LOFT 2015 Counselor Biographies
LOFT Co-creator and Lead Counselor, Sessions 1 and 2
Ken is a CPA and a partner in a CPA firm in San Francisco. Prior to that, he was the Executive Director of The Children’s Hearing Institute in New York and a partner in another CPA practice in Los Angeles. Ken is currently the president of the board of the Jean Weingarten Peninsula Oral School for the Deaf, a past president of the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and has current and past service on boards of many other organizations. He received the Honors of the Association from AG Bell at the 2006 Biennial Convention in Pittsburgh. His involvements have brought him recognition among his peers as Distinguished Alumni of his high school and as the Public Service Award recipient for the California Society of CPAs. Together with the late Donna Dickman, Ken co-created the LOFT program which debuted in 1996 at AG Bell’s Biennial Convention in Snowbird, Utah. He is past President of the Board of the San Francisco Circus Center. Ken’s interest in the circus stemmed from his taking a clown class at the Clown Conservatory.
Counselor, Session 1
Stacey is a licensed audiologist and is an assistant professor of audiology at Central Michigan University. She was identified with hearing loss at the age of 10 months and received her first pair of hearing aids at 11 months of age. She received a cochlear implant at the age of 18 years. After receiving her bachelor’s degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from the College of Wooster with a minor in German Language and Literature, Stacey spent a year in Germany on a Fulbright Scholarship. When she came back to Ohio, Stacey received her Au.D. from the Northeast Ohio Au.D. Consortium (NOAC) and her Ph.D. from Kent State University, with specializations in early intervention, pediatric audiology, cochlear implants, and educational audiology. Stacey has been a member of AG Bell since 1996, was a member of the inaugural LOFT class in 1996, and has presented at AG Bell conventions. Currently, she is a member of the AG Bell College Scholarship Committee and serves on the Board of Directors for the Michigan AG Bell Chapter. When she has free time, Stacey enjoys traveling, ballroom dancing, and the culinary arts.
Counselor, Session 1
Lindsey is a pediatric audiologist at the Vanderbilt University Bill Wilkerson Center in Nashville, Tennessee. Lindsey was identified with her hearing loss at 2½ years of age and has been wearing hearing aids ever since. She attended Clarke School for the Deaf in Northampton, Massachusetts for middle school and was mainstreamed for high school. After Lindsey graduated from Edgewood College in Madison, Wisconsin, she worked in the Binaural Hearing Lab at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. A couple years later she received her Au.D. with a pediatric specialization from Vanderbilt University in 2010. Lindsey is a LOFT alumnus and has been an active member of AG Bell for over 25 years, attending her first convention in 1986. When not working, Lindsey can be found fanatically rooting for the Green Bay Packers, trail-running, playing with her pup, looking for good-eats, and traveling.
Counselor-in-Training, Session 1
Jake graduated from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, in December, 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in history and secondary education. He plans to pursue a career as a teacher and baseball coach. He was recently selected as a Senate Intern for the 2015 session of the Indiana State Legislature. While in college, he had the opportunity to work as an intern at Boys Town in Omaha where he helped develop a baseball-themed exhibit for the Hall of History and conducted research related to the cause for canonization of Fr. Edward J. Flanagan. He’s worked as a camp counselor and high school baseball coach for the past several summers. Jake has a severe hearing loss and has worn hearing aids since the age of three. He grew up in the Indianapolis area, attended mainstream schools throughout his life and enjoyed playing baseball for school and travel teams. Jake found his 2010 LOFT experience to be very rewarding. In his spare time Jake enjoys impressing his friends and students with his lip-reading skills, reading, playing and watching sports, watching movies, and spending time with friends and family.
Counselor, Session 2
Catharine is a Business Analyst at Phase2 Technology and co-owner of a CrossFit gym. She is a dedicated advocate for using technology to bridge the accessibility divide – constantly finding new uses for accessibility. Her influential work has been recognized through national leadership awards, honors, and national publications. In 2011, Catharine was listed as "People to Watch" in the Washingtonian Magazine's Tech Titans feature, and was the recipient of the American Association of People with Disabilities national leadership award. She lost her hearing at eight months old, has used Cued Speech since she was eighteen months old and received her first cochlear implant at the age of three. When in college, Catharine completed a successful internship to increase accessibility and awareness at the Dali Universe gallery at the County Hall Gallery in London. After graduating from Wake Forest University, she began her career in accessibility at VSA Arts, the Smithsonian Freer and Sackler Galleries, and the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.
Counselor, Session 2
Although she might look like a teenager, Michelle is a teacher of the deaf and hard-of-hearing in the San Francisco Unified School District. Before receiving her teaching credential, she obtained her Ed.M/MA in Deaf Education and Elementary Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. Michelle was diagnosed at birth with deafness in both ears. Later, an audiologist determined she had a severe-to-profound hearing loss in the left ear and complete deafness in the right ear. From the time she was 11 months old, Michelle attended the San Francisco Hearing & Speech Center (now known as the Hearing & Speech Center of Northern California). She was mainstreamed in first grade and spent most of her time reading books when she was supposed to be playing at recess. Upon high school graduation, Michelle attended the University of California, Los Angeles where she became a spirited Bruin. During her college years, she participated in various student groups, studied abroad, spent a quarter in Washington, DC researching special education and arts education, and volunteered at No Limits for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children. She earned her bachelor’s degree in English with minors in Disability Studies and Global Studies. As an alumna of LOFT 2004 and as a recipient of an AG Bell grant, Michelle believes in the unique and transformative experience that the program provides for teens with hearing loss. In her free time, Michelle enjoys traveling, hanging out with her friends, writing, watching movies, listening to music, dancing, and doing yoga while thinking about her next big meal.
Counselor-in-Training, Session 2
James Barden lives in New York City and works for Common Ground, an organization devoted to ending homelessness through permanent supportive housing. He is an AmeriCorps VISTA alum, where he served at the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts. Since graduating, he has also interned for his Congressman and District Attorney. James graduated from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 2011 with a B.A. in Political Science. He also attended Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech in Northampton, Massachusetts for pre-school and elementary school, before entering the mainstream. At 13 months old, James lost his hearing after a bout with meningitis, and today wears two cochlear implants. In his spare time, James enjoys traveling and spending time with friends and family. James was a member of the 2006 LOFT class in Pittsburgh.