UnityFest 2009, held on April 24, celebrates the rich cultural diversity at Gallaudet University. The campus community was treated to wonderful food, music, booths, and demonstrations including Mexican dancing, stiltwalking from West Africa, and Brazilian Capoeira martial arts. Watch the UnityFest 2009 video
Colorful flags from around the world circled the UnityFest 2009 activities, held on April 24.
J.J. Bechhold represents the Deaf Capoeira Club at UnityFest 2009. Many organizations and individuals had booths to sell food and gifts and to share information.
Dr. Ann Powell, chair of the Department of Biology and head of the Diversity Team, presents a report on Gallaudet’s diversity initiatives to Dr. Isaac Agboola, dean of the College of Liberal Arts, Sciences, and Technologies, during a March 30 Town Hall meeting. Agboola accepted the report on behalf of President Davila. The report, which is also available at gallaudet.edu/diversity.xml, states the team’s recommendations in relation to the Diversity Action Plan and the Democracy Plan. Members of the Diversity Team pictured are (from left): Michael Peterson, Eileen Matthews, Dr. Barbara Gerner de Garcia, Dr. Jane Hurst, Paula Tucker, Dr. Cheryl Wu, Dr. Barry Bergen, Alesha Howard, Mark Amissah, and Elvia Guillermo. (Team members not pictured are: William Banks, James Harrison, Kimberly Huseby, Tracey Kempton, Dr. Angela McCaskill, Sharrell McCaskill, Dr. Janice Mitchell, Dr. Gina Oliva, Hector Reynoso, Darrin Smith, Carlene Thumann-Prezioso, Hatim Vali, and Ron Wesley.)
Gallaudet’s Career Center and Deaf and Hard of Hearing in Government (DHHIG), a national organization that provides support services for deaf and hard of hearing federal employees, co-hosted its first Mentoring Networking Day event on February 19 to pair Gallaudet students with mentors. Sixteen undergraduate students, who applied to be part of the mentoring program, were invited to meet potential mentors at an evening reception in Peikoff Alumni House. The mentors, deaf federal employees in various government agencies, give advice about federal government employment and professions as well as help enrich mentees’ education, training, and job-readiness. The reception included a panel discussion and an informative presentation which discussed the many benefits of the mentor/mentee relationship. The mentor and student pairs meet on a regular basis during the academic year. The students also “shadow” their mentor by visiting his or her office to observe how professionals work in an office setting and learn more about the professional and business side of the federal government. The panelists at Mentoring Networking Day were (from left): Jeffrey Dallos, deaf/hard of hearing team leader, Computer/Electronic Accommodations Program, Department of Defense; Kirsten Poston, disability policy analyst, U.S. Department of Transportation, board member at large for DHHIG, and a member of the Class of 1992; Socorro Garcia, human resources professional, Department of Commerce, and a member of the Class of 2007; and Jennifer Croft, disability policy advisor, Department of Commerce.
Filmmaker Carol Duffy (left) chats with a member of the audience following an April 2 screening at Gallaudet of her documentary, Deaf: Hear Me. Also pictured is GIS interpreter Ariel Pearson. The film has been used by the deaf community in New Delhi, India to increase awareness, change attitudes, and create more equitable opportunities. After the screening, several audience members stated that the film reflects many of the same challenges they, too, face whether born in developing countries or in the United States. Duffy’s visit was sponsored by the Center for International Programs and Services and the Master’s in International Development Program in the Department of Educational Foundations and Research.
This year the Communication Studies Department inducted 10 students into the Iota Nu Chapter of Lambda Pi Eta, the National Communication Studies Honor Society. Pictured (from left) are: back row—Colleen Doyle, Patrick Baker, Jeanine Wiesblatt, Rebecca Teslow; second row—Dr. Lillie Ransom, faculty advisor, Heather Quinn, Ursa Rewolinski; front row—Erin Kelly, Ashley McAroy, and Zach Zuchegno. (Not pictured is inductee Heidi Henley.)