2023 Livingstone Undergraduate Research Award in General Education

Livingstone Undergraduate Research Award in General Education

Livingstone Undergraduate Research Award in General Education

Samantha Marie Padilla


Creating Positive Change for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Individuals in the Philippines

View Samantha’s project online

in TUScholarShare, Temple University’s institutional repository

This project is an overview of the current studies and analysis regarding the major sexual assault issue among Deaf people in the Philippines. Due to the sexually-repressive culture, low levels of sexual health literacy, language barriers, and many other issues, the Filipino Deaf community suffers from extraordinarily high rates of sexual abuse. I also offer two potential interventions based on past research to educate Deaf and hearing Filipinos through workplace training videos and informational posters to be hung in public places like doctor’s offices and university campuses. 

What is your major and expected year of graduation?

My major is health professions, and I am also pursuing an American Sign Language certificate. I am expected to graduate in May 2023. 

What inspired you to pursue your project?   

This project was a semester-long endeavor part of a General Education course “The World of Sign Languages,” taught by my professor and mentor Dr. Matt Hall. I chose to research the Philippines specifically because I have a strong cultural identity grounded in being Filipino. Getting to write about the Filipino Deaf community and learn about Filipino history was a huge honor, and I feel extremely connected to the project because of that. 

What does winning this award mean to you?  

Winning this award for this particular project feels surreal. This project is rooted in creating positive change for a marginalized community, a cause that I would like to ground my future in if given the chance. I’m honored to have won this award for a project with which I have a strong connection and passion. Dr. Hall and I are also working on publishing this research to benefit the larger (potentially international) community, and this award gives me hope that we will have the opportunity to create positive change. 

How did the Libraries support your research?

The Temple Libraries online database was my top search engine to find scholarly articles about this topic. I utilized search strings with strategic terms and phrases to narrow down the vast amount of information offered in the system. From news articles about hearing technology to scholarly journals about the history of Deafness in the Philippines, the website was able to provide ample information about anything I wanted to include in my research. 

One of the great pleasures of being a faculty member is the role reversal that happens when students develop such mastery of course-related skills and content that they can teach me something about my own area of expertise. Sam’s analysis of sexual violence against deaf women in the Philippines was such a powerful instance of this that, together with two other faculty colleagues, we are pursuing publication in a peer-reviewed journal. Combined with the Wikipedia article she authored for the course, Sam’s work is a praiseworthy example of scholarship with real-world impact: a stellar example of what it means to be Temple Made! 

Matt Hall, Assistant Professor, College of Public Health