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Performing roles of professor; researcher; honors program coordinator; author; community sign language instructor; and interpreter for the Virginia Department of Education and Supreme Court, communications sciences and disorders professor Dr. Brenda Seal admits that sometimes her biggest challenge is finding time to do it all. To recognize the outstanding scope and quantity of her professional and scientific achievements, in 2007 the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association bestowed one of its high honors upon Seal, naming her a Fellow. While Seal humbly acknowledges the recognition as "the greatest honor" of her professional career, she has high praise for the opportunities for research afforded to faculty members at James Madison University. And through her research, Seal engages JMU students in her professional quest to "show that sign [language use] by deaf babies does not prevent speech." Those experiences provide a real-world perspective to education and inspire a new generation to better humanity.
"We have very smart, very talented students here at JMU," Seal says. "And, it's the thousands of students who I've been able to work with, when they get turned on to research or get excited about a new project, ... that is my greatest reward."