Leadership in STEM Education Celebrated
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Three awards totaling more than $7 million that will help educate and employ deaf and hard-of-hearing students and their teachers were acknowledged in a ceremony in NTID’s Dyer Arts Center Monday.
“We’re here today to recognize the project teams that have spearheaded three multi-million dollar awards benefitting the deaf community,” said NTID President Gerry Buckley. “The principle investigators and co-PIs whose vision helped create these programs contribute to RIT’s and NTID’s increasing role as a national leader in education of people who are deaf and hard of hearing.”
Provost Jeremy Haefner also congratulated those involved with the awards.
“I am particularly impressed with the collaborative nature of the PIs and co-PIs honored today, and with the tradition of leadership in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education for deaf and hard-of-hearing students that has been established here. It is a tradition that will prosper and grow.”
Ryne Raffaelle, RIT’s Vice President for Research and Associate Provost, described the significance of each of the grant projects for RIT/NTID and the deaf and hard-of-hearing community. “Obviously this is quite a momentous occasion,” he said. "Their accomplishments speak volumes to the type of innovative leadership that occurs on this campus on a daily basis."
The three major grants received by NTID faculty and staff last year are:
- DeafTEC: Technological Education Center for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Students, $4.45 million: Funded through the National Science Foundation’s Advanced Technological Education program, the center will provide STEM-related resources for deaf and hard-of-hearing students and their teachers and counselors in high schools and community colleges, and for employers hiring deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals to successfully integrate them into the workplace in highly skilled technician jobs in which these individuals are currently underrepresented and underutilized. DeafTEC also will create partnerships among high schools, community colleges and industry to improve access to technological education and employment for deaf and hard-of-hearing students. Donna Lange, PI; Gary Long and Myra Pelz, co-PIs.
- Deaf STEM Community Alliance, $1.6 million: Funded by the National Science Foundation’s Research in Disability Education program, this alliance of NTID’s Center on Access Technology with Cornell University and Camden County College in New Jersey, will improve the retention and graduation rates of deaf and hard-of-hearing students in STEM majors and facilitate the transition of deaf and hard-of-hearing students to STEM baccalaureate and graduate programs as well as to employment. Lisa Elliot, PI; James DeCaro and E. William Clymer, co-PIs.
- Preparing STEM and Minority Teachers of Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Students, $1.2 million: Funded by the Department of Education, this project will address the critical shortage of teachers who are qualified both to teach deaf and hard-of-hearing students and to teach them a specific content area, especially mathematics and science. Additionally, the project will address the shortage of teachers from African American, Latino, Native American and Asian American backgrounds. Gerry Bateman, PI; Christopher Kurz and Susan Lane-Outlaw, co-PIs.
“I have no doubt that we will be attending more events like this as NTID continues to innovate and lead the way in educating deaf and hard-of-hearing students for many years to come,” Haefner said.
Representatives of several Congressional delegates attended, including those from the offices of Sen. Chuck Schumer, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Rep. Louise Slaughter, Rep. Tom Reed, Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle and Rep. Kathleen Hochul.