// Audiological Research Staff

Harvey AbramsHarvey Abrams, Ph.D.

Director of Audiology Research

Harvey Abrams is the Director of Audiology Research at Starkey Hearing Technologies. Prior to joining Starkey, Harvey served in a number of clinical, research and administrative capacities with the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense. He received his undergraduate degree from the George Washington University and his master's and doctoral degrees from the University of Florida. Harvey serves on the faculty of the Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders at the University of South Florida and instructs distance learning courses for the University of Florida. His research has focused on treatment efficacy and improved quality of life associated with audiologic intervention. He has authored and co-authored several recent papers and book chapters and is a frequent lecturer on the topics of outcome measures, health-related quality of life, and evidence-based audiologic practice.

Michelle HicksMichelle Hicks, Ph.D.

Manager of Clinical Product Research

Michelle Hicks joined Starkey Hearing Technologies in April 2010 as the manager of Clinical Product Research. She obtained a Ph.D. in Audiology/Hearing Science from Arizona State University in 1997, and worked as a professor at the University of Maryland and University of Utah teaching Psychoacoustics, Amplification, and Pediatric Audiology. Prior to joining Starkey Hearing Technologies, Michelle worked as a research audiologist at Sonic Innovations in Salt Lake City, UT.

Jason GalsterJason A. Galster, Ph.D., FAAA, CCC-A

Manager of Clinical Comparative Research

Jason Galster developed an interest in hearing aid research as an under-graduate in the late 1990's. This interest lead him to a B.S. and M.S. from Purdue University and a Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University. Dr. Galster's research interests have spanned topics that include acoustic signal processing, room acoustics, pediatrics, and most recently, investigating methods for interpreting individual variability in the outcomes of patients with hearing aids. Today, he leads a team of research audiologists with Starkey Hearing Technologies. As an adjunct professor with Nova Southeastern University, Dr. Galster teaches courses on hearing aids to audiology students both inside and outside of the United States.

Karrie ReckerKarrie Recker, Au.D., CCC-A, FAAA

Research Audiologist, Audiology Research

Karrie Recker is a Research Audiologist at Starkey Hearing Technologies. She joined the company in 2000. Over the years Dr. Recker has been involved in a variety of research projects ranging from basic hearing science studies to algorithm testing to mechanical design verification. In 2005, she received her doctoral degree in Audiology from the University of Florida.

Sharon KaareSharon Kaare, B.A.

Research Coordinator, Clinical Product Research

Sharon Kaare joined Starkey Hearing Technologies in May 2006. Since this time, she has been involved in a variety of administrative tasks with a focus on recruitment of research participants. She completed her bachelor's degree in Management Information Systems at Augustana College, SD. Prior to her position with Starkey Hearing Technologies, Sharon was an applications analyst.

Elizabeth GalsterElizabeth Galster, Au.D., CCC-A, FAAA

Research Audiologist, Clinical Product Research

Liz Galster joined the Clinical Product Research team at Starkey Hearing Technologies in 2008. She conducts Alpha and Beta clinical trials on emerging technology and fitting processes. Previous research experience focused on evaluation of signal processing algorithms, directional microphones, and speech understanding in reverberation. Prior to joining Starkey Hearing Technologies, Liz worked at the Nashville VA Medical Center. She obtained her Au.D. at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, where she worked as a research assistant in the Dan Maddox Hearing Aid Research Laboratory.

Susie ValentineSusie Valentine, Ph.D., CCC-A, FAAA

Senior Research Audiologist, Audiology Research

Susie Valentine is a Research Audiologist at the Starkey Hearing Research Center. She holds a certificate of clinical competence in audiology from the American Speech, Language, and Hearing Association and is a fellow of the American Academy of Audiology. Since coming to Starkey Hearing Technologies she has worked in multiple aspects of hearing aid research including algorithm research and software research. Additionally she has continued to conduct research designed to better understand hearing loss. Her main interest lies in understanding the sound segregation abilities of hearing-impaired listeners and how amplification influences sound segregation for those listeners. Valentine holds a bachelor's from Lenoir-Rhyne University, a master's in Audiology from the University of Tennessee and a Ph.D. in Hearing Science from Indiana University.

Jumana HarianawalaJumana Harianawala, Au.D., CCC-A

Research Audiologist, Audiology Research

Jumana Harianawala joined Starkey Hearing Technologies as a Research Audiologist in 2011. Prior to joining Starkey Hearing Technologies, Jumana worked as a Clinical Audiologist at an Ear, Nose & Throat practice in Queens, New York. She received her Clinical Doctorate in Audiology (Au.D.) at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, where she also worked as a Research Assistant in the Auditory Perception Lab.

Dania RishiqDania Rishiq, Ph.D.

Research Audiologist, Audiology Research

Dania Rishiq is a Research Audiologist at Starkey Hearing Technologies. She joined the company in 2013. She received her doctoral degree from the University of Tennessee. Her doctoral research focused on the speech evoked physiologic responses and the temporal aspects of processing of sounds and speech through the auditory nervous system in disordered and aging populations. Her recent research interests include varied aspects of hearing aid research such as outcome measure development, ANL, tinnitus technological solutions, algorithm and software research and investigating the effects of hearing aid processing on speech perception.

Andrea PociechaAndrea Pociecha, Au.D.

Competitive Information Specialist, Clinical Comparative Research

Andrea Pociecha joined Starkey Hearing Technologies in 2004. She manages archives of competitive information and a competitive device library. She also supports competitive benchmarking efforts throughout the entire company. Andrea has held clinical positions within hospitals and private clinics working with a wide variety of different hearing aid manufacturers. Andrea obtained her Au.D. from Central Michigan University.

Krishna RodemerkKrishna S. Rodemerk, Au.D., CCC-A, FAAA

Research Audiologist, Clinical Comparative Research

Krishna S. Rodemerk is a Research Audiologist in the Clinical Comparative Research group at Starkey Hearing Technologies. She joined the company in February 2011. Prior to joining Starkey Hearing Technologies, Krishna worked in a private practice as a clinical audiologist in Rochester, NY. She earned her clinical doctorate from the University at Buffalo where she also served as a research assistant in the Center for Hearing and Deafness. Her primary research focuses are modern hearing aid technology and tinnitus.

Sandy JobesSandy Jobes

Research Administrator, Audiology Research/Clinical Comparative Research

Sandy Jobes joined Starkey Hearing Technologies in October 2009. At Starkey Hearing Technologies, Sandy currently supports the research team as a Research Administrator, providing project management support, administrative support, and research study recruitment to five research departments. Before joining the research team, Sandy supported Starkey Hearing Technologies' Audiology and Education department as an Administrative Coordinator. Prior to joining Starkey Hearing Technologies, Sandy managed retail operations and marketing programs at several Fortune 500 corporations in the Twin Cities.

Amanda WolfeAmanda Wolfe, Au.D., CCC-A, FAAA

Research Audiologist, Clinical Product Research

Amanda Wolfe joined Starkey Hearing Technologies in 2011, shortly after obtaining her Au.D. at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. As part of the Clinical Product Research team, Amanda conducts Alpha and Beta clinical trials on emerging technologies and fitting processes.

Alyson GruhlkeAlyson Gruhlke, Au.D., CCC-A, FAAA

Research Audiologist, Clinical Product Research

Alyson Gruhlke joined Starkey Hearing Technologies in 2013. As a research audiologist on the Clinical Product Research team, Alyson conducts Alpha and Beta clinical trials on emerging technology and fitting processes. She obtained her Au.D. from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where she worked as a research assistant in the Clinical Sensory Physiology Research Laboratory at Boys Town National Research Hospital. Prior to joining Starkey Hearing Technologies, she completed her fourth-year externship at the Medical University of South Carolina, where she worked as a research assistant for the Hearing Research Program.

Courtney CoburnCourtney Coburn, Au.D., CCC-A, FAAA

Research Audiologist, Clinical Product Research

Courtney Coburn joined Starkey Hearing Technologies as a Research Audiologist in 2013. As a member of the Clinical Product Research group, Courtney conducts Alpha and Beta trials to evaluate emerging technologies and fitting processes. She received her Au.D. from Northwestern University, where she was a member of the Psychoacoustics Laboratory and involved in research investigating auditory perceptual learning. Prior to joining Starkey, Courtney completed her clinical externship at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in Pittsburgh, PA. Courtney is also active in professional organizations, serving as a member of the Student Academy of Audiology (SAA) National Board of Directors from 2012-2013 and as the SAA Programs Subcommittee Chair. She is currently a member of the SAA Advisory Committee for the American Academy of Audiology.

Adriana GoyetteAdriana Goyette Au.D., FAAA

Research Audiologist, Audiology Research

Adriana Goyette joined Starkey Hearing Technologies as a Laboratory Audiologist in 2013. She received her undergraduate training in Speech-Pathology and Audiology at the Federal University of Bahia in Salvador, Brazil and her doctorate in Audiology at Nova Southeastern University in Davie, Florida. During her doctorate she worked as a research assistant investigating new methods of tinnitus testing. She joined the Starkey Audiology Research team after working in a private practice in Sacramento, California where she gained a great deal of experience fitting Starkey products.

Ryan BeckerRyan Becker

Research Assistant, Clinical Product Research/Audiology Research

Ryan Becker holds the position as the Starkey Hearing Technologies Research Scholar and assists in Clinical Product Research and Audiology Research. He is pursuing his Au.D. at the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities, MN.

Ryan IreyRyan Irey, M.A.

Technical Coordinator of Laboratories, Clinical Comparative Research

Ryan Irey joined Starkey Hearing Technologies as an intern in 2011, and now works as the Technical Coordinator of Laboratories. Ryan's research interests include temporal fine structure processing, informational masking, auditory stream segregation, and cognitive aspects of hearing aid performance. Ryan obtained his B.A. in Music from the University of St. Thomas, and his M.A. in Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences from the University of Minnesota.

Sarah SloanSarah Sloan, Au.D., CCC-A

Clinical Audiologist, Clinical Product Research/Audiology Research

Sarah Sloan joined Starkey Hearing Technologies in 2013. She is responsible for the audiological evaluation of potential research participants and for supervising Au.D. students. She obtained her M.A. in Communication Disorders and her Au.D. at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. Prior to joining Starkey Hearing Technologies, she was a clinical audiologist at multi-specialty and Ear, Nose and Throat clinics in the Twin Cities and in Duluth.

Sarah SloanJustin R. Burwinkel, Au.D., FAAA

Doctor of Audiology, Audiology Research

Justin Burwinkel joined Starkey Hearing Technologies as a Laboratory Researcher in 2014. He received both his undergraduate training in Communication Sciences and Disorders and his Au.D. from the University of Cincinnati. Justin holds special certification in Animal Audiology, and he was a contributing member of the internationally renowned UC FETCH~LAB (Facility for the Education and Training of Canine Hearing & Laboratory for Animal Bioacoustics). His doctoral studies also included an investigation into the characteristics of underwater hearing in working divers. Justin joined the Starkey Audiology Research team after completing the Starkey Entrepreneurial Audiology Program and having received mentorship in a successful private practice in Lafayette, Indiana.