As post-pandemic life continues to move toward normalcy and Bre Myers, AuD ‘06, PhD ‘17, CH-AP
transitions back to teaching on campus full-time, the one most affected by those developments might be her bulldog Scarlet.
Named after a Grateful Dead song “Scarlet Begonias,” the 10-year-old rescue has become attached to Dr. Myers’ hip and is always excited when virtual teaching obligations keep Dr. Myers at home during the day.
But the days of a dog lying at her feet under the desk while she works from home are getting fewer and fewer, and Scarlet, one of her two dogs, is going to have to make the adjustment.
That’s because Dr. Myers’ responsibilities have increased recently. In addition to her roles as associate professor, clinical preceptor, and three-year track program coordinator, she was recently named assistant dean for the Foundations and Assessment of Audiologic Medicine at Salus University’s Osborne College of Audiology (OCA), effective July 1, 2021.
“In my new role, I’m hoping to take everything I’ve learned throughout my many roles in academia and serve as a resource for new faculty,” she said. “Helping the department grow and making sure our teaching methods are keeping pace with all that’s out there.”
Dr. Myers has been around OCA for a while now, both as a student and now as faculty. She started her career during a transitionary period in the profession when a master’s degree was the requirement for licensure. However, distance AuD bridge programs had been established, and residential AuD programs were just getting started.
She decided to get her master’s first so she could start working and gain some experience, knowing she was going to go back and complete her AuD as soon as she was eligible.
When weighing options to which school she would attend, she looked at Salus’ curriculum and faculty. “There were a couple distance ed programs, but when I looked at Salus, the curriculum and the amazing content experts on the faculty list made the choice easy. To have 21 different professors who were leading experts teaching the courses was a big draw for me to come back as a distance ed student,” she said.
After graduating with her AuD she opened a private practice with a friend. As the new practice was growing she needed some additional income to support her family. Serendipitously, Salus’ audiology program was in need of an adjunct professor so she applied, secured the job, and started in January 2008, just a few months after the untimely death of George S. Osborne, founder and namesake of the School of Audiology which later became the College of Audiology.
“I saw what he created and I was a product of it. The reason why I’m still here this many years later is because the construct works,” said Dr. Myers. “I’m convinced that it’s the best model out there and it’s in the best interest of the profession to maintain the integrity of his original vision. His spirit still permeates the College.”
Dr. Myers also earned her PhD in the Biomedicine program at Salus so there was a time she was working part-time at her practice, part-time as an assistant professor at Salus/OCA, and working on her PhD.
“One of the reasons I love audiology is that there are many employment options, and I was fortunate to experience my fair share,” she admits. “After a bit of soul searching, I realized my main passion was in the teaching of the profession.”
She likes knowing she’s having an impact on the students and the profession as a whole. “That ability to build or create something that’s going to perpetuate is a big draw to me.”
She’s seen the evolution of OCA first-hand, the “planned growing pains” that have taken the class size from eight students to its current 30-32 students.
But it’s not only her duties at OCA that keep her busy. When she’s not teaching, Dr. Myers stays active with a number of outside interests. She’s a big music fan and concertgoer.
“I’ve seen hundreds of concerts and that ties into why I got into the field — the ability to hear music and the emotional connection that you can have to a certain piece of music,” she said. “And, then how certain pieces of music make you want to dance. It’s like a total ear experience.”
Additionally, the need for physical activity is still high on her list of leisure time pursuits. From 2013 to 2018, Dr. Myers participated in competitive roller derby
for a team called the Reading Derby Girls.
“Some friends mentioned they were going to see a match and I thought that sounded like fun,” said Dr. Myers. “I had not roller skated in 15 years, but when I watched, I knew I wanted to be a part of it. The skaters were powerful and agile. It was beautiful and tough at the same time. I loved being a part of the team, and playing the sport which can look like chaos to the first-time observer.”
But the aches and pains of the physical sport eventually caught up with her, so she took up hiking to fill the void. This past year, she and her former business partner completed the entire length of the Horseshoe Trail, 140 miles from Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, to the Appalachian Trail in Lebanon County, Pennsylvania.
That’s not all. Dr. Myers has also taken up the study of martial arts and hopes to earn her black belt one day.
Through all the changes brought on by the pandemic, though, Dr. Myers keeps challenging herself to move forward physically, emotionally, and professionally.
“While I love vestibular research, I’m also interested in exploring the science of teaching and learning,” she said.
“To quote some of my favorite Jerry Garcia lyrics:
‘The wheel is turning and you can't slow down
You can't let go and you can't hold on
You can't go back and you can't stand still
If the thunder don't get you then the lightning will
Small wheel turning by the fire and rod
Big wheel turning by the grace of God
Every time that wheel turn round
Bound to cover just a little more ground.’” -The Wheel