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Mourning the Passing of Stephanie M. Smith Albert (ASL Video & Transcript)

NBDA President, Evon Black & Gallaudet President Roberta Cordano:

I am profoundly saddened to share that *Stephanie M. Smith Albert, G-’04*, passed away yesterday evening. Stephanie was Director of Diversity and Inclusion at our sister school, the National Technical Institute for the Deaf at Rochester Institute of Technology.

NTID and our community have lost one of our most promising future leaders.  Stephanie was a generous spirit who shared her experiences and wisdom as a black deaf woman to inspire others to believe in themselves and to become agents for improving our world for everyone. Our hearts go out to her
husband, Tim, and their families as they grieve Stephanie's unexpected passing. I have expressed our condolences to Dr. Gerard Buckley, president of RIT/NTID, and offered our support in any way possible.

Said Evon J. Black, president of National Black Advocates: “We are
heartbroken and shocked by the sudden loss of our beloved sister,
Stephanie. She was a long-time member of National Black Deaf Advocates.  Stephanie touched so many hearts in all walks of life. We celebrate her many accomplishments, and recognize that we have lost an angel.”

Dr. Elavie Ndura, Vice President for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion,
wrote, “I am saddened by this loss of a great diversity and inclusion
champion and colleague. I met Stephanie in August 2017 at the National Black Deaf Advocates conference when we had both started our new roles. She instantly made me feel welcome into the Deaf community and into NBDA. She and I had planned to collaborate in advancing diversity and inclusion work at our respective institutions. May she rest in peace as her spirit of
unity, love, and inclusion continues to inspire all of us for eternity.”

In her 50 years of a life well lived, Stephanie crossed paths with many of us. She was a school counselor at the Georgia School for the Deaf in Cave Spring, Georgia; St. Rita School for the Deaf in Cincinnati, Ohio; and Pennsylvania School for the Deaf in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She was director of Student Life at Ohio School for the Deaf in Columbus, Ohio before being named NTID’s first chief diversity officer in July 2017.  Stephanie earned an associate of science degree in accounting at RIT/NTID; a bachelor’s degree in marketing at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio; and a master’s degree in school counseling at Gallaudet University.

Tragedies like Stephanie’s passing affect us all. Any Gallaudet community member in need of support can contact Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)  or
the Employee Assistance Program.  Gallaudet students can make an appointment for confidential services at the CAPS office Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. CAPS is also available for crisis and emergencies over the weekend. CAPS is located on the third floor of the Kellogg Conference Hotel. It can be reached by videophone at (202) 250-2300. For emergencies, please contact the Gallaudet Department of Public Safety at dps@gallaudet.edu, or call (202) 651-5555 videophone.

Helpful information about coping with grief is available at
www.helpguide.org/mental/grief_loss.htm.

We will share information about funeral arrangements and memorial contributions at a later time. There also will be a local gathering to celebrate Stephanie’s life. Again, please join me in expressing our deepest sympathy to Stephanie’s husband Tim, and to Stephanie and Tim’s families.  Please embrace your loved ones and friends.

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