Women Lighting the Way

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Among RIT/NTID’s faculty and staff are women who are paving the way for the next generation of deaf and hard-of-hearing women. Their hard work and dedication have made them role models as well as teachers. Read on to learn about some of RIT/NTID’s powerhouse women.

Portrait of Heather Smith
Heather Smith

While Smith was working as RIT/NTID’s Webmaster she was asked to teach one art history course as adjunct faculty, and after one quarter, she knew she had fallen in love with teaching.

Kathleen Szczepanek

"Live and behave honorably with kindness” is the motto that Kathleen Szczepanek, a faculty member in the NTID Business Studies Department, strives to model for her students and in her life every day.

Paula Grcevic in an art studio with students
Paula Grcevic

Paula Grcevic, professor of Visual Communications Studies, is the first teacher in NTID’s history to earn the Eisenhart Award for Outstanding Teaching twice.

Photo of Annemarie Ross in a chemistry lab
Annemarie Ross

Challenge is the name of the game for Annemarie Ross, so being a woman in a scientific field suits her just fine. And as a faculty member in NTID’s Laboratory Science Technology program, she’s happy to see more young women taking a similar path.

Portrait of Rachel Mazique
Rachel Mazique

Mazique has earned numerous awards, including the National Association of the Deaf Ambassador Award, the Maxine Hairston Prize for Excellence in Teaching, a writing residency at the Anderson Center for Interdisciplinary Studies, and a Dissertation Excellence Fellowship from the University of Texas.

Portrait of Karen Beiter
Karen Beiter

Karen Beiter of Blooming Prairie, Minnesota, is an assistant professor in the Information and Computing Studies Department at RIT/NTID. 

Marguerite Carrillo

Marguerite Carrillo of Las Cruces, New Mexico, is an Instructional Faculty/Lecturer in the American Sign Language and Interpreting Education Department at RIT/NTID. 

Alesia Allen

Visiting Assistant Professor of Liberal Studies and RIT/NTID alumna Alesia Allen believes teaching goes beyond the classroom to advising and mentoring.

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Laural Hartman

An artist who owns her own letterpress shop, RIT/NTID Visual Communication Studies lecturer--and alumna--Laural Hartman teaches core courses such as drawing, principles of design, and color.  

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Stacy Bick

Stacy Bick is a lecturer in the Visual Communications Studies Department at NTID. Her primary responsibilities are teaching courses on Photoshop, Illustrator, Photography and Videography. 

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Denise Kavin

Denise Kavin is a lecturer in the Liberal Studies Department and is a co-principal investigator with the DeafTEC project at NTID.

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Deirdre Schlehofer

Deirdre Schlehofer's research interests include language and literacy across cultures, Deaf Studies, critical theory, Deaf women’s health issues and qualitative research methods with signing communities. 

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Jeanne Behm
Jeanne Behm

Jeanne Behm is passionate about the preservation of ASL and Deaf History. 

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Mindy Hopper
Mindy Hopper

Mindy Hopper's primary responsibilities are to teach and facilitate learning in the area of English and literacy.

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Kathryn Schmitz
Kathryn Schmitz

Kathryn Schmitz enjoys broad national recognition within the field as evidenced by her selection in 2008 to serve as senior associate editor for the Volta Review.

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Lori Poole
Lori Poole

Lori Poole recently started a hobby as a beekeeper and enjoys spending time outdoors walking or snowshoeing.

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Pamela Conley
Pamela Conley

Pamela Conley is an associate professor in the Liberal Studies Department at RIT/NTID. Her primary responsibilities are teaching Writing Seminar, Global Deaf Literature and Deaf Literature.

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Aimee Whyte
Aimee Whyte

Aimee Whyte's license plate is "Deafaru."

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Lisa Johnston
Lisa Johnston

Lisa Johnston's major academic interests are literature, Deaf culture, teaching ASL as a first and second language, linguistics of signed language, ASL assessment and diagnostics, curriculum development and pedagogy, and first and second language acquisition.

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Melissa Skyer
Melissa Skyer

Skyer, who has more than 10 years of environmental science field experience, developed and teaches “Scientific Basis of Social Responsibility”—an original class focused on environmental science.

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Kim Brown Kurz

Kim Brown Kurz balances a busy career with volunteer and Deaf community activities. 

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Jacqueline Schertz

Jacqueline "Jackie" Schertz is an educator and an accomplished stained glass artist. 

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Patti Durr

Patti Durr's passions include Deaf art, history and social justice. 

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Andrea McNeill-Zuchegno

Andrea McNeill-Zuchegno combines a love of art and a passion for athletics. 

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Kelly Metz Davis

Kelly Metz Davis moved from financial analyst to educator. 

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Regina Kiperman-Kiselgof
Regina Kiperman-Kiselgof

Regina Kiperman-Kiselgof knows firsthand what it’s like to struggle to qualify to attend RIT/NTID. And she never, ever takes it for granted.

Erin Kane

Erin Kane, assistant director of Admissions & Visitation at NTID, understands the importance of getting prospective deaf and hard-of-hearing students to visit campus. 

Heather Emerson-Jeremy

Heather Emerson-Jeremy of Rogers, Minnesota, is the Assistant Director of Development at NTID. Her primary responsibilities are managing more than 100 regional individual, corporate and foundation partners, which she is responsible for cultivating, soliciting and stewarding with the goal of securing gifts between $10,000 and $50,000. 

Yvette Chirenje
Yvette Chirenje

Yvette Chirenje has a goal of visiting every continent, except for Antarctica, which is too cold for her. 

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Brittany Comegna
Brittany Comegna

Service and giving always has been one of Brittany Comegna's core values, and looks forward to exploring new possibilities to give back. 

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Mary Karol Matchett
Mary Karol Matchett

Mary Karol Matchett, is Assistant Vice President of Student & Academic Advising Services.

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Amy Stornello
Amy Stornello

Amy Stornello loves traveling and uses it to feed her other hobby; ghost hunting. She has been to various historic places such as Gettysburg, Rolling Hills Asylum and the Mansfield Reformatory hunting down the paranormal. 

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Donna Tuffner

Donna Tuffner is co-chair for the Dress to Impress clothing closet that provides gently used business attire to students looking for job interviews.

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Pamela Christopher wearing a black top and multicolor scarf.
Pamela Christopher

Pamela Christopher believes in making a difference in her students' lives.

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Veronika Talbott

Veronica Talbott provies academic advising and counseling to more than 140 interpreting students. 

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Vicki Liggera

Vicki Liggera came to RIT/NTID for the Explore Your Future high school program and eventually came to work with students exploring their own careers. 

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Mistie Munton

Among Mistie Munton's many responsibilities are counselor, graduate student and parent. 

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