New Director Selected for Gallaudet University Regional Center at NECC
Northern Essex Community College is pleased to announce that Todd Higgins has been named director of the Gallaudet University Regional Center (GURC)-East Region, which is located at Northern Essex.
Established in 1980, the GURC at NECC addresses the educational, transition, and professional development needs of deaf and hard of hearing people from birth through adulthood, their families, and the professionals who work with them.
The Gallaudet University Regional Centers share Gallaudet University’s undergraduate and graduate programs and Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center’s primary and secondary education resources and expertise through training programs, workshops and conferences, youth programs, technical assistance, and consultation.
Higgins most recently served as a deaf community advisor at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and has extensive experience working with individuals with a wide spectrum of disabilities. He also spent a decade working as a deaf and hard of hearing specialist and outreach coordinator at San Francisco State University, and prior to that was a deaf and hard of hearing consultant for the San Francisco Mayor’s Office on Disability. He has been an advocate for accessibility and championed the rights of people with disabilities for 20 years.
Higgins’s appointment was jointly announced on February 2, 2017 by Dr. William Heineman, NECC vice president of academic and student affairs, and Lisa Jacobs, director of the Office of National Outreach at Gallaudet University. The Office of National Outreach oversees the regional centers. Higgins will begin his work at NECC on February 21.
“Todd Higgins is a passionate advocate for the deaf and hard of hearing community and his many years of experience in advocacy and outreach will greatly help us in our mission of sharing resources with thousands of people across the country’s eastern region,” said Jacobs. “Gallaudet University is thrilled to welcome him and we look forward to his leadership of the regional center.”
“I am truly honored and excited about joining one of the longest-serving Gallaudet University Regional Centers in the nation and continuing the extraordinary work for which the Center is known,” said Higgins. “I look forward to building on many of the existing partnerships that the Center has developed over the years, as well as creating new ones, as we all work together to meet the educational, transition, and professional needs of deaf and hard of hearing individuals, their families, and the professionals who work with them.”
“Northern Essex Community College values its partnership with Gallaudet University and is proud to host the East Regional Center. We are extremely excited to welcome Todd Higgins to his new role as Director of the Center and begin work with him as he starts to write a new chapter in its history,” said Dr. Heineman.
Higgins holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and History from Miami University in Ohio and a Master of Arts in Public Administration from San Francisco State University, where he also worked and received awards for academic excellence and achievement.
Gallaudet University opened its Regional Center on the campus of Northern Essex Community College in June 1980. One of four regional centers across the United States, its primary mission is to provide and foster educational opportunities for deaf and hard of hearing children, youth, and adults in the eastern and mid-Atlantic regions – Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington D.C., and West Virginia.
Gallaudet University, federally chartered in 1864, is a bilingual, diverse, multicultural institution of higher education that ensures the intellectual and professional advancement of deaf and hard of hearing individuals through American Sign Language and English. Gallaudet maintains a proud tradition of research and scholarly activity and prepares its graduates for career opportunities in a highly competitive, technological, and rapidly changing world.