Sesquicentennial Lecture Series

Previous lectures

Andrew Solomon

"Far From the Tree: Parents, Children & the Search for Identity"

Andrew Solomon, award-winning author, lecturer, activist, and philanthropist

September 10, 2013, 12:30-1:45 p.m., Kellogg Conference Hotel, Swindells Auditorium

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Read more about Solomon's presentation at Gallaudet University.

Andrew Solomon is a writer of remarkable talent and intellect. In his books and essays he explores the subjects of politics, culture, and psychology with extraordinary humanity. His latest work, Far From the Tree: Parents, Children & the Search for Identity, received the 2012 National Book Critics Circle Award for nonfiction. With narrative grace and unparalleled empathy, it explores the lives of families that accommodate children with physical, mental, and social disabilities and how these challenges can broaden one’s capacity for love. Andrew spent ten years researching the book, interviewing more than 300 families and generating more than 40,000 pages of notes!

The New York Times chose Far From the Tree as one of the Ten Best Books of 2012, praising it as “a book everyone should read… there’s no one who wouldn’t be a more imaginative and understanding parent — or human being — for having done so… a wise and beautiful book.” President Bill Clinton called the book “remarkable” and it continues to garner acclaim and receive numerous awards, including the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award and Yale University’s Research Advocacy Award.

In 2001, Andrew received the National Book Award for The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression. The book was also a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and was a world-wide bestseller published in more than twenty languages. The New York Times described The Noonday Demon as “All-encompassing, brave, deeply humane...a book of remarkable depth, breadth and vitality...openminded, critically informed and poetic all at the same time...fearless and full of compassion.”

A regular contributor to NPR, The New York Times and many other publications, Andrew has lectured on an extensive range of topics at Harvard, Yale, and MIT and is a frequent lecturer in Psychiatry at Weill-Cornell Medical College. He graduated from the prestigious Horace Mann School in New York City cum laude and from Yale University magna cum laude. He holds a PhD in Psychology from Jesus College in Cambridge where he also received the top first-class degree, the only foreign student to ever be so-honored.

Beyond his writing Andrew is an outspoken activist and philanthropist for many causes in LGBT rights, mental health, education and the arts. He is founder of the Solomon Research Fellowships in LGBT Studies at Yale University and serves on the board of directors for many national organizations.

He lives with his husband and young son in New York and London.


Marilyn Smith

The Anti-Domestic and Sexual Violence Movement in Deaf America 1986-2013

Marilyn Jean Smith, '74, G-'77, and H-'04, founder of Abused Deaf Women’s Advocacy Services

Thursday, October 17, 2013, 12:30-1:45 p.m., Elstad Auditorium

In response to the murder of a Deaf woman by her abusive husband the Abused Deaf Women’s Advocacy Services (ADWAS) started what is now considered the beginning of the anti-domestic and anti-sexual violence movement in Deaf America. This was in the spring of 1985. Using models from mainstream domestic and sexual violence victim services ADWAS spent the next twelve years modifying these models by incorporating Deaf cultural norms and by creating a Deaf-friendly environment to serve Deaf and Deaf-Blind victims and survivors.

These early years proved very difficult for two key reasons: the Deaf community was not ready to confront the reality of domestic violence and sexual assault and the criminal justice system was filled with barriers to access. An important turning point for the movement came in 1998 when the Department of Justice awarded ADWAS with a significant grant to train other Deaf women across America to replicate the ADWAS model.

group picture
Read more about Smith's presentation at Gallaudet University. Or watch the video below.

This paper includes interviews with almost all the groups trained by ADWAS focusing on important challenges and successes they have faced since training. An analysis of how this movement has impacted Deaf America will also be presented including language and cultural changes, employment opportunities that have opened up and most of all how the Deaf community has for the most part seriously begun to address issues of oppression.

Marilyn Jean Smith is the founder and former executive director (1986-2011) of the Abused Deaf Women's Advocacy Services located in Seattle. Her work at ADWAS brought many awards including one from U.S. President Bill Clinton, the National Association for the Deaf, Deaf Women United, and the Phi Kappa Zeta Sorority. Other recognitions include the Ford Foundation's Leadership for a Changing World award, The Sunshine Lady award, the National Network to End Domestic Violence advocacy award, Bank of America Hero Award, Deaf Hope Trailblazer Award, among others. She served on the boards of Deaf Women United and the National Association of the Deaf and is currently serving on the Deafhood Foundation board.

Marilyn has also received several awards and recognitions from her alma mater—she received her B.A. and M.A. from Gallaudet University—including an honorary Doctor of Laws in 2004. She was the 2012 Distinguished Alumnus Fellow and is is a member of the Gallaudet University Board of Associates.

Marilyn is currently principal of The Leading Edge, LLC, which provides workshops on domestic violence, sexual assault, leadership, board development, fund development, grant writing, personal ethics, organizational development, non profit management and is a motivational keynote speaker. She works throughout the United States and Canada.


Anindya Bhattacharyya and dog Walter

The Power of Technology Leads to Self-Success

Anindya (Bapin) Bhattacharyya, deaf-blind technology expert/consultant

Thursday, November 14, 2013, 12:30-1:45 p.m., Elstad Auditorium

Bhattacharyya will share, from both a personal and professional perspective, how technology provides independence, personal satisfaction, and professional success for many deaf-blind individuals.

