October 22, 2014  

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Audiology Student Alaina Simmons Holds National Leadership Role

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Alaina Simmons

University of Southern Mississippi graduate student Alaina Simmons is not just content with showing leadership and hard work on the local or state level. She is pioneering a new leadership role on the national level. 

Simmons, a doctor of audiology student in the Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences, is one of only eight students selected out of hundreds of applications for the American Academy of Audiology’s new student division. In this position, she has an opportunity to network with top professionals from across the nation, as well as assist with creation and implementation of policy and regulation for audiologists in the country.

Simmons obtained her bachelors of science in communication disorders from Florida State University. Originally a Biology pre-med major, Simmons fell in love with audiology while volunteering for the Special Olympics. She always wanted to go into the medical field, but never knew what route she wanted to take. It was only while working with children with disabilities that she realized her passion and her future career.

Simmons said she chose Southern Miss due to the reputation of the Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences in the College of Health, and the opportunities to work with outstanding clinical placement sites such as the DuBard School for Language Disorders and The Children’s Center for Communication and Development.

 “Because our program is small, we get individual attention,” said Simmons. “The close interaction has helped me to succeed unlike anywhere else.”

Simmons recently earned the outstanding graduate research award for her work with auditory evoked late potentials, which is a study measuring auditory brain waves and comparing them to those with children with language disorders. She hopes that this cutting edge research, led by Dr. C.G. Marx, will help to allow earlier detection of speech and hearing disorders before the condition is observed.

For more information about the Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences, call 601.266.5437.