Dr. Thomas Allen co-founded the PEN program and up until his December 2020 retirement had served as Program Director and Professor.
He was the NSF-Gallaudet University Science of Learning Center on Visual Language and Visual Learning (VL2) Center Co-Principal Investigator, and also directed the Early Education Literacy Lab (EL2), a national resource hub within VL2 that focuses on research among young deaf children conducted in authentic settings.
Prior to his roles with PEN and VL2, Dr. Allen served as Dean of the Graduate School at Gallaudet, where he implemented Ph.D. programs in Linguistics and Audiology, an Au.D. professional doctorate in Audiology, a Masters of Arts in Teaching that focuses on preparing teachers to work in bilingual ASL-English environments, a Master of Arts degree in International Development, and a Master of Arts degree in Deaf Studies.
Prior to becoming Dean, Dr. Allen was the Director of the Gallaudet Research Institute, where he conducted or supervised many large-scale statistical studies of the deaf population in the United States. These included an annual survey of deaf and hard of hearing children and youth and two national efforts to develop norms for standardized achievement tests for the population of deaf and hard of hearing students. He designed and conducted studies of national patterns of classroom communication strategies for deaf and hard of hearing students, and a longitudinal study of school to work transition for students who are deaf.
Dr. Allen held a faculty appointment in the Gallaudet Department of Education, where he taught courses in statistics and research design.