“During my years at Rush, I established the connections within the profession that helped propel my professional career. My boss, friend and mentor, Laurel Christensen, was my professor at Rush. With 100% certainty, I can say that without Rush and the connections provided through the wide range of dynamic faculty, I would not be where I am,” says Stephen A. Hallenbeck, MS, AuD.
Starting with a background in music/business from Elmhurst College, Hallenbeck graduated from Rush University with a master’s degree in Audiology in 2003 and a doctor of Audiology degree in 2005. In 2011 he was honored with the Rush University Distinguished Alum Award, and in 2014 he received the Illinois Academy of Audiology President’s Award. Currently Hallenbeck is a Senior Audiologist II at GN ReSound in Glenview, IL. He is also Adjunct Faculty for the Department of Communication Disorders and Sciences at Rush.
“In addition to the professional connections, the education at Rush called for, and in turn, instilled a work ethic founded upon critical thinking and applying creative solutions to problem solving. From that perspective, Rush not only provided the opportunity to open the door, but also galvanized the resolve to hang in for the long haul.
"After class only a few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to demo the LiNX, a new hearing instrument developed at GN ReSound, for the students in my class. The reaction was fabulous. The excitement generated from that brief demo to me said: ‘They get it!’ This generation of professionals and the generations to follow, are completely at home in this technological environment. They recognize how things like an iPhone have enriched their lives and they get the endless possibilities of how the iPhone and hearing aid can be integrated. Needless to say, being able to share that demo with students was a chance to take the topics of the day out of the text book and classroom and move them into real life. The kind of situation doesn't happen often and it's events like those which make me value the interaction Rush has allowed me to have with future generations of audiologists.”
Hallenbeck explained that he was personally involved in the development of the LiNX and that the experience challenged him to reshape his concept of health care. “Undoubtedly, this ranks among the most rewarding professional experiences in my career thus far,” says Hallenbeck.
Hallenbeck would advise future audiologists, “In everything you do, use all your talents and then the path will make its way for you … When I originally went into audiology, one of my main aspirations was to leave a world that was almost purely creative and enter a professional world that was more structured and scientific. What I found was that these separate worlds do not exist, and using creative talents in a more scientific discipline really shakes things up a little. The fun thing for me over the years has been to combine both of these skill sets into a career that serves both very well.”
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Photo Caption: Stephen A. Hallenbeck, class of 2003 and 2005, Audiology program, Department of Communication Disorders and Sciences.