Tuesday, December 4, 2012

ANGELA MCCASKILL: THE FIRST DEAF BLACK WOMAN PHD HOLDER IN THE WORLD AND A POLITICAL ACTIVIST WHO WAS SUSPENDED FOR SUPPORTING TRADITIONAL MARRIAGE


Dr. Angela McCaskill was the first deaf black woman in the world to receive doctorate degree (Ph.D). She achieved this enviable record in May 14, 2004 when she was awarded Ph.D in Special Education Administration from Gallaudet University ( a prestigious university for deaf students). Her older sister, Carolyn, become the second one the following year. Angela  is a "Champion of Social Justice." community leader and a deputy to the President and Associate Provost for Diversity and Inclusion in Gallaudet University.
 Dr Angela McCaskill, the first deaf black woman Ph.D holder

McCaskill found herself in trouble over politically charged contentious and delicate issue on gay marriage when she was suspended (put on a paid leave of absence) Gallaudet University President T. Alan Hurwitz for a signed a petition asking for Maryland’s marriage equality law to be put to a repeal vote. Dr Mccaskill was reported by an anonymous faculty member, who probably is an LGBT staunch advocate, to the University after noticing Dr Angela McCaskill`s name, address and signature on the anti-gay marriage petition.
     Dr. Angela McCaskill signs to reporters during a press conference, where she asked to be reinstated, along with criticizing the university for its actions. (NBC Washington)

Dr. Angela McCaskill has worked at Gallaudet University for 23 years in various capacities. On January 3, 2011, she became the Deputy to the President and Associate Provost of Diversity and Inclusion.

Throughout McCaskill’s professional career she has served as a leader, teacher and administrator in education and she has worked on issues related to diversity, equity, inclusion and social justice.

Most recently, since 2007, McCaskill was the research administrator and director of diversity initiative for the Science of Learning Center on Visual Language and Visual Learning (VL2).

From 2000 to 2007, she served as an education program specialist for the U.S. Department of Education where she oversaw states’ implementation of the Individual with Disability Act (IDEA), No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) and the Education of the Deaf Act (EDA).

Gallaudet university top-shots:L-R: Provost Steve Weiner, Chief Diversity Officer Angela McCaskill, President Alan Hurwitz

From 1995 to 2000, she served as assistant principal, acting principal, program manager and outreach specialist at the Model Secondary School for the Deaf (MSSD). She also taught social work courses at Gallaudet University.

She currently serves on the Board of Trustees of the Maryland School for the Deaf.          

Dr. McCaskill was the first deaf African American female to earn a Ph.D. from Gallaudet University.

Ph.D., Special Education Administration, Gallaudet University
M.S., Social Work, Howard University
B.S., Social Work, Alabama State University.
                                       Intelligent Dr Angela McCaskill


