2023 Elections

The Executive Board of AVAA is pleased to announce the opening of voting in the 2023 elections.  Voting will remain open until close of business Pacific Standard Time on Tuesday, February 28, 2023.  Winners will be announced at the AVAA business meeting at JDVAC on Monday, March 6th.

Votes must be cast using an official VA email address.  Any votes received using a non-VA email address will not be counted.

President-Elect (3-year term)

The President-Elect will act as understudy to the President to become acquainted with the business and operation of the AVAA in preparation for assuming the duties of President. In the absence of the President, the President-Elect will assume the duties of the President. If the President, for any reason, cannot serve out a full term of office, the President-Elect will become President for the remainder of that term and also his/her regular term. In the event that the President-Elect also cannot serve out the full presidential term for any reason, the remaining officers shall cause an election for that office to take place.

Danielle Crawford

Bio: Danielle Crawford, Au.D., CCC-A currently works with the Phoenix VA Healthcare System as a supervisory audiologist at the Northwest CBOC. Danielle completed her Bachelors in Communication Sciences and Disorders at Louisiana State University and Doctorate of Audiology at Vanderbilt University. Danielle concluded her audiology training with a 4th year at the Tennessee Valley Healthcare System (TVHS), Nashville and Murfreesboro VA hospitals.  After working briefly in the private sector, Danielle re-joined the VA and worked at TVHS for 8 years prior to transferring to the Phoenix Healthcare System where she has worked for the last 2 years. Danielle is committed to carrying out the VA mission and helping Veterans’ hearing and communication needs.

Statement: I am wholeheartedly committed to carrying out the VA mission while also helping Veterans with their hearing and communication needs. I would be honored to serve on the board not only to give back, but to also make a positive impact on the VA Audiology community as a whole.

Molly Brown

Bio: “Dr. Brown is a staff Audiologist at the Ralph H Johnson VA Medical Center in Charleston, SC. She earned her Doctor of Audiology degree from the University of Pittsburgh in 2018 and was a VA trainee and extern at the Pittsburgh VAMC. She is the cochlear implant program coordinator and is currently heading the implementation of an interventional audiology program at RHJVAMC. Dr. Brown will be presenting on a panel at JDVAC 2023 on interventional Audiology and has also presented research posters at both JDVAC and AAA. In her free time, she enjoys being the mother of a wonderful and spirited two year old son and is an avid reader.

Statement: “My first Tuesday of graduate school, I walked into the Pittsburgh VA Medical Center’s facility and  thought “wow, I want to work here”. Starting my clinical rotations at the Pittsburgh VA in my second year of graduate school did not change that thought. Every decision I have made in my graduate school and then professional career has been made so that I could work for the VA, an organization that I love. VA Audiologists commitment to iCARE values, evidence based practice, enthusiasm for educating Audiology students and then Audiologists, and their unwavering commitment to the Veteran as an individual has formed me into the clinician and leader I am today. As president-elect, I hope to uphold these principles and support AVAA in helping to foster those things about  VA Audiologists that make us uniquely qualified to help those who have served. “

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President-Elect (3-year term)

Treasurer (3 year term)

The Treasurer of AVAA will make or authorize deposits and disbursements to and from the Association’s account(s) with any amount over $100 needing to be authorized by at least 2 members of the Executive Board; prepare an annual budget; maintain a paid membership database; send acknowledgements to all paid members, provide a regular budget report at each Executive Board meeting; advise the President and President-Elect on budget status if there are any adverse developments and complete and submit yearly tax statements to the IRS. In the absence of both the President and the President-Elect, the Treasurer will preside at meetings.

Emily James

Bio: Dr. Emily James earned her bachelor’s degree in Linguistics at Carnegie Mellon University and Doctor of Audiology at Vanderbilt University, where her capstone project was Phase I in the development of what is now known as the Dizziness Symptom Profile. Emily worked as a student in the Tennessee Valley Healthcare System (Nashville and Murfreesboro hospitals) and completed her externship at the Louis Stokes Cleveland VA hospital and CBOCs. After graduating, she briefly worked in a neurotologist private practice as a vestibular audiologist in Orlando, FL before returning to the VA in central Florida, working at the main hospital and outpatient clinics. She now works at the main hospital of the Pittsburgh VA Healthcare System. Working at many different VA clinics has afforded her the opportunity to respect the qualities unique to each site while also being passionate about process improvement. Emily is proud of the excellent care provided by VA audiologists and our commitment to elevating the audiology profession.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Emily volunteered and gained invaluable leadership experience as coordinator for weekly COVID testing of all unvaccinated VA employees in the Orlando VA Healthcare System. Being exceptionally detail-oriented was essential as she developed and implemented a new, unique plan to manage resources from Occupational Health, Nursing, Lab, and Emergency Management and then eventually streamlined the process into COVID testing procedures already in place. She also volunteered setting up the workspace and fitting hearing aids for the inaugural offering of audiology services at Mission of Mercy Pittsburgh in 2022, where 229 people in the community received hearing aids at no cost.

