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Episode 57 Reach Higher. Dig Deeper. GO PLACES. At Guilford.

REACH HIGHER. DIG DEEPER. GO PLACES. At Guilford.

If you wish for your child to be accepted, this show is for you.

If you root for the underdog, this show is for you. 

Today, our guest, President Jane Fernandes, is one of the most fascinating leaders I’ve ever met. Jane is the ninth president of Guilford College and the first deaf woman to lead an American college or university. I cannot wait for you to hear her tell her story. I was stopped in my tracks when she revealed that she did not learn American Sign Language until she was in graduate school. 

Most exciting is what Jane is doing at Guilford College. She calls it Uncommon Engagement. What was once a traditional 15 week semester, is now an Uncommon experience. Wait until you hear about the 3/12 program. What I love most about Jane is her belief that EVERYONE is a born leader, and given the right passion and platform, she encourages all students to find their voice. And I can tell you right now, that is exactly what students are doing at Guilford. 

Guest Bio:

Jane K. Fernandes is the ninth president of Guilford College and the first deaf woman to lead an American college or university. Prior to Guilford, Jane served as provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of North Carolina at Asheville. 

Recognized as one of the 20 most interesting college presidents by The Best Schools and the recipient of the General Foundation of Women’s Clubs of North Carolina’s Women of Achievement award, Jane is leading Guilford College through curricular and administrative innovation to become further distinguished as a “college of excellence known for doing a few things splendidly.”

A native of Worcester, Mass., Jane is a graduate of Trinity College in Connecticut, where she earned her B.A. in French and comparative literature, and the University of Iowa, where she earned an M.A. and a Ph.D. in comparative literature. Born deaf to a deaf mother and hearing father, she learned American Sign Language (ASL) as a graduate student.

Jane’s career took her first to Boston as acting director of American Sign Language Programs at Northeastern University and then to Washington, D.C., as chair of the Sign Communication Department at Gallaudet University. Moving to Hawaii, she became the founding coordinator of the University of Hawaii’s Sign Language/English Interpreter Training Program and later, director of the Hawaii Center for the Deaf and Blind.

She returned to Gallaudet as vice president of the Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center in 1995 and served as provost of the university 2000-06. After her leadership roles at Gallaudet, she became a senior fellow at the Johnnetta B. Cole Global Diversity & Inclusion Institute at Bennett College in Greensboro, a post she held from 2007-11.

Jane’s husband, Jim, is an emeritus professor at Gallaudet. They have two children: Sean, a graduate of UNC Chapel Hill who recently earned a J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School, and Erin, a graduate of Smith College, who will soon begin her master’s degree in information sciences at UNC Chapel Hill.

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https://www.guilford.edu/

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