Areas of Study

Gallaudet community members contribute to academic and scientific research, the arts, community service, international development, and many other areas. “Among Ourselves,” a feature of On the Green, details recent accomplishments.

Works by Visual Language and Visual Learning (VL2) researchers and other members of the Gallaudet community appear in the second issue of Deaf Studies Digital Journal: Articles–Peter Hauser (VL2 affiliate from the Rochester Institute of Technology/National Technical Institute for the Deaf), “Deaf Eyes: Visual Learning and Deaf Gain”; Jill Morford, Joshua Staley, Brian Burns (VL2 affiliates from the University of New Mexico) “Seeing Signs: Language Experience and Handshake Perception”; David Corina and Sarah Hafer (VL2 affiliates from the University of California, Davis), “Evaluating Mirror Neuron System Accounts of Human Language: Evidence from ASL”; Dr. Benjamin Bahan (professor, American Sign Language (ASL) and Deaf Studies Program), “Sensory Orientation (Part 2)”; Dr. Susan Mather (professor, Linguistics Department), “Representing Sounds in Sign Language”; Commentary–Dr. Raylene Paludneviciene (assistant professor, Psychology Department), “Sign Language Assessment”; Cindy Officer (coordinator, Adult Degree Programs), “A Sound Disappearance”; Literature–Elsie Ritchie (graduate student, ASL and Deaf Studies Program), “Campfire Stories”; Tracey Salaway (professor, Art Department), “A Reflection in the Painting”; and Colin Analco (undergraduate student, emerging poet/visual artist), “Snare of the Arrow.”

Dr. Irene W. Leigh, Psychology Department chair, and Rose Marie Toscano, professor of English at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, co-chairs of the Health Care Careers Task Force for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Community, were mentioned in the “Personalities” section of the January 2011 issue of the Monitor on Psychology, a publication of the American Psychological Association. Leigh also recently had a chapter, “Reflections on Identity,” published in Volume Two of the Oxford Handbook of Deaf Studies, Language, and Education (2010 edition). This chapter is a brief synopsis of her book, A Lens on Deaf Identities, that was published by Oxford University Press in 2009. She had another chapter (co-authored with Dr. Robert Pollard of the University of Rochester Medical Center), titled “Deaf Adults and Mental Health,” published in Volume One of the same handbook (2011).

Ulf Hedberg, director of the University Library’s Deaf Collections and Archives, is co-author with Dr. Harlan Lane and Dr. Richard Pillard of The People of the Eye: Deaf Ethnicity and Ancestry, described as the first book-length examination of deaf ethnicity. The book was published in January by Oxford University Press.

A team of Gallaudet faculty and staff presented a symposium to the Linguistic Society of America at its annual meeting in Pittsburgh, Pa. on January 6. During a three-hour session entitled “Presenting Sign Languages to the Public,” the Gallaudet contingent, along with colleagues from the University of Tennessee and the University of California, Davis, shared a lively discussion with linguists from around the country. Dr. Ceil Lucas, a professor in the Linguistics Department, chaired the session and offered an introduction to each of the three components. Jean Lindquist Bergey, outreach liaison and “History Through Deaf Eyes” director in the College of Professional Studies and Outreach, provided an analysis of reactions to public presentation of signing during the planning of the “History Through Deaf Eyes” exhibition. Dr. Jeffrey Davis, an associate professor in the Educational Interpreter Program at the University of Tennessee, offered research in “Hand Talk: Documenting Sign Language among American Indian Nations.” An overview of a large-scale sociolinguistic study of the variety of ASL used by African Americans, usually referred to as “Black ASL,” was presented by Dr. Carolyn McCaskill, professor and deaf studies undergraduate degree program coordinator in the Department of ASL and Deaf Studies; Joseph Hill, a graduate of Gallaudet’s Linguistics Program who is presently an assistant professor in the Department of Specialized Education Services at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro; Lucas; and Dr. Robert Bayley, a professor in the Department of Linguistics at the University of California, Davis.

Dr. Bryan Miller, an associate professor in the Psychology Department, recently authored two chapters, “Hearing loss: A primer for parents and educators” and “Hearing loss: Services to support students,” in a book entitled Helping children at home and school III: Handouts for families and educators, a publication of the National Association of School Psychologists. Miller gave a presentation, “Behavior issues related to deaf and hard of hearing students,” on December 5 to statewide educators of deaf and hard of hearing students at the Illinois Service Resource Center, Chicago, during their quarterly workshop through the Illinois Department of Education.

Dr. Paige Franklin, English Department chair, moderated a panel entitled, “Signs of Writers: American Sign Language and English Bilingualism as a Resource for Authors,” on February 5 at the annual conference of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs in Washington, D.C. The panelists were Dr. Tonya Stremlau, Dr. Christopher Heuer, Dr. Jane Nickerson, and Dr. Sharon Pajka, English Department faculty members. Stremlau, who organized the panel, discussed fiction writing by deaf writers about deaf characters; Heuer discussed teaching poetry composed in English and ASL; Pajka discussed blogging and vlogging to encourage development of composition skills and develop a database of deaf characters in young adult literature; and Nickerson discussed teaching scriptwriting for print and video media.

Dr. Dennis Galvan, professor, and Dr. Caroline Pezzarossi, assistant professor, of the Psychology Department presented a poster, “The Relationship Between Time and Earned Grade on Exams for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students,” at the 33rd National Institute on the Teaching of Psychology in St. Pete Beach, Fla., January 3 to 6. Galvan and Pezzarossi’s study examined the relationship between the length of time needed for completion of tests and the grade earned. Results did not demonstrate that giving a greater amount of time guaranteed a higher grade.

The Maryland State Component of The American Institute of Architects (AIA) presented Gallaudet University and design architects The SmithGroup with the AIA “Honor Award for Excellence in Design” for the James Lee Sorenson Language and Communication Center at the AIA Maryland Design Awards ceremony in September. This is one of the highest honors presented by local AIA chapters on an annual basis. According to Director of Campus Design and Planning Hansel Bauman, much of the honor that the award brings can be shared by participants of the first DeafSpace Workshop, held in 2005. The two-day event brought together deaf students, faculty, teachers, and staff in Chapel Hall and helped form the “SLCC DeafSpace Aesthetic Principles,” a document that contributed greatly to the architectural design of the building. The AIA jury’s comment that the award was given to the SLCC for “A rich resolution, form, and materials creating an open light-filled space” also represents “a very accurate distillation of the DeafSpace idea,” said Bauman.

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