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JoAnn Benfield, ’06, ’09, & G-’11, has been named director of the Gallaudet University Regional Center-South, hosted at Austin Community College (ACC), Riverside Campus. Benfield’s appointment was jointly announced on June 10, 2016 by Dr. Matthew Daude Laurents, dean of Arts and Humanities at ACC, and Lisa Jacobs, ’81, director of the Office of National Outreach at Gallaudet University.

“We are excited to have JoAnn on board on a permanent basis as she has worked with the center for about three years. She has a wealth of knowledge about Gallaudet and the center, and has contributed significantly to the center’s growth. We look forward to more exciting initiatives from JoAnn and the center,” said Jacobs.

Benfield has served as the center’s interim director since August 2014, and previously served as its program coordinator. She has taught English for Speakers of Other Languages at ACC, and English and theater at the Texas School for the Deaf. Prior to moving to Texas, she worked as a paraprofessional at the Kansas School for the Deaf.

Benfield is an accomplished theatrical writer, American Sign Language translator and coach, performer, dancer, choreographer, and director with many stage and film credits. She has coached the award-winning Texas School for the Deaf cheer team since 2011. She holds bachelor’s degrees in English, secondary education, and production and performance arts, and a master’s degree in deaf education, all from Gallaudet University.

Austin Community College is a nationally recognized two-year college serving Central Texas. ACC is focused on student success and providing affordable, flexible pathways to help students reach their education goals, learn new job skills, or advance their career. The college currently enrolls more than 43,000 credit students and serves an additional 15,000 students each year through noncredit programs.

The Gallaudet University Regional Center-South is one of Gallaudet’s four regional centers devoted to providing services, programs, and resources for deaf and hard of hearing individuals and their communities. It serves Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Puerto Rico, and the United States Virgin Islands.

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