x = independently organized TED event

This event occurred on
February 28, 2014
8:00am - 6:00pm EST
(UTC -5hrs)
Washington DC, District of Columbia
United States

Gallaudet University hosted TEDxGallaudet*that featured four sessions, with five 15-minute presentations in each session, totaling 20 presentations. for more information

800 Florida Ave NE
Washington DC, District of Columbia, 20002
United States
Event type:
University (What is this?)
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Alim Chandani

Benjamin Bahan

Benjamin J. Bahan is a professor of ASL and Deaf Studies at Gallaudet University. He is known for his works in American Sign Language literature as a storyteller and writer covering Deaf Cultural Studies. He is known for his works on the stories "The Ball Story" and "Birds of a Different Feather", book - A Journey into the Deaf-World (1996) with Robert J. Hoffmeister and Harlan Lane. Bahan also co-wrote and co-directed the film Audism Unveiled (2008) with his colleague Dirksen Bauman. After graduating from New Jersey School for the Deaf, Bahan attended Gallaudet University and received bachelor's degree in Biology in 1978. Afterwards, he worked at The Salk Institute in La Jolla, California where he researched American Sign Language linguistics and acquisition.

Benjamin Lewis

Benjamin Lewis, the first Deaf lecturer to work on the ASL program at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), is passionate about flying hands. Fluent in not only ASL, but also Japanese Sign Language (JSL) and New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL), he is fascinated by watching not only Deaf people, but humans in general who also use their hands to communicate with others, incorporating not only signs but gestures and visual movements being but a few examples.

Beth Benedict

Beth Benedict is a professor at the Department of Communication Studies at Gallaudet University, and is also the coordinator of Gallaudet's Deaf and Hard of Hearing Infants, Toddlers, and Families: Collaboration and Leadership Interdisciplinary Graduate Certificate Program. She has published numerous articles and is a widely sought after lecturer on diverse topics including early intervention, early language acquisition, and family involvement. Dr. Benedict is the president of the American Society for Deaf Children (ASDC) from 2007 to 2011, and 2013 - present. ASDC is the oldest organization of, by, and for parents of deaf and hard of hearing children ( Dr. Benedict holds a Ph.D. degree in education from Gallaudet University, a master's degree in education counseling from New York University, and a bachelor's degree from Gallaudet in psychology.

Corinna Hill

Corinna Hill is currently a senior undergraduate student at Gallaudet University with the plan to turn her tassel this May. Corinna is a History major and Criminology minor. She is originally from Texas and moved to Maryland when she was twelve. After graduating from Maryland School for the Deaf, she entered Gallaudet University. During her time here at Gallaudet, Corinna has been a part of several organizations such as The Buff and Blue student newspaper. She is going to now shamelessly plug information here, please go check out if you haven't! She would like to take the time to thank her friends and family for listening to her ramble and putting up with her constant pacing. Corinna is very passionate about her topic and cannot thank her loved ones enough for all their support. Oh and in her free time, Corinna enjoys writing about herself in the third person.

Damien Spillane

My name is Damien Spillane. I am Deaf and fluent in American Sign Language. At the moment, I am currently a first year graduate student, pursuing a MA in Cultural Studies at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. I am originally from Fremont, California. I have two bachelor degrees: Communication Studies from Gallaudet University in 2010, and Deaf Studies from California State University of Northridge in 2013. After pursuing my master's degree in Cultural Studies, I want to be a professor in any higher education setting. I want to teach a diverse range of topics including the dynamics of oppression, "-isms", and Deaf culture, all with a focus on making a difference in society, changing and challenging ideologies, and improving partnerships between communities.

Dirksen Bauman

Dirksen Bauman is Professor of Deaf Studies at Gallaudet University where he serves as Department Chair, Coordinator for the MA program in Deaf Studies and Coordinator for the Office of Bilingual Teaching and Learning. He is the co-editor of the book/DVD project, Signing the Body Poetic: Essays in American Sign Language (University of California Press, 2006), editor of Open Your Eyes: Deaf Studies Talking (University of Minnesota Press, 2008) and co-editor of Deaf-Gain: Raising the Stakes for Human Diversity, (University of Minnesota Press, forthcoming). Dirksen Bauman is also a producer and co-director of the film Audism Unveiled (2008). He currently serves as Co-Executive Editor of the Deaf Studies Digital Journal (, the world's first peer reviewed academic and cultural arts journal to feature scholarship and creative work in both signed and written languages.

