Dr. Janice D. M. Mitchell has served the Gallaudet community and shown her dedication to the Deaf community and the University in numerous ways since 1969. As a university professor, she has done pioneering work on campus in language learning and acquisition of deaf students learning foreign languages and English, developing new courses and materials e.g. the first Multicultural Studies course for future teachers of the Deaf for the Graduate School, the use of Cued Speech in the foreign language class for conversational German and English language acquisition, and Methods in Foreign Language Teaching for undergraduate language majors. She has championed access to education and media for deaf schoolchildren and adults via her work as an instructional media evaluator and Advisory Board member for the national Captioned Media Project, the NAD and as a reader for the U.S. Department of Education. As Director of the first German Exchange Program in the Department since 1976, many contacts for further study in German-speaking opportunities for Gallaudet students were made which are lasting today-both through hosting families and teachers of the Deaf, deaf adult community organizations, university administrators, and faculty in various German states, school principals of schools for the Deaf in Switzerland, Germany, and Holland, interpreters, and meetings with members of the German government and the European Union on behalf of deaf people in Germany-- a lifetime firsthand experience for participating German language students in her classes. Dr. Mitchell has continued to support all campus and department efforts on foreign study.
Since the early '80s, Dr. Mitchell has been conducting workshops and training Institutes at major conferences, and sitting on Advisory Boards for diversity training as a tool to use to enhance multicultural learning environments in the U.S. and globally. Her present research focus is on the life of Afro-German and other native and immigrant Germans of color and how they negotiate their personal and group identities-both in historical and present-day context using media documentary and cultural competency techniques.
In 2006, Dr. Mitchell was one of two faculty from Gallaudet selected as Faculty Fellows by the CoRAL Network for community-based research and learning, focusing on service-learning in the D. C. community of which she is a native of 4-generations. Throughout her career, she has worked to represent a positive Gallaudet presence and open up all the city has to offer to our students by using the city as text and resource wherever and whenever possible.