PEN Faculty

Dr. Melissa Herzig

Dr. Melissa Herzig is Co-founder and Assistant Director of the PEN Program.

Dr. Melissa Herzig is Co-founder and Assistant Director for the Gallaudet University PhD in Educational Neuroscience (PEN) Program and Scientific Director of the Translation for the Science of Learning Lab (TL2) at the NSF-Gallaudet University Science of Learning Center called Visual Language and Learning (VL2). 

She leads translations of VL2 research discoveries for applications in the wide range of learning environments for deaf children and all children. This lab produces publications and resources such as research briefs, family information packages, and websites that summarizes research for parents, educators, doctors, policy makers, and other professionals.

TL2 also provide training and workshops on bilingualism for parents and educators. She is responsible for leading assessments and evaluations of resources within VL2 and for working with schools. Her role is to facilitate two-way communication between researchers and educators. 

She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Gallaudet University. Her Master of Arts thesis in Bilingual (ASL/English) Education at University of California, San Diego (UCSD) focused on bridging ASL and English skills through ASL/English Workshops. For that thesis, she developed an ASL Scale of Development authentic assessment tool for teachers. 

She earned her doctorate degree at UCSD focusing on the motivation of Deaf Latino adolescent struggling readers. She worked at cognitive neuroscience and language labs at Salk Institute, San Diego State University, and UCSD as a Research Assistant.  

Dr. Herzig also served as a teacher at Chula Vista High School for eight years. She worked as a supervisor for student teachers at UCSD and was a lead supervisor for student teachers and interns at National University.

Her areas of interest are in ASL/English Bilingualism, Literacy Development, and Motivation for Reading.