Deaf mother, advocate earns degree

KENNESAW — Kelly Hyder-Stockdale of Marietta was one of the 1,700 Kennesaw State University…

Georgia (Jan 5, 2015)KENNESAW — Kelly Hyder-Stockdale of Marietta was one of the 1,700 Kennesaw State University students to graduate last week during the December commencement ceremony. 


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At 50, Hyder-Stockdale was already different from many of her peers in their graduation gowns. She spent most of her adult life working for the government. She is married and has three children. 

And she is deaf.

She began working for the U.S. Army as a civilian computer operator and librarian right after graduating high school.

“It required a top-secret clearance, so I managed tapes and kept records of classified information,” she said. “Then I moved on to work at the U.S. Postal Office and worked there for about 17, 18 years.”

She was taking some classes while she worked at the post office, but being a mother and wife with a full-time job, she decided it was best to put her education on hold.

But once her youngest child became a teenager, she knew she wanted to go back to school and pursue a Bachelor of Science in psychology.

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A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit