Science Student Spotlight: Madeleine Campbell

May 1, 2023

A former audio engineer seeks to understand how people with hearing loss perceive and enjoy music.

Headshot of Madeleine Campbell, Audiology

Madeleine Campbell, a second-year student in the Graduate Center’s Audiology doctoral program (Au.D.) was recently awarded a T35 Research Traineeship by the National Institute for Deafness and Communication Disorders. She will spend the summer exploring music and spatial perception in individuals with cochlear implants as a trainee in the Cochlear Implant Research Lab at Vanderbilt University, led by René Gifford.

For her Au.D. capstone, she plans to delve into the intricacies of panning, a common tool used by audio engineers to manipulate the spatial distribution of sound sources. Guided by her mentor, Professor Meital Avivi-Reich (GC/Brooklyn, Audiology), she will investigate how panning values in audio software compare to the perceived location of sounds for listeners with normal hearing. She is also studying how the spatial configuration of multi-talker conversations impacts speech perception.

Learn More About the Doctoral Program in Audiology

Campbell’s clinical interests include diagnostic audiology, auditory processing disorders, and optimization of hearing devices and assistive listening technologies.

She sees significant overlap between her former and current career paths. After graduating from Duquesne University with a Bachelor of Music in 2013, she spent eight years working across the realms of live and recorded sound. She recorded bands and musical ensembles, mixed live sound for international concert tours, and produced and edited radio and podcast programs.

She grew interested in the audiology field in 2019 when her mother sustained a traumatic brain injury, which led to asymmetrical hearing loss and difficulty localizing sound. She realized that her that her mother’s hearing aid was a tiny sound system, akin to the massive sound systems in the performance venues where she worked at the time. With that revelation, she decided to pursue an Au.D.

Since joined the Audiology program in 2021 and has been busy ever since. She co-presented with Professor Barbara Weinstein (Audiology, Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences) at the New York State Speech Language and Hearing Association Convention on the so-called “5Ms” of geriatric health care, which are mind, mobility, medication, multi-complexity, and matters most. This past April, she presented in the student-led grand rounds at the American Academy of Audiology conference in Seattle, Washington, focusing on a clinical case involving considerations for auditory processing disorder evaluation amid evolving middle ear pathology.

This semester, under the supervision of Professor Dorothy DiToro (GC/Brooklyn, Audiology), she collaborated with members of her cohort to start the CUNY Au.D. student outreach program, aimed at educating high school and college students, particularly those from populations historically underrepresented in health care, about audiology as a rewarding and sustainable career path. This work is guided by the need for greater racial equity and representation among clinicians and researchers in audiology. 

She has also taken on several student leadership positions. This academic year, she is serving as vice president of CUNY’s Student Academy of Audiology (SAA) and chair of the virtual education series for the national SAA, bringing accessible and diverse educational programming to audiology students nationwide. In March, she was elected to serve on the board of directors of the national SAA for the 2023–2024 term. She will co-chair the Programs Committee.

She currently interns at Tuned, a hearing telehealth company with several CUNY Au.D. alumni and faculty at the helm which offers hearing health care as a benefit for employers.

After graduation, Campbell intends to begin her career in a hospital or laboratory setting. She hopes to contribute to the field both through research and compassionate patient-centered care.