Christina Elsbury, a graduating senior from Uniontown, Ohio, played both women’s softball and men’s baseball this season. Earlier this spring, she became the 25th woman athlete in NCAA history to play men’s baseball. On April 22, she became the first known person in NCAA history to play both sports in a single day. She pitched a complete game in the first game of a home softball doubleheader against Pennsylvania State University at Abington, then raced over to the baseball diamond, changed into a baseball uniform, and pitched a scoreless top of the sixth inning. Elsbury faced five batters and got three flyouts. She then changed back into her softball uniform for the second game of the doubleheader.

Le Toudjida Allara, ’11 & G-’14, has become a Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) Licensed Football Agent. Allara took and passed the FIFA Licensed Football Agent examination last month in Chicago. 

Le Toudjida Allara.

A FIFA Licensed Football Agent may “perform football agent services on behalf of a client with the purpose of concluding a transaction, and may represent players, coaches, clubs, single-entity leagues and member associations.” Transactions include “the employment, registration or deregistration of a player with a club or a single-entity league; the employment of a coach with a club, single-entity league or a member association; the transfer of the registration of a player from one club to another; or the creation, termination or variation of an individual’s terms of employment.”

Allara is believed to be the first deaf person to become a FIFA Licensed Football Agent.

Professionally, Allara is employed at Toolworks, a “self-supporting nonprofit agency dedicated to improving the lives of people with disabilities” in San Francisco, California. He is president of the Board of Directors of the 91 Alumni Association.

Dr. Maribel Gárate-Estes, a professor of education in the School of Language, Education, and Culture, has been selected as a Fulbright U.S. Scholar to México for the 2023-2024 academic year. She was selected by the Comisión México Estados Unidos para el Intercambio Educativo y Cultural (COMEXUS) to receive the prestigious Fulbright García-Robles. Donna Brazile, chair of the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board, stated in a March 13 letter that Dr. Gárate’s Fulbright award “is a reflection of her leadership and contributions to society.”

Dr. Maribel Garate-Estes.

Dr. Gárate-Estes will spend her fall sabbatical in México City researching bilingual teaching strategies used to allocate a signed and a written/spoken language with Deaf students. She will also collaborate with the Department of Education (Secretaría de Educación Pública) and the Instituto Pedagógico para Problemas del Lenguaje I.A.P. on curriculum and program development to benefit current and future teachers of deaf-signing students.

Although she has collaborated with schools in Mexico for years, this will be her first opportunity to spend extended periods of time documenting the country’s bilingual teaching practices. “Bilingual teaching is not the norm in Mexico,” she explains. “My goal in being there is to support the people working on this and provide a model for people who can’t imagine how you teach reading and writing to Deaf children.”

She looks forward to engaging Gallaudet students with her research. “My work has the potential to showcase what non-English speaking countries are doing,” she says.

Dr. Gárate-Estes is among over 800 U.S. citizens who will teach and/or conduct research abroad for the 2023-2024 academic year through the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program. Fulbrighters engage in cutting-edge research and expand their professional networks, often continuing research collaborations started abroad and laying the groundwork for forging future partnerships between institutions. Upon returning to their home countries, institutions, laboratories, and classrooms, they share their stories and often become active supporters of international exchange, inviting foreign scholars to campus and encouraging colleagues and students to go abroad.

Dr. Raja Kushalnagar, professor of information technology in the School of Science, Technology, Accessibility, Mathematics, and Public Health, has become a member of the advisory committee to the National Science Foundation Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) According to NSF, the CISE advisory committee provides up-to-date information on the state of the field, performs specialized policy-informing functions facilitating CISE’s response to rapid changes in subdisciplines and the balance between them, and provides valuable advice and recommendations that inform our long-range plans and partnership opportunities.

Professor Emerita Ceil Lucas has been named Whitman College’s Alumna of Merit for 1973. Dr. Lucas will be honored during the Class of 1973 50th anniversary reunion May 18-21 at the school’s campus in Walla Walla, Washington. 

Dr. Lucas majored in French and art history at Whitman. She went on to earn her master’s and doctoral degrees at Georgetown University. She taught linguistics at Gallaudet from 1982 to 2013, and was named Professor Emerita upon her retirement. She is past editor of Sign Language Studies, a peer-reviewed journal from 91 Press. Last year, she was named a Fellow of the Linguistic Society of America.

Whitman College is a small private liberal arts college. Founded in 1859 as a preparatory school, it began to offer collegiate degrees in 1883.

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