I earned my Certificate of Interpretation (from the National Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, United States) in 1998, after professional training in Indiana during the early ’90s under the wonderful influence of the BiBi Committee at the Indiana School for the Deaf. While continuing work within the Deaf community, I earned a Master’s of Education in Social Justice Education and am now in the final writing stages for a Ph.D. in Communication. The topic of my dissertation is “Simultaneous Interpretation and Shared Identity in the European Parliament.” Fieldwork at the EP was funded by a US Fulbright Grant (2008-2009). Many of the insights informing this research are the result of interactions with empowered members of American Deaf Culture.
I have presented at sign language interpreting and ASL Studies conferences (such as RID’s national conference and the American Sign Language Teachers Association), international conferences on community interpretation (Critical Link), and given presentations to Translation Studies and European Studies departments at European universities (e.g., Heriot-Watt University and the University of Edinburgh, Vrije University Brussels, and Ghent University). Several articles and chapters have made it into publication, one of which has been translated into German. I have also taught several courses in several disciplines, particularly sociology and communication, both online and in traditional classrooms at the community college and university levels. I am most jazzed by being able to combine online instruction with face-to-face interaction: the potentials of learning and collaboration using this dual-format have barely begun to be explored.
My work, both as a professional interpreter and as a researcher and teacher grounded in the discipline of communication (specifically, language and social interaction) involves the intersection of discourse and dynamics. “Meaning” may appear symbolically – as words or signs, but meaningfulness arises from combining the way people generally talk (what is said and not said) with their behaviors while working together on a common task, such as taking up roles in groups, enacting particular identities, or accomplishing common and divergent goals. This is the intersection of language and social interaction where social change happens.
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