Elizabeth Stone Nirenberg

Liz Stone Nirenberg is a Major Gifts Development Officer at Gallaudet University and is the current Board Chair of DAWN, a Washington, D.C.-based domestic violence and sexual assault agency serving deaf survivors. Liz has more than fifteen years of expertise in non-profit organizational sustainability and development. Prior to her current position, she was Project Manager at the Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center and an Assistant Director for Individual Giving and Foundation Relations at Gallaudet, where her work supported the establishment of the James L. Sorenson Language and Communication Center. Her community development work includes founding DAWN's annual signature fundraising event, BOOTS. Before moving to Washington, D.C. in 2003, she served as Educational Coordinator at the pioneering Abused Deaf Women's Advocacy Services (ADWAS) agency in Seattle, Washington.

Fred Weiner

Fred Weiner is a native New Yorker, attending New York City public schools and spending much of his free time in the city's playgrounds and streets. It was during those years that he was exposed to an amazing array of people from all walks of life which profoundly shaped his views of the world. Fred left NYC to attend Gallaudet University, but it's fair to say that NYC has never left Fred. He has worked in many different settings including the Federal government, the United States Congress, a Fortune 500 corporation and of course, Gallaudet University. Fred has been working at Gallaudet for nearly fifteen years and currently serves as Assistant Vice President for Administration. One of his projects is the development of Gallaudet's properties on 6th Street which aims to turn the area into an exciting part of the neighborhood where members of the Gallaudet community, neighborhood residents and visitors will live, work, dine and spend their leisure hours.

Hansel Bauman

Hansel Bauman is an architect currently serving as the Gallaudet University Campus Architect and is the founding partner of Hansel Bauman architect + planner (hb a+p). His work also includes urban and campus planning projects in the United States and China. In collaboration with the ASL Deaf Studies Department at Gallaudet University Mr. Bauman founded the DeafSpace Project in 2006-a research and campus design project leading to the development of the "DeafSpace Design Guide". Since 2006 he has served as a design consultant on a range of projects serving the deaf community including the Rocky Mountain Deaf School, DeafHope, a transitional housing community for abused deaf women and Deaf Village, Ireland. While at Gallaudet University he has overseen the development of the 2022 Campus Plan, the design and construction of the university's newest student residence hall and consulted on the design vision for the redevelopment of the 6th Street corridor adjacent the Gallaudet campus.

John Collins

Having read over 500 articles related to productivity, psychology and Getting Things Done, John M. Collins has been fascinated with productivity since 2007. As a 20-year veteran of the Lexington School for the Deaf and collegiate educator, he is in a unique position to integrate the fields of productivity, psychology and education. His wide variety of teaching experiences includes deaf middle school, high school, and recent immigrant students as well as undergraduate deaf and hearing students. He holds a Master's Degree in Deaf Education from Gallaudet University and a Bachelor's Degree in Biochemistry and Cell Biology from the University of California, San Diego. John currently serves as the Coordinator for the Deaf Studies Program at LaGuardia Community College where he has been teaching American Sign Language and Deaf Sociology since 2009.

Joseph Santini

Joseph R. Santini II is a teacher, writer, blogger, and artist. As a certified English teacher he has worked in public schools for six years. He is currently performing ethnographic research for his Ph.D. in Critical Studies in the Education of Deaf Learners at Gallaudet University after earning his MSc in Deaf Studies at the University of Bristol, UK, and a Master's in secondary education from the City College of New York. He has been a contributing author for Deaf American Prose, the Lesson Plans blogging group of the New York Times, and currently is a contributing writer for Noodle, and earned the Best Emerging Artist Award for his short film "...let us spell it out for you" at the Superfest film festival in 2007. In addition to his current research on the experience of bilingualism, Santini is also interested in exploring the power of expectations in Deaf education, bilingual development for children and school leadership in bilingual institutions.

Marlon Kuntze

Marlon Kuntze is an associate professor in education at Gallaudet University with research interests in language and literacy development especially as they concern learning American Sign Language and written English among deaf children who are raised bilingually. He is interested in the typological characteristics of ASL and how ASL in spite of being typologically different from English is able to support the acquisition of English in the written form. It gives him an important angle for formulating a theory of how deaf children are able to learn to read and write without knowing spoken English.

