February 13, 2017 | Erin Bluvas, firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s been less than three years since Jason Wigand graduated from The Ohio State University with a Doctor of Audiology and moved to South Carolina to join the Arnold School’s Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders (COMD), but the clinical assistant professor’s impact on the state has already been profound. The latest evidence surfaced in January. It took the form of the inaugural Bright Beginnings Award from the South Carolina Academy of Audiology (SCAA).
Presented at the SCAA annual convention, this prestigious award has been created to honor S.C. audiologists who have worked in the field for five years or less, yet have distinctively embraced the profession. It is designed to recognize those who have provided excellent clinical care, participated in advocacy, volunteered their time, and otherwise demonstrated superior commitment to the field of audiology.
“Dr. Wigand exhibits his passion for the field every day and constantly looks for new opportunities to advocate for both patients and professionals,” says COMD Clinical Assistant Professor Beth Hulvey. “His knowledge spans much farther than five years, and he embraces leadership opportunities wholeheartedly.”
“Dr. Wigand is something we needed in this state but didn’t know we needed until he was here,” adds Meredith Holcomb, clinical assistant professor of audiology and clinical director for the Cochlear Implant Program at the Medical University of South Carolina. “He is nothing short of a unicorn. He is this ridiculously talented, smart male audiologist who not only commits his time to his patients, but also gives 110 percent for advocacy. He immediately jumped head first into committees and boards and organizations because helping others and facilitating positive change is of utmost importance to him. He has an enormous desire to make the state better. His patients love him, the state loves him, and I cannot wait to see what he does in the next five years.”
In addition to seeing patients as a board certified audiologist at COMD’s USC Speech and Hearing Research Center, Wigand engages in scientific research and serves as clinical director for the Center’s Cochlear Implant Program. He is also a board member for the S.C. chapter of the Alexander Graham Bell Association and volunteers Cochlear Americas, Awareness Network. After serving President-Elect of SCAA in 2016, Wigand began his term as President of the organization in January of this year.