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Hearing Impaired N-12 Certification Program (Pennsylvania Issued) Faculty Bios

Samuel B. Silke, D.Ed.
Joseph E. Fischgrund
William J. Hudson
Irene Merenda

Samuel Slike, Director of Special Education Online ProgramsSamuel B. Slike, D.Ed.
Director of Special Education Online Programs

Previously held position as Professor and Curriculum Coordinator of the Master of Science Education of the Deaf/HH Program at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania where he prepared teachers of the deaf and hard of hearing for 32 years.

Dr. Slike and his colleagues won the international Platinum Award (highest honor) from the IMS Global Learning Consortium, Inc. for their presentation “Wimba @ Work: Improving Access for High Needs Career Education (2011) Long Beach, CA; the “Innovation in Teaching Teachers of Deaf/HH Technology Award,” at the (2009) 35th Annual Conference of the Association of College Educators of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (ACE-DHH), New Orleans, LA; and the Bronze Award at the United States Distance Learning Awards – Best Practices in Higher Education for: 74.201.99 History, Education and Guidance of the Deaf/HH Online Course – Bloomsburg University (2008) in Saint Louis, Missouri.

He was the lead developer for 2 CD-ROM projects that were nationally marketed: Introduction to Sign Language: A CD-ROM Approach (2001) and Speechreading Challenges on CD-ROM (1999).

Dr. Slike is also credited with the establishment of the first Bachelor’s degree program for training interpreters for the deaf/hh in the state of Pennsylvania (1982). In addition to the above he has published numerous articles and has presented on the state, national, and international levels. He holds a Bachelor’s degree from the Pennsylvania State University in Deaf Education, a Master of Science degree in Elementary Education from the University of Scranton, and a doctorate in Educational Administration from the Pennsylvania State University.

Helping Students Who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing Succeed by John L. Luckner, Samuel B. Slike, and Harold Johnson

SJU faculty member Joseph E. FischgrundJoseph E. Fischgrund
Adjunct Professor, Teacher Certification / Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program

Joseph E. Fischgrund has been an educator of deaf students for many years, most notably as the Headmaster of The Pennsylvania School for the Deaf (PSD) in Philadelphia, PA, a position he held for 21 years. Prior to coming to PSD he was Principal of the Lexington School for the Deaf in New York, Director of Academic Affairs at the Governor Baxter School for the Deaf in Maine, and Staff Linguist and Language Curriculum Coordinator at the Rhode Island School for the Deaf. Under his leadership, PSD diversified and grew, including the re-establishment of its secondary school program, the development of a nationally recognized school-based mental health program and numerous collaborative programs with Gallaudet University. After leaving PSD, Mr. Fischgrund served as Interim Director of the Delaware School for the Deaf and as Interim Superintendent at the New Jersey School for the Deaf. He currently consults with several schools for the deaf throughout the United States in the areas of program assessment and school improvement.

Mr. Fischgrund has also been active in a number of leadership roles at state and national levels, including serving as President of the Conference of Educational Administrators of Schools and Programs for the Deaf, and is widely recognized by his peers as an outstanding educational leader. He currently serves as Executive Director of the Council on Education of the Deaf (CED), an organization that sets nationally recognized standards for teachers of students who are deaf or hard of hearing and accredits teacher preparation programs. In recent years, Mr. Fischgrund has also been an adjunct faculty member at Arcadia University in Glenside, PA and Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C.

Mr. Fischgrund’s academic background is in theoretical linguistics, with specialties in English grammar and the history of the English language, but he has made the education of deaf children, especially language acquisition and development, his passion for over 30 years. He remains active academically as a manuscript reviewer for several publishers and is currently a member of the editorial board of The Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education. He has also published numerous articles in professional journals and contributed chapters to textbooks and professional collections. Most recently, he co-authored (with Dr. Oscar P. Cohen and Dr. Harry G. Lang), Moments of Truth: The Story of a Deaf Leader, Robert R. Davila (RIT Press, 2008).

SJU faculty member William J. HudsonWilliam J. Hudson
Adjunct Professor, Teacher Certification / Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program

Mr. Hudson recently retired after more than thirty years of teaching students who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing. He has worked in a variety of educational settings including; center based programs for special needs students, a center school for the deaf and a public school district’s hearing support program.

For most of his career in education, he was a teacher serving students who were Deaf and Hard of Hearing in contained classrooms and as an itinerant service provider. He was also a program supervisor. He retired as the lead teacher for the D/HH program for the School District of Philadelphia.

Mr. Hudson served on Pennsylvania’s Educational Resources for Children with Hearing Loss (ERCHL). He was past president of the Pennsylvania Educators of Students who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing (PESDHH). He holds a bachelor’s degree from Canisius College and received his Masters in Deaf Education from Western Maryland College. He holds a Supervisor of Special Education certificate from Temple University. He also received a certificate in Coastal Navigation from the Coast Guard.

“I am excited about this new certification program at St Joseph’s University. Our profession needs motivated and competent teachers who will be able to meet the diverse needs of the students in our care. I am looking forward to getting to know the members of our cohort.”

Irene Merenda, Educational AudiologistIrene Merenda

Irene Merenda recently retired after more than 25 years as an Educational Audiologist within a public school setting, serving children with hearing loss (and their families) from age of identification through high school graduation. She has worked extensively with families who have chosen to have their children educated within a mainstream, oral public school setting. She comes to St. Joe’s with vast experience in working with children who have physical and/or learning challenges in addition to their hearing loss. Prior to her career as educational audiologist, she practiced clinical audiology and speech pathology for several years.

In addition to St. Joe’s University, Dr. Merenda serves as adjunct faculty at two other Pennsylvania Universities. She serves as a consultant regarding educational audiology and she provides contractual clinical services to several audiology/ENT/hospital practices.

Dr. Merenda received her B.A. (Speech Communication) from Rutgers University, M.A. (Audiology) from Trenton State College and her Au.D. (Doctor of Audiology) from the University of Florida. Dr. Merenda has published articles on topics related to educational audiology and technology used with deaf and hard of hearing students. She has been a presenter at national conferences including American Speech/Language and Hearing Association, AG Bell Association and the National Association of School Psychologists. She has spoken at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Annual Pediatric Audiology Conference on two occasions, and has presented at several local audiology and educational forums.

“There have been so many exciting changes in the fields of audiology, technology and education of students with hearing loss during my career. Education never ends! As an instructor, I continue to learn from my students’ experiences and I look forward to sharing my experiences working with children who are deaf/hard of hearing with them.”

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