Chief Diversity Officer Dr McCaskill recounts her story:
I grew up in Mobile, Alabama. My parents were Willie McPherson (deceased) and Janie McCaskill, currently living in Mobile—both hearing. They never married; basically, I grew up in a single-parent household. I have three sisters and one brother. The first three are deaf and the last two are hearing. My oldest sister, Carolyn, is deaf and was the first Black Deaf Miss Gallaudet in 1976. She is a professor in the Department of ASL & Deaf Studies at Gallaudet and resides in Largo, Maryland. Jacqueline, who is also deaf, graduated from Gallaudet in 1978 and currently lives in Mobile. I am the third sibling and I am hard-of-hearing. My youngest sister, Sharrell, is hearing and currently works as the Equal Employment Opportunities (EEO) Officer at Gallaudet. My brother is the last sibling, also hearing, and currently resides in Mobile.
Dr McCaskill signing
I initially attended segregated public schools in Mobile during the 1960s and ’70s. My first experience with integration occurred in middle school where I attended Azalea Middle School and W.P. Davidson High School, both predominately white schools. I was very active and ran track. Even though I have always had a passion for cheer-leading, I was not allowed to try out for the cheerleading team due to household chores after school (cleaning, cooking, babysitting, etc.)
Dr. McCaskill communicating with campus community
Dr. McCaskill with members of the campus community at the reception following her presentation.
I graduated from Davidson High in May 1976 and immediately enrolled at Alabama State University during the summer. In May 1980, I received my Bachelor of Science Degree [in Social Work]. I was very active at ASU. I ran track, played on the softball team, and was a cheerleader. My experience at ASU was the best days of my life. I moved to Washington, D.C. in 1980, immediately after graduating from ASU, and moved in with Carolyn. This was the beginning of a new era for me. I grew as a person when I became immersed in Deaf culture and the Deaf world. It has been my life since. I love it! Even though I have two Deaf sisters, I didn’t know American Sign Language growing up. I was fluent with the manual alphabet. I begin to learn ASL and made many new deaf friends. Ruth Reed and Pamela Baldwin were the two deaf friends that I met upon arrival in Washington. They took me under their wings and taught me ASL. I am forever grateful for their friendship and support, and we remain friends to this day, 31 years later!
Chief Diversity Officer, Dr. Angela McCaskill
New Chief Diversity Officer, Dr. Angela McCaskill presents to audience on her goals for the first 100 days in office.
After arriving in D.C., I was hired to work at the Model Secondary School for the Deaf. I worked at a variety of positions at Gallaudet as Assistant Principal, Program Manager, Coordinator of Residence Education and Academic Advisor, and several others. All helped me to grow as a higher-education professional.
here:


In August 1981, I enrolled in the Social Work program at Howard University and graduated in May 1984 with a Master of Social Work degree.  After earning my MSW, I immediately began taking classes towards a doctoral degree.
 
I took one class here and there and increased the number of classes over time. I also married and had two sons.  My marriage ended when they were ages 2 and 3, so that slowed my progress towards working on my Ph.D. It took me 10 years to finish, but I graced the stage in May 2004! What matters most is not how long it took me to finish my degree, but that I completed it, considering all the things I was juggling.
I worked for the U.S. Department of Education from 2000 to 2007. My primary charge was to oversee the States’ implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). During my tenure there, I did not oversee the full No Child Left Behind Act. I did monitor a portion of it as it related to deaf children.  The goal was to ensure that all children with disabilities, including deaf children, participated in district-wide and statewide assessments, which I supported. Schools were reluctant to [comply with] this because they believed that not just deaf children but children with disabilities lowered their Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). I was charged with making sure the schools were in compliance with the law. I think my role there helped from having a Deaf person’s perspective and understanding the importance for schools to meet the educational needs of Deaf and hard-of-hearing children and to ensure that whatever accommodations provided during the classroom instructions were also provided during the district-wide and state-wide assessments.
Today, Deaf children of color have better opportunities to achieve their education. There are more role models for Deaf children of color to emulate. It is critical that schools provide the tools for them because the world is becoming smaller and more globalized. Deaf and hard-of-hearing adults have to pass the torch to Deaf children of color. 
Mrs. Hurwitz, Chief Divesity Officer, President
L-R: First Lady Vicki Hurwitz, Chief Diversity Officer Angela McCaskill, President Alan Hurwitz
The future is theirs. In the not-so-distant future, I envision seeing an increase in the number of Deaf people of color as lawyers, politicians, administrators, teachers, faculty, authors, scientists, and even a university president! There are no limitations as to what they can achieve. I was the first African-American woman to receive a Ph.D. from Gallaudet University (2004) and Carolyn was the second (2005). Finally I would like to add that if you can conceive it, you can achieve it. It takes faith, hard work, perseverance, and determination to visualize your dream.
Laurel Leigh, PCO and Angela McCaskill, OSEP

How Dr McCaskill got into trouble and came out

FIRED OVER MARRIAGE?



2 comments: