Skip to content

Nancy E. Kensicki: An appreciation

April 22, 2022

Share:

Dr. Nancy E. Kensicki, a long-time faculty member at Gallaudet University, passed away on April 16, 2022 in Bowie, Maryland. She was 83 years old.

Dr. Kensicki taught English from 1967 to 2004, and served multiple terms as chair of the Department of English. She was involved in the faculty governance system and advised student organizations, including The Buff and Blue, the Delta Epsilon Sorority, and the Phi Alpha Pi Honor Society.

Nancy Maureen Evans was born on March 17, 1939 in Buffalo, New York to Margaret Villee Evans and Harry M. Evans. She enrolled at Gallaudet in 1957, left after one year, and returned to complete her bachelor’s degree in 1965. She served as president of the Delta Epsilon Sorority during her senior year. After she completed her master’s degree in 1967, Dr. William C. Stokoe, then chair of the Department of English, offered her a teaching position. She studied part-time for ten years while raising three young children, and earned her Doctor of Arts degree at the Catholic University of America in 1979. She is believed to be the first deaf woman to receive a doctoral degree in English.

Dr. Kensicki was a member of and held office – almost always secretary – in a myriad of local, state, and national organizations, including Deaf Telecommunicators of Greater Washington, Maryland Association of the Deaf, National Association of the Deaf, International Alumnae of Delta Epsilon Sorority, Maryland Deaf Senior Citizens, and Deaf Seniors of America. She served as secretary of the Gallaudet University Alumni Association Board of Directors for ten years, and served for over 40 years as a member and chair of GUAA’s Graduate Fellowship Fund Committee.

Dr. Kensicki is remembered by generations of students as one of their favorite teachers. “She clearly loved teaching,” said one commenter on Facebook, “and she had high expectations and higher standards.” She advised undergraduate students, served as a reader for Honors capstone projects, and served on several doctoral dissertation committees. She also actively recruited and mentored Deaf faculty for the English department.

Dr. Kensicki is survived by her husband of 61 years, Peter John Kensicki; three children: Wayne Peter Kensicki (Coleen), Linda Jean Kenix (Jennifer Lou), and Diana “DeeDee” Susan Kensicki Fleet; two grandchildren; and two brothers, including Henry B. Evans, ’69. She is predeceased by her parents, a brother, and a son-in-law. 

A memorial service is being planned for this summer at Gallaudet University. The family suggests contributions in Dr. Kensicki’s honor to one or both endowed funds that her family set up at Gallaudet, and/or the Gallaudet University Alumni Association Graduate Fellowship Fund. 

22 April 2022

Share:

About the Author

Gallaudet's Bison mascot pointing at you.
Chapel Hall:102E
202-250-2411 VideoPhone

Recent Posts

Kathryn P. Meadow Orlans, an internationally renowned scholar and researcher, passed away on April 16, 2022, at age 92. She was a research professor at Gallaudet from 1975 to 1997, and was named professor emerita after her retirement.  During her time at Gallaudet, Dr. Meadow Orlans published numerous scholarly articles and books including Deafness and...

Watch the official news release in American Sign Language. The United States Department of Education, through its Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA), has awarded $2.1 million to Elizabeth Schniedewind, ’90 & G-’92, clinical associate professor for sign language interpreting at Idaho State University in Meridian, Idaho. The grant funds will support ISU and Gallaudet University in...

Approximately 420 students – 220 undergraduate and 200 graduate – are expected to receive their degrees at Gallaudet’s 152nd Commencement on Friday, May 13 in the Field House. This will be the first face-to-face Commencement since 2019, and the first time that there have been separate ceremonies for undergraduate and graduate students. Apple chief executive...

About the Author

Robert Weinstock

Published Articles: 105

Recent Posts
Kathryn P. Meadow Orlans: An appreciation
Idaho State University, Gallaudet to partner in $2.1 million healthcare interpreting grant
Commencement 2022
Related Categories
Media Inquiries

For any other media inquiry, please contact:

No media contact found!

Stay up to date on all the Gallaudet happenings, both stories and initiatives we are doing with our Signing community!​

Admissions Requirements

Hearing Undergraduate