2024 Keynote Speaker Biographies

Jean Irwin Hatfield

Jean Irwin Hatfield

Jean Irwin Hatfield has been a teacher of the deaf for 35 years for children ages 2 to 18. She has both been a Sign Language interpreter, and has used the Aural/Auditory method to teach profoundly deaf children how to speak.
All of this requires a patience she does not naturally possess but has learned that pressing on has great rewards.  Most people do not know that world wide the biggest academic challenge for the Deaf student is proficiency in Reading.  The Deaf don’t typically achieve above a forth grade reading level upon graduation from high school.  Written language is based on symbols translating to sounds you hear silently in your head. If you have little sound input, those symbols easily seen don’t illicit the same understanding a hearing person experiences. 
Philanthropy comes into Jean’s story when, after 7 years of teaching in 1989, she was awarded a scholarship for further study into Reading and Deafness at Nottingham University in England by the Rotary Foundation. While studying abroad she earned her Masters degree. The professor with whom she was sponsored to do research was working on Artificial Intelligence as a Psycholinguist.  He noted the similarities in the language a computer generated and that of the Deaf. His insights into deafness from outside the field turned into a book and in depth language study done no where else.  He came up with a way to foster better literacy for the Deaf as a result.
When Jean returned home to Reno, Nevada she began implementing what she learned on that scholarship and after many years of using those methods with children of all ages. Her students ended up graduating at a 10th grade reading level and were able to go on to college. Maybe as important is that she has -again through many charitable organizations – been able to train other teachers of the deaf in New Zealand, Canada and Central America the methods that she learned.  It is her honor to be a poster child of the long term affects of well aimed philanthropy.
Jean and her husband Dave are retired and live in Sacramento, California.  They do Biblical training in Africa for pastors and Jean is involved in helping a newly opened Deaf School in Kenya.
James E Hetrick

James E. Hetrick

Dr. James Hetrick is a Professor of Physics and the Director of the Master’s degree program in Data Science at the University of the Pacific.
After finishing his Bachelor’s degree in Physics from Case Western Reserve University, Dr. Hetrick spent 13 months (wintered over) at the South Pole Station in Antarctica studying cosmic rays, the solar wind, the auroras, and the earth’s magnetosphere.
He received his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in theoretical particle physics and went on to hold postdoctoral research positions at ETH in Zürich, Switzerland, the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands, the University of Arizona in Tucson, and Washington University in St. Louis, before coming to the University of the Pacific, in Stockton, California.
After 17 years as Chair of the Physics Department, Dr. Hetrick now directs the Masters degree programs in Data Science at Pacific’s San Francisco and Stockton campuses. He has taught a wide variety of classes in both the Physics and Data Science, including “Cosmology”, “The Physics of Music”, “Big History”, “Analytics Storytelling”, and “Linear Algebra for Data Science”.
In addition to his teaching and administrative roles, Dr. Hetrick is an NSF-funded researcher in the field of lattice quantum chromodynamics with over 150 publications. Using supercomputers at various national research centers, Dr. Hetrick simulates the physics of quarks and explores models of what the Higgs particle might really be. This work involves very high dimensional monte carlo techniques, state-of-the-art numerical linear algebra, and advanced methods of statistical analysis.