The Children's Institute Blog

Clinician Spotlight: Kathleen Conley, Audiologist

Posted: May 23, 2018 by The Children's Institute

Today, as we continue to mark Better Speech & Hearing Month, we asked a few questions of Kathleen Conley, audiologist at The Children's Institute.

When did you start working in your field?
August 1981

When did you start working at The Children’s Institute? I am not 100% sure since it has been a long time. I believe in the early 1990’s.
I have always been a consultant initially here 1 day a week when there were adults and children. As the needs of the Institute changed, my work schedule changed. After the Adult rehab moved, I worked ½ day a week.

Where did you grow up? Pittsburgh, specifically Forest Hills

As a child, what did you want to be? I changed my mind several times on that subject. Pediatrician, Teacher and Architect.

What did your high-school guidance counselor say you should do for a living? I know I took aptitude testing but don’t recall the answer.

Where did you go to college? West Virginia University for B.S. in Speech Pathology and Audiology and M.S in Audiology also from WVU.

Did you do any post-grad work and, if so, where did you attend and what did you study?
Like Pharmacy and PT, Audiology has become a clinical doctorate profession. For those of us already practicing you had to do online classes or distance learning to get the doctorate. The amount of coursework based on your experience and it was only available from 4 universities. I obtained my Au.D through AT Still in March 2005.

What inspired you to go into your field?
I could have graduated HS early but instead took ½ day of classes and work/study as a “house parent” at WPSD – Western PA School for the Deaf in Edgewood. It involved being there from 2pm to 7-8pm for pre-school deaf children who lived there during the week. You were there Monday - Thursday from the end of the class time through putting them to bed.

What do you like most about your job?
Majority of time you are having an immediate impact on a persons life in a positive way if they have hearing or balance problems. Directing individual needs to medical or audiological intervention to improve their quality of life. Educating others (family members of patient) on hearing loss and balance problems to yield positive outcomes.

What do you like about Pittsburgh? 4 seasons and variety of topography. I do wish winter was a little bit shorter though.

Do you have any pets? Yes -- a Schnoodle named Jack.

Do you have any hobbies?  Outdoor activities such as biking/kayaking/gardening. I enjoy music but don’t participate in that as much as I used to.

What is your favorite sports team? ALL Pittsburgh sports teams. Grandfather listened to Pirate games on radio religiously. Parents were Steelers season ticket holders since the days before 3 Rivers when they played at Pitt stadium. Penguins -- used to attend regularly in high school when they wore Blue and I could afford to go the games.

Who is your favorite musician? Eclectic taste too many to pick one! (country/blues/rock/pop/folk/oldies/classical) Favorite is Motown sounds of Temptations

If you could have any superpower, what would you choose? Power of healing

If you were given a $1 million check to give to one group or charity – other than The Children’s Institute – who would get it? Why? Due to growing inequity in society a local organization that uses funds well to assist the least fortunate. Would have to do some research on the subject; Habitat for Humanity or Catholic Charity

If you could meet any historical figure, living or dead, who would you choose to meet? So many great people and minds one would not be enough! I wouldn’t want to live in the Renaissance time period but meeting both Michaelangelo and Leonardo DaVinci in the same room..what conversation and inspiration.

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