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Audiology

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Faculty and Staff

The Audiology Department has a strong and cohesive group of full-time faculty with areas of expertise covering a wide variety of the topics within the scope of practice of audiology. The faculty have a long history of developing and refining the Au.D. curriculum at ATSU and supporting students throughout their academic and clinical experiences.

The department is committed to the interdisciplinary model and recognizes its significance in maintaining the quality of graduate education for healthcare professionals. Although the majority of the program’s course offerings are discipline-specific and will be taught by the department’s full-time faculty, students also will receive substantial instruction from experts and qualified practitioners in affiliated disciplines. The department’s adjunct faculty and ATSU core faculty include educators and professionals with advanced degrees and expertise across a range of affiliated disciplines, including human anatomy, speech-language pathology, manual communication, medical imaging, statistics and experimental design, pharmacology, and business administration.

Audiology Departmental Faculty

Tabitha Parent Buck, Au.D.Tabitha Parent Buck, Au.D.
Professor and Chair, Audiology
tparent@atsu.edu
AUD 520  Neurology



Dr. Tabitha Parent Buck was appointed as Chair of the Department of Audiology in July 1999. Dr. Parent Buck obtained her B.S. and M.S. degrees in Audiology from Purdue University and her Doctor of Audiology degree from Baylor College of Medicine. She has practiced in a variety of clinical settings and has worked as a sales representative and trainer in the hearing aid industry for AVR Sonovation. She provided academic and clinical instruction as Assistant Professor in the Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences at the University of New Mexico, where she was recognized for teaching excellence. Dr. Parent Buck has published in the areas of hearing aid technology, otoacoustic emissions and pharmacology. She has conducted numerous presentations on the Au.D. movement, otoacoustic emissions, pharmacology for audiologists, the use of web-based educational tools, frequency compression hearing aids, neuroanatomy, genetics and embryology.  Dr. Parent Buck is a Past-President of the Academy of Doctors of Audiology. She served on the board of the Audiology Foundation of America from 1996-2003.  She is also a member of the American Academy of Audiology (since 1991) and has served on the Convention Special Events Subcommittee and the Task Force on Licensure and Payment Issues of Audiology Externship Students.  In addition, she served on the Task Force for the Arizona audiology licensure revision from 2005 to 2007.

 

Tricia Dabrowski, Au.D.Tricia Dabrowski, Au.D.
Associate Professor and Clinical Coordinator, Audiology
pdabrowski@atsu.edu
AUD 545  Amplification I
AUD 615  Amplification II
AUD 621  Audiological Rehabilitation for Adults


Dr. Tricia Dabrowski was appointed to the Department of Audiology in July, 2012.  Dr. Dabrowski received her Doctor of Audiology degree from Salus University Osborne College of Audiology in 2006, and her Master of Audiology from Hahnemann University in 1984. Professionally, Dr. Dabrowski directed several audiology practices in southeastern Pennsylvania prior to her appointment as Assistant Professor at the George S. Osborne College of Audiology (OCA). Dr. Dabrowski held the titles of Director of Pennsylvania Ear Institute, and Coordinator of Internal Clinical Education, while at OCA, establishing the Pennsylvania Ear Institute as a regional center of excellence, and developing the on-campus clinical training program for the College.  Dr. Dabrowski has instructed and mentored students as they develop clinically relevant skills in the areas of adult and pediatric audiometric assessment, hearing instrument fitting and verification, and practice management.

 

Troy D. Hale, Au.D.Troy D. Hale, Au.D.
Assistant Professor, Audiology
Director, AFA Balance and Hearing Institute
thale@atsu.edu
Guest Lecturer, Various Classes

 


Dr. Troy Hale joined the Department of Audiology at A.T. Still University in 2011 as an Assistant Professor and the AFA Institute Clinical Director.  He received his Bachelor of Science degree from Arizona State University and his Au.D. degree from A.T. Still University - Arizona School of Health Sciences. He has extensive experience in both the hospital and private practice settings and has mentored graduate students from a variety of health disciplines. His professional interests include practice development/management, neuroscience, evoked potentials, vestibular assessment / rehabilitation and inter-professional collaboration. Dr. Hale has co-authored scholarly research on vestibular assessment and has presented at several national conventions including the American Academy of Audiology (AudiologyNow!) and the American Neurotology Society Combined Otolaryngology Spring Meetings (COSM).

