremely beneficial to my learning experience. Having the opportunity to work with and study under faculty from three universities and rotating between three university clinics has exposed me to an array of testing strategies, techniques, and knowledge. Being a student at each university gives you access to the facilities on each campus and the opportunity to meet and network with many other students and faculty members who specialize in different areas of the profession. Overall, being a part of such a large educational community provides for an exciting experience filled with many opportunities to create a rich educational experience.
What inspires you most about the profession?
What inspires me most about the profession of Audiology is the difference that we can make in people’s lives as audiologists. Allowing those with hearing loss to remain socially active by providing them with the necessary hearing devices and providing children with the best opportunity to develop normal speech and language through early identification and intervention of hearing loss is a truly rewarding experience. Also, as an audiologist, one is able to work in numerous settings, specialize in specific areas of the profession, and work with all populations; the flexibility of the profession I know will allow me to create an exciting career ahead, and I look forward to seeing where the field of Audiology takes me.
What are your goals for the future and how will the program help you reach them?
My immediate goal for the future is to be able to work at a facility that will allow me to work with all populations and practice an array of audiological services. By doing so, I hope to be able to find which area of the profession I am most interested in and which population I enjoy working with the most. The program has helped me work toward this goal by providing me with a well-rounded clinical experience and will continue to help me reach this goal as I carry out my fourth year practicing at the Hearing and Speech Center at North Shore Long Island Jewish Medical Center. In the end, I hope to discover a way to help the most people possible while working in an environment that is exciting and allows me to continue to broaden my knowledge about the field of Audiology.
What advice would you give others considering this program at Hofstra?
The Long Island Au.D. Consortium is a great place to prepare for your journey into the field of Audiology. I would encourage students to become as active as possible and take advantage of all the opportunities given to you. Through the program, I was able to attend workshops in Colorado and Las Vegas, sponsored by Oticon and Starkey hearing aid companies. Both experiences were truly rewarding and allowed me to network with other students and professionals in the field. Also, the Long Island Consortium chapter of the Student Academy of Audiology (SAA) is a great way to get to know your peers, meet new people, build up your resume with volunteer work, and help raise money for charitable causes. I have had the privilege to serve as the president of the SAA, and I can tell you first-hand that being a member is a great experience and I encourage all students to join. Get to know your peers, your professors, and don’t be afraid to ask questions! All the professors are there to help you in any way that they can, so don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. Overall, the program has a lot to offer between its faculty and facilities, and I encourage everyone to take advantage of the great educational experience that the consortium can provide. Good luck to all incoming students and have fun!