Zimmerman, Dr. Heather Grace

Director of Deaf Studies
Associate Professor of Deaf Studies
School of Arts and Sciences
PhD in Critical Studies in the Education of Deaf Learners, Gallaudet University 2019
Ed. S, Deaf Education, Gallaudet University 2017
MA in International Development, Gallaudet University 2013
BA in ASL/English Interpreting, Goshen College 2011


Dr. Zimmerman is a global citizen who enjoys an interdisciplinary career in sign language interpreting, education, and international development, focusing on research/evaluation. She engages in deaf studies projects locally and abroad as a consultant and specialist. 

InterpretingZimmerman’s journey into the deaf world started young when she was a child as she has family members and friends who are deaf. However, she formally started learning American Sign Language (ASL) when she was a teenager. Zimmerman has extensive experience working in various settings such as international, post-secondary, government, platform, political, medical, mental health, legal, and religious. She has worked with many high-profile clients, including spiritual leaders like the 14th Dalai Lama; government officials like prime minister Angela Merkel, 47th Vice President Joe Biden, Former President George W. Bush Jr.; and Ivy League Institutions. 

ResearchZimmerman is published in discipline-relevant journals and has conducted internal/external rapid and longitudinal qualitative/mixed methods research/evaluation projects. Her recent work focuses on resilience, education, and culture among marginalized population groups, including people who are deaf. 

TeachingBefore coming to Carolina University, Zimmerman was an adjunct instructor at Gallaudet University and mainly taught a bilingual (ASL/English) introductory research course to graduate students. She has served as a volunteer instructor in the Philippines at the Bible Institute for the Deaf. Additionally, Zimmerman has presented discipline-specific workshops and training worldwide, including Guam, Tinian, Russia, Nigeria, and the USA. Her teaching philosophy emphasizes relevant, experiential, and culturally responsive pedagogy. 

ServiceDr. Zimmerman founded and directed the Månha Project, a sign language immersion camp and community-based development project in the Pacific islands. She is an external member of the Institutional Review Board of the College of the Marshal Islands. Zimmerman is passionate about being a servant-hearted leader and seeks opportunities to work with the deaf community as an interpreter and ally.

Dr. Heather Grace Zimmerman