Deaf in STEM Conference


RIT/NTID is excited to announce our Deaf in STEM Conference, a conference focused on deaf and hard-of-hearing experiences in STEM employment. This Deaf in STEM conference aims to bridge the gap between deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals and professional and educational development in the working world. With a strong focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion, this student-led conference will explore the development of soft skills and networking while also highlighting the stories and experiences of deaf and hard-of-hearing STEM professionals. Join us this February for this event as we set the bar to empower deaf and hard-of-hearing students to take up the call in the diverse and explorative world of STEM.

The Deaf in STEM Conference is supported by the NTID Regional STEM Center (NRSC) and will happen at RIT/NTID on February 2-3, 2024. All individuals who are interested in STEM topics and want to prepare for employment in STEM fields are welcome to register for this conference. Participants are encouraged to register:

Registration Form

Event Schedule

Event Schedule - Column one has the event time, column two has the event title and location
Friday, February 2
1:00 - 2:00 p.m. Registrations / Network
Refreshments and snacks are provided
Ellie’s Place
2:00 - 2:15 p.m. Transition to the next event
Ellie’s Place
2:15 - 3:30 p.m. Kickoff Ceremony
Empowering Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing individuals for a more inclusive future in STEM.
Keynote Speaker: Alex Abenchuchan:
Connecting with People
3:30 - 3:45 p.m. Break
Ellie’s Place
3:45 - 4:45 p.m. Workshops
STEM in ASL: Untapped potential of ASL in creating STEM signs
Atomic Hands: Dr. Alicia Wooten and Dr. Barbara Spiecker
Through the Eyes of a Deaf Professional in Engineering Leadership
Walter LaPlante
From Pharmacy to Academia: Navigating the Path
Mariam Paracha
4:45 - 5:00 p.m. Break
Ellie’s Place
5:00 - 6:30 p.m. STEM Supper: Networking and Innovation at the Dinner Table
Dinner is provided
Dyer Arts Center/LBJ Street
6:30 p.m. End of Day 1

Saturday, February 3
8:00 - 9:00 a.m.  Registration / Network
Continental breakfast will be provided
Ellie’s Place
9:00 - 9:15 a.m.  Transition to the next event
9:15 - 9:45 a.m. Welcome from Dr. Jess Cuculick
9:45 - 10:45 a.m. Introduction / Keynote - Ebony “Geeky” Watson
Breaking Barriers: Black Deaf in Tech & Design, Unleasing Creativity, Defying Odds
10:45 - 11:00 a.m. Break
Ellie’s Place
11:00 - 12:00 p.m. Workshops
STEM in ASL: Untapped potential of ASL in creating STEM signs
Atomic Hands: Dr. Alicia Wooten and Dr. Barbara Spiecker
Insights in DHH STEM Learning from a Deaf Cognitive Neuroscience PhD Candidate*
Carly Leannah
*A special Exploring Perspectives Series sponsored by DeafHUB
Open Discussion about Accessibility & Career Advancement in the Federal Government for Deaf Professionals
Kathy Chen-Petrus
12:00 - 1:00 p.m. Lunch
Will be provided
Dyer Arts Center/LBJ Street
1:00 - 2:15 p.m. Panel with Q&A
Diverse Journeys in STEM: Navigating Fields as a Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing Individual
Spencer Montan, Elizabeth Ayers, Arturo Peralta Silva, and Song Hoa Choi
2:15 - 2:30 p.m. Break
Ellie’s Place
2:30 - 4:00 p.m.  Speed Network
STEM Spectrum: Exploring Diversity in Science and Technology
4:00 - 4:15 p.m. Break
Ellie’s Place
4:15 - 5:15 p.m. Workshops
Navigating through Accessibility in Higher Education and Scientific Research
Sara Blick-Nitko
My Winding Path to Medical School
Emmanuel Perrodin-Njoku
Journey to Becoming a deaf Neuroscientist
Victoria Popov
5:15 - 6:30 p.m. Dinner
Will be provided.
Dyer Arts Center/LBJ Street
6:30 - 7:00 p.m. Closeout Ceremony - Gary Behm
Empowering the Future: Deaf in STEM Conference Closing Ceremony

Hotels and Accommodations

The RIT/NTID campus has a variety of accommodations nearby. View the list of hotels that are within 20 minutes of the campus.

