On Feb. 25, a Sacred Heart University professor was honored with a prestigious award in Orlando, Fla.
Dr. Jamie Marotto, Director of the Sacred Heart University Audiology Clinic, was recognized at the Oticon Focus on People Awards for her work as an audiologist.
A statement from Oticon said, “The 2022 Oticon Focus on People Awards honored 12 remarkable people whose courage, vision and commitment are helping to change the perception of what it means to have a hearing loss.”
“I won the hearing practitioner category,” said Marotto. “Basically, one audiologist in the country is awarded each year, and for 2022, it was me.”
Marotto’s career as an audiologist and educator also comes with a philanthropic initiative.
“For me, I always felt it was important to give back to others. It’s great to be honored for this work, but I feel that volunteer work doesn’t need recognition,” Marotto said.
The College of Health Professions runs several Global Health Programs and Marotto goes on annual volunteer/service-learning trips to Guatemala.
“We work with them to provide hearing aids to students and teachers in need,” said Marotto. “We also donate supplies and provide educational materials so that they can maintain the hearing aids throughout the year.”
To sustain and continue this work, Marotto has developed partnerships with institutions such as LAVOSI.
LAVOSI is a school that provides education and training for the deaf and hard of hearing in underserved areas. Without the school, many children would have no proper resources for education.
“LAVOSI truly relies on foreign donations to continue the great work and education they are providing,” said Marotto.
These trips enable an institution like this to continue and grow in its mission to aid the hard of hearing.
The most recent trip had 20 students from the College of Health Professions join Marotto in Guatemala.
“We have students from PT, OT and Speech Language Pathology, as well as faculty members from each department who go on this trip annually,” Marotto said.
According to a press release from Oticon, “In the clinic, students learn how evaluating and treating hearing loss across a lifespan can improve a patient’s ability to work, interact socially and minimize health risks associated with hearing loss.”
Students are presented with an opportunity to further their education while contributing to a life-changing cause.
“It’s really cool to see people within Sacred Heart going out of their way to help out on such a global level,” said junior Michael Frieri. “That’s a unique chance being provided for these students and that really reflects well on Sacred Heart.”
The service-learning trips will continue into the foreseeable future with the goal of maintaining the beneficial relationships developed in Guatemala.
“It is an honor to be nationally recognized so early in my career. I look forward to continuing my volunteer work here and abroad and representing SHU along the way,” said Marotto.
“Positive stories like this are great to hear and it is important for people like Professor Marotto to set such a great example like this,” junior Victor Ginart said.
The audiology clinic offers full-service hearing health care to the public and the option for students to help others and log required clinical hours under the supervision of a licensed audiologist.
“Here at SHU, we don’t volunteer because we want to be recognized; we do it because it is the right thing to do, and it’s intrinsic to our values and mission,” said Marotto.