Alumni Spotlight-Chris Araj

June 2019

Chris Araj '07 named Future Leader of Audiology

Chris Araj graduated from Lamar University in 2007 with a bachelor's degree in Communication Disorders and in 2011, obtained a doctorate in Audiology at Towson University in Maryland. During his time at LU, he served as President of the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association (NSSLHA) for two years, was involved in the Student Government Association (SGA), and had the opportunity to study abroad where he studied aural rehabilitation in the United Kingdom, which is one of his favorite memories about the time he spent as a student at Lamar University.

Throughout his collegiate career, he met many influential people, but there was one person who stood out the most. "All of my professors were influential, but one person in particular was Laura Polich, Ph.D. Since she is dual certified in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, she was able to give me a unique perspective when I was deciding on my future career path," said Araj. His original plan was not to go into Audiology. At first, he wanted to become an interpreter for the Deaf, later he was interested in Speech-Language Pathology, and then ultimately decided on Audiology. Araj says that his professors at Lamar University did a wonderful job of preparing him for his future studies and career. "LU prepared me for graduate school by laying the foundation for a future career in Audiology. I was able to take an advanced Audiology course at the undergraduate level which gave me a jumpstart to my doctoral work in Audiology," Araj said.

After graduating from Towson University, he worked at the Texas medical Center before opening up his own practice, Pearland Hearing Aids & Audiology. "My father was an entrepreneur. He always taught me it's better to work for yourself than someone else and I couldn't agree more! Opening my own Audiology practice has been the best career move I've made yet," he said. This venture proved to be a successful one when Araj was named a 2018 Jerger Future Leader of Audiology by the American Academy of Audiology. The award was presented to him at the Jerger Future Leaders of Audiology Conference which was launched in 2008 as a way to develop future leaders of Audiology. The conference takes place every other year at the American Academy of Audiology headquarters in Reston, VA. The American Academy of Audiology is the world's largest professional Audiology organization, has more than 12,000 active members, and is dedicated to providing quality hearing care services through professional development, education, research, and increased public awareness of hearing and balance disorders.

When asked how it felt to be named a "Future Leader of Audiology" Araj responded, "It was such an honor, of course. After serving as President of the Texas Academy of Audiology, it was humbling to be recognized on a national level by the American Academy of Audiology."

In the future, Araj hopes to grow the Audiology services available in the South Houston area by opening another clinic location. He also hopes to serve the profession on a larger scale by being involved with national associations to help further the field of Audiology. His advice to aspiring Audiologists is to "go after your goals." He said that he believed in himself that he could achieve his goals and that they would work out well for his future, and he did not let anything get in his way.

Araj ended his interview with a quote from William Arthur Ward, "If you can imagine it, you can achieve it. If you can dream it, you can become it."

 

Interview by: Sarah Truncale, Public Relations Intern, LU Office of Alumni Affairs