Conference Sponsors and Contributors

The Deaf in STEM Conference has a number of sponsors and contributors that bring this conference to fruition:

NTID Regional STEM Center

The NTID Regional STEM Center (NRSC) promotes training and participation for deaf and hard of hearing middle and high school students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. NTID established its first NRSC in the southeast in November 2016 in partnership with the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind (AIDB), to expand the geographic reach of activities and services supported by NTID, with the goal of improving access to postsecondary STEM education and employment for deaf and hard of hearing students. Partnerships are also established in Washington, Utah, and New York City. The center's activities focus on:

  • Preparing postsecondary students to be successful in STEM
  • Providing professional development for middle and high school teachers
  • Developing relationships with business and industry to promote employment opportunities

For more information about NRSC, visit our website.

Deaf Hub

The Deaf Health Care and Biomedical Science Hub (Deaf Hub) aims to improve the healthcare training experience through mentoring students and professionals, to increase universal access in the health system by working with the community of health professionals, and to strive for better health of deaf and hard-of-hearing people informed by research. The Deaf Hub works towards the long-term goal of increasing the number of deaf and hard-of-hearing people entering healthcare and biomedical science careers.

The Deaf Hub achieves its goals in six categories by:

  1. Mentoring deaf and hard-of-hearing students interested in a career in healthcare or biomedical science.
  2. Supporting the continued success of existing biomedical and healthcare conferences for deaf and hard-of-hearing trainees and professionals.
  3. Providing professional development and training opportunities for healthcare professionals.
  4. Improving the healthcare and biomedical knowledge and sign language skills of American Sign Language interpreters.
  5. Developing health systems employers' awareness of deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals as qualified for a career in healthcare and biomedical science, including how they can be hired and successfully integrated into the healthcare workforce.
  6. Supporting the dissemination of accessible content to help healthcare professionals work efficiently with their deaf and hard-of-hearing patients.

For more information about Deaf Hub, visit our website.


WE@RIT (Women in Engineering) is dedicated to encouraging the participation of women in engineering and preparing students for leadership roles within the engineering profession. WE@RIT programming serves three distinct audiences: students new to KGCOE; current KGCOE students; and the K-12 Community. By employing research-based best-practices, WE@RIT builds community and develops leadership skills in the next generation of engineers. WE@RIT programming is open to all students, regardless of gender.

For more information about WE@RIT, visit our website.

Center on Access Technology

The NTID Center on Access Technology will investigate, evaluate and report on the most effective and efficient use of access technologies and train individuals in their use in order to accelerate the widespread implementation of best practices within deaf education at the post secondary level.

This Center will create a collaborative network of individuals from RIT and other universities, as well as from industry and professional organizations, to promote research and development of access technologies that will positively impact post secondary educational experiences for deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals.

For more information about the NTID Center on Access Technology, visit our website.

N.E.R.D. Girls in STEM

N.E.R.D. Girls in STEM is a student organization at RIT/NTID intended to create a space to inspire and share knowledge under the STEM umbrella. Our organization focuses on supporting deaf and hard-of-hearing femme students at RIT/NTID. Our primary goal is to develop a support system of femme students interested in STEM, and to encourage the development of networking and soft skills to prepare for employment in STEM after graduation.

Planning Committee

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Kayley Judd
Roberto Cabrera
Director NRSC STEM Academy

Roberto Cabrera

Regina Kiperman-Kiselgof
Assistant Director

Regina Kiperman-Kiselgof

Loriann Macko
NTID Director of Alumni and Constituent Relations

Loriann Macko

Sarah McCormick
Assistant Director Student Life Programming

Sarah McCormick

David Monahan

David Monahan

David Putz
Senior Marketing Communications Specialist

David Putz

Margie Renteria
Senior Staff Assistant

Margie Renteria

Contact Us

For questions and inquiries about the Deaf in STEM conference, contact us at

For questions and inquiries about the workshop or the schedule of events for the conference, contact

Hosted by N.E.R.D. Girls in STEM and NRSC