Friday, March 19, 2010

Memorial Service and Celebration for Dr. Ellie Rosenfield

Robb Adams at NTID announced that Monday April 19 will be the date of the on-campus memorial service for Dr. Ellie Rosenfield.

Tentative time: 3 pm - 4 pm service with a reception after

Tentative location: Panara Theatre, LBJ Bldg and Dyer Art Center

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

O&B recognizes Ellie as an ally in Deaf community!

[text summary of ASL vlog]

Hello. I want to share some stories with you about Ellie – what I have seen in her character, spirit, energy and passion. I attended meeting with her, RIT administration and several Deaf people to discuss audism and Deafhood. At that time Eliie was not very supportive of Deafhood and I was a bit shocked by that. I had a debriefing with a group of Deaf people and decided to go back and discuss with Ellie again. At that time she was very protective of Deaf people and didn’t want anything thrown in that would cause turmoil. I worked with her on this because there were plans to bring the Deafhood workshop here and I wanted to see if she could be supportive. As a Deaf alum I wanted to be supportive of her and wanted to see if she could be supportive of me – to work both ways. That was my thinking so I told her about the upcoming workshop and offered to pay for her ticket and we would attend sitting side by side together. She accepted this invitation without any resistance. Seemed she had changed some of her thinking about this. My plan was for us to sit together in the front to have a good view of the ASL but Ellie didn’t want to be too close to the interpreters as she would be able to hear them and that would interrupt her receiving of the original message in ASL so she opted to sit further back so the whispering of the interpreters into the infra red headsets would not be audible to her. I watched the whole day workshop and felt it was a wonderful experience. Aftward I immediately looked for Ellie to ask how it was for her and she replied – “Two THUMBS UP. Phew it’s not what I thought. It went along fine and was very interesting."

Later we had some discussions about audism and she had the same initial reaction so we had more conversations about audism and then SHE decided to set up workshops on audism to be led by Ellie and a few of us. We met several times to discuss the agenda to cover etc. [insert of 4 pictures from the workshop – Ellie is in the blue shirt top right corner]. I witnessed this transformation and saw within her this wonderful passion in the core of her being to respect Deaf culture and ASL. We had a wonderful exchange. When she got struck with the illness, we didn’t really have a chance to catch up and too soon she was gone. I still had contact with her via email from time to time. It was so wonderful to have her spirit to help our RIT community to recognize audism and Deafhood and to see this change – a model of moving forward. I’m really touched by her work and RIT will truly MISS Ellie. We really cherish and admire her. I’m happy to see that part of the SDC will be named in her honor to memorialize her. Her spirit has been with every student through many many years here. I looked at her Facebook and saw the outpouring of comments. It’s so impressive to see how she had time for ALL. Wow – we will really miss you. We love you and we are grateful for all you have done with Deaf people.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

NTID announces plans to honor Dr. Rosenfield in the CSD-SDC

Greetings All:

Dr. Jim DeCaro, interim president of NTID, released an email this morning explaining that preparations to honor Dr. Ellie Rosenfield within the Communication Services for the Deaf Student Development Center (CSD-SDC) are in the works. Given Ellie's involvement in seeing the CSD-SDC come to life, Orange & Brown Coalition supports this endeavor and look forward to learning more about the plans.

Excerpt from email - reproduced with permission:

From: James J DeCaro
Date: Wed, 10 Mar 2010 08:22:09 -0500
CC: {admin at RIT}

Subject: Updates

Student, Faculty and Staff Colleagues and Friends,

.... Excerpt from the email

On Monday, Robb Adams represented my office and NTID at the memorial service for Ellie Rosenfield in Cleveland. Robb reported to me that the services were beautiful and a most fitting tribute to Ellie. The family expressed its sincere appreciation to Robb for attending as our representative. In addition, several members of our community attended the service.

As I mentioned to you previously, a memorial service and celebration are being planned in collaboration with Ellie’s family for Rochester…most likely in mid-April or there about. I have asked Robb to take the lead in working with the family and appropriate constituencies to make plans.

