Dr. Christina Yuknis, an assistant professor and placement coordinator in the Department of Education, has been selected by national education nonprofit ACSD for its 2011 class of Emerging Leaders. The Emerging Leaders program recognizes and prepares young, promising educators to influence education programs, policy, and practice on both the local and national levels.

Gallaudet student Sara Moore, alumnus Robert Sirvage, and the University’s associate director of real estate and economic development Sam Swiller were quoted in “Capitol-Area Bars, Eateries See the Sign,” an article in the June 23 issue of Roll Call newspaper about staff at these establishments near the Gallaudet campus who are learning sign language to communicate with deaf clientele.

Six Gallaudet students are included in the fifth edition of John Gardner’s guide for first year higher education students, Your College Experience: Strategies for Success, Expanded Reader. Interviews with the students, Derrick Behm, Lakeishia Brown, Ikumi Kawamata, Kristy Ramos, Krishneer Sen, and Zulma Sewell, appear in Chapter 15: “Appreciating Diversity.” For more information, go to Gallaudet’s First Year Experience website.

Kirk VanGilder, an instructor in the Department of Philosophy and Religion, successfully defended his dissertation on June 6, completing the requirements for his Ph.D. in practical theology from Boston University.

A book and accompanying DVD about the black American Sign Language (ASL) project, The Hidden Treasure of Black ASL: Its History and Structure, has been published by Gallaudet University Press. The book/DVD, authored by Dr. Carolyn McCaskill, a professor and deaf studies undergraduate degree program coordinator in the Department of ASL and Deaf Studies; Dr. Ceil Lucas, a professor in the Linguistics Department; Dr. 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; and Dr. Robert Bayley, a professor in the Department of Linguistics at the University of California, Davis, provide insights into the variety of ASL used in the black deaf community and referred to as black ASL, and its history and structure–how the socio-historical context made the emergence of a distinct variety possible, and the features of this variety.

President T. Alan Hurwitz and several Gallaudet faculty and staff members were featured at the XVI World Congress of the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) held in Durban, South Africa, July 18 to 24. Dr. Joseph Murray, an assistant professor in the Department of ASL and Deaf Studies, was elected to the board of the WFD on July 17. Dr. Hurwitz presented “Transforming New Strategies from Research into Practice” as part of the day dedicated to the topic of deaf education on July 19. Murray joined Dr. Dirksen Bauman, a professor in the Department of ASL and Deaf Studies and coordinator of bilingual education, to give the opening plenary session at the WFD on July 20. The day’s theme was “Sign Language and Deaf Studies.” Lindsay Dunn, manager of education programs in the Department of ASL and Deaf Studies, presented “Deafness and Liberation Politics: Why are we NOT Saved?” on July 21.

On June 3, President T. Alan Hurwitz gave the commencement address at the Virginia School for the Deaf and Blind in Staunton. Dr. Hurwitz presented again on June 16 at the Pennsylvania School for the Deaf (PSD) in Philadelphia. Following the speech, the superintendent of PSD presented Hurwitz with the school’s George W. Nevil Award of Merit for his service to the deaf community.

WAMU’s “Metro Connection” featured Gallaudet research in the June 28 story “Gallaudet Finds Deaf People Don’t See Better, They See Differently,” a feature by host/producer Rebecca Sheir. The piece covered a research brief issued by the National Science Foundation Science of Learning Center on Visual Language and Visual Learning (VL2) entitled, “Visual Attention and Deafness.” Sheir interviewed VL2 Co-Principal Investigator Thomas Allen and Coordinator of Community Engagement Melissa Malzkuhn for the story, which was also picked up by The Associated Press.*

Dr. Dirksen Bauman, a professor in the Department of American Sign Language and Deaf Studies and coordinator of bilingual education, was the keynote speaker at the American Sign Language Teaching Association conference held in Seattle June 29 to July 3, with a presentation entitled, “Why Sign? Deaf Gain and Language Learning.” Several other faculty members from the department were also featured as speakers, and five graduate students were accepted to give presentations.

Researchers Dr. Donna Morere, Leah Murphy, Greg Witkin, Elizabeth Halper, and Wyatte Hall of Gallaudet’s National Science Foundation Science of Learning Center on Visual Language and Visual Learning (VL2), presented at the American Academy of Clinical Neuropsychology Annual Conference, held June 9 to 11 in Washington, D.C., and the American Society for Deaf Children 2011 Conference, held June 22 to 26 in Frederick, Md.*

*Information in this news item is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under grant number SBE-0541953. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

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