Does your state have an active and growing audiology association? Many audiology organizations are establishing ways for students to get involved. In my home state of Michigan, the Michigan Audiology Coalition (MAC) has been making great strides to foster AuD students’ ideas, plans, and collaboration for future programs, events, and leadership. Students are the future of the profession. Here are some tips to motivate student involvement within your state’s association!
1. Ask your state’s association to send a board member or representative to speak with the students from your program. Many students are unaware of the membership benefits available to them through their state association. Inviting a representative to speak with your program provides insight and information for the group’s initiatives, legislative topics, leadership, and volunteer opportunities.
2. Attend your state association’s annual conference. The easiest way for students to become a part of their state association is by attending conferences. Networking and collaborating are obvious benefits of attending conferences. Offer to coordinate a student session, panel, or lecture at your state’s conference. Ask the planning committee for student volunteer opportunities. Many students would be happy to offer their time to assist in registration, set-up, or fundraising. To really pique student interest, try to offer discounted or complimentary conference registration!
3. Attend social events with other audiologists in your state. MAC created the “MAC Mug Club” which allows audiologists and students in our state to meet and mingle in a relaxed environment. MAC recently hosted events at Bell’s Brewery in Kalamazoo, and Atwater Brewery in Detroit! Coordinate alumni events or meet-ups for past and current students!
The Michigan Student Leaders in Audiology Meeting (MiSLAM) is a student focused, 1-day event which promotes and fosters young audiology leaders. Student leaders must be enrolled in one of the three AuD programs in the state, and nominated by the faculty of their program. Founder of MiSLAM, and current MAC President, Dr. Kate Marchelletta, AuD says, “Since starting MiSLAM in 2011, I can honestly say that our students, in Michigan, have shown an impressive shift in their interest and passion for enhancing the profession of audiology in Michigan, and at the national level. We have seen an increase in volunteering at our state conference, an increase in recent graduates (who went to MiSLAM) stepping up to run for a MAC board position, and an increase in the number of students who apply to serve on national committees and boards for the SAA. It’s so refreshing and inspiring to see these students function with so much passion for our profession and I know we have done the right thing by lighting the fire within them at MiSLAM.”
If your state association has similar programs in place, ask how you can be involved! If they don’t, ask how you can help create sustainable student leadership programs within your state! Michigan Audiology Coalition is proud to have 93 student members and 21 AuD students (and counting) who have attended MiSLAM.
Samantha Ramirez is a 4th year AuD student at Wayne State University in Detroit, MI. She is currently completing her externship at Kaiser Permanente in Redwood City, CA. She is an active member of the SAA Education & Externship Task Force, and SAA Nominations Committee.