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Audiology student Ashley Richards ’20 finds purpose in improving lives

Nov 21, 2018
Audiology student Ashley Richards

Family history was a motivator for doctor of audiology student Ashley Richards '20. Her grandmother, who was born in Kentucky in the 1920s, lived through segregation and the civil rights movement. Her educational options were very limited then, Richards explains.

"I like the idea of giving them one of their senses back."

"Hearing about her experiences is my driving force for being an audiologist," said Richards, reflecting on what led her to choose this career path. 

Since entering Pacific's audiology program, she has found an important purpose impacting lives through improving hearing.

"I like the idea of giving patients one of their senses back," Richards said. She has already witnessed how improving a patient's hearing can have a profound impact on their quality of life. During one of her clinical observations, the patient shared how depressed she had been before getting hearing aids.

"She realized she could interact with people again," Richards said. "Her hearing aids shifted her outlook on life."

Ashley RichardsRichards is still deciding which practice setting she would like to pursue, whether to work with older patients or young children.

"The joy of working with older people is that you are able to give them back their hearing. It's not perfect, but you give them back a piece of their life they haven't been experiencing fully."

Pediatric audiology, on the other hand, she says is challenging, "but the payoff is fantastic."

"Audiologists are able to give families, especially babies, that bridge to communication," she added. "It is a hands-on, tangible change, allowing them to be open to the world they live in and the people they interact with."

Richards is a recipient of the A. Stephenson/Parker Diversity in Audiology Endowed Scholarship. She says receiving this scholarship adds an additional motivation for her to maximize her time at Pacific.

"I would just like to say thank you. I am grateful they invested in my education. I see it as a vote of confidence." 

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about the author

Anne Marie H. Bergthold  

Anne Marie H. Bergthold is the Marketing Coordinator for Pacific's Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy.

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