Five College ASL student awarded annual Lorna Peterson Prize

Hayden Gadd, Hampshire College class of 2021, has been awarded the Five College Lorna Peterson Prize in acknowledgement of his extensive participation in multi-campus life and academics within the consortium. Hayden is a student of the Five College Center for World Languages program in American Sign Language (ASL). Over the past three years he has collaborated with his ASL instructor, Dana Hoover, and the director of the Amherst College Choral Society, Arianne Abela, to provide simultaneous ASL interpreting for choir performances, including a performance of John Legend and Common’s song “Glory,” with the Amherst College Glee Club. Hayden has also completed the Five College Cognitive Neuroscience certificate.

“The fusion of ASL and music has sharpened my knowledge of how to interpret from one language to another, and has improved my musical and stage performance ability,” said Hayden. “I feel that it has had an immense impact on the choir and our audiences. I’ve been honored to receive gratitude from both d/Deaf and non-d/Deaf audience members for helping them connect to music in new and compelling ways.”

“Hayden is an unforgettable student,” said Dana, a Five College joint faculty appointee who teaches at UMass Amherst as well as the Five College Center for World Languages. “My very first impression of Hayden was that he showed every effort to make sure that I, as a Deaf professor, understood he was assertively ready and highly motivated to learn ASL. Hayden has certainly continued his wonderful passion and attitude for learning the language.”

The award is named for Lorna Peterson, who worked at Five Colleges for 29 years, including 19 years as the consortium’s leader. It honors Peterson’s commitment to collaboration as a means of advancing understanding and expanding opportunities, especially for students. The $500 prize is awarded annually based on nominations from Five College programs.

Last year the award was given to Jéa Adams, Amherst College class of 2021. Jéa was a student of the Five College Astronomy Department who was recognized for her passion for astrophysics, participation at the Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program in Astronomy at Harvard’s Center for Astrophysics (CfA), and work with Dr. Alexandra Pope, Associate Professor of Astronomy at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

For information about the Five College Lorna Peterson Prize or contact our Academic Programs office.

For information about the Five College ASL program. For more information about the Five College Astronomy Department.