Tony Lynn Ferreri-Van Bramer

When the Internet revolution was taking place in the 1990s, among those riding the wave of new technology was Toni Lynn Ferreri-Van Bramer, a 1999 graduate of the Master of Science program in Secondary Education of Students who are Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing (MSSE).

Technology was a huge benefit to a graduate student juggling the demands of a full-time job.

"E-mail made things easy," she explains. "I was able to contact my professors via e-mail, and began receiving assignments on e-mail, which allowed me to get a jump start on my work.

"Now a teacher of American Sign Language as a foreign language in the Rochester City School District and an adjunct instructor at Nazareth College of Rochester, Ferreri-Van Bramer has never forgotten the positive impact the MSSE program had on her life. She recently wrote a letter of recommendation for one of her Nazareth students who is now an MSSE teacher-candidate. She also brings middle and high school students to NTID's Panara Theatre and for college tours.

"I chose RIT/NTID because it is the best place to learn about deafness," she recalls. "I wanted to learn more about sign language, teaching and working with deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals, and I wanted the opportunity to use my sign language skills. As a hearing person, I wanted to be as proficient as possible in sign language."

Ferreri-Van Bramer lives in the Rochester suburb of Perinton, N.Y., with her husband, Kurt, and son, Joshua, and hopes to be a school administrator in the future.

"I'd like to pursue my Ph.D.," she says. "I haven't decided on the specific area of study, but will figure that out."

This story appeared in the Fall/Winter 2008 issue of FOCUS Magazine.

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