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50th biennial conference of the National Association of the Deaf

Gallaudet students, faculty, staff, and alumni were well-represented at the 50th biennial conference of the National Association of the Deaf (NAD), held July 6 to 10 in Philadelphia, Pa.

Many members of the Gallaudet community were on the conference program as presenters or facilitators; several also served as delegates or affiliated group representatives during the association’s business meetings. More than a dozen alumni received Recognition Awards. Two alumni–Margie English and Richard McCowin–were elected to four-year regional representative positions on the NAD Board of Directors.
The Gallaudet University College Bowl team, made up of five current students, continued its dominance of the biennial academic competition held Thursday evening. A pep rally sponsored by the Office of Alumni Relations started the Bison spirit flowing prior to the game. Director of Alumni Relations and GUAA Executive Director Sam Sonnenstrahl emceed, President T. Alan Hurwitz gave encouraging remarks, and College Bowl team coach Robert Weinstock introduced the players.

When it came time for the match, the Gallaudet contenders overcame teams from California State University, Northridge, and the Rochester Institute of Technology, winning its fourth straight match and sixth of the last seven.

Also during the conference, more than 300 attendees flocked to a breakfast reception sponsored by the Office of the President and coordinated by the Office of Alumni Relations.

The newly-selected Miss Deaf America is Rachel Mazique, a Gallaudet alumna now studying for her Ph.D. in English literature at the University of Texas at Austin. The two runners-up in the competition are current Gallaudet students. Two other current students and one alumna also represented their states in the Miss Deaf America Ambassador Program.

NAD Chief Executive Officer Nancy Bloch, a Gallaudet alumna who has served in the position for 18 years and will retire in March 2011, was honored by the creation of an endowed fund in her name to provide stipends for interns at the 130-year-old association. Bloch’s successor is Howard Rosenblum, an attorney from Chicago, Ill.
In addition, a large contingent of students and young alumni attended the third annual Deaf Youth USA (DYUSA) meeting, held at Drexel University, prior to the NAD conference. Leah Katz-Hernandez, a 2010 alumna, who was part of the DYUSA founding committee in 2008, was named executive director.
–Robert Weinstock

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