Scientia 2008: Sara Ann Lisiewski

Sara Ann Lisiewski is receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders, with an emphasis in Deaf Studies. After her graduation, she plans to attend James Madison University in Virginia to pursue a doctoral degree in Clinical Audiology. She is a Marywood Presidential Scholar as well as a member of Delta Epsilon Sigma, Kappa Gamma Pi, and the Marywood Speech and Hearing Club. Sara enjoyed the challenge of the Honors Program and the opportunity to explore a specific topic in Audiology which she hopes to further research in graduate school. She would like to give special thanks to her thesis advisor, Dr. Sheri Skrutski, for her incredible support and encouragement; her thesis reader, Dr. Edward Crawley, for his enthusiasm and constructive criticism; and to Christina Elvidge, for being a source of guidance since the beginning of Sara’s undergraduate career. Sara would also like to acknowledge the entire faculty of Marywood’s Communication Sciences and Disorders department for their direction. This project would not have been possible without the unwavering encouragement of Sara’s parents, Victor and Julianne, her family, and friend, Cathy Butler. Last but certainly not least, Sara extends sincere gratitude to her fiancé, Colin Conrad, for being an editor, counselor, and altruistic supporter in all of her academic endeavors.

Noise-induced hearing loss and the abuse of mp3 players

Director: Dr. Sheri Skrutski
Reader: Dr. Edward Crawley


Hearing loss due to recreational noise is rapidly developing into a serious dilemma for today’s children and young adults; a population historically unconcerned with this distressing condition. Researchers hypothesize that this recent development is caused by the abuse of mp3 players, a personal music device that has gained widespread popularity due to its typically diminutive size and large file capacity. Maximum output levels far exceed noise level standards, and when combined with certain earphones and background noise, the level of sound pressure affecting an individual’s auditory system can be immense. Consequently, the integrity of one’s nonregenerative cochlear hair cells is vastly compromised. To better provide consumers with an understanding of this problem, basic information regarding the capabilities of mp3 players is discussed, as well as an overview of the anatomy and physiology of the hearing mechanism and noise-induced hearing loss. Three contemporary research articles are explored in length, followed by recommendations for mp3 player and earphone consumers based on this research.

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