Today on our blog, we’re excited to continue our Audiologist Spotlight series by highlighting Krishna Rodemerk, Au.D. Krishna is a research audiologist in the clinical comparative research group at Starkey Hearing Technologies.
Prior to joining Starkey, Krishna worked in a private practice as a clinical audiologist in Rochester, N.Y. She earned her clinical doctorate from the University at Buffalo where she also served as a research assistant in the Center for Hearing and Deafness.
Tell us a little bit about your background (education, training, etc.):
I came about this profession in a roundabout way. I graduated college with a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and I really didn’t know what I wanted to do after college. I worked for several years in a research lab at an eye care company and I also traveled for a year with AmeriCorps NCCC. To be honest, I didn’t really know what audiology was all about until I met with an audiologist to get a hearing test after accidentally puncturing my own ear drum with a cotton swab (now I know better!). It was an enlightening visit because I saw first-hand that the audiologist worked with technology AND helped people in the process; it sounded like an ideal profession! After that visit, I was inspired to take some introductory communicative sciences classes at Nazareth University. The more I learned about audiology, the more I loved it! The next year I was accepted into the Au.D. program at the University at Buffalo in New York. I graduated in 2009 with my Au.D. and worked as a clinician at a private practice in Rochester, N.Y. for two years before accepting a job at Starkey as a research audiologist in 2011.
What are you currently working on and what is a typical day like for you?
I am currently working on a research project that is evaluating a new type of signal processing designed to improve speech recognition in noisy environments. I am working with a group of 10 adults who have hearing loss.
The best thing about my job is that there is not a typical day! Every day brings new challenges and opportunities to help people hear well. The audiologists in the research department are lucky because we get to work on all kinds of different aspects of hearing aids from new microphone technology to new signal processing algorithms and everything in between.
What is your favorite part about your job?
The most interesting and exciting part of my job is that I get to work with technology that does not exist in a product yet and verify that it provides benefit to individuals with hearing loss. By far the best part of my job is that I get to work some of the most brilliant people in the industry; I truly learn something new every day.
What are some of the challenges you face? How do you address them?
One of the challenges in a research role is that sometimes our projects don’t yield the results the team was expecting. In that case, we thoroughly investigate all possible causes in order to fully explain the data. It is definitely a team effort! We ensure that all features that make it to the products provide benefit to our patients and sometimes that means the projects we work on don’t make it into a final product.
Do you have any advice for students who are pursuing audiology?
I would advise students to take advantage of the clinical opportunities and ask patients what they like and dislike about their hearing aids. At the end of the day those patients are the people that inform every decision we make in audiology research.
What do you do for fun outside of work?
I love going to the movies! I make an effort to see all of the Oscar nominated movies every year to see if I agree with the Academy :). I also love taking my dog Chloe out for walks (when it is not too cold!).