 

Zarin Mehta, Ph.D.Zarin Mehta, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Audiology
zmehta@atsu.edu
AUD 531  Embryology and Genetic Conditions
AUD 540  Pharmacology
AUD 614  Pediatric Audiology
AUD 626  Auditory Processing Disorders I
AUD 722  Advances in Audiologic Care

Dr. Mehta joined the Department of Audiology as an Associate Professor in 2013. She has been an adjunct faculty member in the transitional program at ATSU since 2006. She received her Master’s degree in Audiology from the University of Kansas (KU) in 1990. Her doctoral degree was conferred by Wichita State University (WSU) in 2000. She also received a degree in Medicine from The Dow Medical College, Karachi, Pakistan in 1986. Her previous professional experiences include Clinical Supervisor in Audiology at KU, Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at WSU, and Clinical Associate Professor at Arizona State University (ASU), where she also chaired the Audiology Admissions and Program Committee. She has abundant teaching experience in many areas within the profession of audiology, but her primary areas of interest and expertise continue to be auditory disorders, speech perception in the aging auditory system, and genetics of deafness and hearing impairment. She currently serves on the Editorial Board of the Communication Disorders Quarterly (CDQ) Journal. She has presented both nationally and at state conventions since 1999. Dr. Mehta is the author of numerous peer-reviewed and invited publications. Dr. Mehta was awarded a four-year Personnel Training Grant in August 2008, from the US Department of Education to train pediatric audiologists at ASU.

 

Thomas G. Rigo, Ph.D.Thomas G. Rigo, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Audiology
trigo@atsu.edu
AUD 514 Auditory Science
AUD 524 Essentials of Audiology I
AUD 534 Essentials of Audiology II
AUD 535 Speech Perception
AUD 611 Counseling in Audiology
AUD 644 Occupational and Environmental Hearing Conservation

Dr. Thomas Rigo was appointed to the Department of Audiology in May 2002. He received his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in Communicative Disorders and Audiology from The Florida State University. Prior to his appointment at ASHS, Dr. Rigo was an Associate Professor of Audiology at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, where he formulated and directed an accredited graduate audiology program for 18 years. He has extensive teaching experience in applied science and clinical coursework. During this time, Dr. Rigo also served as audiologist and clinical supervisor at the UL Lafayette Speech, Language, and Hearing Center. He was recognized at UL Lafayette for outstanding teaching and academic advising. Dr. Rigo has published in numerous scholarly journals and presented extensively in the areas of auditory processing disorders, aural rehabilitation, and multi-modal perception of speech.

 

Les R. Schmeltz, Au.D.Les R. Schmeltz, Au.D.
Associate Professor and Clinical Coordinator, Audiology
lschmeltz@atsu.edu
AUD 513  Professional Roles and Responsibilities
AUD 711  Educational Audiology
AUD 725  Amplification IV    
AUD 732  Screening and Monitoring Programs in Audiology
AUD 743  Ethics and the Health Care Delivery System
AUD 834  Early Hearing Detection and Intervention

Dr. Les Schmeltz received his B.S. degree from Northern Michigan University, M.S. from the University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point and Au.D. from A.T. Still University-Arizona School of Health Sciences. He has an extensive background in early identification and has presented on numerous topics related to newborn hearing screening, early intervention, data management and clinical techniques. He also serves as the Technical Assistance Network audiologist for the National Center for Hearing Assessment and Management at Utah State University, providing technical assistance and support to EHDI programs in Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming. Dr. Schmeltz has conducted Pediatric Audiology Training workshops conducted by NCHAM in Iowa, California and Illinois.

 

Henry P. Trahan, Au.D.Henry P. Trahan, Au.D.
Assistant Professor, Audiology
htrahan@atsu.edu
AUD 521  Anatomy and Physiology of the Auditory-Vestibular System
AUD 533  Acquired Auditory-Vestibular Disorders
AUD 546  Otoacoustic Emissions
AUD 616  Auditory Evoked Responses           
AUD 637  Vestibular Assessment and Treatment I
AUD 717  Vestibular Assessment and Treatment II

Dr. Henry Trahan was appointed to the Department of Audiology in December 2001. Dr. Trahan received his B.S. in Speech and Hearing from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, M.C.D. in Audiology from The Louisiana State University Medical School, School of Allied Health, and Au.D. from The University of Florida. He has an extensive background in neurodiagnostics, vestibular assessment and rehabilitation, hearing aid fitting and dispensing, and business. His professional experience includes 17 years as owner and director of the ACI Hearing and Balance Center in Lafayette, LA. During this time, Dr. Trahan was an Adjunct Instructor at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and served as a clinical supervisor and externship supervisor for several graduate audiology programs. Dr. Trahan’s scholarly contributions include publications and professional presentations on such topics as vestibular assessment and rehabilitation, hearing aid technology, otoacoustic emissions, and pediatric assessment.

