Fernandes, Jane Kelleher

Educational administrator
Beauty contestant
Born at Worcester, MA. Mother and one brother are also deaf. Attended public schools and earned a B.A. in French (1978) from Trinity College [Connecticut] and master's (1980) and PhD (1986) degrees in comparative literature from the University of Iowa. Grew up oral and did not learn sign language until age 23, while she was attending the University of Iowa. Won the Miss Deaf Iowa title in 1983. After completing her doctorate, was acting director of ASL Programs at Northeastern University, 1986-1987. Chair of the Department of Sign Communication at Gallaudet University for 7 months in 1987 before going to Hawaii. There, she established an interpreter training program at Kapi'olani Community College and served as its coordinator 1988-1990, before leaving to become director of the Hawaii Center for the Deaf and the Blind 1990-1995. Returned to Gallaudet in 1995 as vice president for the Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center. Married hearing Gallaudet professor James J. Fernandes. In 2000, President I. King Jordan appointed her as University Provost. Was selected by the University's Board of Trustees in April 2006 to succeed Jordan as ninth President of Gallaudet University, effective January 2007, but months of protest by deaf persons inside and outside the University eventually led to the Board of Trustees rescinding their choice in October 2006.
Official curriculum vita posted online at http://pr.gallaudet.edu/presidentalsearch/?ID=8640, seen on 7/6/06.