Emily has also been the collector of donations and disperser of holiday gifts to front desk and support staff. Her analytical mindset served her well as a computer science teaching assistant, and she is adept at using basic programming skills and spreadsheets for data analysis. Facts and figures are indispensable for informed evidence-based practice and supporting clinical decision making. Besides her focus on vestibular science and student education, she also enjoys running, golfing, and learning languages in her down time.

Personal statement: “Over my 7+ years of VA Audiology experience at clinics large and small, I learned dedication to the profession of Audiology and advocacy for expanding access to hearing healthcare. Working with Veterans living up and down the country (sometimes seasonally) has impressed upon me the value of having a national network of VA audiologists and delivering consistent, excellent care for their hearing needs. I believe I have the skillset and mindset to serve as an admirable Treasurer for the AVAA, and I am honored ‘to care for [those] who shall have borne the battle.’”

Jocelyn Sysko

Bio: Dr. Sysko is the cochlear implant program manager and staff audiologist at the Atlanta VAMC. She also enjoys precepting 3rd and 4th year audiology students. She completed training and a 4th year in the VA system and has been on the Social and Education Committees for JDVAC as well as serving as Member-At-Large for AVAA in 2020-2021. Outside of work and family duties, you’ll find her either at the gym, on the tennis court, or at a Braves game. She is a DAR, a volunteer preschool Sunday School teacher, and the finance advisor of her sorority chapter at a local university.

Statement: Since being your Member-At-Large, I have looked forward to serving in another board capacity, and the option of a 3 year term is appealing as I do wish to further commit to AVAA.  I have experience working in finance within an organization as I am the Finance Advisor for my sorority’s chapter at Kennesaw State University. I have been in this role for 6 years with the responsibilities of helping set and maintain the budget, oversee tax returns, accept and allocate charitable donations, make reports to the national board, and mentorship. I am hopeful that my training and experience with this organization proves to offer a seamless and fruitful transition to AVAA.

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Treasurer (3 year term)

Member-at-Large (1 year term)

The Member-at-Large of the AVAA will attend all board meetings to shares ideas, guidance, and expertise, serve on the newsletter committee and assisting with social media as requested by the board.

Heather Kamath

Bio: Heather Kamath, Au.D., CCC-A is an audiologist at the Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center, Dr. Kamath specializes in the diagnosis and treatment vestibular disorders, vestibular research,  and oversees the FHCC Vestibular Program. She is running for AVAA Member-at-Large due to her dedication to the VA Audiology where she has worked for more than 15 years, and as well as for the opportunity to serve the field of audiology at the national level. Dr. Kamath has a strong background in leadership, as is evidenced by her past experience on the Board of Directors for the Illinois Academy of Audiology including serving as 2020 President. She is also dedicated to education. Dr. Kamath supervises clinical doctoral students and lectures at Rosalind Franklin School of Medical Sciences, Midwestern University, and Northwestern University where she holds an adjunct faculty appointment.

Stacey Sturgulewski

Bio: Stacey Sturgulewski, Au.D. is the Implantable Hearing Device Program Coordinator at the Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital.  Dr. Sturgulewski received her B.S. in Speech and Hearing Science from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.  She is a proud alumni of Rush University, having received her M.S. in Audiology in 2003 and her Au.D. in 2005.  During her graduate school career, Dr. Sturgulewski completed a 350 hour student traineeship at Hines VA, as well as a clinical rotation at the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center.  During these experiences, she discovered her passion for providing hearing health care to our nations veterans.   After briefly working in the private sector, Dr. Sturgulewski joined Hines VA as an audiologist in 2008.

Dr. Sturgulewski’s clinical interests include the areas of cochlear implants, bone-anchored implants and amplification.  Along with her ENT colleagues, Dr. Sturgulewski developed the Hines VA Cochlear Implant program in 2012.  Over the last 10 years, Dr. Sturgulewski has been responsible for the coordination and management of all aspects of cochlear implant patient care at Hines VA.  She is extremely proud that the Hines VA Cochlear Implant program has been nominated twice for Federal Team of the Year.

