In Memoriam, Phillip A. Yantis A Gentleman and a Scholar In Appreciation
In Appreciation  |   June 01, 2003
In Memoriam, Phillip A. Yantis
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Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Hearing & Speech Perception / Hearing Disorders / Healthcare Settings / Professional Issues & Training / In Appreciation
In Appreciation   |   June 01, 2003
In Memoriam, Phillip A. Yantis
The ASHA Leader, June 2003, Vol. 8, 1-9. doi:10.1044/leader.IA.08112003.1
The ASHA Leader, June 2003, Vol. 8, 1-9. doi:10.1044/leader.IA.08112003.1
Phillip A. Yantis, ASHAߣs 1975 president and a 1987 Honoree, died on April 28 of cancer at his home in Seattle, WA. He will be remembered, according to his friend and colleague Fred D. Minifie, as “an impeccably fair human being, one of the nicest and most caring people Iߣve ever known.”
Yantis was born in 1928 in Portland, OR and grew up in Elma and Olympia, WA. He went on to earn his BA (1950) from the University of Washington (UW), and his MA (1952) and PhD (1955) in audiology from the University of Michigan (UM). He spent an additional three years at UM as a research associate in the Physiologic Acoustics Lab of Merle Lawrence where their work led to the description of the phenomenon of aural harmonics, a condition resulting from the overloading of the human ear with loud sound. During this period Yantis also taught courses in audiology and served as director of the Audiology Clinic at UMߣs medical school.
Yantisߣ academic career took him to Western Reserve University in 1960, where he taught audiology and otolaryngology and was director of the department of clinical audiology at the Cleveland Speech and Hearing Center. Then, in 1965, Yantis moved to UW where he became the sole audiologist in the department of speech pathology and audiology and its jack of all audiological trades—he taught every course and supervised all graduate research. At the same time, he also served as director of audiology services at the then Childrenߣs Orthopedic Hospital and Medical Center and as attending audiologist at the UW hospital and was on numerous city, county, and state committees representing audiology.
In 1967, Yantis became director of UWߣs program in speech pathology and audiology, a position he held until 1974. In 1975, the program received full departmental status, thanks in great part to his efforts.
Currently the hearing research community at the UW and Childrenߣs Hospital and Regional Medical Center numbers over 50 individuals—not including students—who are involved in clinical audiology or basic hearing science. “Phil would be the first to argue that it was not his doing,” says his colleague Wesley R. Wilson, professor emeritus of UW. “But his quiet wisdom, his vision, his ability to work successfully with others and to recruit strong people, set the stage for this success.”
An Accomplished Professional
In addition to serving as ASHAߣs 1975 president, Yantis was also the Associationߣs first vice president for planning from 1969–1971. He also served—and left his mark—on many ASHA committees, including the Committee on Clinical Certification that developed new professional certification requirements and procedures, and the Council on Professional Standards in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, and he chaired the Committee on Resolutions, the Committee on Nominations, and the Audit Advisory Group. Yantis was Associate Editor for Hearing for the Journal of Speech and Hearing Research, was on the editorial board of the Archives of Otolaryngology, and served as editorial consultant for several other research journals.
He was active in the Washington Speech-Language-Hearing Association (WSHA), chairing, for example, its Committee on Hearing Aid Licensure, and was a popular invited speaker at many national conferences. Yantis was also a valued consultant to numerous universities, assisting them with the evaluation of their audiology programs.
In addition to being a recipient of the Honors of ASHA, the Associationߣs highest award, Yantis was also an ASHA Fellow and an Honoree of WSHA. He was a scholar who published research papers, book chapters, and a book. He was a devoted teacher and mentor. He was a fine clinician. He was a valued contributor to ASHA and other professional groups. And, above all, says Wesley Wilson, “His quiet wisdom, extreme patience, and ability to express ideas clearly were models to us all. He was a giant of a man in every way—a true gentleman and a scholar.”
Yantis is survived by his wife Elna, three sons, and five grandchildren.
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June 2003
Volume 8, Issue 11