Officials from Gallaudet University and the United States Department of Agriculture signed a four-year memorandum of understanding (MOU) on February 27. According to Dr. Julie Tibbitt, EdS ’18 & PhD ’20, “This MOU, formally titled ‘USDA, Agricultural Marketing Service Memorandum of Understanding with Gallaudet University,’ ensures that Gallaudet and USDA will continue to pool recruiting efforts in pursuit of our shared goals of increasing diversity talent. USDA will continue to interact with our undergraduate and graduate students through networking events, including our biannual Career Fair, and we will continue to inform them of appropriate programs where they can collaborate with faculty for increased outreach.”

Dr. Roberto Sánchez, Interim Dean for Academic and Career Success, signed the MOU for Gallaudet, along with Bruce Summers, a USDA administrator, in the hour-long ceremony, held Monday afternoon in the I. King Jordan Student Academic Center. Academic and Career Success staff were in attendance, along with Melissa Bailey, USDA Deputy Administrator; Clifton Gilchrist, Civil Rights Director; Ali Muhammad, Civil Rights Deputy Administrator; and Linda Alston, Disability Employment Program Manager. 

Students look on as Dr. Roberto Sanchez and Bruce Summers discuss.

Dr. Tibbitt reported that “Several students were present at the signing ceremony, and the entire group engaged in interactive discussion about USDA-Agricultural Marketing Service career opportunities for Gallaudet students and alumni. The USDA-AMS staff expressed their sincere desire and strong motivation with recruiting our students and alumni. They shared how their agency’s work carries widespread and profound impact on our dietary health along with their enthusiasm about serving in the public sector.  The career and academic success teams highlighted advantages of Deaf Gain in the workforce.”

According to its website, the United States Department of Agriculture is made up of 29 agencies and offices with nearly 100,000 employees who serve the American people at more than 4,500 locations across the country and abroad. Its secretary is Thomas J. Vilsack, who also served as Secretary of Agriculture in the Obama administration and as governor of Iowa. A number of Gallaudet alumni have worked at USDA over the years.

Gallaudet has entered into several memoranda of understanding with federal agencies and other entities across the private and public sectors over the years. These agreements typically provide for ongoing collaboration in a variety of areas, including educational partnerships, where agency employees present to students in classroom settings, and internship and employment opportunities. The Office for Career Success maintains a list of past and current MOUs, and seeks to enter into more in the years to come.

Recent News

Stay up to date on all the gallaudet happenings, both stories, and initiatives, we are doing with our Signing community!