Recently, nearly 120 audiology students from 41 universities in the US and Puerto Rico convened for the 15th Annual Phonak University. Sponsored by Phonak and Advanced Bionics, the yearly event brings together top audiology students, industry experts, and special guest speakers for 3 days of hands-on learning and fun just minutes from the company’s US headquarters in Warrenville, Ill.
Keynote addresses featured guest speakers with diverse yet equally important backgrounds and experiences. Jacob Johnson, MD, one of the nation’s top otolaryngologists, spoke about the larger role audiologists play in not just hearing care but in a patient’s total well-being. Thomas Lang, PhD, senior vice president of Phonak, discussed current industry and technology trends and gave students a glimpse into the future of hearing innovations.
Students also heard from special guest and Founder of Vibe Music Events, Maclain Drake. A lifelong hearing aid wearer, Drake shared his story of growing up with hearing loss and the critical role audiologists played in helping him achieve his success in school and in the entertainment industry. Drake also treated students to a special guest DJ performance at the opening reception.
“It is so rewarding to see student interest in attending Phonak University grow year after year,” said Christine Jones, vice president of Audiology for Phonak US. “This year’s program was filled in just days and one reason it keeps growing is because we take student feedback very seriously and use it to keep improving. Needless to say, I am really impressed with the bright and passionate group of students in attendance who will make up the future of the audiology profession.”
Interactive sessions included getting “hands-on” with various hearing instruments and cochlear implants while other classes discussed life in private practice and the importance of incorporating Family Centered Care. Other activities included career-focused approaches like resume- writing skills, interviewing techniques, and future job opportunities at Phonak and Advanced Bionics.
All students were treated to a VIP tour of Sonova’s Aurora Operations Distribution Center (AODC) in nearby Aurora, Ill, as well as the Phonak Audiology Research Center (PARC) in Warrenville.
“This was more than I could imagine. The amount of knowledge and confidence I gained for my future career is astounding,” wrote one student. Other students commented how helpful it was being exposed to people from so many different areas of audiology.
For more information on Phonak University, visit: https://www.hearphonak.com/phonak-u/