Former University of Florida master's student, Lieutenant Commander Michael McManus, has won an Oticon Focus on People Award. This award celebrates the accomplishments and contributions of outstanding individuals with hearing loss.
Lt. Cmdr. McManus, who has mild hearing loss, served in the Marine Corps in Kuwait during the first Gulf War and was deployed multiple times with the U.S. Navy Seabees during Operation Iraqi Freedom. He was initially hesitant to wear hearing aids, but the ability to hear mission-critical information was far more important than any stigma associated with hearing aids.
Today, Lt. Cmdr. McManus is actively pursuing a personal campaign to reduce the stigma of hearing loss in the military, aiming to serve as a role model and mentor. For this reason, he won first place.