Jarrod Musano

Jarrod Musano, CEO of Convo Relay and Infini, attended Rochester Institute of Technology and went on to University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth. His education and daily challenges have led him to a number of successful start-ups, being responsible for driving and implementing strategic plans for all his companies.

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2013 - Rosa Lee Timm

Rosa Lee is a Deaf performing artists and a managing editor of KISSFIST Magazine, star of the Rosa Lee Show, and actress in ASL FILMS' "Versa Effect" and many other works.

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2013 - Mr. Michael Bloomfield, Database Developer at BlackRock


Michael Bloomfield (Deaf) was born and raised in Waterford, Michigan. He currently lives outside of Seattle, WA with his wife, Nancy (Deaf), who graduated from NTID in 1994 and together, they have four children (all hearing).


As a sophomore at University of Michigan, he got his first summer internship at Aetna Life & Casualty in Hartford, CT, implementing better workflow processes for the payroll department by reducing the number of steps from 112 to 36. More importantly, he hired Doreen Simons-Marquis to teach him American Sign Language during the summer.


In 1988 and 1989, he played Tenor Saxophone for the Michigan Marching Band and performed twice in the Rose Bowl. After transferring to Rochester Institute of Technology, he joined the Mu Zeta chapter of the Sigma Nu Fraternity and was the second President of the chapter. For three years, he performed with the RIT/NTID Dance Company. He graduated in 1994 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science, and moved to the Seattle area to work at Microsoft for 6 years. He has also worked for the Wizards of the Coast, Eporia, Sogeti, EDS, and Virtuoso.


For the past 5 years, he has worked as a Database Developer at BlackRock designing and developing BlackRock’s internal client relationship management system. BlackRock is the world’s largest asset manager with $3.9 trillion of assets under management and 72 offices around the world.


Every year, he and his wife volunteer at a Christian camp for Deaf children and CODAs in Oregon that recently celebrated its 40th year.


As one of the founders of ButterflyHands.com, he leveraged the power of the internet, to allow anyone to request a Sign Language Interpreter at any time. ButterflyHands.com includes the ability to request an interpreter with online scheduling and secured payment processing. Interpreters are using ButterflyHands.com to manage their schedule with email notifications and submit invoices for services rendered.


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2012 - Michael Chorost, Ph.D.


Michael Chorost is the author of two books, Rebuilt: How Becoming Part Computer Made Me More Human (2005), a memoir of getting a cochlear implant, and World Wide Mind: The Coming Integration of Humans and Machines (2011), an examination of what technology can know and transmit about the conscious experience of the brain. His work concerns questions such as, “What are computers doing to our bodies, our friendships, and our working lives? How do we live whole and full lives in a world saturated with technology?” He has also written about emerging technologies for Wired, The Washington Post, Technology Review, and PBS. Born with severe-to-profound hearing losses in 1964 due to an epidemic of rubella, he began wearing hearing aids at 3½ and switched to cochlear implants in 2001 when he lost the rest of his hearing (the cause is still unknown.) He got his B.A. at Brown University and his Ph.D. at the University of Texas at Austin. He has given over 110 lectures at universities and corporations about humanity’s future in a technological age. He lives with his wife and their three cats in Washington, D.C., where he writes as both an author and a freelancer.

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2012 - Mr. Matt Daigle, Deaf Professional Cartoonist


Matt Daigle is a deaf professional cartoonist with over 11 years of experience. He is the creator of a single panel cartoon series called "In Deaf Culture..." and "Deaf Reel", and as well as the popular webcomic "That Deaf Guy" which he collaborates with his hearing wife, Kay and boasts over 13,000 fans and an impressive international audience. Daigle has published two humor books, "Adventures in Deaf Culture" and "Extreme Interpreting". His new book "That Deaf Guy: A Family Portrait" is currently in production.


Matt lives in Burbank, California with his wife and son.


You can view his cartoons at www.thatdeafguy.com & www.thatdeafguycomic.com/facebook and www.mdaigletoons.com.

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2011 - Jane K. Fernandes, Ph.D.

Jane Kelleher Fernandes joined UNC Asheville as Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs in July 2008. As an academic leader and educator of national prominence, her life's work—creating inclusive academic excellence in education at all levels—has taken her from Hawaii to the Atlantic seaboard. She earned a Master's degree and a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of Iowa. Her undergraduate degree is in French and Comparative Literature from Trinity College in Hartford, Conn.

Her scholarship and service have been dedicated to fostering bilingual American Sign Language-English literacy in all deaf students, promoting interdisciplinary teaching and learning practices, and advocating for racial justice. She fosters the development of inclusive schools of racial justice where every student, regardless of circumstances, is welcome and educated respectfully to the maximum positive outcome.

In addition to her position as Provost, Dr. Fernandes is a tenured professor of education at UNC Asheville and serves as a Senior Fellow with the Johnnetta B. Cole Global Diversity & Inclusion Institute, founded at Bennett College for Women in Greensboro, N.C.

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