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CDHE Executive Director Tours Campus

Group shot of CDHE visitors and representatives from campus

March 21, 2019

UNC welcomed Angie Paccione, Ph.D., executive director of the Colorado Department of Higher Education, for a campus visit Wednesday. She joined President Andy Feinstein on a tour and met students, faculty and staff at cultural centers and in academic areas.

The group kicked off their visit with a campus tour that included a stop at the Campus Commons. They also visited with faculty, staff and students at the Cesar Chavez Cultural and Gender & Sexuality Resource Centers.

Afterwards, they met with Audiology and Speech-Language Sciences Program (ASLS) faculty and students to learn about teacher-scholar model including:

  • Dangerous Decibels, an evidence-based intervention program that’s designed to reduce the rate of noise-induced hearing loss and tinnitus. This program is co-directed by ASLS Professor Deanna Meinke with assistance from ASL Professor Don Finan.
  • Paccione visiting with studetns in the ASLS departmentStudent Katie Steffen discussed a research grant allowing for the development of a STEM-based educational game to promote hearing health and STEM concepts related to acoustics and hearing-science career paths. Also in development is an online Dangerous Decibels program training for high-school students who will then showcase the program to fourth graders.
  • Student Morgan Ashby demonstrated Jolene, an educational mannequin resource developed by Dangerous Decibels. The mannequin has a sound-level meter built into the ear that allows people who listen to music to better understand if their music-listening volume is at a safe sound level.
  • Grants from the National Institutes of Health and a partnership with Creare Inc. allowed for the development of a wireless, automated hearing-test system, making hearing testing more affordable and portable. The department is implementing its use in other settings, such as schools, senior living communities, outpatient chemotherapy treatment centers and more. Student Mackenzie Quinn, who demonstrated this device, wants to use it in parallel with existing school hearing screenings in the future.
  • Graduate student Ashley Bautista discussed her undergraduate research project where she measured noise exposure of bartenders to understand the connection between background noise levels and vocal load (speaking for long periods of time at high levels). Bautista was interested in this research since working in a loud sound environment can be hazardous to a person’s hearing and shouting over the noise may also harm a person’s voice. It led her to pursue a graduate degree in Audiology at UNC.
  • Student Joe Dombro discussed the ASLS 220 Musical Acoustics & Health Issues interdisciplinary course covering the physics and biophysics of sound production and reception, focusing on issues related to auditory and vocal injury prevention. For example, the students made cigar box guitars and PVC pipe digeridoos that teach the physical concepts of string vibration and resonance.
  • How Meinke and Finan engage with students and Colorado Maker Faire attendees with acoustic principles related to speech and hearing, such as demonstrating with the mannequin, Jolene, and making “Voice Prints.”

See below for CDHE's Tweets during the visit:

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