Two Months In: Dr. “A” and Her New Role as Dean

Radhika Aravamudhan, PhDIt’s officially been two months since Radhika Aravamudhan, PhD assumed the role of dean of the University’s Osborne College of Audiology (OCA).

Since then, she jumped right in on her top priorities; such as exploring innovative ways OCA can lead in audiology education and further building upon stable clinical partnerships with partners to enhance and expand clinical education. “I believe both of these will help us strengthen our current programs and will help in evaluating opportunities for growth for our College,” Dr. Aravamudhan said. “We also need to spend more time building strong relationships with our constituents especially our alumni who are our pride and strength.”

But she isn’t done yet. Her five year goal as dean includes exploring ways to change, excel in, lead and continue to innovate the College’s audiology education. “Over the next five years, we will continue to evaluate and change our current educational models, explore, develop and implement innovative models in education to continue to offer the high-quality programs at OCA,” she said.

NISH IndiaAs dean, Dr. Aravamudhan is responsible for the development, implementation, assessment, and accreditation of the University’s on-campus Doctor of Audiology program, as well as the Master of Science in Clinical Audiology program and Summer Workshops within OCA in consultation with the faculty and administrators.

The role of dean isn’t quite new to Dr. Aravamudhan, though, as she was acting interim dean prior to assuming her new role in late 2018. As interim dean, she developed new initiatives that made the audiology program unique including offering opportunities not always offered by other programs. One such initiative that was developed and implemented the NISH International Clinical Experience workshop - held in Thirvuanthapuram, India, that three third-year students attended to gain clinical experience at the National Institute of Speech and Hearing (NISH).

Dr. Aravamudhan graduated from the All India Institute of Speech & Hearing with both a Bachelor of Science degree and a master’s degree. She then earned her PhD from Kent State University, in Kent, OH.

She joined the Pennsylvania College of Optometry School of Audiology (the original College’s name) in 2005 serving as a junior faculty member. At that time, Dr. Aravamudhan was presented with several leadership opportunities, such as leading the first curriculum review in 2006. As it was a new and small College, every faculty member had a role in both didactic and clinical practice in addition to administering the program. Although she had not planned on being an administrator, her career naturally developed in that area because of the administrative and leadership opportunities that naturally came her way. “I learned a lot from my predecessors in this position and continue to learn from my colleagues now,” she said.

She also feels fortunate to have had the opportunity to serve as the interim program director, internal didactic education coordinator, curriculum chair, the assistant dean for Foundations and Assessment of Audiologic Medicine and as the interim dean for OCA. “I believe all these experiences and several training opportunities in leadership workshops have built a strong foundation for me in higher education administration,” she said. “Even though this is not a path I had planned to be in, it was a path that was paved for me at every step of my career at Salus. I am thankful for those opportunities and my colleagues and mentors who have helped me through this journey.”

Dr. Aravamudhan was most recently elected as the vice chair for audiology for the Council on the Academic Accreditation (CAA) Board, which she started this month.