Scholarships & Grants

Hazel Bothwell Memorial Scholarships & Grants

For Educators of the Deaf & Hard of Hearing

These scholarships and grants originated from funds established by ITDHH in memory of Hazel Bothwell. Through many years of unselfish and tireless work, Hazel Bothwell provided a persistent and effective voice in support of improving the education of children who are deaf and hard of hearing in Illinois. She inspired countless parents, teachers, and legislators to strengthen all phases of educational service.


These awards were established to help carry forward the spirit of Hazel Bothwell’s commitment to children who are deaf and hard of hearing. The goals of this program are to advance the expertise of trained teachers, to improve the abilities of teachers to better serve children who are multi-handicapped deaf, and to encourage educational research that has specific application to the education of children who are deaf and hard of hearing.


In order to be considered for a scholarship or grant, a person must satisfy one of the following criteria: be an active ITDHH member, be a certified teacher of students who are deaf and hard of hearing, be a teacher who is actively engaged in an approved program that will lead to such certification, or clearly demonstrate above average interest in the education of children with hearing loss, or be an undergraduate in an approved teacher training program for this population.


The Hazel Bothwell Scholarships are awarded to help individuals continue their education. The Hazel Bothwell Grants are awarded to help fund research, projects and programs.

Hazel Bothwell Memorial Scholarship: These funds are to be used for tuition, fees, registration, and/or books 

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Hazel Bothwell Memorial Grant: These funds are to be used for purposes of formal or informal research as well as classroom/school activities

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*All applications must be submitted on or before January 12, 2024 to be considered by the committee.  Incomplete applications will not be considered.  All awards will be announced and presented at the annual conference. 

Jacki Marcus

Jacki Marcus Memorial Scholarship 

For Deaf & Hard of Hearing Students

Jacki Marcus Memorial Scholarship: is intended for high school seniors in Illinois, who are deaf/hard of hearing, and are planning to pursue a 2 or 4-year college pathway. 


In 1992, the ITDHH Executive Board established a student scholarship fund to recognize deaf and hard of hearing high school seniors who wish to continue their education after high school.  


In 2009, the scholarship was renamed in memory of Jacki Marcus, who served deaf and hard of hearing students in Illinois in many capacities throughout her career, and was a long-standing board member of ITDHH.  Jacki was instrumental in the development and continuation of this scholarship. Her legacy of advocating and supporting deaf and hard of hearing students in Illinois will continue. 

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Letters of Recommendation Submission Link (3 required) Closed

(Note: All student scholarships use the same links- applicants will be prompted to select the scholarship for which they are applying.)

*Applications and the accompanying letters of recommendation are due January 12, 2024. Applicants will be notified by February 16, 2024.

Pierce-Scherer Student Scholarship

For Deaf & Hard of Hearing Students

Pierce-Scherer Student Scholarship: is intended for high school seniors in Illinois, who are deaf/hard of hearing, and are planning to pursue training/education at a vocational or trade school.


Judy Pierce: Judy was a Teacher of the Deaf at I.S.U. for preschool students and taught college students in the Deaf Education Program at I.S.U. She was a special education teacher at Downs Elementary, Supervisor for South Metropolitan Association, teacher at Governor’s State University, Assistant and Acting Superintendent at the Illinois School for the Deaf, Administrator with the Department of Rehabilitation Services for the State of Illinois supervising three states schools (IL School for the Deaf, IL School for the Visually Impaired and IL Center for Rehabilitation Roosevelt),  Manager for State Director of Special Education at the Illinois State Board of Education, Chief Operations Officer at the Center on Deafness, and Director of the Illinois Resource Center. Judy was a lifetime member of the Illinois Teachers of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.  Judy was a force of energy and pioneer in deaf and special education in the State of Illinois.


Dr. Patricia Scherer: Patricia led a full and accomplished life, teaching and learning from the Deaf community for many years. In 1967 she earned her PhD from Northwestern University and continued until 1978 to teach at Northwestern as an Associate Professor and Director of the Teacher Preparation Program in Deafness. Her time at Northwestern ignited a passion within her that would begin a lifelong journey to serve the Deaf community.

In 1973 Patricia found her life’s true calling when she became the President and Founder of the Center on Deafness. It was through here, and Mental Health and Deafness Resources, Inc., founded in 1982, that Pat touched countless lives of Deaf children across the nation. With her love of learning and her creativity she inspired “otherwise isolated Deaf children to come together” (Lauren Putz, ICODA Alum) and advance their love for art. Through what later became the International Center on Deafness and the Arts, Patricia created a space for Deaf and Hard of Hearing children to explore theater, art, dance and more. Children from all over the country were able to grow in their craft and show “they had much to contribute to the world and that by working together great achievements could occur.”

Application Link Closed

Letters of Recommendation Submission Link (3 required) Closed

(Note: All student scholarships use the same links- applicants will be prompted to select the scholarship for which they are applying.)

*Applications and the accompanying letters of recommendation are due January 12, 2024. Applicants will be notified by February 16, 2024.