Bhattacharyya (left) with Eddie Martinez
Read more about Bhattacharyya's presentation at Gallaudet University. Or watch the video below.

Nowadays technology plays an important role in everyone's life including the deaf-blind population around the globe; something never imagined during Helen Keller's time. The presentation will focus on how technologies, i.e., computers and mobile devices such as iPhones with braille access, Global Positioning Systems, and communication devices have established a world on equal footing for disabled and non-disabled people. The presentation will also discuss how deaf-blind individuals are using these technologies to enhance their success and personal independence in terms of recreation, employment, and education.

Bhattacharyya leads a normal life with his a family—his deaf wife and hearing-sighted son. He owns a car driven by his wife and friends. He travels around the world independently or with companions. He commutes to work daily on his own with help of his faithful dog guide, Walter.


Andrew Manning

The Interconnectedness of Wyatt Earp, Cinderella, Gollum, Ostriches, Tobacco, Terry Pratchett, London Eye, Star Trek, Coca Cola, Socks and Jonah Lomu OR Studying Climate Change with Atmospheric Measurements of Greenhouse Gases

Andrew Manning, internationally-recognized environmental scientist

Tuesday, February 4, 2014, 12:30-1:45 p.m., Elstad Auditorium

Manning flyerAbstract: Carbon dioxide (CO2) is, by far, the most important greenhouse gas causing man-made climate change. Despite this importance, relatively few funds are provided to collect measurements of CO2, and there are large gaps in our scientific knowledge of the carbon cycle, especially quantifying carbon emissions at country-scale and regarding so-called carbon “feedbacks” with climate. This lecture, while embracing the interconnectedness of all things, will demonstrate what we have learned from existing measurements of greenhouse gases, discuss briefly how such measurements are made, and emphasize the key areas which require our attention. From a personal perspective, I will also discuss the changing environment climate scientists find themselves in, with respect to their engagement with policy-makers, the media, climate denialists, and the general public.

Background: Andrew Manning was born and raised in New Zealand, before moving to the USA where he obtained his Ph.D. at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in 2001, working with Professor Ralph Keeling. With Ralph, Andrew has been one of the pioneers of high precision atmospheric oxygen measurements, and during his Ph.D. he set up oxygen measurements in New Zealand, a time series that is the longest record of continuous oxygen measurements in the world. After Scripps, Andrew moved to Germany and spent five years at the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, where he was leader of the “Tall Towers Group”, establishing continuous measurements of greenhouse gases and oxygen on very tall towers in Germany, Poland and Siberia. Since 2006, Andrew has been in England, at the Centre for Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia (UEA). At UEA, Andrew established the “Carbon Related Atmospheric Measurement (CRAM) Laboratory”, where he continues his greenhouse gas research work, and also teaches the next generation of students about the urgency, importance and intricacies of climate change.

Andrew leads or participates in several national and international research projects, including the “GOLLUM” and “Cucumbers” projects. He was contributing author of the 3rd and 4th Assessment Reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Andrew has been profoundly deaf since the age of two, and is particularly proud of his deaf sister, Victoria, who, as well as being a Gallaudet Alumni, has been a strong advocate for deaf and disabled rights in New Zealand and currently works for the New Zealand Human Rights Commission.


Ritchie Bryant

From Pennsylvania to Trailblazing Agent for Change: How Dr. Nathie Marbury Influenced the Course of the American Sign Language/Deaf Studies Field

FLYERRitchie Bryant, professor in the American Sign Language and Interpreting Training Program at Austin Community College.

Thursday, March 6, 2014, 12:30-1:45 p.m., Elstad Auditorium

Ritchie R. Bryant is a dynamic American Sign Language (ASL) user and a culturally Deaf Texan. Currently working as a professor in the American Sign Language and Interpreter Training program at Austin Community College, Bryant has been presenting ASL/Deaf-related workshops for the past twenty years. Trained as an ASL mentor and ASLPI/SLPI evaluator, he used to train deaf people to become ASL mentors for signers in the Rochester community through a community interpreter grant.

Bryant received his bachelor's degree in ASL studies from Gallaudet University and master's degree in deaf education from McDaniel College. He is a certified deaf interpreter who has been interpreting in the deaf community since 2000. He provides consultation to various organizations and agencies and was involved with the creation of a deaf interpreter examination for an online ASL mentor program. Ritchie's interests include developing African-American storytelling within the deaf community and video editing on his computer.

Bryant's lecture tells the story of Dr. Nathie Marbury, a renowned teacher, storyteller, and passionate advocate of ASL. With her “pay it forward” philosophy, Marbury passionately provided resources to deaf children of color. She embraced the use of media as a tool for reaching people through storytelling and teaching, and her contribution to ASL curriculum has been widely used in classrooms across America.

This presentation will discuss and analyze Dr. Nathie Marbury’s impact on ASL and the deaf studies field through her contributions to service and scholarship. This presentation will include a literature review of her ASL storytelling, curriculum work, and doctoral dissertation work. It will also include testimonials from her former colleagues about how her contributions have broadened their perspectives regarding the importance of including people of color in the media.


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