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Team Members

Photo of Ronald R. KellyRonald R. Kelly, Professor and Director
REACH — Research on Employment and Adapting to Change
Center for Studies on Career Success
Co-Principal Investigator, Deaf Learners’ Acquisition of English Verbs and Their Component Properties, National Science Foundation grant BCS-1251342
 

Ronald R. Kelly is a Professor at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID), one of nine colleges at the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, NY. He has been a member of the NTID/RIT faculty for 31 years, having previously served as department chairperson, as well as Assistant Dean of the College and Director of the Communication Programs. His academic department is the graduate MSSE Program for teacher education.

In addition to being the Director of REACH — Center for Studies on Career Success, Ron is also a Co-PI on the Berent et al. NSF grant, Deaf Learners’ Acquisition of English Verbs and Their Component Properties housed in the REACH Center.

Ron’s scholarly collaborative research has focused on deaf students’ mathematical problem solving, reading comprehension, knowledge of both universal and numerically quantified sentences, visual input enhancement to improve English grammatical knowledge, and morphological knowledge related to English comprehension and the solution of mathematical word problems. More recently, his research focus has been on non-cognitive personal factors that influence deaf students’ persistence and success in college, as well as their career success. Ron is a reviewer and the Book Review Editor for the international Journal of Deaf Education and Deaf Studies.

 

Photo of Gerald P. BerentGerald P. Berent, Professor
Associate Director, REACH Center for Studies on Career Success
Director, REACH Laboratory for Academic and Career English Studies (ACES)
Principal Investigator, Deaf Learners’ Acquisition of English Verbs and Their Component Properties, National Science Foundation grant BCS-1251342

Gerald P. Berent is a Professor at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, Rochester Institute of Technology, and a member of NTID’s Department of Liberal Studies. He has been a faculty member at NTID/RIT for 34 years and has served as a research faculty member and chairperson of two NTID research departments. His NTID research focuses on deaf and hard-of-hearing students’ acquisition and use of English, with the goal of obtaining a principled understanding of the challenges that these students often face in their efforts to achieve high proficiency in English language and literacy.

As Director of the REACH Laboratory for Academic and Career English Studies (ACES), Jerry Berent encourages and conducts research on deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals’ knowledge and skill improvement in both Academic English, essential to career preparation in academic environments, and Career English, essential to successful job performance and career advancement. Special attention is given to research on Academic and Career English for the STEM disciplines (science-technology-engineering-mathematics), in which deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals are highly under-represented.

The Berent et al. NSF grant, Deaf Learners’ Acquisition of English Verbs and Their Component Properties, is housed in the REACH Center. It focuses on discovering the nature of deaf and hard-of-hearing students’ knowledge of distinct fundamental properties of English verbs, knowledge which is central to reading comprehension abilities and written English expression. Results will provide valuable new insights into the component knowledge of English verbs, with implications for helping deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals to improve in this critical area of English lexical knowledge and accordingly in their overall management of academic and career English discourse.

 

Photo of Gary W. BehmGary W. Behm, Assistant Professor and Director
NTID Center on Access Technology Innovation Laboratory
Co-Principal Investigator, Taking on the Glass Ceiling Innovation Project

Gary Behm is an Assistant Professor in the Engineering Studies department. He is a deaf engineer who retired from IBM after serving for 30 years. He received a BS from RIT and a MS from Lehigh University. His final assignment with IBM was an Advanced Process Control project manager. He managed team members in delivering the next generation Advanced Process Control solution that replaced the legacy APC system in the 300 mm semiconductor fabricator. As a director of the CAT Innovation Lab, his role is to serve as engineering lead for the faculty, researchers and students in the conceptualization, design, development, building and testing of engineering solutions that address the need of accessibility of deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals especially in the postsecondary educational environment. He serves as instructor with the responsibilities of teaching, course development and tutoring for the deaf and hard-of-hearing students. Gary has twelve patents and has presented over 25 scientific and technical papers at various professional conferences worldwide.

 

Photo of John R. MackoJohn R. Macko, Director, Center on Employment (NCE)
Co-Principal Investigator, Taking on the Glass Ceiling Innovation Project

John R. Macko is Director of NCE at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID), Rochester Institute of Technology’s (RIT). In this capacity, he is responsible for developing and enhancing employment opportunities for deaf and hard-of-hearing students and graduates of RIT. During his 18-year career at RIT, he has taught job search classes, been an employment advisor for students seeking co-ops and permanent jobs, and appeared as an expert guest numerous times on “Disability Matters,” an international radio talk show with real-time captioning focused on the employment and empowerment of people with disabilities. John was also a featured guest on "Many Voices Many Visions," a multicultural public affairs program airing on 13WHAM-TV Sunday mornings.

John Macko is a member of the National Association of Colleges and Employers and holds a bachelor’s degree in Finance and a master’s degree in Human Resources, both from Rochester Institute of Technology. After working in finance at The Prudential Financial Asset Management Company and Merrill Lynch, Mr. Macko returned to RIT for a graduate degree in human resources which would fulfill his desire to contribute to the career and life success of young deaf and hard-of-hearing people.