 

ATSU Core Faculty (teaching in multiple programs)

R. Curtis Bay, Ph.D.R. Curtis Bay, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Interdisciplinary Health Sciences
cbay@atsu.edu
HS 522  Research Methods and Design
HS 532  Methods of Data Analysis

 


Dr. Curt Bay was appointed as Associate Professor of Biostatics in August, 2005. He received his Ph.D. in Psychology (quantitative emphasis) from Arizona State University in 1991. Dr. Bay has extensive experience as a statistical consultant for a number of public and private agencies. Formerly, Dr. Bay was the Director of the Office of Medical Research and Chair of the IRB at Maricopa Medical Center, Phoenix, AZ. His past academic experience includes an appointment as Faculty Research Associate in the Department of Psychology at Arizona State University. Dr. Bay has published extensively in medical and health care scholarly journals. His specific expertise and interests include statistics, biostatistics, structural equations, and models for clustered data.

 

Elton L. Bordenave, M.Ed., CHCElton L. Bordenave, M.Ed., CHC
Director, Aging Studies Project – Mesa Campus
Assistant Professor, Audiology
ebordenave@atsu.edu
AUD 633  Practice Development I
AUD 723  Practice Development II


Mr. Elton Bordenave received his B.B.A. (Bachelor in Business Administration) from Baylor University and his M.Ed. from Grand Canyon University. Mr. Bordenave teaches health care administration and regulation core courses at ASHS. He has earned an Advanced Certification in Health Care Compliance. His areas of professional activity and expertise are health care finance, regulatory compliance, health care information systems, and risk management. Prior to Mr. Bordenave’s appointment to ASHS, he was a health care consultant in private practice and formerly managed a large physical therapy practice. His past educational and scholarly contributions include in-services, professional presentations, and seminars to statewide educational and professional organizations.

 

Lesley Gilmer, Ph.D.Lesley Gilmer, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor & Director of Anatomy
lgilmer@atsu.edu
HS 511  Human Anatomy for Audiologists

 


Dr. Gilmer was appointed as Assistant Professor in the Department of Interdisciplinary Health Sciences in 2012 and teaches Human Anatomy for several ASHS programs. He received his bachelor’s degree in pre-medicine with an emphasis in cellular and molecular biology in 2004 at Berea College and earned his Ph.D. from the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology at the University of Kentucky in 2009. Dr. Gilmer continued his research at the Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Research Center at the University of Kentucky as a postdoctoral scholar. Dr. Gilmer’s research is focused on traumatic brain injury and in the characterization of various pathological events that occur to the central nervous system following injury. He taught courses at Morehead State University, University of Western States, and Bluegrass Community and Technical College prior to his appointment at ATSU. Dr. Gilmer is an active member of the Neurotrauma Society and American Association of Clinical Anatomists.

 

Rupal S. Vora, M.D.Rupal S. Vora, M.D.
Associate Professor, SOMA
rvora@atsu.edu
AUD 710  Basic Principles of Medical Imaging

 



Dr. Rupal Vora was appointed to the School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona (SOMA) in 2007 and has served as an adjunct instructor for the Department of Audiology since 2004. She completed her undergraduate studies at UCLA, graduating summa cum laude with a B.S. in Biology. She subsequently completed her medical training at the UCLA School of Medicine in Los Angeles. She completed residency training in Internal Medicine at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Beverly Hills, CA and is board-certified in Internal Medicine. In addition to teaching AUD 710 Basic Principles of Medical Imaging, Dr. Vora is a contributing lecturer or co-instructor for AUD 520 Neurology, AUD 523 Infection Control and Cerumen Management, and AUD 531 Embryology and Genetic Conditions.

 

Audiology Adjunct Faculty

Shalini Arehole, Ph.D.Shalini Arehole, Ph.D.
Adjunct Faculty, Audiology
sarehole@atsu.edu
AUD 734  The Aging Auditory System

 



Dr. Shalini Arehole is an Associate Professor of Communicative Disorders at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, where she has served as a faculty member for the past 20 years. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Dallas. Dr. Arehole’s research areas of interest are auditory electrophysiology, auditory processing and pediatric audiology. Her more recent publications pertain to the auditory processing abilities of learning disabled and gifted children. She has taught a variety of courses during her academic career, including Anatomy and Physiology of the Auditory System, Neurophysiology, Auditory Electrophysiology, Medical Audiology, Pediatric Audiology, Psychophysics of Hearing, Hearing Management, Introduction to Communication Science and Auditory Processing Disorders.

