The Nicholas J. Deleonardis Scholarship of The American Sign Language Project
Posted deadline: July 1, 2024
The goal of the Nicholas J. Deleonardis Scholarship is to
encourage full-time college students to engage in research leading
to noninvasive technologies that will improve communication between
Deaf and hearing people.
Amount of Award
What scholarship funds may cover
Any portion of tuition, fees, or books.
Scholarship program guidelines
To be eligible, applicants must meet all of the following criteria:
- Be a full-time undergraduate or full-time graduate student at an accredited four-year university or college in the United States.
- Have permanent U.S. residency
- Have a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale (or the equivalent)
- Complete the entire application packet
- Propose a research project involving non-invasive technology that will improve communication between Deaf and hearing people. The project will be completed by the applicant as a part of the program requirements.
The American Sign Language Project does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, disability, sexual orientation, ethnic origin, religious beliefs, or gender.
Relatives of current or former members of The American Sign Language Project are not eligible for the scholarship. Relatives of major contributors to The American Sign Language Project are not eligible for the scholarship.
Application materials must include
- Completed application form, which is at the end of
Instructions and Application Form Document.
- Official college transcript
- A letter of recommendation (500-1000 words) from a teacher who is familiar with your academic record, skills and abilities
- Proof of permanent residency, if not a U.S. citizen
- A 3-5 page description of a proposed research project, including
project goals and time line. Explain how the project fills a
need not previously addressed. Include an explanation of how
the research will create noninvasive technology that will
facilitate better communication between Deaf and hearing people.
The applicant must propose a scholarship period, which may not
exceed one year. The project must be completed by the applicant
during the scholarship period.
A personal statement, no more than one page, that explains how the
applicant became interested in non-invasive technology for better
Deaf/hearing communication, and how the proposed project fits into
the applicantís life plan. This will help the scholarship committee
get a better sense of the applicant as a person.
Applications are evaluated for the following:
- Academic achievement
- Quality of research proposal, including
- Feasibility of completing the proposed research within the timeline given
- Potential of the proposed research
- Qualifications to complete the research
- Commitment to facilitating better Deaf / hearing communication
A screening committee established by The American Sign Language Project will choose the scholarship recipient.
The winner agrees to allow The American Sign Language Project to use
his or her name and photo, image or likeness on the
corporation’s website and in public announcements and
press releases about the scholarship.
Half of the award will be distributed at the beginning of the agreed-upon
scholarship period, as stated in the recipientís project proposal.
The first payment to the recipient will be sent once verification
of enrollment during the scholarship period is received from the
recipientís school. The first payment will go directly to the
recipientís account at the schoolís Financial Aid Office.
The remaining portion of the award will be sent once the recipientís final
project report is received. The recipient must remain enrolled
as a full-time student and maintain a GPA of at least 3.0 on a
4.0 scale (or equivalent) during the scholarship period.
Final project report
The final project report should be 2-3 pages and describe the
outcomes of the research. In the report, the recipient describes
how the stated research goals were met.
Application Period, Process and Deadline
Application materials must be received no earlier
than 30 days before the posted deadline and must be received by
The American Sign Language Project no later than the posted deadline.
Applications postmarked earlier than 30 days before the posted
deadline or received after the posted deadline, as well as
incomplete packets, will not be accepted.
Application materials will not be returned. Please do not
send originals of important documents.
The American Sign Language Project is not responsible for
lost, delayed or misdelivered applications.
The winner of The Nicholas J. Deleonardis Scholarship of The American
Sign Language Project will be notified approximately six to ten
weeks after the posted deadline.
The American Sign Language Project reserves the right to
announce that no winner has been chosen if none of the applications
meet its selection criteria.
Application Delivery Method and Address
Send applications to scholarship (at) aslproject.com .
- 2009: Jerry Schnepp, DePaul University, Generating Nonmanual Signals in Synthesized ASL
- 2011: Haley Smith, Purdue University, An Analysis of Mouth Shapes in Negative and Positive Sentences in ASL
- 2013: Jessica Tran, University of Washington, Human-Centered Optimization of Mobile Sign Language Video Communication
- 2014: Marie Stumbo, DePaul University, Toward a model of coarticulation in synthesized American Sign Language
- 2019: Maria Saenz, DePaul University, A Web-Based Platform for a Multilingual Sign Language Avatar
- 2021: Sydney Marie Burkhert, University of Memphis, Dactylo: Making ASL instruction more accessible
- 2023: Nathan O. Brown, Brigham Young University, Toward a universal standard for creating ASL gloss corpora