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Doctor of Audiology (AuD) students Sydney Stoter and Jenna Van Bosch were awarded Sertoma’s Communicative Disorders Scholarships.

The awards are funded by the Sertoma Annual Fund and are given to high-performing graduate students pursing advanced degrees in audiology or speech-language pathology from institutions in the United States. These scholarships, worth $1,000 each, are awarded each spring to help offset the cost of tuition, books and fees incurred during the following school year.

Jenna Van Bosch, Third Year AuD Student

Van Bosch is a third year AuD student and Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) trainee. Hearing loss has affected multiple family members, so from a young age Van Bosch knew she would pursue audiology as a career. Her goal is to help those with hearing loss face their challenges and overcome obstacles, fostering independence and self-confidence through the gift of sound.

In her time within the program Van Bosch has developed an interest in clinical research, pediatrics, cochlear implants, and auditory evoked potentials. “Working in clinical translation research has taught me to continually analyze current clinical protocols, always looking for ways to improve current standards of practice,” she says. “Additionally, utilizing interdisciplinary collaboration as a LEND trainee, I have completed specialized coursework and clinical education in order to provide care to individuals with neurodevelopmental disabilities.”

“I am sincerely honored to be a recipient of Sertoma’s Communicative Disorders Scholarship, and I have great admiration for the Sertoma organization because the integral services they provide to the deaf and hard-of-hearing community are paramount,” says Van Bosch. “I am incredibly thankful for Sertoma encouraging the next generation of audiologists and supporting me in reaching my fullest personal and professional aspirations. Sertoma’s motto is, ‘Service to Mankind’ and I will continue to uphold that standard in addition to striving to represent the excellence that the Division of Speech and Hearing Science has instilled in me.”

Sydney Stoter, Second Year AuD Student

Stoter has spent the past year learning the ins and outs of clinical work and establishing areas of interest in the field of audiology. She will serve as Vice President of Finance in the Student Academy of Audiology this year and has previously volunteered at service events including Special Olympics and the Walk 4 Hearing. In addition to her standard coursework, Stoter has enrolled in LEND classes to further her knowledge of developmental disabilities and the Deaf Plus population.

“Sertoma’s Communicative Disorders Scholarship is cultivated upon values of leadership, community service, and volunteering to improve the nation’s overall hearing health. These principles resonate with my servant-leadership identity and the mission aligns with my own goals as a future Audiologist,” says Stoter. “With decreased financial strain, I can focus more on Audiology-related service opportunities with the Student Academy of Audiology.”

Based on her experiences so far, Stoter is interested in potentially exploring pediatric audiology as a specialty, though she knows her focus may change during her remaining time at UNC. “I strive to be a leader in my profession by detecting and preventing hearing loss, providing patient care following best-practice, and by considering patients holistically, rather than simply by a pair of ears,” she says. “In addition, I hope to promote inclusivity and accessibility, merge American Sign Language into my career, and be an advocate and resource for those with hearing loss. I believe that being a successful Audiologist entails much more than carrying out day-to-day duties of the job.”

The nationally ranked and highly respected AuD program at UNC develops clinical excellence in both the technical and interpersonal domains. The AuD program is designed to provide a comprehensive graduate experience for students who wish to pursue a career in clinical audiology. Graduates are well prepared and compete successfully for externship experiences as well as employment opportunities following graduation.