Melissa Malzkuhn

As Digital Innovation & Media Strategies Manager, Melissa Malzkuhn leads and develops creative projects translating research findings into educational resources at the National Science Foundation's Science of Learning Center on Visual Language and Visual Learning at Gallaudet University. Released in early 2013, The Baobab is the first of planned ASL/English bilingual storybook apps for young children. She also serves as a Co-Executive Editor of Deaf Studies Digital Journal, having previously being the Managing Editor, where she oversaw the launch of the journal. With a passion for interactive and immersive storytelling, Melissa Malzkuhn leads Motion Lab, where creative literature meets digital technology. Melissa Malzkuhn is currently pursuing her MFA in Visual Narrative at the School of Visual Arts, in New York City. Connect with her @mezmalz and

Peter Hauser

Peter C. Hauser, Ph.D. is the Director of the Deaf Studies Laboratory (DSL) in the Department of American Sign Language and Interpreting Education at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf at Rochester Institute of Technology. At DSL, he studies the cognitive, language, and psychosocial aspects of the Deaf experience. DSL is also where Dr. Hauser directs the National Institutes of Health's (NIH) Rochester Bridges to Doctorate program, which recruits and trains the nation's top Deaf scholars for biomedical and behavioral science careers. He is also the National Science Mentorship Leader for the National Science Foundation (NSF) Science of Learning Center on Visual Language and Visual Learning (VL2) at Gallaudet University. He has co-authored several books, published in over 40 peer review journal articles, and presented his work nationally and internationally.

Robert Sirvage

Robert T. Sirvage, DeafSpace Design Researcher. Venturing outside the pasture of Connaught, just north of the St. Lawrence Seaway, to chase the butterfly of the immeasurable. Along the way, Sirvage amassed experiences and honed his investigative skills within the following fields - History, Social Work, and Deaf Studies. His Master's in Deaf Studies thesis, "Investigating the Navigational Proxemics," led him to work for the Gallaudet University Office of Campus Design and Planning as a design researcher, specializing in DeafSpace. Sirvage travels across the country to promote DeafSpace as a design philosophy by giving presentations and participating in architectural projects, such as the Rocky Mountain Deaf School in Colorado and the Living and Learning Residence Hall 6, a new residential hall at the heart of Kendall Green at Gallaudet.

Thomas Baldridge

Thomas F. Baldridge is the Director of Gallaudet University's Business Administration program and has taught filmmaking and honors interdisciplinary courses as well as business courses since joining the faculty in 1993. He currently teaches business ethics, business law, global business and entrepreneurship, particularly social entrepreneurship. Professor Baldridge also facilitated Gallaudet's first-ever Student Think Tank in Spring 2013, which is the subject of another TEDx presentation at this forum. The ultimate goal is to establish a culture of student entrepreneurship, innovation and empowerment on Gallaudet University's campus and to partner with the world-renowned Ashoka Foundation to make Gallaudet a changemaker institution. Professor Baldridge earned an A.B. at Harvard University, a JD and MBA at the University of California, Berkeley, and a Master of Fine Arts in Cinema at the University of Southern California.

Wanda Riddle

From a deaf family, Wanda Riddle was raised in the South. A faculty member at Gallaudet University since 2009, she has taught General Studies, Advanced ASL and ASL major courses. Instructor Riddle coordinated the ASL Immersion Program 2011 - 2013, a program for emerging signers to enhance their sign language skills. Since 2011, she is the coordinator of ASL Placement Test, a test designed for the placement of incoming students in ASL classes. She enjoys gardening, outdoor activities and ASL storytelling. Specializations: ASL Depiction, Sign Language Acquisition, Language Assessment, ASL Elocution, Sociolinguistics in Sign Language Communities, Deaf Studies, and History of Sign Languages.

Organizing team


  • Gemma Gabor
    Gallaudet Staff
  • Brian Suchite
    GSA President
  • Hayley McBride
    SBG President
  • MJ Bienvenu
    GU 150th Anniversary Chair & Faculty
  • Caroline Solomon
  • Kaitlin Luna
    Coordinator of Media and Public Relations
  • Sue Jacoby
    Executive Director Planning, Development, and Dissemination Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center