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Gallaudet Campus Gists

Gallaudet Board of Associates member and alumna Marilyn Smith has been named by Bank of America as a “local hero,” part of its Neighborhood Excellence Initiative, for her work advocating for victims of domestic violence for the past 25 years through an organization she founded, Abused Deaf Women’s Advocacy Services, which continues to grow with 42 sister agencies across the United States.

According to its website, Bank of America recognizes local heroes for their community service and supports them in their efforts by contributing $5,000 to a nonprofit organization of their choice. Smith received an honorary doctorate degree from Gallaudet in 2004. Watch a video profiling Smith and her work.

Dr. Adebowale Ogunjirin, an assistant professor in the Biology Department, successfully defended his dissertation, “Synthesis and Evaluation of New Analogs of A-84543 as Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor Ligands,” at Howard University’s Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Ogunjirin’s dissertation research focuses on design, synthesis, and pharmacological testing of small organic molecules that play critical roles in the management of neurodegenerative disorders in the central and peripheral nervous systems. This research aids in understanding the role of endogenous and exogenous substances in the pathogenesis and management of neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases.

Dr. Jill Bradbury, an associate professor in the Department of English, has been appointed to the Modern Language Association’s Committee on Disability Issues in the Profession. Her appointment is for three years.

Sports Information Director Sam Atkinson planned and organized a 5K run/walk event to benefit St. Matthew’s House, an organization that serves homeless and needy individuals in Naples, Fla. Atkinson, the national chair of the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA’s) Goodwill Committee for the past four years, and his wife, Emily, represented Gallaudet at the event.

In addition to the run/walk, the Goodwill Committee ran a successful donation drive for the second consecutive year, collecting more than 100 items of clothing, toiletries, and shoes for St. Matthew’s House. The committee also partnered with Young CoSIDA for its annual charity auction, bringing in a record $900 for a total of $1,600 donated to St. Matthew’s House.

Dr. Beth Gibbons, an assistant professor in the Psychology Department, gave a presentation, “Parental Influence on Educational Placement Decisions,” on June 23 at the American Society for Deaf Children’s Biennial Conference at the Maryland School for the Deaf, Frederick.

Jiayi Zhou, World Deaf Leadership (WDL) scholar and graduate student in international development, exhibited her art in Boston, Mass. in September as part of an art show sponsored by VSA, an international organization for art and disability. In October, Zhou began her internship with VSA in Hong Kong. For her WDL project, she is planning to establish a center for Leadership and Empowerment Through Art in China.

Dr. Elizabeth Moore, an assistant professor in the Department of Social Work, was given a certificate of appreciation at the Virginia Department for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (VDHH) in Richmond for serving on the VDHH Advisory Board from 2003 to 2011. Moore recently received a letter from Virginia Governor Robert F. McDonnell thanking her for her eight-year dedication to public service and her fellow citizens.
Gallaudet’s LGBTQA Resource Center sponsored a group of students, Julia Wallace, Rebecca Roa, Nicholas Bolger, and Dylan Hinks, to attend the 7th Annual Out for Work Conference at the Westin City Center Hotel in Washington, D.C., September 23 to 25. Eloise Molock, director of the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs, and the students had the opportunity to participate in a variety of panel discussions, presentations, skill building workshops, and a pride career fair specifically designed for LGBTQA college students and higher education professionals.

Members of various student, staff, and faculty learning communities met at the Dennison House student learning community residence for a social on October 19. There are five learning communities taking place this year: “Engaging Departments,” led by Dr. Kathleen Wood, a professor in the English Department; “Student Success,” led by Jeri Lynn Dorminy, coordinator of curriculum and development for the First Year Experience, and Norma Moran, coordinator of planning, assessment, and accreditation in the Office of Assessment; “Closing the Loop,” led by Dr. Jill Bradbury, an associate professor in the English Department; the “Gallaudet Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Initiative,” led by Dr. Dirksen Bauman, a professor in the American Sign Language (ASL) and Deaf Studies Program, and Dr. Carol Erting, dean of the Graduate School and Professional Programs; and “Freedom,” led by the Dennison House students.

Learning communities offer faculty, staff, and students the chance to explore a focus topic in depth, enriching their teaching and learning experiences.

Dr. Diane Hottendorf, who recently retired as director of the Gallaudet University Dance Company, was paid tribute for 30 years of contribution to dance in The Lamp of Delta Zeta, a tri-annual publication of Delta Zeta Sorority. Hottendorf is pictured in the magazine with Gerri Frank, who retired from the University in 1997 as administrative assistant in the Office of the President, and Sue Gill-Doleac, assistant director of the dance company.

The Delta Zeta National Foundation has supported Gallaudet for many years through the Delta Zeta Scholarship Fund, provided funding for Gallaudet’s dance studio-which was dedicated to the sorority in 1995-and ongoing financial assistance for the dance company’s activities, including the trip to the national convention.

Harold Garvin, database/administrative assistant in the Office of the President, is also a talented singer and song writer. On November 1, he traveled to New York City to be a backup singer for the popular R & B singer Tyrese for a taping of the BET Network program, “The Wendy Williams Show,” which was broadcast the following morning. Garvin sang with a popular group, “Elements of Life,” for several years until the group disbanded. He continues to write and perform music, and has written songs for other artists, including R&B singer Ginuwine.

Dr. Carol Cutler Riddick, a professor in the Department of Physical Education and Recreation, has had a refereed paper published in the International Journal on Disability and Human Development on leisure diagnostic battery norms. Riddick was also invited to present a refereed paper, “Designing and Monitoring Evidence-Based Recreation Interventions for Promoting the Well-Being of Elders,” at the 2011 International Leisure Studies Association meeting, held this summer in Southampton, England, and she has been appointed to serve a three-year term to the International Advisory Board of the Journal of Adventure Education and Outdoor Learning.

Dr. Donalda Ammons, professor emerita of Foreign Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, was a recent recipient of the prestigious Palaestra Leadership award in Disability Sport, Adapted Physical Education, and Therapeutic Recreation. The awards are given every 10 years by PALAESTRA, a quarterly publication that deals with adapted physical activity for individuals with disabilities, their parents, and professionals in the field.

Dr. Joseph Murray, an assistant professor in the Department of ASL and Deaf Studies, convened the Sign Languages as Endangered Languages conference in Ål, Norway, November 6 to 9, on behalf of the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) and the European Union of the Deaf. The conference was attended by people from 21 countries, with 17 national associations in attendance, as well as members of language policy councils in almost every Nordic country.

The conference was also attended by Dr. Dirksen Bauman, a professor in the Department of ASL and Deaf Studies, and Blair Rasmus and Sarah Kasavan, graduate students in the language and human rights concentration in Gallaudet’s Master’s Program in Deaf Cultural Studies. The students gave a short presentation about Gallaudet as a bilingual university. Dr. Peter Hauser of VL2 also presented.

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