Outside of her clinical duties, Dr. Sturgulewski enjoys participating in professional learning opportunities both for herself and for her fellow audiologists.  She completed the Hines Leadership Development Program in 2017.  She has served as a clinical preceptor for audiology students since 2005 and has been a course instructor at Rush University and Northern Illinois University.  She is currently a mentor with the inaugural VA Cochlear Implant Mentorship program and also enjoys co-managing the quarterly VA Cochlear Implant conference calls.  In addition to her AVAA membership, Dr. Sturgulewski has served as the 2022 JDVAC Virtual Social Committee Co-Chair and is currently the 2023 JDVAC Social Chair.   In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, especially her dog Lily.

Statement: “Through the entirety of my audiology career, I have been incredibly lucky to work with extraordinary VA audiologists, many of whom have become my mentors, colleagues and friends.  My experiences as a student clinician and then a VA audiologist have provided incredible learning opportunities and professional fulfillment.  Many of these experiences were shaped by the unique needs and concerns that VA audiologists face on a daily basis.  AVAA gives VA audiologists opportunities to share their voices and advocate for their work as hearing health care providers in federal service. If given the opportunity to serve as Member at Large, I’d be honored to have a chance to advocate on behalf of my VA colleagues and collaborate on ways to advance our profession.”

Laura Potter

Bio: Dr. Laura Potter is a staff audiologist at the San Jose CBOC, part of the Palo Alto, California VA Healthcare System. She received her Doctor of Audiology degree from the University of Pittsburgh and her undergraduate degree at Nazareth College of Rochester, NY. She completed her fourth year externship at the Syracuse, New York VA and also had clinical experience during grad school at the Pittsburgh VA. During her first year at the San Jose clinic, Laura assisted with establishing Palo Alto Tele-Audiology services to other CBOCs. She has since been collaborating with the Director of Telehealth on a pilot program to expand portable imaging options that would support ENT consults. Dr. Potter enjoys precepting graduate students and aims to share her love of the VA with them. Laura has volunteered with national organization AAA and looks forward to future involvement in the profession. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her Irish-doodle puppy and exploring Northern California.

Statement: Family connection to the military inspired me to work at the VA. I am proud to serve our Veteran’s and work alongside a wonderful team. I would love to use my passion to contribute to the goals of AVAA. Being able to discuss professional needs, advocate for VA audiologists, contribute to advancement in the field, and collaborate with others at a national level would be a privilege.

Rachel Kansky

Bio: Rachel Kansky AuD, CCC-A is a clinical audiologist at the Miami VA Healthcare System. She specializes in vestibular assessment and rehabilitation therapy, aural rehabilitation, telehealth, and whole health. She received her clinical doctorate from Nova Southeastern University.

Statement: I am a clinical audiologist at the Miami VA Healthcare System in Miami, Florida. My special interests include vestibular diagnostics and treatment, aural rehabilitation, telehealth, and whole health practices. Alongside my clinical duties, I supervise 3rd and 4th-year prospective doctoral audiology students. I have worked in the VA for the entirety of my career, including my 4th-year externship. Remaining within the VA was important to me as I value the expansive and innovative services the VA is consistently providing to veterans as well as the ability to give back to this special population.  Since joining the VA, I have sought out opportunities to be involved in promoting Audiology awareness; creating posters, generating brochures for Better Hearing and Speech month, submitting clinical posters to JDVAC 2022 and 2023 conferences, providing in-services to other departments, and participating in hospital-wide multidisciplinary teams and committees are a few tasks where I have enjoyed lending my effort and expertise. I served as the Audiology and Speech Pathology service Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) Champion Key Worker, helping to make meaningful differences and reach the VISN goal.  I am involved in the Employee Engagement Committee, where I have the opportunity to help foster and facilitate a more enjoyable workplace for others. I am also involved with the Veteran’s Health Education and Information committee, which allows me to connect with others within the hospital, promote positive change in healthcare, and create readily accessible documents for veterans. In addition, I will be attending Mindfulness Meditation; a 6-week course to first handedly learn about whole health, strategies, and techniques to bring into my clinical approach and daily practice. Outside of the VA, I enjoy going to community events like participating in health fairs or attending meetings with the Hearing Loss Association of America to gain new perspective and connect with the community.

I am applying for the Member at Large position as I am interested in advocating for the professional needs and concerns of audiologists within the VA system as well as become part of the collaborative discussion to advance VA healthcare. Additionally, I am comfortable with creative platforms, and look forward to assisting the board with newsletters and social media as requested. After serving on the SAA board as a graduate student, I  value the opportunity to participate with, learn from, and support others’ opinions and ideas. I am motivated to join the AVAA Board to continue advocating, sharing expertise and ideas, and working to further advance our VA organization.

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Member-at-Large (1 year term)