FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Christopher Gensch, Communications Director
Email: [email protected]
Contact: Matthew Lynch, Public Relations Coordinator
Email: [email protected]
Hearst Foundations Support STEM-HEAR Initiative
WASHINGTON, August 16, 2018 – The Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (AG Bell) recently received a grant from The Hearst Foundations to fund the STEM-HEAR (STEM for students with Hearing loss to Engage in Auditory Research) initiative through 2019. Next year, the initiative will provide 10 talented college students with hearing loss the opportunity to pursue their aspirations in STEM.
AG Bell, through the STEM-HEAR initiative, aims to bolster the number of individuals with hearing loss achieving advanced degrees and working in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields. Next summer, selected AG Bell college scholarship recipients will have the opportunity to intern and conduct intense research projects in auditory sciences and engineering at the best research universities in the country to foster their aspirations in STEM disciplines.
“We thank the Hearst Foundations for their generous support of the STEM-HEAR initiative. The support they provided will allow deaf and hard of hearing college students to contribute their own experiences with hearing loss to research in the auditory sciences. The key to this program is that students with hearing loss work alongside mentors – professors with hearing loss – to develop career plans to persevere in their studies and achieve great heights in their chosen fields,” said AG Bell Chief Executive Officer Emilio Alonso-Mendoza.
Dr. J. Tilak Ratnanather, associate research professor of biomedical engineering at Johns Hopkins University, who received the 2015 Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEN) for more than 20 years of mentoring college students with hearing loss in STEM subjects, guided the first cohort of STEM-HEAR college interns at Johns Hopkins University this summer.
“Existing programs for students with hearing loss tend to focus on technical rather than leadership positions in STEM. This skewed model means that the student with hearing loss at a mainstream college has to compete with other underrepresented minorities in order to gain opportunities in STEM. Now – with several people with hearing loss doing research in auditory science and engineering – there is a unique opportunity to change the landscape,” said Dr. Ratnanather.
Established by William Randolph Hearst in 1945, the Hearst Foundations are national philanthropic resources for organizations working in the fields of education, health and social services. In each area of funding, the Foundations seek to identify organizations achieving truly differentiated results relative to other similar organizations. In regard to health, the Hearst Foundations fund programs designed to enhance the skills and numbers of practitioners and educators in healthcare. Its efforts serve to help create a broad and enduring impact on the nation’s health.
About the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
The Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (AG Bell) helps families, health care providers and education professionals understand childhood hearing loss and the importance of early diagnosis and intervention. Through advocacy, education and financial aid, AG Bell helps to ensure that every child and adult with hearing loss has the opportunity to listen, talk and live a life without limits. With chapters located in the United States, AG Bell International in Europe and a network of international affiliates, AG Bell supports its mission: Working Globally to Ensure That People Who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing can Hear and Talk. Visit www.agbell.org.