The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at JMU hosts a 10-week summer program that pairs deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals with hearing individuals in a research setting.
The program, Research Experiences for Undergraduates, is funded by the National Science Foundation. Participants include students and faculty members from JMU and outside institutions that serve deaf and hard-of-hearing students, as well as colleges and universities without extensive research infrastructure. JMU faculty members provide research opportunities in all major sub-disciplines of chemistry.
In addition to conducting research, REU participants engage in a series of professional development activities aimed at enhancing communication with other chemists, scientists in other disciplines, the public and those with communication disorders.
“One of the things that I think is especially exciting about this program is how often the hearing students decide they really want to learn some sign language, and how good they get at it over a short period of time,” said Judy Bradley, an American Sign Language interpreter at JMU.
“You’re actually communicating with someone that you wouldn’t have before,” said Brenden Wimbish, a research associate at JMU in 2018. “And so I really enjoy that this program has helped us break down these barriers.”
The summer 2019 REU program at JMU runs May 20-July 26.