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Dissertation defense for Frank P. Adams

To: Students, Faculty and Staff
From: Gaurav Mathur, Ph.D., Dean of the Graduate School
Re: Dissertation Defense for Frank P. Adams

It is my pleasure to announce that Frank P. Adams, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Psychology, will defend his dissertation on “Themes in Appraisal of a Job Applicant” on Thursday, December 12 at 1:00 PM in Hall Memorial Building (HMB), Room S403. The first forty minutes of the dissertation defense are open to the Gallaudet community.

Mr. Adams’ study focused on intragroup discrimination in the Deaf Community, a phenomenon consistent with findings across empirical studies that members of marginalized groups sometimes display preferential attitudes toward the majority population, thereby discriminating against members of their own ingroup. His experimental study was designed to test the hypothesis that Deaf and Hard of Hearing raters are more likely to recommend hearing applicants for hire than deaf applicants. Visitors to a website soliciting input in hiring decisions reviewed job application and personnel file data for a potential employee. These reviewers then rated the applicant’s suitability for the job. Data were statistically analyzed for interaction between applicant and reviewer demographic characteristics with particular attention to hearing status. Results revealed significant hiring bias against candidates identified as deaf by Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing participants and confirm that deaf applicants are at a competitive disadvantage relative to their hearing peers even when being evaluated by a Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing person. These data suggest that inclusion of Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing evaluators in the hiring process is not a sufficient measure to counteract the effects of implicit bias and internalized dysconscious audism in the hiring process. Overall findings have implications with regard to human resource policies, applicant self-disclosure of hearing status, and future directions of research.

The members of Mr. Adams’ dissertation committee are Dr. Carolyn Corbett, Department of Psychology, chair of the dissertation committee; Dr. Kathryn Wagner, Department of Psychology; Dr. Miako Villanueva, Department of Linguistics; Dr. Michelle Eisan-Smith, Horace Mann School for the Deaf; and Dr. Michael Harvey, a licensed psychologist in private practice.

Mr. Adams entered the Gallaudet University Ph.D. program in Clinical Psychology in 2002 and completed a Master’s degree in psychology in 2008.  As part of his training, Mr. Adams completed field placements in psychotherapy and psychological assessment at the Gallaudet University Mental Health Center (now known as Counseling and Psychological Services, or CAPS), the Washington DC Veterans Administration Medical Center’s Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Program, and Spring Grove Hospital Center.  From 2008-2012, Mr. Adams was employed by The Learning Center for the Deaf as a mental health clinician in the Walden School residential treatment program. From 2012-2015, he served as an intensive care coordinator for the Walden Wraparound Program at The Learning Center for the Deaf. He completed his doctoral internship with the United States Department of Justice - Bureau of Prisons in 2016, conducting therapy and assessment with inmates across Low, Medium, and High Security institutions.  After completing his internship, Mr. Adams returned to The Learning Center for the Deaf to work as an In-Home Therapist and Intensive Care Coordinator providing home-based therapeutic services to Deaf children and CODAs. Mr. Adams is involved in a variety of other projects including staff training, adaptation of the ARC GROW curriculum for use with Deaf families, and conference planning. In this capacity, he has presented to local and national audiences on strategies for working with traumatized youth and their families. 

Please join me in extending best wishes to Mr. Adams for his dissertation defense.

Posted by Elizabeth Gibbons | Posted December 6, 2019 at 4:14 PM


800 Florida Avenue NE
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800 Florida Avenue NE
Washington, DC 20002