As many of you may be aware, one of Ellie’s greatest joys was the planning and building of the CSD-SDC. Ellie played a pivotal role in the design of the center. The Student Development Center was her pride and joy…it was in many ways “her baby.” As I was thinking about a way to recognize Ellie’s contributions to our community, beyond the scholarship fund established by the RIT Board of Trustees, I was approached by a few individuals who suggested we find a way to recognize Ellie in the SDC.

I thought this to be a superb way to further honor Ellie in a place that was near and dear to her heart. Therefore, on Monday, I asked Robb Adams and Al Smith to work with appropriate constituencies to find a way to publically recognize Ellie in the SDC. I am expecting that we will have a concept design/rendering to share with the Ellie’s family, and our entire community, at the memorial service and celebration this spring.


James J. DeCaro, PhD
Professor and Dean Emeritus
Interim President
National Technical Institute for the Deaf
Rochester Institute of Technology

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

O & B: Honor Ellie Rosenfield as name for Tower C dorm

Hello Orange & Brown Community:

I would like to inform you of some very sad news. Ellie (name sign "E" with "don't know" motion) Rosenfield, who worked as assistant Dean (picture of Ellie appears) this past Sunday, died. She has departed. We are deeply affected and sad but we have been thinking, as have other people (faculty, students, friends, alumni and community members) and we propose that we make a lasting tribute to Ellie Rosenfield. You recall how Tower C has had one name removed and no new name has replaced it. Also, the controversial plaque that was up came down but nothing has yet been put up. It is our thoughts that Ellie is the PERFECT person who should be memorialized in a new plaque. She was there for us as an advocate - an active member of our community interacting with faculty, staff, students, and community members across the land. We want to remember her 35 years of service to NTID with a plaque in Ellie's honor.

Why we feel Ellie is so deserving of such an honor is because:
  • she was a tireless ally and advocate who gave her whole heart to seeing Deaf people as a whole - this applied to faculty, staff, students, alumni and community members - she truly encouraged them to stand up for themselves and boosted their confidence in their major, careers, and socialization. Really a wonderful ally who inspired so many people.

  • secondly, she encouraged NTID to be a signing environment - people should be signing as they go to and from different places making it a welcoming and open environment. This means that Ellie recognized ASL as a language right for Deaf people to be used in this setting. Ellie invested years and years of fostering signing in open places. We thank her for encouraging signing in our NTID community.

  • thirdly, she was very motivated to attend the Deafhood workshop. She took her seat and soaked in all the information and shared her thoughts on it - please go to this link to see Ellie's reflections on what she experienced from this workshop. (see :32 sec)

Clip of Ellie signing "I really want to thank you, thank you, thank you. It was inspiring. It was so wonderful and clear - delivered in beautiful sign language and the information is so crucial for all of us. Thank you very much. ILY."

  • Ellie rolled up her sleeves and rallied Deaf faculty, students and alumni to host workshops on audism - oppression resulting from the belief that to hear and speak is superior to being Deaf. She encouraged faculty, staff, students and alumni to attend screenings of the film "Audism Unveiled" and attend workshops. Her advocacy was THERE! We are so touched by this - her actions mean so much to our community.

We, the Orange & Brown Community, want to honor Ellie by having a plaque up and the dorm re-named in her honor so as people go to and from in Tower C - they will see it and remember or learn for the first time all the wonderful things she has done - her good heart, her sweetness, her strong encouragement and advocacy. Really wonderful. We really will miss Ellie. If you think as we do - that the dorm should be named in her honor and a plaque should be mounted, please put down your name and we will bring the proposition to the RIT community. Thank you.

Orange & Brown Coalition

About Orange Brown Coalition

Mission: To share with the RIT community about Deaf Culture (language, history, humor, etc.) and related activities.

To facilitate relationships between Deaf and hearing members of the RIT community through awareness of our cultures.

To provide opportunities for self-empowerment and self-advocacy of Deaf people on campus.

[Click Here To View ASL Version]