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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2011 - Laura C. Stevenson, Ph.D.


Laura C. Stevenson was trained as an historian, but upon going deaf in her mid thirties, she moved back to her family’s summer house in Vermont and became a novelist.  Her first two novels for young adults, Happily After All and the Island and the Ring, were both short-listed for Vermont’s Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award and awards from other states.Her next two young adult novels, both published in England, concerned disabilities: All The King’s Horses is about Alzheimer’s Disease, and A Castle in the Window is about dyslexia.  Her most recent novel, Return in Kind, is set in the fictitious town of Draper, Vermont, and reflects upon the changes in Vermont landscape and residents from 1929 to 1971. Reviewed as “a highly intelligent, moving, and humane novel,” the book is a study of loss – of hearing, of love, of a way of life. Stevenson is retiring from Marlboro College, where she has taught Writing and Humanities since 1986.

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2010 - Brenda Jo Brueggemann, Ph.D.

Dr. Brenda Jo Brueggemann is Professor of English at The Ohio State University where she coordinates the Disability Studies program, serves as a Faculty Leader for the American Sign Language program, and also administrates as the Vice-Chair of the English Department, overseeing the Rhetoric, Composition and Literacy (RCL) Program. She has authored or edited 8 books and has published over 40 articles or essays in Deaf Studies or Disability Studies. Her most recent book is Deaf Subjects: Between Identities and Spaces (New York UP, 2008). She is currently the co-editor of Disability Studies Quarterly.

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2010 - Henry Kisor, M.S.J.

Mr. Henry Kisor retired as book review editor of the Chicago Sun-Times June 2006 after 42 years as a journalist with major metropolitan newspapers. He became profoundly deaf at age 3 1/2 from meningitis and was orally mainstreamed from kindergarten through high school and college (Trinity College, Connecticut). He holds an M.S. degree in Journalism from Northwestern University. He is the author of six books, all issued by commercial New York publishers, including What's That Pig Outdoors: A Memoir of Deafness (published in 1990; to be reissued in a new edition by the University of Illinois Press in 2010), and continues to write a series of mystery novels set in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

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2010 - Tom Humphries, Ph.D.

Tom Humphries is an Associate Professor in Education Studies and the Department of Communication at the University of California, San Diego. He is Associate Director of Education Studies. One strand of his current work focuses on how “talking culture” among Deaf people in recent history informs our understanding of cultural processes and how meaning circulates. In addition, he has developed an experimental ASL-English Bilingual Education training curriculum which trains teachers to work with deaf children using an entirely new curriculum construct: the application of bilingual teaching practices to classrooms of deaf children.

Dr. Humphries has published two widely used ASL textbooks, Learning American Sign Language (Allyn & Bacon, 2004) and A Basic Course in American Sign Language (TJ Publishers, 1980). He is co-author (with Carol Padden) of Deaf in America: Voices from a Culture (1988) and Inside Deaf Culture (2006), both from Harvard University Press.

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2009 - Christopher Krentz, Ph.D.

Dr. Christopher Krentz is associate professor of English and ASL and director of the American Sign Language Program at the University of Virginia. He is author of Writing Deafness: The Hearing Line in Nineteenth-Century American Literature (University of North Carolina Press, 2007) and editor of A Mighty Change: An Anthology of Deaf American Writing, 1816-1864 (Gallaudet University Press, 2000). He has published articles on deafness and disability in literature and culture. Dr. Krentz helped to found the American Sign Language Program at the University of Virginia. Although he began slowly losing his hearing at age nine, Krentz had little contact with the signing Deaf community until age 23, when he got a job at Gallaudet University. There he began learning ASL and proudly identifying with Deaf culture.

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