Gina Oliva grew up as the only hard of hearing child in all of her K-12 classrooms in the public schools of Greenwich, Connecticut. She received her bachelor's degree in psychology from Washington College, her master’s in counseling from Gallaudet University, and her doctorate in Recreation and Leisure Studies from the University of Maryland. Her first language is English, she has used a hearing aid since age 5, and began learning American Sign Language as a young adult at Gallaudet, where she enjoyed a 37 year career. Dr. Oliva published her first book, Alone in the Mainstream: A Deaf Woman Remembers Public School in 2004. In 2014 she published a sequel (with co-author Linda Risser Lytle), Turning the Tide: Making Life Better for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Schoolchildren.