Two noted figures in the field of telecommunications access for deaf and hard of hearing people, Pamela Holmes (left) and Karen Peltz Strauss, chat during a February 5 lecture and reception in the Sprint Multipurpose Room of the SUB. Holmes presented the lecture, “Lessons Learned While Advocating for Communication Access,” and the reception was held to welcome Peltz Strauss to Gallaudet as this year’s Powrie V. Doctor Chair of Deaf Studies where she is writing a book on the 25-year history and scope of the movement by deaf and hard of hearing people to expand telecommunications access. Holmes, one of the nation’s most effective deaf advocates, is a member of Gallaudet’s Board of Trustees, director of consumer and regulatory affairs for Ultratec, chair and founder of NAD Telecom Advocacy network, and former chair of the U.S. Access Board. Peltz Strauss, the nation’s leading attorney on telecommunication access policy, is former deputy chief of consumer and disability affairs for the Federal Communications Commission, former senior legal counsel for NAD, and served as supervising attorney for Gallaudet’s former National Center for Law and Deafness. The lecture and reception were sponsored by the Department of Communication Studies and the Gallaudet Research Institute. (A presentation by another Board of Trustees member, Dr. Vinton Cerf, senior vice president for internet architecture and technology, WorldCom, and widely recognized as the Father of the Internet, was scheduled to take place on February 7 but was cancelled when the University was closed due to inclement weather.)
A Gallaudet audience was introduced to the uniquely African American art of “Stepping” by Step Afrika! USA on January 30. The six-member, Washington, D.C.- based dance troupe brought the Elstad Auditorium stage to life with its high-energy demonstration of stepping, which is patterned after traditional African dance rituals and imitates the rhythms of African musical instruments through clapping, stomping, and slapping. Stepping gained popularity throughout the 20th century in fraternities and sororities at historically black colleges and universities in the United States as a means of expressing unity through the members’ shared heritage. Pictured during the performance are (top, right) Step Afrika! dancers (from left) Darrius Gourdine, Brian Williams, Jason Nious, Paul Woodruff, and (top, left) Kirsten Smith (left) and Alexia Ryan. (Below) Woodruff is joined by children from the audience for a lesson in stepping. The presentation was sponsored by Multicultural Student Programs and Diversity and Community Relations.
During a surprise visit to the cafeteria by the Board of Trustees to eat lunch with students on February 6, students chat with board member Celia May Baldwin about campus issues.
CLAST Dean Jane Dillehay leads a class in Hatha Yoga, which increases the body’s flexibility and tone, in the Elstad Rehearsal Room on February 5. The class, which is held on Wednesdays through March 12, is one of the offerings this semester of Gallaudet University Gatherings, sponsored by Summer and Saturday @ Gallaudet and the Student Body Government. The
“gatherings” are informal mini-classes, led and attended by faculty, staff, teachers, and students, to join together to learn, relax, and get to know one another. Interest built during the fall semester, when e-mails were sent out soliciting members of the campus community with interesting hobbies to share them with others. “The feedback has been wonderful,” said Dr. Karen Kimmel, associate dean of CLAST Academic Departments and Summer and Saturday @ Gallaudet. The classes, which are free, has drawn such a positive response that more are being planned for next fall, and it will become a regular activity of participants in the Mentor Program to build rapport between mentors and mentees. Examples of remaining Gatherings courses this semester are “Introduction to Scrapbooking,” on March 20, led by Patricia Hulsebosch, an assistant professor in the Department of Education, and “Introduction to Knitting,” on March 13, led by Dr. Sharon Barnartt, a professor in the Department of Sociology.
Office of Sponsored Programs Director Stanley Matelski III watches a Powerpoint slide presentation, a light-hearted roast of the highlights of his career at Gallaudet, at a January 28 retirement reception in the GUKCC. Matelski, who retired from the University after 17 years of service, is credited for facilitating $55 million in grants for Gallaudet’s federally sponsored projects. In addition to the presentation, which was prepared by Christine Katsapis, Matelski’s successor as director of the Office of Sponsored Programs, and Talibah Buchanan, a graduate student in GSPP who is assigned to assist the Institutional Review Board, he received a resolution from the Council on Graduate Education, presented by Dr. Irene Leigh, a professor in the Department of Psychology and chair of CGE, and Dr. Carol LaSasso, a professor in the Department of Education and chair of CGE’s Curriculum Subcommittee, and words of praise from Graduate School and Professional Programs Dean Thomas Allen, who in particular recognized Matelski’s high ethical standards. Matelski also received a line drawing (below) by Robert C. Johnson, research editor in GSPP, portraying a view of the campus looking south from HMB, that was signed by well-wishers.