Releases | Industry | Starkey Hearing Technologies Awards 2012 William F. Austin Scholarships Starkey Hearing Technologies Awards 2012 William F. Austin Scholarships August 9, 2012 Print Minneapolis, July 31, 2012 - Starkey Hearing Technologies, one of the world's leading hearing technology companies, is pleased to announce this year's recipients of the William F. Austin Scholarship. The six recipients were chosen from among nearly 120 applicants to receive academic scholarships of up to $10,000 for tuition reimbursement. "It is incredibly gratifying to be able to provide scholarships to students around the country through Starkey University," said Sara Burdak, Senior Director of Education and Audiology for Starkey Hearing Technologies. "Providing students with the opportunity to pursue their goals is important not only for their personal growth but also for the profession's future." Starkey is dedicated to professional advancement through education. Its William F. Austin Scholarship recognizes outstanding audiology graduate students pursuing clinical, teaching and research careers in audiology. This year's scholarship recipients are Shruti Balvalli, University of Cincinnati;Carlee Cox, Northeast Ohio Audiology Consortium at Kent State University;Ian Mertes, University of Iowa;Brittany Rinehart, University of Tennessee;Jennifer Stockwell, University of Texas at Dallas;and Sarah Weber, Idaho State University. The William F. Austin scholarships are a part of Starkey's educational outreach program Starkey University, which is designed to educate and sensitize students to the complexities of practice management, hearing instrument dispensing and manufacturing in an intensive, hands-on, highly interactive format. To learn more about Starkey's scholarship programs and practice opportunities, visit starkeypro.com. This year's recipients are: Shruti BalvalliShruti Balvalli is a Ph.D. student at the University of Cincinnati in Cincinnati, Ohio. After receiving bachelor's and master's degrees in Audiology from Maharashtra University of Health Sciences in Mumbai, India, Balvalli decided to pursue her Ph.D. in the United States. Balvalli is interested is developing low-cost equipment that will effectively improve the communicative skills of those with hearing loss. Funded by the dean of her college, she is currently working on her dissertation on cochlear implant artifacts. Additionally, Balvalli has been published in the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. Once graduated, Balvalli would like to pursue a post-doctoral fellowship exploring electrophysiological applications for assessing hearing and speech.Carlee CoxCarlee Cox is an Au.D. student entering her third year in the doctoral program at Northeast Ohio Audiology Consortium (NOAC) at Kent State University. Cox is the current Chapter President of NOAC;previous positions include Chapter Membership Chair and Chapter First Year Representative. Cox discovered her passion for working with older adults through her relationship with her grandparents. She was able to see the importance the ability to communicate has on older adults, as well as see how debilitating it was when they were losing their ability to hear. Cox's ultimate goal is to open a private practice that successfully responds to the needs of patients in rural communities. For her fourth year externship, Cox hopes to work at a Veterans Administration facility.Ian MertesIan Mertes is a sixth year student in a seven-year program to obtain an Au.D. and Ph.D. degree from the University of Iowa. Since 2008, Mertes has been under the guidance and mentorship of Dr. Shawn Goodman and has been part of several projects that researched the peripheral auditory system. After his experiences working with families with disabled children, Mertes realized that this was an area of audiology that he was passionate about. He volunteers for the Special Olympics Health Hearing at the state, national and international level where he performs hearing screenings and fits hearing aids for the athletes. After graduation, Mertes would like to continue his teaching and research experience in the field of basic and clinical research on objective measures and cochlear mechanics.Brittany RinehartBrittany Rinehart is in her fourth year externship at Duke University Medical Center after finishing her coursework at the University of Tennessee (UT). She has held multiple leadership positions in the UT Chapter of Student Academy or Audiology (SAA) and the UT Chapter of National Student Speech-Language-Hearing Association (NSSLHA). Through job shadows, Rinehart discovered audiology. Since 2011, she has been a SibShop leader at the Tennessee School for the Deaf. Because of this experience, Rinehart would like to primarily work in the pediatric field of audiology and eventually open her own SibShop program in schools. As a longterm goal, Rinehart would like to become a clinical supervisor in a university setting.Jennifer StockwellJennifer Stockwell is entering the third year of the Au.D. program at the University of Texas (UT) at Dallas. She has served as president of the UT Dallas Chapter of SAA, and holds various other leadership positions. She is currently volunteering with Special Olympics Texas Healthy Hearing program. Stockwell decided to pursue a Doctor of Audiology degree after seeing her mother suffer from hearing loss. Through her experiences, she discovered a passion for working with the pediatric population and is specifically interested in cochlear implants and rehabilitation techniques. Her future goals include becoming a practicing clinician as well as becoming a key contact in her congressional district so that she may advocate for pressing legislative issues. Sarah WeberA third year Au.D. student at Idaho State University, Sarah Weber has served as the president of its SAA chapter, among other leadership positions. Weber is also a member of Phi Beta Kappa Academic Honor Society and the NSSLHA. After watching her father suffer from hearing loss, Weber decided that she was going to study audiology. Currently, she is working on a study with Dr. Chris Sanford and Dr. Shawn Goodman on the high-frequency distortion-product otoacoustic emissions in children. This is also serving as the topic of her dissertation. In the future, Weber would like to work as a pediatric audiologist in a hospital or educational setting.About Starkey® Hearing TechnologiesStarkey Hearing Technologies is a privately held, global hearing technology company headquartered in Eden Prairie, Minn. The company is recognized for its innovative design, development and distribution of comprehensive digital hearing systems. Founded in 1967, Starkey Hearing Technologies currently employs more than 3,500 people, operates 21 facilities and conducts business in more than 100 markets worldwide. The company develops, manufactures and distributes hearing aids via five distinct brands - Audibel, AudioSync, NuEar, MicroTech and its original brand, Starkey. For more information, visit StarkeyHearingTechnologies.com or the Starkey web channel on AudiologyOnline.