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Tur Chung Lee, TPTE doctoral student, receives Robert L. and Helen Johnson Scholarship

Written by Cheryl Shahan, clinical assistant professor of education of the deaf and hard of hearing and educational interpreting and Kimberly Wolbers, professor of education of the deaf and hard of hearing and educational interpreting and co-director of undergraduate studies.

(Photo: L-R, Cheryl Shahan, Tur Chung Lee, Kimberly Wolbers)

Tur Chung Lee, doctoral student in Theory and Practice in Teacher Education (TPTE) has received the Robert L. and Helen Johnson Scholarship. Through generous contributions made by the Johnson family, the Robert L. & Helen Johnson scholarship was established to assist students with disabilities further their education.

Tur Chung was nominated by his advisers Cheryl Shahan and Kimberly Wolbers. An adaptation of the nomination is noted below.

Tur Chung is a first year doctoral student in the special education, deaf education, and interpreter education program. He came to the University of Tennessee, Knoxville last fall from Malaysia to pursue further education. Professors Shahan and Wolbers noted that what they found most impressive about Tur Chung is that he accesses the PhD program through his fourth and fifth languages (American sign language (ASL) and English respectively). His native languages, Malaysian sign language and Malaysian, are significantly different.

In the short time of being in the USA, Tur Chung has shown initiative about seeking communication accessibility in order to learn about many subjects provided at UT. As a Deaf person from Malaysia, he has kept his communication method with hearing people by using a communication application on his mobile as well as learning how to use the ASL interpreting services. In the short time he has been on campus, he has become engaged in various activities and presentations on campus. He is enthusiastic about learning new information from various people, and seeks opportunities to broaden his horizons. He has been open to learning about cultural differences between his home country and the USA.

The deaf education program within TPTE at UTK is an accredited ASL-English bilingual teacher preparation program including a focus in social justice. Tur Chung has shown support for bilingualism and social justice. He has a strong desire to bring his learning experiences about bilingualism and social justice to Malaysia.

More information on the Robert L. & Helen Johnson scholarship can be found here.

Congratulations to Tur Chung on his outstanding accomplishments and for receiving Robert L. and Helen Johnson Scholarship!