 

Gloria Garner, Au.D.Gloria Garner, Au.D.
Adjunct Faculty, Audiology
ggarner@atsu.edu
 AUD 813  Professionalism and Leadership

 



Dr. Gloria Garner directs the audiology program at University Health Care System in Augusta, GA. She completed her undergraduate and graduate degrees in audiology from the University of Georgia. She completed her doctoral degree in audiology in 2003 at the Pennsylvania College of Optometry’s School of Audiology.  A native of Augusta, GA, the majority of her years in clinical practice were focused on improving the quality of life of individuals with hearing loss through the use of leading edge hearing aid and cochlear implant technologies at the Medical College of Georgia. Dr. Garner has served on the adjunct faculty for the George S. Osborne School of Audiology at Salus University (formerly PCO) since 2004 and teaches online courses in ethics and aural rehabilitation. She has served as Chair of the Ethical Practices Committee of the American Academy of Audiology since July of 2007.  She is frequently invited to national and state meeting to speak on ethics in audiology. Dr. Garner serves on the Review and Editorial Boards for Audiology Online and Healthy Hearing.

 

Feigi Halberstam, Au.D.Feigi Halberstam, Au.D.
Adjunct Faculty, Audiology
fhalberstam@atsu.edu
AUD 730  Speech and Language Disorders in Adults

 



Dr. Feigi Halberstam is the director of Omni Rehabilitation Center, a prestigious and comprehensive outpatient rehabilitation facility in Brooklyn, New York. She obtained her M.S. degree in audiology from Brooklyn College and is dually certified in both speech-language pathology and audiology. Ms. Halberstam has practiced in a variety of private practices and public settings. She is an adjunct professor at Touro College as well as the Long Island University Graduate Program. She serves also as a clinical preceptor to numerous audiologists and speech language pathologists.

 

Allen W. Rohe, Au.D.Allen W. Rohe, Au.D.
Adjunct Faculty, Audiology
arohe@atsu.edu
AUD 624  Tinnitus: Evaluation and Treatment

 



Dr. Allen Rohe received his Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts degrees from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He received his Doctor of Audiology degree from A.T. Still University-Arizona School of Health Sciences. His professional experience includes working in hospital and medical settings and he is currently a partner in a private practice. Clinical experience and areas of interest include neurodiagnostics, vestibular assessment and rehabilitation, amplification, hearing conservation, tinnitus management, and working with musicians. He is a founding member of The Tinnitus Foundation, is certified in Tinnitus Retraining Therapy, and is a member of the Tinnitus Retraining Therapy Association. He has spoken on local and national radio programs to raise public awareness about tinnitus. He currently serves on the Speech and Hearing Professionals Advisory Committee for the State of Arizona.

 

Sonya J. Romero, M.A.Sonya J. Romero, M.A.
Adjunct Faculty, Audiology
sromero@atsu.edu
AUD 640 Manual Communication II

 



Ms. Sonya Romero received her B.S. in Elementary Education from Minnesota State University Moorhead and M.A. in Deaf Education from Gallaudet University. She has taught Deaf and hard of hearing students grades K-12 in the public school systems since 1997, most recently running the Mesa Public Schools Hearing Impaired program. She has extensive experience with children from the entire spectrum of hearing loss, communication methods, and special needs in addition to deafness. Ms. Romero has taught American Sign Language to teachers, parents, special educators, and children; presented at workshops for students who are hard of hearing; and provided training to teachers on mainstreaming deaf students. She also served on the board for the Arizona Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing as a Hard of Hearing Representative.

 

Andrea Ruotolo, Au.D.Andrea Ruotolo, Au.D.
Adjunct Assistant Professor, Audiology
aruotolo@atsu.edu
Audiology Grand Rounds

 



Dr. Andrea Ruotolo served as full time residential faculty from April 2010 to May 2013. She currently resides in Portland, Oregon and serves as adjunct faculty teaching transitional courses in acquired pathologies as well as planning the residential weekly grand rounds sessions. Dr. Ruotolo also assists with the aural rehabilitation practicum sites and planning for the residential program. She received her B.A. and M.A. in Speech and Hearing Sciences and Audiology from Indiana University and her Au.D. from A.T. Still University-Arizona School of Health Sciences. She has extensive background in adult and pediatric assessment, amplification and aural rehabilitation. Her professional experience included hospital and medical settings, school settings, and private non-profit facilities. She had participated as an off campus preceptor supporting local programs throughout her career and has frequently in-serviced nurses, physicians, and support staff on audiology related issues. She provided clinical and academic instruction as clinical faculty in the Communications Department at Portland State University where she plans to return as an adjunct faculty member teaching undergraduate courses as of January, 2014. Dr. Ruotolo has presented courses on amplification, pediatric audiology, vestibular disorders, educational audiology, professional issues, adult amplification, adult aural rehabilitation, and embryology and genetic conditions.

