About Academy of Rehabilitative Audiology

ARA's mission is to promote excellence in hearing care through the provision of rehabilitative and habilitative services.

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ARA Executive Board

Effective January 1, 2020

Karen Doherty


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Karen A. Doherty, Ph.D. is a Professor and Chair of the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Syracuse University. She is also a member of the Aging Studies Institute and Faculty Affiliate of the Integrated Learning Majors in Neuroscience at Syracuse University. Dr. Doherty’s research focus is on early intervention of age-related hearing loss and investigating ways to maximize hearing aid use considering factors such as cognitive function, hearing handicap, speech perception in noise and hearing aid handling skills.

Katharine Williams



Katharine Williams is an adult amplification audiologist at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Her areas include educating anyone who will listen, about hearing loss and the benefit of treated hearing loss. She is also interested in educating hospitals and physicians in the value of falls assessments and treatment. Her goal in becoming president is to help make resources available for audiologists and students to better serve their patients with hearing loss. She currently serves on the AAA Health Care Relations Committee.

Brittney Carlson


Brittney Carlson, Au.D., Ph.D., is the Program Director and Assistant Professor of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Elms College. She also consults as a clinical audiologist at the Veterans’ Administration Hospital.  Her clinical and research interests are in the area of adult aural rehabilitation

Anne D. Olsen

JARA Editor

Anne D. Olson, PhD, CCC-A is currently an Associate Professor and serving as Department Chair in Communication Sciences and Disorders and CSD program director at the University of Kentucky.  She has focused her scholarly efforts in clinical research as it relates to Aural Rehabilitation for adults with hearing loss. She also teaches audiology and aural rehabilitation for undergraduate students.

Laura Ann Wilber


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Abigail Prawitz

Student Representative

Abigail Prawitz is a second-year doctoral student at Syracuse University, where she is working to become a clinical audiologist. Abigail has interest in cochlear implants, pediatric audiology, and aural rehabilitation. She is excited to be the student representative for ARA. To contact her concerning ARA Board meetings and other Board-related services, you can reach her at abigail.prawitz@gmail.com

ARA Past Presidents


Kristin Vasil-Dilaj

2020 President

Kristin Dilaj, AuD., Ph.D, is Co-Director and Audiologist at the New England Center for Hearing Rehabilitation, LLC.  Her areas of clinical interest and research include cochlear implant programming strategies and outcomes, tools for evaluating functional listening in pediatrics, and pediatric aural (re)habilitation.   

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Sherri Smith

2019 President

Sherri L. Smith, Au.D., Ph.D., is Chief of the Audiology and an Associate Professor in the Division of Head and Neck Surgery and Communication Sciences at Duke University School of Medicine and is the co-Chief of the Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology at Duke University Hospital. Dr. Smith also has an appointment as a Research Audiologist at the Durham Veterans Affairs Health Care System.  Dr. Smith’s research involves developing clinical tools, interventions options, and service delivery processes that can facilitate optimization of patient’s individualized goals.

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Sarah Hargus Ferguson

2018 President

Sarah Hargus Ferguson, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders at the University of Utah. Her research focuses on talker factors that affect everyday speech understanding in older adults with hearing loss, with a particular emphasis on “clear speech” and its effects on not only intelligibility but also the perception of indexical properties like the talker’s emotional state.

2017 - Claire Bernstein
2016 - Anne Olsen

2015 - Jan Moore
2014 - Linda Thibodeau
2013 - Kathleen Cienkowski
2012 - Carol Cokely
2011 - Joseph J. Montano
2010 - John Greer Clark
2009 - Robert W. Sweetow
2008 - Pat Kricos
2007 - Gabrielle Saunders
2006 - Perry C. Hanavan
2005 - Jill E. Preminger
2004 - Sheila R. Pratt
2003 - Jodell Newman Ryan
2002 - Barbara J. Parker
2001 - David J. Wark
2000 - Mariam A. Henoch
1999 - Alice E. Holmes
1998 - Nancy Tye-Murray
1997 - Sue Ann Erdman
1996 - Jean-Pierre Gagne
1995 - Donald Sims
1994 - Judy E. Abrahamson
1993 - Sharon A. Lesner
1992 - Marilyn E. Demorest
1991 - Pamela N. Jackson
1990 - Robert M. Traynor
1989 - Joseph J. Smaldino
1988 - Jay Lubinski
1987 - Laura A. Wilbur
1986 - Mary Pat Moeller
1985 - Miriam A. Henoch
1984 - John C. Cooper
1983 - Robert M. McLauchlin
1982 - Richard W. Stream
1981 - Dean C. Garstecki
1980 - Julia Davis 
1979 - Ethel Mussen
1978 Donald Johnson
1977 - Roger N. Kasten
1976 - Janet Jeffers
1975 - Edward J. Hardick
1974 - Diane S. Castle
1973 - Claude S. Hayes
1972 - David P. Goldstein
1971 - Jerome G. Alpiner
1970 - Freeman E. McConnell
1969 - John J. O'Neil - 1969
1968 - L. Deno Reed
1967 - Herbert J. Oyer
1966 - Herbert J. Oyer