Overcoming the Odds

by Jackie Cohen June 22, 2015
 

 

haifaCarol Padden, a professor and researcher of Language and Human Communication at UC San Diego, was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Haifa in recognition of her pioneering and ongoing research.

Born deaf, Padden attended a school for deaf children until the third grade and then moved to a public school. According to the American Society of the University of Haifa’s press release, Padden’s interest in language and culture goes back to her early experiences.

Padden received Bachelor’s of Science in linguistics at Georgetown University and a doctorate in linguistics at UC San Diego, where she has been working since.

Padden has focused her research on understanding sign language, the culture of deaf people, and the development of human language in general. Some of her work has been completed in collaboration with the University of Haifa.

She has published five books and over 60 articles about her research and has been named a MacArthur Fellow and a Guggenheim Fellow.

In June 2014, she was elected Dean of the Division of Social Sciences, a position she still holds.

“Professor Padden inspires us through her achievements as a person and as a deaf woman – achievements that are praiseworthy for recognizing that departures from the usual are not handicaps,” Amos Shapira, the president of University of Haifa, wrote in a press release. “For this, we believe she is worthy of the highest honor that the University awards – the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy, Honoris Causa.”

The University of Haifa also awarded honorary doctorate degrees to:

  • Robert Alter, a professor at UC Berkeley and expert in Hebrew and comparative literature
  • Noah Klieger, an Israeli sports writer and history journalist
  • Orna Porat, an Israeli actress who created the Orna Porat Theater for Children and Youth
  • Felix Posen, founder and president of the Posen Foundation which focuses on belief that education can facilitate and inspire meaningful change in Jewish life and a deeper understanding of Jewish identity
  • Shira and Jay Ruderman, founders of the Ruderman Family Foundation which focuses on disability advocacy and the relationship between Israelis and American Jews

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