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ACADEMICS | Liberal arts and sciences at gallaudet
You can explore a variety of professional and technical fields.
You will become involved with the community and explore global issues.
You will gain an education that employers value.
Embrace the human experience, express yourself, and contribute to the cultural dialogue in the School of Arts and Humanities. With majors and minors in the fields of Art, Deaf Studies, History, International Studies, Philosophy, Religion, and Theater Arts, we can’t wait to see what you will bring to the table.
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Dr. Teresa Blankmeyer Burke
As the first signing deaf woman to ever earn a PhD in philosophy, Dr. Teresa Blankmeyer Burke welcomes others to follow in her footsteps. “This field is not only about hearing dead white old men,” says Burke, who focuses on the ethics of sign language interpreting and how human genome editing approaches deafness — a topic she’s consulted on for the United Nations, the World Health Organization, and the National Council on Disability.
There’s no better place to do this than at Gallaudet. “I get to work with smart, engaged students who deeply understand the research I do,” she says. “I don’t have to spend 20 minutes explaining the context of a project.” Burke is proud to direct the School of Arts and Humanities, overseeing programs that contribute so much to the visibility of the deaf community on campus and beyond. What she refers to as her “deaf, flourishing life” also includes swimming, hiking, biking, and visiting her adopted home state of New Mexico.
Learn what it takes to build a business, become a leader, and impact society at the School of Civic Leadership, Business, and Social Change. Lead the way in our Accounting, Business Administration, Communication Studies, Economics and Finance, Government, Risk Management and Insurance, Social Work, and Sociology majors and minors.
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The first time Emilia Chukwuma, ’85, ever saw anyone sign, it was on the Gallaudet campus. She had just arrived from her native Nigeria, where she had graduated high school by reading teachers’ lips and classmates’ notes. “I started here with nothing. I believe everybody needs to have opportunities to grow,” says Chukwuma, who went on to earn a Masters of Accounting at the University of Baltimore and then became a Certified Public Accountant.
She has put those skills to use over the past four decades guiding students who are figuring out their own career paths. “It’s not just teaching. We talk about their life and their future,” she says. As Director of the School of Civic Leadership, Business, and Social Change, she oversees programs that are in high demand in the job market.
Chukwuma wants to encourage this next generation not just to excel, but also to give back to the community — something she models by running a volunteer tax preparation service, which helps hundreds of people in need each year.
The School of Human Services and Sciences provides a dynamic learning environment committed to excellence in curriculum, research leadership, and preparing graduates to work with deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing clients to solve global challenges and promote equity, diversity, and inclusion for all.
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Dr. Daniel Koo
“I’ve always been fascinated with the brain, and how we use and acquire languages,” says Dr. Daniel Koo, G-’97, Director of the School of Human Services and Sciences. After completing his PhD at the University of Rochester, he jumped into MRI research at Georgetown University, focusing on how deaf people process information.
It’s work he has built on at Gallaudet, which he views as the ideal environment for these studies. “Gallaudet is so diverse, with deaf people from around the world,” Koo says. Access to this population, expert faculty, and specialized equipment opens up opportunities you won’t find anywhere else.
Whether students are interested in psychology, audiology, or any of the other subjects housed within the School of Human Services and Sciences, Koo wants them to recognize the power of these professions: “We train students to change people’s lives.” He is a big sports fan — especially basketball and football — and he likes to incorporate games into his classes as much as possible.
Become an agent for positive change and increase the number of deaf and hard of hearing professionals solving global challenges. Discover the possibilities with majors and minors in American Sign Language, English, International Development, Interpretation, Linguistics, and World Languages and Cultures.
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“Once you go to Gallaudet, it becomes part of you,” says Dr. Helen Thumann, G-’91, who comes from a proud family of Bison alumni. As director of the School of Language, Education, and Culture, she helps students take their place in the global community. “We’re really focused on not accepting the status quo, and being people who make change,” she says.
Thumann, who earned a PhD from the University of California-Berkeley in adult literacy, has dedicated her career to improving learning outcomes. At Gallaudet, she teamed up with Laurene Simms to introduce the University’s bilingual approach, which treats American Sign Language and English as equal languages in the classroom. It is critical to help more people recognize the value of ASL in schools, Thumann adds.
She loves to teach — whether it’s an intro course for undergraduates or a seminar for soon-to-be PhDs — and always keeps her office stocked with her students’ favorite kinds of candy.
Discover your role in the ever-evolving world of science and technology at the School of Science, Technology, Accessibility, Mathematics, and Public Health. See where you fit in among our Biology, Chemistry, Information Technology, Mathematics, and Public Health majors and minors.
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Dr. Caroline Solomon
Gallaudet is home to the largest concentration of deaf scientists in the world. “Where else can deaf students find this many role models?” asks Dr. Caroline Solomon, who directs the School of Science, Technology, Accessibility, Mathematics, and Public Health (STAMP). Laboratory spaces here are specially designed for visual learning, and programs are geared to issues facing the next generation, she adds.
Solomon, who earned her PhD in Biological Oceanography from the University of Maryland, strives to create hands-on research opportunities for students, such as working alongside her to study the Anacostia River. The data they collect helps the D.C. government determine which areas are safe to use and how to improve water quality. “This allows us to give back to our greater community and contribute to science,” Solomon says.
A former collegiate swimmer at Harvard University, Solomon was recently inducted into both the USA Deaf Sports Federation Hall of Fame and the Greater Washington Jewish Sports Hall of Fame. But these days, she gets most of her exercise on bike rides.
At Gallaudet University, you become connected, included, and inspired on day one — so you have a team to support you for years to come.
Gallaudet University, chartered in 1864, is a private university for deaf and hard of hearing students.
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