14 August

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Christopher Jon Heuer

Photo by Bobby Cox

Christopher Jon Heuer has had an enormous role at Gallaudet University, contributing so many great things to Gallaudet University. He received his Bachelor’s degree majoring in English in the year of 1992 and then went to University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee to earn his Master’s degree. After that, he finally reached the final level of his schooling at George Mason University for a PhD degree. Christopher ended up at Gallaudet University as an associate professor; it was this point at his life that he began his long list of contributions to the Gallaudet community.

Not only did he become an associate professor, he also became a member and professor of the English department. His area of expertise were journalism, creative writing, and minority literature. He also became a member of the Department of Applied Literacy for Bilingual Instruction. He was engaged in intensive curriculum/assessment development and was responsible for testing coordination.

The roots of his inspiration behind his contribution in the deaf community began with seeing “too many deaf people get screwed over in life.”

“Not just by hearing people, either. By other deaf people. It’s stupid, it’s destructive, it needs to stop, and it can be. But not by doing business the way we do business now. You want to see real change in how deaf people are treated in this country? In their own community? Then you need a cultural, political, and social awakening on a scale unlike anything ever seen before. And you know what? You can pull that off. You can trigger it. You can contribute to it. But if you’re wasting your time and mine waiting around for a leader or a popular social movement to come along and save you—with no effort whatsoever on your own part—you aren’t worth rescuing. Because you’re just taking from everyone around you. So figure out what you’re willing to give, and what you’re willing to do, and get on with that. With the giving and the doing.”

It was lucky that DeafEcho.com had Christopher as their Editor-in-Chief. He had been responsible for editing all articles, providing feedback, recruiting new writers, photo selection, and layout. Christopher stabilized the continuance of the community that comes within DeafEcho.com. However, it was apparent that he has a trait of “giving back to the community”. Christopher first went public with his study, “Dissertation: Emotional Coping and Literacy Intervention Decisions––How Hearing Parents Guide Their Deaf Children” which was archived at the George Mason University Library in January 2009 and “Deafness as Conflict and Conflict Component” in 2007.

Christopher’s lingering presence at Gallaudet University since 1999 has impacted many people. He is one of the best professors in Gallaudet University. His name constantly pops up among the older students’ recommended teachers. I was told to sign up for a course that he teaches again…and again. Christopher has made a deep mark in people of GU community since his intelligence and excessively magnificent teaching style are usually the talk. Throughout his academic years, he has also published two books, several anthologies, and two non-fiction stories. Being a versatile writer, he has also written many fictional stories and poetry as well.

Why does he work so hard to make a difference? He has a simple answer. He has a huge passion. “My passion is people. What they think, what they can be. How they can organize and fight to get what they want. Don’t kid yourselves, either. Those standing between you and what you want have no interest in giving you what you want. If they did, you would have it by now. You’d better believe you’re in for a fight. And so you’d better learn how to fight,” said Christopher. “Why start with ‘the world?’ Start with yourself. Your family. Your friends. People you can actually influence. If you keep talking about ‘the world’ you’re not really going to believe that you’re contributing to anything other than a fantasy.”

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