Category Archives: Faculty

Welcome to a new school year!

Wow, it’s been a long time! Our last post was in March, sharing about the OTDHH conference. Sorry for the delayed posting, but it’s been awfully busy since then! Let’s recap what’s been going on with our Deaf Education professors and students since last March.

First, our 3 Deaf Education seniors not only completed their student teaching, but also graduated from TU, got jobs, and began graduate school at Gallaudet University! Wow, ladies – that is a lot of accomplishments in a short amount of time! Congratulations are definitely in order for Erin, Shelby, and Shawna.

Next, professor Jessica Scott officially became Dr. Jessica Scott – she defended her dissertation on Academic English and Deaf/Hard of Hearing Students in April, and graduated from Harvard Graduate School of Education in May. Not only that, but her dissertation won the Jeanne Chall Doctoral Student Research award – she will be traveling back to Boston in October to receive that!

Our professors also spent quite a bit of time traveling for work this summer. Dr. Baker attended the International Conference on Sign Language Acquisition in Amsterdam, and Dr. Scott was at the International Congress on Education of the Deaf in Greece! After ICED, Dr. Scott traveled back to St. Louis to begin her position as the Chair of the Deaf/Hard of Hearing Special Interest Group at the International Literacy Association.

And the professors weren’t the only ones traveling! One of our seniors spent the summer at Gallaudet University, and another visited Sienna, Italy, where she learned Italian Sign Language.

Phew! Our students and professors have had amazing, productive summers, and are ready to get back to work this fall! We hope that all of you accomplished all you hoped to during the summer break – feel free to let us know what you’ve been up to in the comments!

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ACEDHH 2015

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The Arch at sunrise

Every year Dr. Baker and Jessica Scott travel to the Association of College Educators of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (ACEDHH) conference. This year we were lucky that the conference was hosted so close by – in St. Louis, MO! As with every year, we had a wonderful time connecting with old colleagues and meeting new friends! The conference hotel was very close by the beautiful arch, so we had a wonderful view out of our hotel room window!

The conference this year provided us with no shortage of ideas to implement in our classrooms and in the reading clinic. Jessica learned about an assessment of reading fluency and comprehension designed specifically for Deaf/Hard of Hearing children that can be administered in less than 5 minutes on an iPad. The assessment was created by Dr. Susan Rose at the University of Minnesota. So far this is making a great new addition to our instruction in the reading clinic! We also learned about systems in place to help pre-service Deaf Education teachers reflect on their American Sign Language abilities, which we hope to implement this year. The keynote speaker also told us about the importance of writing as a part of the learning process (as well as learning in shorter bursts over longer periods of time instead of learning a new skill or concept in one long session).

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From left to right, Dr. Antia (University of Arizona), Dr. Baker (from here at TU!), Dr. Smith (Texas Women’s University), Dr. Lartz (Illinois State University), and Dr. Paterson (University of Southern Mississippi).

The end of the first night was a social hour where we got to catch up with old friends. It was so wonderful to be in the company of distinguished researchers and teacher educators who are all working to improve the education of pre-service teachers, as well as Deaf and Hard of Hearing students. This was not the only social opportunity, of course. The second night Jessica attended the bilingual Special Interest Group (SIG) meeting, where she was able to visit with professors and doctoral students from Gallaudet University, Columbia University Teacher’s College, and Lamar University, among others. All of these professionals are interested in the bilingual and bimodal development of Deaf and Hard of Hearing students, and a number of wonderful and fascinating conversations were had. And additionally, a former student from TU, Jessie Menchak is living in St. Louis and earning her master’s in counseling and an AA in interpreting. She was able to meet up with us for several days of the conference and attend the bilingual SIG social as well. It is always so nice to hear from past students and see how they are doing for post-TU life!

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Dr. Baker and Jessica Scott’s poster!

On Friday morning, Jessica and Dr. Baker presented a poster on the challenges of conducting research in schools for the Deaf/Hard of Hearing, which was very well received. In fact, several superintendents of schools shared that they wished all researchers thought about these issues, and a representative of the National Leadership Consortium in Sensory Disabilities asked Jessica if she would be a guest lecturer to share this information with doctoral students in the field of Deaf Education!

The ACE-DHH conference is always a wonderful opportunity to connect with colleagues and researchers across the country who are interested in the same issues that we are here at TU. Who wants to join us next year in New York??

End of semester catch-up

Wow, it has been a long time since this blog was updated – over a month! Sorry for the delay, the semester really got away from us here at TU. Jessica (the main updater on this blog) has been writing her dissertation this semester alongside teaching responsibilities, so we haven’t updated as much as we would have liked. So, here we are once again to tell you a little bit about our semester here!

First of all, our students have been active at the TU sporting events – members of DeafTU, our university club, have been signing the national anthem at all of our football home games. Pictured below are senior Deaf Ed majors Shawna and Erin, and sophomore Deaf Ed major Karen, just after the opener!

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Speaking of sports, Jessica Scott was voted Most Valuable Professor for the second year in a row – this year from the Women’s Soccer team! Thank you, ladies!

Ok, next up is the reading clinic. As many of you know, we got our grant to help fund the reading clinic this fall, and things have been going very well! We having 6 students being tutored this semester, and have been able to order scores of new books, assessments, games and other materials to use. And to follow up with even better news, 12 students have enrolled in Literacy and the Deaf Child in the spring – which means 12 students will get tutoring, and perhaps even more if the previously trained tutors sign up to work in the spring as well! A visitor from the Oklahoma State Regents, through which the grant was procured, was very successful, and we were encouraged to apply again for the grant next year. Wonderful news!

