Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Patrick "Pax" McCarthy

Every year, the Massachusetts State Association of the Deaf (MSAD) nominates a member of the Deaf community to receive the George Veditz Award. The award is given in recognition of great achievement in the Deaf community. The MSAD is a socio-political organization, which services Deaf and hard of hearing people statewide. George Veditz has great historical significance for Deaf people for his steadfast support of American Sign Language and the preservation of the language through film. He is famous for saying, “As long as we have deaf people on earth, we will have signs.” 

It came as no surprise to the students of UNH Manchester, that Professor Patrick “Pax” McCarthy was selected to receive the award.  

“Pax is a one-of-a-kind teacher," said Kaitlyn Mastacouris, a junior in the ASL/English Interpreting program. "He encourages his students to expand their minds when it comes to language.”  

McCarthy was selected for the George Veditz Award for his continued commitment to education and over 30 years of leadership in the Deaf theatre community in Boston. As assistant director of the ASL/English Interpreting program and lecturer of American Sign Language, he is known for inspiring success among his students.  

“It takes a leader who can impart in his students not only a high level of competency, but the importance of Deaf heart,” said ASL/English Interpreting senior Kara Kelly-Martin.  

The well-respected ASL/English Interpreting program drew McCarthy to UNH Manchester in 2005, and he was very happy to work under Dr. Jack Hoza, who he believes is a role model in his field. Hoza, program director and professor of ASL/English interpretation, said McCarthy's recognition is well-deserved.

"I was thrilled to hear that MSAD awarded [McCarthy] the Veditz award," Hoza said. "He definitely deserves this recognition for his many years of service both at the college level and in the community.”

McCarthy said he and Veditz share Baltimore as their birthplace, which makes the award even more special. 

“I felt very honored by the prestige of the award, and that it was in honor of Veditz, who I have always felt a special connection with,” McCarthy said.

Besides being affiliated with the Massachusetts State Association of the Deaf, McCarthy is involved in the Deaf Grassroots Movement (DGM), which fights for equality in communication, education and employment for Deaf people across the country. 

“Pax is a man with a talent to inspire people to do and be better because of his passion and dedication to the Deaf community,” sophomore Angela Adorno said. 

The DGM is holding their annual protest rally in Boston on May 4, which McCarthy said is open for Deaf and hearing participants alike. He hopes a lot of people will attend and show their support for the progression of Deaf rights. 

Written by Brittany Gaston '17, ASL/English Interpreting