I am pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Poorna Kushalnagar, ’93, Professor of Psychology, as Special Assistant to the Provost for Research and Engagement, beginning on November 23, 2020.

Dr. Kushalnagar joined Gallaudet University in 2016 and brings over 20 years of experience in deaf-related research to her new position. She currently directs the Center for Deaf Health Equity and conducts research on the population health and health disparities in the deaf and hard of hearing community.

Dr. Kushalnagar served as a Deaf and Hard of Hearing Institute Fellow at the Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risks at the University of Texas at Austin in 2015, was selected as featured grantee by the Health Communications and Informatics Branch of the National Cancer Institute in 2017, and was honored by the American Psychological Association as one of the 25 women of color psychologists firsts unveiled at the Sixth Annual STEAM Fair and Reception hosted by the Women’s Congressional Policy Institute in conjunction with the Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues in 2018. She is the first Deaf woman of color to receive a large research grant from the National Institutes of Health. Since 2016, Dr. Kushalnagar has brought over $3 million in contracts and federal grant awards to Gallaudet University. She is a strategist, implementer, and change-maker.

As Special Assistant to the Provost for Research and Engagement, Dr. Kushalnagar will play a critical role as the university develops areas of strategic focus that draw upon Gallaudet’s historic strengths, and where its expertise crosses schools and disciplinary boundaries. In close collaboration with the Dean of Graduate School, Research and Continuing and Online Education, the Dean of the Faculty, and other university leaders, she will help to build an innovative culture and entrepreneurial climate that incentivizes sponsored research and advances scholarly and creative activities into the real world. Ultimately, Dr. Kushalnagar’s efforts will support the success of Gallaudet’s outstanding faculty and staff.

Please join me in welcoming Dr. Kushalnagar to her new role.


Jeffrey W. Lewis
Interim Provost

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