Robert E. Hanyak ’79, AuD started at Pacific as a pre-pharmacy student. When he needed to select an elective, Dr. Hanyak’s advisor, Ralph L. Saroyan ’64, RPh, recommended that he take a speech-language pathology course. It was in that class that he found his calling. Changing his major marked the beginning of an illustrious career in speech-language pathology and audiology.
Dr. Hanyak served at Pacific for 32 years. His many roles included associate professor, chair of the Department of Speech-Language Pathology and founding chair of Pacific’s doctor of audiology (AuD) program. Through his insight and creativity, the design for the Chan Family Health Sciences Learning Center and Clinics came to fruition. He also was instrumental in designing the clinic and classroom spaces for the AuD program in San Francisco.
“Pacific will always be in my heart,” said Dr. Hanyak, who has many fond memories of his time as a student. “The most important one was meeting my wife, Martha [’78], in 1978.”
“I really appreciated the support of the speech-language pathology faculty, especially Dr. Roy Timmons and Miss Virginia Puich, and their commitment to student success,” he said. “When I joined them as a faculty colleague in 1985, I strived to maintain this same faculty commitment to our students.”
“Pacific is a great institution which has an important role in educating and mentoring the future leaders in their disciplines.”
He shared that one of the highlights of the year is Commencement. “I enjoy seeing my former students walk across the stage as new colleagues,” Dr. Hanyak said.
Through the years, Dr. Hanyak formed friendships with colleagues from across the University. “Bob is the most efficient, organized, hard-working, generous and helpful person I know,” said Simalee Smith-Stubblefield ’83, MA, CCC-SLP. “I am fortunate to call him a friend!”
Dr. Hanyak said he is honored to be recognized as the 2018 Pacific Speech-Language Pathology Alumni Association Alumnus of the Year. “Pacific is a great institution which has an important role in educating and mentoring the future leaders in their disciplines,” he said. “I encourage all alumni to support Pacific by all means possible.”
Dr. Hanyak and his wife are avid travelers and they recently took a trip to New Zealand and Australia. In August 2018, he retired from University of the Pacific for new adventures.
By Anne Marie H. Bergthold