Audience members applaud during the presidential selection announcement made October 18 in Swindells Auditorium. That day, Board of Trustees Chair Benjamin Soukup introduced long-time educator and higher education administrator T. Alan Hurwitz as the next president of Gallaudet.
Phi Kappa Zeta sisters stand with a spirited and spooky float that was part of the Homecoming 2009 float competition.
Steve Birdine, a nationally acclaimed author and speaker on diversity issues, kicked off the Davila Diversity Lecture Series on September 29 with a presentation that challenged audience members to explore biases they may have towards groups different from themselves. Birdine, who is the president and CEO of Affirmations in Action, an organization that organizes workshops, seminars, and lectures that educate about diversity and develop leadership skills for minority groups, led a fast-paced, upbeat presentation that encouraged interaction from the audience. One of his messages was that “different is not deficient,” and once the veneer of myths and stereotypes is peeled away, groups discover they have more commonalities than differences. Learning to work together is the key to shedding misconceptions, said Birdine, and accomplishing this makes it necessary for people to step outside their comfort zones and discuss difficult issues. This may not be easy for many individuals, but as he reminded the audience, “If you’re always comfortable, you’re not growing.” President Davila prefaced the talk by commenting that presentations such as this encourage the campus to engage in a dialogue on diversity and address a goal of the University’s Long Range Strategic Plan. He added, “I’m proud this (lecture) series bears my name, and I’m proud that it shows the community has turned a corner and is having open, honest discussions” that relate to a better understanding among the members of Gallaudet’s diverse community. Birdine’s presentation was sponsored by the Office of the President, the Office of Diversity and Equity for Students, and the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in American Higher Education Committee.
George Mason University professor Stephen Fuller (left) presents “The Shape of the Recovery.” During his September 15 talk, Dr. Fuller, who is George Mason’s Dwight Scholar Faculty Chair and director of its Center for Regional Analysis in School of Public Policy, outlined national economic trends over the past year and gave his projection on the outcomes of the current recession and economic recovery. He also discussed the Washington area economy, how it differs from the overall U.S. economy, and how he believes it will perform over the next several years. Fuller examined job growth and the decline in unemployment over the next couple of years. His visit to campus was hosted by the Career Center and facilitated by Interim Director Anjali Desai-Margolin. (Also pictured is Gallaudet Interpreting Service interpreter Joseph McCleary.)
Twelve Gallaudet students received scholarships totaling over $24,000 at the Rotary Day 2009 luncheon held September 30 in the Peikoff Alumni House. The awards came from Rotary Club chapters within Rotary District 7620 of Rotary International. Donald Walters (back row, second from left) of the Greater Severna Park Rotary Club added to the award benefits by bestowing each recipient with an honorary Rotary membership for a year, a membership certificate, and a Rotary pin. In addition, each received a one-year subscription to The Rotarian, Rotary International's magazine. Also pictured are Rotarians Anna-Mae Kobbe (front row, second from left) from the College Park club and Henry Tate (back row, third from left) from the Potomac club, and students (from left) Joanna Katz, James Caverly, Meera Domir, Gabriel Soje, Corey Clark, Sarah Hogue, Aldo Cornejo, Song Hoa Choi, and Cheryl Shahan.
President Davila is pictured with family members of the late Louise and Luther Miller, who were among the group of parents of African American deaf students who successfully sued the Washington, D.C. Board of Education in 1952 for denying their children admittance to Kendall School. Until that year, the only public school option for these students was the Maryland School for the Colored Deaf near Baltimore. The photo was taken in front of a plaque, located at the entrance of the Kellogg Conference Hotel, honoring the students, parents, and teachers who went through this event. The hotel occupies the former site of the separate school facilities for African American students that Gallaudet constructed following the court decision. All of Gallaudet’s facilities were subsequently desegregated following the landmark 1954 decision by the Supreme Court in Brown v. Board of Education. In 2007, Gallaudet hosted a conference to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the federal legislation that created Kendall School and, ultimately, Gallaudet University. One of the papers presented at the conference was about Miller v. D.C. Board of Education and Louise Miller’s role in seeking an education at Kendall School for her son, Kenneth. A collection of essays from presentations at the conference, A Fair Chance in the Race for Life, has been published by the Gallaudet University Press. Shown with Dr. Davila are (from left): Gerald Miller, Carol Miller Hill, Kenneth Miller, and Justin Miller—children of Louise and Luther Miller, and Beverly Miller (Justin’s wife) and Lavonda Miller (Gerald’s wife).
Students, faculty, and staff take part in the "Campus Climate in a Time of Change" dialogue held October 6 in the Jordan Student Academic Center Multipurpose Room. Participants had the opportunity to share their thoughts on the current environment of diversity on Kendall Green by relating positive experiences and moments that were more challenging. The two-hour program concluded with ideas for action to create a more productive, positive, and collaborative climate on campus. The activity, one of two campus-wide dialogues and a series of eight-week dialogues for students planned for the fall semester, was sponsored by the Office of the President.
Members of a student panel discuss conflicts and effective resolution strategies as part of a celebration of International Conflict Resolution Day on October 15. The panel included (from left) graduate student Gabriel Soje and undergraduates Joseph Lewis, Leala Holcomb, and Stephanie Johnson. Student Leah Katz-Hernandez was also scheduled to appear on the panel, but was unable to attend. The event was hosted by the Office of the Ombuds and facilitated by Ombuds Suzy Rosen Singleton. The student-led program, held in the Merrill Learning Center, encouraged audience members to bring up and hash out a variety of conflicts, from the personal to the political.