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Past Speakers

Photo of James Macfadden
1999 - James Macfadden

Born hard of hearing in Hollywood, California, James "Jim" Macfadden attended hearing schools throughout his primary and secondary education and relied on lip reading. After high school, Macfadden attended Gallaudet College, where he majored in economics. Upon graduation in 1962, Macfadden was employed as a computer programmer and moved up the career ladder to eventually become a division manager. In 1986, Macfadden started his own company that provided computer services and consulting.

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Photo of Nancy Oyos Rourke
2002 - Nancy Oyos Rourke

Nancy Oyos Rourke was raised in San Diego, California. After high school she attended NTID/RIT. She was a cross-registered student in RIT's College of Imaging Arts and Sciences with a graphic design major and a painting/illustration minor. Rourke continued on to earn her Master of Fine Arts degree in computer graphics design from RIT. She has worked for Xerox, IBM, and Microsoft. Rourke's Lyon lecture covered the topic, "Succeeding in the Competitive Workplace."

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Photo of David Pierce
2004 - David Pierce

From Lewiston, New York, David Pierce graduated from RIT in 1988 from the New Media program. Pierce has spent over 20 years in the television production industry and has worked as a producer, director, videographer, production coordinator, and programmer. At the time of his Lyon Memorial Lectureship presentation, Pierce had recently re-launched his own production company and was also the president of the NTID Alumni Association. Pierce was selected for the lectureship series in view of his diverse work history and active involvement in television production.

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Photo of Christopher Krentz
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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Photo of Henry Kisor
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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Photo of Brenda Jo Brueggemann
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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Photo of Nancy Cook Smith
1984 - Nancy Cook Smith

Nancy Cook Smith was born profoundly deaf and attended the Clarke School for the Deaf in Northampton, Massachusetts, and later Glastonbury High School. Following high school, Cook Smith continued to pursue her longstanding interest in arts and crafts at the Rhode Island School of Design, where she graduated in 1974 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in textiles. Cook Smith then started her career as a designer with India Imports of Providence, Rhode Island. She subsequently set out as a designer on a freelance basis and moved to Los Angeles. Cook Smith's 1984 Lyon Lectureship presentation was entitled "Words on Confidence."

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Photo of George Kononenko
1985 - George O. Kononenko

George Kononenko, who was prelingually deaf, was born in New Jersey, where he attended the Marie H. Katzenbach School for the Deaf for both elementary and high school education. Having an interest in sciences and engineering, Kononenko then entered NTID's mechanical technology program. Following his graduation, Kononenko enrolled in RIT's College of Engineering, where he graduated in 1975 with a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering technology. In 1985, Kononenko was the Research and Development Project Leader for Personal Computer Instrumentation at Hewlett-Packard. His Lyon Lectureship presentation was titled "My Experience as a Deaf Contributor."

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1986 - Frank Hochman, M.D.

Frank Hochman was born deaf in New York City in 1935. After high school, Hochman went on to the City College of New York, where he earned a bachelor's degree in biology in 1958. Hochman wanted to go on to medical school but could not find a school that would accept him because of his deafness, so he worked as a chemist for a number of years for St. Joseph's Hospital in Queens and for the New York Department of Health. Hochman applied to medical schools again in 1971 and was accepted to Rutgers Medical School at the age of 37. He completed his master's degree in 1974 and earned his M.D. in 1976. After completing residencies in two California hospitals, Hochman began private practice. He was the founder of the Society of Hearing Impaired Physicians.

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1987 - Linda Bradford

Linda Bradford was born deaf and attended the John Tracy Clinic in Los Angeles, California, at a young age. She was mainstreamed in public schools as a child. Active in sports, she attended California Polytechnic Institute, where she studied physical education and mathematics. She competed in the Deaflympics, winning gold medals in 1969 for track and 1973 for volleyball. After graduating from college, she taught physical education at California State University at Northridge for five years. She returned to graduate school in New Mexico and studied for a doctorate in the computer field. At the time of her Edmund Lyon lecture, Bradford was Associate Systems Programmer and lead operator for Honeywell.

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