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John A. Logan College 700 Logan College Road, Carterville, IL 62918

Greetings! Just last weekend we were involved with Gallaudet University Midwest Regional Academic Bowl for Deaf and Hard of Hearing students. We are so grateful that the Michigan School for the Deaf hosted this wonderful event. Many of the staff and volunteers there made the students, coaches, Gallaudet Staff, families and fans feel very welcome. We are proud of the following schools for being involved in this competition; Ernest C. Drury School for the Deaf (Milton, Ontario, Canada), Hinsdale South High School (Darien, Illinois), Illinois School for the Deaf (Jacksonville, Illinois), Indiana School for the Deaf (Indianapolis, Indiana), Iowa School for the Deaf (Council Bluffs, Iowa), John Hersey High School (Arlington Heights, Illinois), Kansas School for the Deaf (Olathe, Kansas), Kentucky School for the Deaf (Danville, Kentucky), Michigan School for the Deaf (Flint, Michigan), Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf (Faribault, Minnesota), Missouri School for the Deaf (Fulton, Missouri), Ohio School for the Deaf (Columbus, Ohio), Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf (Pittsburg, Pennsylvania), and Wisconsin School for the Deaf (Delavan, Wisconsin).

Congratulations to Indiana School for the Deaf for being the 2014 Midwest Champions! The 2015 Midwest Regional Academic Bowl will take place at the Kentucky School for the Deaf on January 29-February 1, 2015. We hope 18 teams from the Midwest will compete then! Please contact Sheri Cook at if you are interested in forming a team to attend the 2015 event. Your students will benefit from this experience academically and socially! We hope you will have a wonderful holiday season!

Sincerely, Sheri Cook, Director Misti Harrison, Coordinator



What exactly is VL2 at Gallaudet University? VL2 is a Science of Learning Center (SLC) on Visual Language and Visual Learning; one of six SLCs funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and is hosted by Gallaudet University. NSF established the Science of Learning Centers to support interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary research that presents new lines of thinking and inquiry into the science of learning. The purpose of the Science of Learning Center on “Visual Language and Visual Learning (VL2)” is to advance fundamentally the science of learning related to how aspects of human higher cognition are realized through one of our most central senses, vision. We especially pursue new perspectives on these learning processes through the widened vantage point of studying deaf individuals and sign language as a window into the flexibility and structure of the human mind. Out of all the SLCs, we are unique in our focus on the role of visual processes, visual language, and social experience in the development of higher cognition, learning, and literacy. We seek to understand more about how visual processes, visual language, and social experience effect the development of cognition and language. We also study these effects for reading and literacy. We seek this knowledge for the benefit of all humans. We study these learning processes in monolinguals and bilinguals across the lifespan in order to promote optimal practices in education in both formal and informal settings. VL2 conducts research across multiple disciplines in order to understand how the visual modality is used in learning, especially language learning, from infancy to adulthood. Our research program is structured developmentally (infant/toddler, children, and adults), with specific themes of research addressed at each stage of development. Our center’s research and work is organized around five strategic focus areas. They are: • Visual and cognitive plasticity; • Language Development and Bilingualism; • Reading and literacy in visual learning; • Translation of research to educational practice; and • Integration of research and education. VL2 is partnered with twelve national and international universities, and we work closely with affiliated researchers and universities to carry out our research agenda. Our ultimate mission is to improve the education and lives of all visual learners. Be they deaf or hearing, we hope to benefit the lives of the young visual learner learning to read, the teacher trying to create new teaching strategies for visual learners, the parents of visual learners, the schools that seek to build programs for visual learners. We also wish to highlight the unique gifts and needs of being a visual learner, especially young deaf children learning natural signed languages. Our website will include ASL translations of much of its content. The VL2 website contains descriptions of our research, an overview of our strategic initiatives, center news, biographical sketches of VL2 staff, links to the other NSF-funded SLCs, and other documents and links that might be of interest. You can find more information on VL2 at 2



Farewell to our coordinator‌ As of December 31, Misti will no longer work for GURC-Midwest. For three years, she has been a trusted and valued employee and friend. I know she will do very well in graduate school and I wish her very best in her future endeavors. I am grateful that Misti will do some contractual work for GURC, but I will greatly miss working with her on a daily basis. Warmest Regards,

Sheri Cook

Good luck, Misti! 3



Coming Soon: Two New On-Line Resources from the Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center Here’s a sneak peak at two important new resources soon to be available from the Clerc Center. Developed as part of the Clerc Center’s strategic plan, both products will be offered free on the Clerc Center website. The Early Intervention Network is an on-line resource being developed to share five factors considered to be essential for the development of linguistic competence in children who are deaf or hard of hearing. The website will share these factors, as well as supporting evidence and associated program components, while also providing highlights of how selected programs around the country have implemented the factors. Additionally, the website will have a discussion forum that will allow early intervention professionals to network with each other about the application of these factors and other related early intervention issues. The Classroom Interpreting for Students Who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing series, developed in collaboration with Dr. Brenda Schick from the University of Colorado-Boulder, is a resource for school administrators, educators, educational interpreters, parents, and students. It is based on the content of the Classroom Interpreting website ( This series will provide, in an easy-to-read format, essential information on how to ensure effective interpreting support for children who are deaf or hard of hearing in mainstream schools and programs. These resources are now in the final stages of development and will be ready for release in early 2014. Be sure to check them out!

The purpose of GURC? • We provide information on professional development opportunities. • We provide assistance in planning programs or workshops. • We provide academic excellence through Gallaudet University courses. • We provide technical assistance related to the education of deaf and hard of hearing students.


Contact me: Sheri S. Cook, Director Office C202B John A Logan College 700 Logan College Road Carterville, IL 62918 VP: 618.565.0054

Gurc's winter13newsletter  

Winter, Academic Bowl, VL2, Gallaudet University, Farewell, Coordinator, GURC, Sheri Cook

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