Glenna Cooper, M.A.

TCC Assistant Professor, Department Faculty Chair

TCC Degree: Business Administration

Graduated: 2004

In 1982, Glenna was one of the first Deaf people to attend Tulsa Junior College, now Tulsa Community College. She was also among the initial group to take advantage of support services provided by the newly formed Resource Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, now known as Accessibility Resources. She earned a bachelor’s degree and would go on to earn a master’s degree through the prestigious Gallaudet University, regarded as the premier university for Deaf persons.

In 1991, Glenna was a TCC adjunct professor before becoming a part-time lab worker for the American Sign Language Education program. She then became a full-time faculty member and now oversees the ASLE, World Languages and English as a Second Language program as Department Faculty Chair. She created the annual TCC Deaf Leadership conference, which brings Deaf high school students from across the state to a day-long introduction to a college environment. In 2018, she helped create a new ASL Lab with several ASL native tutors.

Glenna shared her personal journey as a Deaf child of hearing parents who were told to avoid teaching their daughter sign language in a TEDx presentation. She continuously works to improve the lives of Deaf and hard-of-hearing people locally, regionally, and nationally — whether through advocating for television captioning in the 1990s, working with one of the largest hospital systems in Tulsa to provide interpreters, advocating telephone accessibility for Deaf people through Teletypewriter (TTY) and video relay interpreters, or seeking grants to address issues such as domestic violence and the dangers of tobacco smoking.

Glenna was selected as one of three national instructors with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security/FEMA, giving first responders across the country the skills needed to prepare for, respond to and recover from emergencies involving persons with hearing loss. She also serves as President of the Oklahoma Association of the Deaf, and as a member-at-large for the Oklahoma Registry of Interpreter for the Deaf.

Revealed: Feb. 17, 2020

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