President Jane Fernandes was interviewed on The State of Things, a public affairs program produced by public radio station WUNC. The conversation was broadcast live on North Carolina Public Radio stations across the state.
Speaking with host Frank Stasio in front of an audience July 15 at Triad Stage’s UpStage Cabaret in downtown Greensboro, Jane touched on a variety of subjects, including her including her own educational journey and the enduring value of a liberal arts education.
Watch video of the broadcast, with closed captioning available, on Guilford College’s Vimeo channel or listen to audio of the broadcast, “A New Kind of Leader at Guilford College,” on the WUNC website.
Jane, who was born deaf, explained the “amazing process” of learning to write and speak English during her early education. Not exposed to sign language until much later in her life, her mother wrote the phonetic alphabet in her storybooks to help her learn how to move her mouth with the proper pronunciation.
She also described how she applied this same process while studying English, comparative literature, French and Italian in college, crediting her liberal arts professors with encouraging her in these endeavors.
“People sometimes ask me how in the world could you major in French?” Jane recalled with a smile. “That’s the great thing about liberal arts colleges. My professors never told me ‘you can’t do that.’”
After walking the audience through her challenges and achievements, Jane maintained that the world today is “wide open” for the deaf community. However, she encouraged listeners to continue to push for better collaboration between both deaf and hearing communities by improving equal access to information about education.
The July 15 broadcast included another guest with a Guilford connection: Andrew Eversole '02, who majored in philosophy and played golf at the College, spoke about and played songs from his second album, “The Cumberland Ghost.”
Listen to or read about Andrew’s WUNC appearance, “Appalachian Music With A Story Of Redemption.”
Story by Rachel Leahy ’14