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The UNC School of Medicine’s Department of Health Sciences has named Hannah Siburt, AuD, PhD as the incoming director of the Division of Speech and Hearing Sciences, a role she assumed July 1, 2022.

“I am excited and honored to assume the role of division director for Speech and Hearing Sciences,” said Siburt. “The division has a long tradition of excellence in training Audiologists, Speech Language Pathologists and researchers. I look forward to continuing this mission, educating future leaders in our field.”

Siburt received her B.S. in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Radford University, then received both her AuD and PhD in Audiology from the University of Florida. She joined the Division of Speech and Hearing Sciences faculty in July 2017 and has served as assistant professor, the AuD Clinical Education Coordinator and most recently the AuD Program Coordinator in the division. Her main areas of clinical and research interests include adult and pediatric diagnostics, diagnosis, and intervention for children who are deaf or hard of hearing including those with co-occurring conditions, audiologic rehabilitation and graduate clinical education.

Currently, Siburt is the project director the NC-LEND Pediatric Audiology supplemental grant which is a 5-year training grant that funds four Audiology students in the division. Her ongoing research also includes acting as Co-Investigator and UNC Site PI for a R21- National Institute of Health – NIDCD grant titled, “Falls Related Injuries and Hearing Loss: Understanding the role of hearing healthcare intervention.”

“I am extremely excited about Dr. Siburt assuming the Director role for the Division of Speech and Hearing Sciences. Dr. Siburt is an accomplished clinician and educator who has all of the capabilities to be a great leader for the Division,” said Dr. Stephen Hooper, Associate Dean of Medicine and Chair of the Department of Health Sciences. “The Division of Speech and Hearing Sciences, which includes our doctoral program in Audiology, our doctoral program in Speech and Language, a Master’s Degree in Speech and Language, and an undergraduate minor in Speech and Language is one or our largest and oldest programs in the department, and Dr. Siburt is the right person to continue to advance the excellence of these programs on the national stage and to explore new possibilities of program growth and expansion. I am looking forward to working with Dr. Siburt as she begins her new leadership role in the Department and the School of Medicine.”

Sharon W. Williams, PhD, CCC-A has served as division director since July 2017 and continued to foster the division’s top-10 ranked AuD and Speech-Language Pathology programs during her tenure. She began phased retirement on July, 1, 2022 and will continue in her role as associate professor within the division during her phased retirement.

“It was a privilege to shepherd our division during the past five years, which included planned transitions and changes along with unplanned transitions and changes necessitated by the pandemic,” said Williams. “Our successes and stewardship of our degree programs were a direct reflection of the dedication and commitment of our outstanding faculty. I am excited to begin phased retirement and look forward to Dr. Siburt’s leadership.”

“I would like to sincerely thank Dr. Sharon Williams for her leadership of the Division over the past five years,” said Hooper. “Dr. Williams has guided the Division with a steady hand as we were confronted with the challenges of COVID, and her leadership was much needed and appreciated during this time. Despite these challenges, our programs remained nationally ranked in the top 10, research funding increased, and the clinical services in Audiology remained strong. I am most appreciative of her service and her leadership, and I wish her well as she transitions into phased retirement.”

The division of Speech and Hearing Sciences began in 1969 under the leadership of Dr. Robert Peters in response to a need for well-educated professionals to treat a broad array of communication disorders. More than 20 full and part-time faculty members hold appointments in the division, and many others serve as clinical preceptors and research mentors. The division is one of seven within the Department of Health Sciences, located within UNC’s School of Medicine.