Carolyn Tully

“It was September 11, 2001, that made me re-evaluate my life and question what I was doing,” explains Carolyn Tully, who quit her New York City sales job at L’Oreal and entered the Master of Science program in Secondary Education of Students Who are Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing (MSSE) at RIT/NTID.

“It was a turning point in my life. Working in New York City, viewing the thousands of names of missing persons posted inside Penn Station and meeting people who had lost loved ones made me realize ‘Corporate America’ wasn’t important to me anymore; I needed to do something more meaningful with my life.”

That realization brought Tully to RIT/NTID.

“I had taken two sign language classes as an undergraduate student and another continuing education course and loved them,” says the Wantagh, Long Island, native.

Her aunt, who lived in Rochester at the time, suggested she look into the MSSE program at RIT/NTID. After researching the program and speaking with Dr. Gerry Bateman, program chairperson, Tully was convinced this was her destined path. In 2004, she enrolled in the MSSE program, and has never looked back on her decision.

“What I like most about my experience here at RIT/NTID is the supportive faculty and advisors and helpful peers,” she explains. “The encouragement and assistance these people have provided led me to persevere in the MSSE program, which gives me a dual certification: one as a social studies teacher for hearing students in grades 7-12, and the other as a K-12 teacher of students who are deaf or hardof- hearing.”

Carolyn, who graduated in May, is seeking a teaching job in the New York City area or on Long Island, where she plans on living to be close to her family.

As she thinks about her teaching career, Carolyn embraces Aristotle’s philosophy, “The sign of a great teacher is that the accomplishments of her students exceed her own.”

This story appeared in the Spring/Summer 2006 issue of FOCUS Magazine.

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