NASW Foundation National Programs
NASW Social Work Pioneers®
Steven K. Chough, DSW, MSW
“Advocate for the needs of the deaf,” describes Dr. Steven Chough’s life. A 1950 graduate of the Seoul National School for the Deaf, in South Korea, Dr. Chough’s teaching career began at the Taegu Christian School for the Deaf and Blind, Taegu, South Korea. He later earned an MSW from University of Denver and a DSW (Doctor of Social Welfare) from Columbia University. Dr. Chough is well known as the first deaf person to obtain an MSW in the United States. Prior to becoming a professor at Gallaudet University — the world’s only university for deaf students — Dr. Chough’s experience includes: statewide schools for the deaf in New Mexico and Texas; New York Psychiatric Institute; Deafness Research Center, in New York City; Minnesota State Department of Public Welfare; and Northville Regional Psychiatric Hospital, Center for Deaf Treatment Service, in Northville, Michigan.
A profoundly deaf person himself, Dr. Chough championed for services for the advancement of deaf persons, such as psychiatric, rehabilitation, counseling, and educational services, throughout his career and into his retirement. He retired from Gallaudet University, where he held administrative, teaching, and advising positions — including Dean of Student Affairs — in early 1997. He has continued to teach, as an adjunct professor, at both Gallaudet University and George Washington University, in Washington, D.C.
Dr. Chough has achieved national prominence, and is in demand as a speaker at various institutes and conferences in this nation and Korea. Currently, he is a senior board member of the National Asian Deaf Congress, a nationwide organization of, for, and by Asian deaf/hard-of-hearing people in America. Dr. Chough has also been recognized by the Minnesota Association of Deaf Citizens, “in recognition of contributions to improve the quality of deaf citizens of Minnesota,” and the University of Denver Alumni Association for: “outstanding contributions to, and distinguished service in, the field of social work.” His many articles have been published in professional journals.