Temple University

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Melanie Drolsbaugh

Melanie Drolsbaugh portrait



Weiss Hall 250
1701 N. 13th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122


  • MA, Deaf Education, Gallaudet University
  • BA, Elementary Education, Gallaudet University


Melanie Drolsbaugh, MA, joined the faculty of Temple University’s College of Public Health in September 2017. Prior to this, she was an instructor at the University of Pennsylvania (2006-2018), Swarthmore College (2013 -2018), Princeton University (2016), and Arcadia University (2002-2017). She holds a MA in Deaf Education from Gallaudet University’s School of Education in 1996. She worked for six years at Pennsylvania School for the Deaf, a Philadelphia-area private school where she taught Deaf and hard of hearing middle school children on a variety of subjects and conducted evaluations to meet Individualized Education Plan goals. She managed intervention programs for Deaf and hard of hearing intellectually challenged and emotionally disturbed youth. After a few years in the Deaf Education field, Drolsbaugh moved on to work in the field of ASL instruction, starting with ASL classes in the community then moving to ASL classes at both the community college and university level.  She served as a mentor to new ASL instructors and as a Deaf Interpreter for deaf-blind and low-vision clients. She has been in the field of ASL instruction for 16 years, and holds Qualified Level certification from the American Sign Language Teachers Association. Additionally, Drolsbaugh is interested in the study of regional accents in American Sign Language and how morphology changes in ASL over time. She is also the owner of Handwave Publications; a company specializing in the publication and distribution of several book titles used for hundreds of ASL/Deaf Studies classes nationwide. 

Research Interests

  • Second Language Acquisition in American Sign Language
  • American Sign Language Phonology and Morphology
  • Regional Accents in American Sign Language
  • Sociolinguistics in the Deaf Community