The DEAF LIFE Advisory Board

The Deaf Life Advisory Board is comprised of six distinguished Deaf professionals widely recognized within the Deaf community. They represent a broad range of both personal and professional experience and provide feedback and input to Deaf Life, suggest subjects for stories (especially profiles of “under-recognized” achievers), and help keep the editors “on the pulse” of the

Dr. Bernard Bragg is nationally known as a performer, playwright, writer, and educator. He is the first Deaf professional performing artist, and a co-founder of the National Theatre of the Deaf. He has taken his acclaimed one-man show to several countries, including Japan. In Summer 1997, he appeared in Stephen Sach’s new play, Sweet Nothing in My Ear, at the Fountain Theatre in Los Angeles.

Julianna Fjeld, actress and Emmy Award-winning TV co-executive producer (Love is Never Silent), is the former Co-Artistic Director of the National Theatre of the Deaf and former Managing Director of SignRise Theatre. She worked as a producer for Deaf Mosaic, Gallaudet University’s popular TV program. After Deaf Mosaic ended its 10-year run, Fjeld worked as Education/Outreach Coordinator at the Abused Deaf Women’s Advocacy Services in Seattle, Washington. She has appeared in, directed, or served as Sign Master of numerous ASL productions, most recently Sex, Love, and In Pursuit of Chocolate Chip Cheesecake in Seattle.

Bill Graham, a native of Chicago, was co-founder and president of Association of Late-Deafened Adults (ALDA) and the youngest member of the Gallaudet University Board of Trustees. In 1993, he helped establish Hearing Loss Link, a comprehensive service agency based in Chicago, and served as its first executive director. For 13 years, he was Life Sciences editor at World Book Encyclopedia, and is now an editor at Microsoft’s Encarta Encyclopedia in Redmond, Washington.

Alice Hagemeyer worked at the District of Columbia Public Library for 34 years, notably as Librarian for the Deaf Community at DCPL’s main facility, the Martin Luther King Library, from 1976 until her retirement in 1991. Still active as a library consultant, she is founder and president of Friends of Libraries for Deaf Action (FOLDA), a library-advocacy group, and creator of The Red Notebook, a comprehensive resource on deafness and Deaf Heritage for libraries.

Dr. Robert F. Panara, teacher, poet, historian, theater and baseball buff, is a legendary figure at both Gallaudet University and the National Technical Institute for the Deaf at Rochester Institute of Technology. He was NTID’s first Deaf faculty member, established its English Department, and founded its Drama Club. In 1988, NTID named its theater in his honor. His collection of poems, On His Deafness and Other Melodies Unheard, was published in 1997 by Deaf Life Press.

Dr. Frank R. Turk has had an illustrious career as an educator, administrator, coach, advocate for Deaf youth, and leader. He served as Dean of Student Services at Model Secondary School for the Deaf (on the Gallaudet University campus), Superintendent of South Dakota School for the Deaf, and Director of North Carolina’s Division of Services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (where he oversaw North Carolina’s three state schools for the deaf), and chaired the first National Conference on Childhood Deafness. Since his retirement from DSDHH in 1997, he served as Special Assistant for Development at the National Association of the Deaf, and returned to North Dakota to take a new post with CSD.

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