Meet the Signs of Literacy Research Team members

Carol J. Erting has a Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology from American University and undergraduate and M.A. degrees from Northwestern University in Deaf Education. She is currently the Dean of Graduate Studies and Professional Programs, and also a Professor in the Department of Education at Gallaudet University. Carol was the recent recipient of the William C. Stokoe, Jr. Fellowship in Ethnographic Studies of Deaf Language and Culture. Before arriving at Gallaudet in 1974 to work at the Linguistics Research Laboratory with Dr. Stokoe, she taught deaf and hard-of-hearing children and worked with their families for several years in Chicago, St. Louis, and Atlanta. During her tenure at Gallaudet, Carol has also been a faculty member in the Department of ASL, Linguistics, and Interpretation and a Research Scientist in the Gallaudet Research Institute. She has conducted ethnographic research in Deaf homes, schools, and classrooms with a focus on language, culture, and interaction. Carol is currently co-director of the Signs of Literacy Research Team, along with Dr. Cynthia Neese Bailes. In addition to her work in the United States, she has extensive international experience working with deaf and hearing colleagues in South Africa, Cypress, Canada, Mexico, Western Europe, and several countries in South America. This teaching and research experience prepared her for her role as Program Chair of the first Deaf Way Conference on the History, Language and Culture of Deaf People, held at Gallaudet in 1989. The book resulting from this conference, The Deaf Way, was published in 1994 and was named one of the outstanding academic books of 1995 by the Association of College and Research Libraries.

Cynthia Neese Bailes has a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Maryland-College Park, a MAT in Deaf Education from Augustana College, and a BA in English from Gallaudet University. She is currently a Professor  in the Department of Education at Gallaudet University, with more than 30 years of experience in the field of education. She has taught in the elementary and secondary grades at the South Dakota School for the Deaf in Sioux Falls, and the Model Secondary School for the Deaf (MSSD) in Washington, DC. She also served as Principal and Assistant Principal for Programs at the Model Secondary School for the Deaf. Her areas of research interest and specialization include language and literacy acquisition and learning, and ASL/English bilingual education. Vita

CTPCarlene Thumann-Prezioso is deaf and is a native signer. She has worked in the Gallaudet Research Institute for more than 25 years and has been a senior research associate for over 10 years, specializing in ethnographic research. She has a B.A. (Psychology) and an M.A. (Counseling) from Gallaudet University and has completed several Ph.D.-level courses in Anthropology at American University, focusing on language and culture. She has also taken several M.A.-level classes in linguistics and the Structure of ASL. Her research interests include 1) studying young deaf children's language socialization, literacy development and enculturation in their deaf families; and 2) how deaf preschool children acquire language and literacy in both the classroom and at home. In addition to working with SOL, Carlene is currently the coordinator of the Institutional Review Board and also is the Special Assistant to the Dean of Graduate School and Professional Programs, for Research. Vita

Charles Reilly, Ph.D., has been a member of the research group since 1993, and participated in data collection for the longitudinal study. His research interests lie in the areas of interaction among deaf peers in various learning contexts, such as residential schools. With SOL, he has been actively involved in the development of the Video Portfolio software that enables the team to log and annotate video clips. Continuing his long involvement in Southeast Asia, Charles is involved with several deaf community and education development projects in Thailand and Burma. Charles is the Associate Director and a research scientist with the Gallaudet Research Institute. He manages the Priority Research Fund for the University. Vita

WeiWei Wang - was born and raised in Beijing, China. She earned her bachelor of art degree in digital media from Gallaudet University in 2007. She worked at the video library at Gallaudet for three months and loved obtaining many valuable deaf documentaries. Then, Wei was the TV media production teacher for both MSSD and KDES and she enjoyed working with cute deaf schoolchildren. She produced three TV programs such as the Wildcat News 43 (WCN43). Wei works as the SOL/VL2 digital media technician. She is interested in deaf communication and development projects and considers herself lucky to be part of the SOL/VL2team. Vita

Lynne C. Erting is an assistant principal at the Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center at Gallaudet University. She received her M.A. in deaf education (elementary) from Gallaudet University in 1975 and earned her Ph.D. from the University of Maryland in Curriculum and Instruction in 2001. Lynne's areas of doctoral study included early childhood education, emergent language/literacy development, bilingual and second language education. She has spent the past 24 years teaching and learning from deaf students ranging in age from 2-15 years as well as undergraduate and graduate students in higher education. Lynne has extensive experience team-teaching with Deaf teachers in visually oriented, bilingual (ASL/English) early childhood classrooms. She has worked as a research associate with the Signs of Literacy Research Team, a collaboration involving the Clerc Center, the Gallaudet Research Institute, and the Gallaudet Department of Education. Lynne developed research-based training materials designed to provide pre-service and practicing preschool teachers with the knowledge and strategies to share books in ASL with small groups of young deaf children in enjoyable and comprehensible ways.


Marlon Kuntze has a Ph.D. in educational linguistics from Stanford University, a M.S. in deaf education from Western Oregon University, and a B.A. in English from Gallaudet University. His academic focus is in language and literacy with research interests in the areas of first and second language acquisition and literacy development in both ASL and written English. He has published various topics ranging from literacy acquisition and language development to linguistics of ASL and bilingualism of deaf people. Presently, he is affiliated with the teacher-training program at San Jose State University and concurrently serves as a consultant for the Signs of Literacy research. Marlon is also currently providing consultation on the development of ASL curriculum and ASL assessment prototypes at a variety of schools such as the Delaware School for the Deaf and Ontario Provincial Schools for the Deaf in Canada. While working on his doctorate, he was affiliated with a psycholinguistics lab led by Dan Slobin at University of California, Berkeley. Before starting his doctorate, he worked at the California School for the Deaf in Fremont where he taught high school English for several years before assuming a specially created position to help spearhead the school-wide effort to institute a bilingual/bicultural approach to educating the students.

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