 

Rene Scharber, B.S.Rene Scharber, B.S.
Adjunct Faculty, Audiology
rscharber@atsu.edu
AUD 620  Manual Communication I

 

 

Mrs. Rene Scharber graduated from Southern Methodist University in 1980 with a B.S. in Deaf Education. She taught a self-contained Total Communication class for 2nd– 4th grade hearing impaired students in Mesa Public Schools and taught sign language classes through community education in Mesa. Over the past 30 years she has taught ASL levels I and II at Rio Salado College, Mesa Community College, Phoenix College and Arizona State University. She also interprets in the community and founded the deaf ministry at St. Timothy’s Catholic Church in 1990. Mrs. Scharber and her husband, Dr. Robert Scharber, started a private audiology practice in 1984.  She currently works as the office manager of their practice and interprets for patients as needed.    

 

Briana Thornton, Au.D.Briana Thornton, Au.D.
Adjunct Faculty, Audiology
bbernal@atsu.edu
AUD 523  Infection Control and Cerumen Management
AUD 636  Auditory Processing Disorders II

 


Dr. Briana Thornton received her Bachelor’s degree from Northern Arizona University and her Au.D. degree from A.T. Still University- Arizona School of Health Sciences. She is an Educational Audiologist for Mesa Public Schools where she works to meet the hearing needs of pre-school to high school aged individuals. Her professional interests include pediatric audiology, evoked potentials, auditory processing disorders and cochlear implants. Dr. Thornton has co-presented at the American Academy of Audiology (Audiology Now!) national convention.  She also serves as a clinical preceptor.

 

Carla M. Zimmerman, M.N.S.Carla M. Zimmerman, M.N.S.
Adjunct Assistant Professor, Audiology
czimmerman@atsu.edu
AUD 510  Acquisition and Development of Communicative Skills
AUD 530  Communication Methodology for Hearing Impaired Children
AUD 822  Speech and Language Disorders in Children

Ms. Carla Zimmerman received her Master of Natural Science degree Speech-Language Pathology from Arizona State University. Since 1988, she has owned and operated a private practice dealing exclusively with hearing-impaired individuals. Ms. Zimmerman is also the Birth to Three Coordinator at Desert Voices Oral Learning Center. She has delivered a number guest lectures and professional presentations concerning service delivery to hearing impaired children and cochlear implants. Ms. Zimmerman has served as a clinical supervisor to speech-language pathology students since 1988. She is fluent in Signed Exact English and trained in Cued Speech.

 

Departmental Staff

Melanie A. GibsonMelanie A. Gibson
Program Manager, Audiology
mgibson@atsu.edu

 

 


Mrs. Melanie Gibson was appointed to the Department of Audiology in August of 2002. She assists the Chair and faculty with the administration of both the Entry Level Doctor of Audiology Program and the Transitional Doctor of Audiology Program. Mrs. Gibson’s first priority is to see that the needs of the Au.D. students at the Arizona School of Health Sciences are being met. Among her many other duties, Mrs. Gibson coordinates all of the special events pertaining to the Audiology Department including the White Coat Ceremony, and the Graduation Dinners.

 

Stacy NealStacy Neal
Patient Services Coordinator, AFA Balance & Hearing Institute
sneal@atsu.edu

 

 


Stacy Neal joined the AFA Balance & Hearing Institute in January 2013. Stacy brings over 30 years of service skills to the AFA Institute. Her primary duties are in assisting patients in appointment scheduling, insurance verification, referral coordination, billing, and collections.  Stacy also assists the director in the administrative responsibilities of the clinic.

 

Teri RorieTeri Rorie
Administrative Assistant, Audiology
trorie@atsu.edu

 

 


Mrs. Teri Rorie was appointed to the Department of Audiology in June of 2012.  She assists the department chair and faculty with administrative needs of both the Entry Level and Transitional Doctor of Audiology Programs.  Mrs. Rorie works closely with Mrs. Gibson to assist students during the course of their professional studies and to organize special departmental events.  She also works closely with our clinical coordinators to ensure each student has met the clinical requirements of our program.