This week we present two stories of people having to navigate a new world.
Part 1: Sean Bearden has never been interested in education, but when he's incarcerated at the age of 19, he finds a passion for physics.
Part 2: When Victoria Manning decides to get a cochlear implant, she fears losing her identity as a deaf person.
Sean Bearden is a Ph. D. candidate in Physics at UC San Diego, researching the application and development of memcomputing systems, a novel computing paradigm. Identifying as a nontraditional student, Sean went from dropping out of high school to receiving the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship and Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship. To alleviate the stress that is inevitably coupled with graduate research, he enjoys training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu at the P5 Academy in San Diego. Visit seanbearden.com to learn more.
Raised in Lower Hutt and Deaf since age four, Victoria Manning’s first career was in psychology but her strong sense of social justice and experience in the USA saw her gravitate towards advocacy roles. Victoria led a 5 year long human rights complaint that resulted in the establishment of a telephone relay service enabling deaf, hard-of-hearing and speech impaired people to access the telephone. She co-chaired the Government’s Disability Strategy review reference group and was the inaugural chairperson of the Government’s New Zealand Sign Language Board. One of Victoria’s career highlights was being chosen to represent disabled New Zealanders at the United Nations for New Zealand’s first reporting on its progress on implementing the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. She was given a Queen’s Service Award for her services to the deaf and disabled communities in 2015.
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