Professor Connie Mayer awarded honorary professorship at University of Manchester

York University Professor Connie Mayer in the Faculty of Education has been appointed as an honorary professor in human communications, development and hearing with the School of Health Sciences in the Faculty of Biology, Medicine & Health at The University of Manchester in the United Kingdom.

Connie Mayer
Connie Mayer

The appointment is from September 2018 to September 2021 and is in recognition of the ongoing collaborative work and research that Mayer has been doing at the University of Manchester.

During her appointment, Mayer will continue to work on various projects with her colleagues Helen Chilton and Wendy McCracken, including an investigation of “theory of mind” in the written language of deaf students. A paper on this topic was recently published in the Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, and two followup studies are underway – one of which involves collaboration with the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Mayer will also work with colleagues in Manchester on a two-day conference, Deaf Children Now: Changing the Conversation, scheduled for June 24 and 25, 2019. The conference will bring together world-renowned specialists from the fields of deaf education, speech and language, audiological science and audiotechnology, genetics and neurology/behavioural sciences, with the goal of working across disciplines to better support deaf children and their families. Mayer will deliver a keynote presentation on the topic of literacy development in deaf learners.

Mayer is co-academic co-ordinator in the Deaf & Hard of Hearing Teacher Education program in the Faculty of Education. Prior to coming to York University, she worked for more than 20 years as a consultant, administrator and teacher of deaf students from preschool through post-secondary. Her current research focuses on early literacy and early intervention, cochlear implantation, bilingualism and models of teacher education, including an ongoing Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council-funded study investigating the literacy achievement of school-aged deaf learners.

She has presented widely on these topics both nationally and internationally, and also authored numerous journal articles and book chapters. Her co-authored book, Early Literacy Development in Deaf Children, published by Oxford University Press, was released in June 2015. In 2016, she was awarded the Sister Mary Delaney Lifetime Achievement Award by the American College Educators of the Deaf & Hard of Hearing, in recognition of her work in teaching, research and service in the preparation of teachers of students who are deaf or hard of hearing.

“The Faculty of Education is thrilled to congratulate Professor Connie Mayer on this exceptional honour,” said Heather Lotherington, associate dean research in the Faculty of Education. “Professor Mayer’s thoughtful research has profoundly affected educational practice and, moreover, the individual lives of children and adults who are deaf and hard of hearing, to the point where she is acclaimed – and claimed – across continents. The Faculty of Education stands tall in the world of deaf education, and credit is due to our outstanding professors. Bravo, Connie!”