WMU News

Veteran WMU researcher Hanley honored

Feb. 7, 2002

KALAMAZOO -- A longtime Western Michigan University researcher in the field of communication sciences and disorders and chairperson of the Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology is the winner of Western Michigan University's 2001 Distinguished Service Award.

Dr. John "Mick" Hanley will officially be presented with the award during WMU Academic Convocation ceremonies that begin at 5 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 7, in the Kirsch Auditorium of the Fetzer Center.

Hanley, who was recommended for the honor by his colleagues at both WMU and at other institutions around the nation, has been on the WMU faculty since 1980, serving as department chairperson since 1990. An authority in the areas of stuttering and fluency disorders in children, Hanley was chosen to receive the award from campuswide nominations. Selection is based on such criteria as: service through innovative and effective programs; service in areas that contribute to the growth and stature of the University; and service that extends the impact and presence of the University into the larger community. He will receive a plaque and a $1,500 honorarium.

Hanley's management of WMU's speech pathology and audiology program was singled out by two departmental colleagues in a letter nominating him for the award.

"As chairperson of this department, Dr. Hanley consistently exhibits the attributes of a fine administrator," they wrote. "He has a firm grasp on all aspects of departmental operation-academic, research and clinical-and provides just the right amount of support to faculty members who have responsibilities in these areas.

"He maintains a clear sense of all important principals and developments without losing track of procedural details, thus achieving a view of the forest and the trees at the same time," they continued. "Dr. Hanley also has an excellent understanding of how to accomplish group goals, and he has the drive and enthusiasm to keep a project moving."

Nominators from other institutions cited Hanley's research and his many activities in professional associations, including his service as president and board member in the Council of Academic Programs in Communication Sciences and Disorders.

"Dr. Hanley's research garners national attention," wrote one nominator. "He is well known and respected for the thoroughness and excellence of his work in fluency disorders. He collaborates with Western Michigan colleagues and shares his expertise with them, but he also has a strong national network of the most respected researchers in the area of fluency with whom he presents and publishes. Mick has earned the respect of scientists and clinicians in communicative sciences and disorders nationally and internationally. His reputation is so strong that WMU's presence is constantly felt and regarded also as a strong national institution."

The nominator also noted Hanley's work with the council as "a frequent contributor to important discussions regarding future graduate programs in our discipline as well as serving in several appointed positions."

Another nominator also pointed to Hanley's work with the council, saying, "He has served as a very effective member of the executive board and done a good job with moving the council's agenda forward. He was able to deal with difficult issues with fairness and able to prevent division from developing. Mick's leadership style focused the competing interests to look at the big picture rather than letting lesser issues cause division."

Another nominator said that Hanley has done much to help improve the lives of others.

"Professor Hanely has established himself as a thinking, active, positive contributor to the discipline of communication sciences disorders," the nominator said. "He brings the perspective of a clinician with considerable experience in the treatment of stuttering, the unique knowledge gained from over a decade of services as a department chair and a passion for human causes befitting a caring individual who believes the world around him can be improved."

Hanley earned his doctorate at the University of Iowa in 1980. He received his master's degree at the University of Montana in 1972 and his bachelor's degree from Western Montana University in 1967.

Media contact: Mark Schwerin, 269 387-8400, mark.schwerin@wmich.edu

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