We’ve also had some visitors  to TU this semester! We already told you about Dr. Kim Wolbers and her work with SIWI – Strategic Interactive Writing Instruction. Her former doctoral student, and current professor at UConn,

Dr. Hannah Dostal teaches us about SIWI!
Dr. Hannah Dostal teaches us about SIWI!

Dr. Hannah Dostal came to Tulsa as well to give a hands-on workshop for teachers and students on how to implement SIWI in the classroom. We are so lucky to have had such wonderful visitors!

DeafTU also hosted our first ASL Live Lab this semester – we had a Halloween party for the Tulsa Deaf Community and ASL students from both TU and TCC. There was candy, games, costumes, and lots of wonderful conversation. Thanks to everyone who came out – and a reminder that TCC will be hosting their own Live Lab this Friday night – a Thanksgiving party! We hope many of our students will support TCC the way they supported our Halloween party!

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Students exploring the flavor, look, and feel of apples!

Finally, this will have its own update later on, but Dr. Baker’s Language Development class had the pleasure of completing Language Experience Activity lessons with the elementary schoolers at Wright! Her TU students created lessons on pumpkins and apples, and the children had the opportunity to explore, feel, taste, and build vocabulary around these delicious fall foods! A student or two will be writing about this experience soon, but in the meantime, here are a few pictures!

Tonya, a Deaf Education junior, ready for her Language Experience Activity!
Tonya, a Deaf Education junior, ready for her Language Experience Activity!
Two language students in the midst of their Language Experience Activity on pumpkins!
Two language students in the midst of their Language Experience Activity on pumpkins!

Happy end of fall semester everyone!!

Learn About TU: Travel to Gallaudet

Welcome to our second installment in the Learn About TU for potential Deaf Education majors! Today we will be talking about a unique experience available for our senior level Deaf Education majors: Travel to Gallaudet!

By the time they are seniors, our Deaf Education students have done a lot to inform their understanding of Deaf Education and their ASL skills. They have taken ASL levels 1-4, almost all of the Deaf Education teaching methods classes (including Introduction to Deaf Education, Language Development with Deaf Students, Literacy Development with Deaf Students, and Methods of Teaching the Deaf, among others!), and many courses with the school of education.

So what better way to continue to improve ASL skills and teaching knowledge than with a trip to Gallaudet, the only liberal arts college for Deaf/Hard of Hearing students? Our students travel with a faculty member or two to the university, usually sometime in November. We try to schedule this trip around presentations from the Visual Language and Visual Learning (VL2) research group, which is NSF-funded. Students also get the opportunity to meet professors in the Gallaudet Education department, and possibly even visit classes at the university! The whole trip lasts around 5 or 6 days, and is really an invaluable opportunity for our majors.

The course is worth one credit, but the experience of being on an all-Deaf campus is worth much more! This year we have three seniors visiting Gallaudet in November, and we can’t wait to hear about their experiences!

Have more questions about Travel to Gallaudet, or the TU Deaf Education program in general? Please contact our faculty!

New school year!

Hello readers!
We hope that you all had a fabulous and relaxing summer and are ready to start a new school year! We at the Deaf Education program at University of Tulsa had a wonderful and productive summer, and are ready to hit the ground running for the new school year. We just wanted to share some updates with all of you!

Dr. Baker spent the summer giving trainings at schools for the deaf on language development and how to use the new tool she developed with colleagues at Gallaudet University and Lamar University. Her travels brought her to Kansas and to Pennsylvania.

Jessica Scott spent most of her time close to home working on various projects in Tulsa, including planning a 5K race to benefit the Total Source for Hearing-loss and Access. She also traveled out of state to collect data for her dissertation!

This year we are looking forward to a number of things:

1. Meeting new Deaf Education students, of course!

2. Learning whether we have received the grant for our reading clinic, and if so, getting that up and running again

3. Attending the Association of College Educators of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (ACEDHH) in nearby St. Louis

4. Jessica returning again to St. Louis for the International Reading Association conference to present her doctoral research and become chair of the Deaf/Hard of Hearing Special Interest Group.

5. Seeing several of our amazing Deaf Education majors graduating this spring and entering the field!

6. Cooler weather! (Last on the list, but it is pretty hot and will be nice to get some more bearable weather!!)

What are you looking forward to most for this academic year? Are there any upcoming events that we should also be excited about that we missed? We want to hear from you!

End of summer update!

Hi readers! It has been a wonderful summer, and here at the Deaf Education program at TU we are gearing up to start a new school year. We just wanted to share some of what our faculty has been up to this summer!

For Dr. Sharon Baker, it has been a great summer for workshops! She has led workshops in Kansas and Pennsylvania for teachers of the Deaf and hard of hearing. The teachers were excited to learn about the latest research in Deaf Education from her, and we know that their students will benefit from what they have learned! Dr. Baker has also been meeting with collaborators from other universities for research and writing – we are very excited to see the end results of these collaborations!

Jessica Scott has been doing work more locally. She has begun to work on a team from across Oklahoma that is developing a web resource for parents, professionals (teachers, employers), and Deaf/hard of hearing students themselves on important transition times in Deaf students’ lives (including transitions from early intervention to more formal school, and transition from secondary school to work, or to college, or to vocational training). Everyone on the team hopes this resource will help answer some questions about how to support Deaf students and what the law entitles them to during the transition process.

We should also be hearing soon about the reading clinic grant – we hope to get it and will let everyone know when we do!

The summer can be a great time to catch up on this type of work that can be difficult to get done during the school year. But, we are excited to get back to campus and back to working with our Deaf Education majors and minors! And, we want to hear from you! What amazing things were you able to accomplish this summer? What are you most looking forward to doing this academic year?