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is acoustics to be found in each of these interests. I’ve been learning to read and write Sanskrit in preparation for studying the language in depth. I would like to be able to read the ancient Indian texts such as the Vedas and original yoga texts. So much of yoga and medita- tion uses sound healing as part of the practice. Ancient Indian texts acknowledge the importance of acoustics. For example, Sanskrit is a vibrational language in that the way you pronounce a word is of utmost importance in conveying its meaning. Also, the alphabet order comes from how the sounds are formed in the vocal tract, from back to front. I’m fascinated by how ancient cultures understood acoustics and would love to study that more.
How do you handle rejection?
I try to figure out why the rejection was good for me: what did I need to learn and how do I need to improve? It may take some time to get over the initial hurt, but then it is truly a great learning experience. In the past, I have interviewed poorly. I realized that just because I knew what was needed for the position, I may not have communicated that properly or may not have completely understood what was expected of me. What helped me was taking classes on communication, finding my natural talents, and understanding where I needed to improve professionally. Most workplaces have good professional development support. I think that continuous train- ing in professional development is necessary to enjoy your career.
What are you proudest of in your career?
What drove me to be an acoustician was the desire to do something medically related without becoming a physi- cian. I wasn’t crazy about biology but wanted to be in a healing profession. I loved Star Trek, especially when I was younger, and the idea that you could run a small device over a body and immediately know what was wrong was magical and inspiring to me. Ultrasound is that magic. It’s amazing how many applications ultra- sound is used for, both diagnostically and therapeutically.
A career in ultrasound within the Department of Health and Human Services has allowed me to fulfill that desire and so much more. I’m proud that I work toward pro- moting and protecting public health.
What is the biggest mistake you’ve ever made?
I don’t think I’ve made serious mistakes, but I do regret times during my career when I have let myself feel stag-
nant. I feel like I wasted time by not finding ways to be more motivated. Once I realized that it was a fear of failure or a lack of confidence that was hindering me, I started to look for training opportunities to help me develop further my skills in leadership, writing, and com- municating more effectively, to name a few.
What advice do you have for
budding acousticians?
Do what you love. It’s not a cliché. Take some time to find the right advisor and the right educational program.
There are so many great options for both mentors and acoustics programs. Come to meetings of the Acoustical Society of America (ASA) and talk to people. The ASA is a wonderful organization for budding acousticians because many professionals there started coming to the ASA as students or young professionals themselves and truly understand what budding acousticians need and how to help them.
Have you ever experienced imposter syndrome? How did you deal with that if so? I’ve experienced a lack of confidence that has made me feel like an imposter. There have been a few times during my academic and professional career when I have let underconfidence get in the way of my profes- sional development. What I have done to overcome those moments or times was to either work harder or find techniques to help, from meditation to professional development classes.
What do you want to accomplish within the next 10 years or before retirement?
I want to inspire as many budding acousticians as I can.
At the FDA, we try to create opportunities in ultrasound research for student fellows and volunteers. I also want to share my love of acoustics with my dance students. They are mostly girls, and I love engaging with them about their future career aspirations. I want to continue to learn and apply that knowledge in the field of medical ultra- sound and public health. I would also like to continue studying acoustics in other areas of my life such as the study of Sanskrit and meditation.
Bibliography
Maruvada, S., Harris, G. R., Herman, B. A., and King, A. L. (2007). A procedure for acoustic power calibration of high-intensity focused ultrasound transducers using a radiation force technique. The Jour- nal of Acoustical Society of America 121, 1434-1439.
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