Student Testimonials

The stories we receive directly from our graduates tell of their success and appreciation for the support and financial assistance an award like this makes in their lives. We would like to share with you some words of thanks and success from Ihor, Deena, and Greg, all who have received financial assistance from the David Peikoff Chair in Deafness Studies.

Greg Carrier, BA '06

The financial assistance I received from [Peikoff/WCCSD] allowed me to complete much-needed research for my graduate degree. However, the support [Peikoff/WCCSD] offered went beyond financial support: I was afforded opportunities to work and collaborate with members at the Centre on cutting edge research that will impact people - deaf and hearing - across the world. I'm grateful for the support of [Peikoff/WCCSD], for without it I would not be where I am today.

Ihor Kobel, PhD '09, MEd '03

The financial assistance I received from the Peikoff Chair/WCCSD in 2002-2003 (Dr. Michael Rodda) allowed me to complete my Master Degree in Deafness Studies, and later to get enrolled in the PhD Program. I worked with Michael Rodda, Debra Russell and other WCCSD staff for several years and our work resulted in several successful international projects in Ukraine, including the Ukrainian Sign Language Research Project ( and Summer Academic Institutes of the Canada Ukraine Alliance for Deaf and Hard of hearing Persons. Since completing my PhD at the University of Alberta, I have been working in the Ukraine at the Ukrainian Catholic University.

Deena Martin, PhD '09, Med '03

I am writing to speak about the value of having been awarded the Doctoral Fellowship under the David Peikoff Chair of Deafness Studies, University of Alberta. Because of this award, I had the opportunity to work under the supervision of Dr. Debra Russell, and undertake a variety of tasks including qualitative research analysis, writing ethics proposals for several studies, interacting with international colleagues, hosting the lecture series, working on researching and formulating new curriculum, co-presenting at an international conference, and developing a resource guide on disabilities for the Calgary Police Department. I believe the diverse skills and additional knowledge I obtained as a doctoral fellow set me apart from my peers and gave me an enormous advantage in my career. Specifically, I have been able to successfully obtain funds to pursue additional independent research and funding through national and international programs to assist me in moving quickly through the 'ranks' of academia. I am now working with a large, international university and I believe my success is highly linked to the mentorship I received as part of my involvement with the David Peikoff Chair of Deaf Studies and Western Canadian Centre for the Studies in Deafness (WCCSD). Thank you so very much! May I continue to honour the gift of integrity and spirit of inquiry that was instilled in me and may these funds continue to benefit society by supporting the development of future leaders.