Dr. Zangara is a 2011 graduate of the PhD Program in Leadership and Change at Antioch University.

Dr. Zangara [left] with her dissertation chair, Dr. Carolyn Kenny


phenomenology, deaf, hard of hearing, lived experiences, leaders, voice, leadership, communication, marginalization, storytelling, social change

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The vehicle in communicating cultural identity, recognition, and justice is voice. Reclaiming or sustaining one's voice is to stand up for what one believes in, or to preserve one's identity and place in society. The deaf individual or any other marginalized individual is expected to proceed through a series of deliberations to determine favorable actions that will be persuasive, with the goal of embracing the voice of the marginalized. The deaf individual's voice or meaningful intentions will need to be effectively interpreted into mainstream American society's language and paradigms. This requires one to reconstruct the meanings and mediate the facts and historical stories through his/her cultural lens into a language that mainstream American society is accustomed to hearing and experiencing. This is a daunting challenge and a burden for those who do not mediate multiple cultures and languages effectively. The methodology for this research will be descriptive phenomenology. This phenomenological research will focus on lived experience and elicit rich, deep descriptions. The focus of these lived experiences will be uncovered through dialogues with deaf leaders. The aim is to uncover deeper meanings surrounding the leadership relationship between the deaf leader and the dominant system. Themes will be identified and descriptions will capture the essence of the interviews. The focal question for the phenomenological research is: How do deaf leaders sustain voice in challenging dominant culture/systems? The sub-questions are: 1) Are there specific leadership qualities that are unique among deaf leaders leading in challenging dominant culture/system? 2) Are deaf leaders challenged with traditional leadership in relation to their cultural lens, myopic views, or systemic thinking of the dominant culture/system to their own cultural lens? 3) How do deaf leaders position themselves to sustain voice and effect change? The document concludes with implications for leadership and change. An electronic version of this dissertation is at OhioLink ETD Center