Reaching New Heights in Interpreter Education: Mentoring, Teaching & Leadership

Announcing CIT Conference Speakers

The CIT Conference Committee is excited to announce the featured speakers for the 2018 CIT Conference.

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Learn about MJ

A native ASL signer, originally from Baton Rouge, LA, MJ Bienvenu received her BA in English and MA in Linguistics from Gallaudet in 1974 and 1983, respectively.  She received her Ph.D. in Linguistics specializing in Lexicography from Union Institute and University in 2003.  She worked at Gallaudet in various departments; including Linguistics Research Lab and Department of English, for a total of eleven years.  MJ then worked as a co-director of The Bicultural Center for seven years.  She later became a director of Language and Culture Center for 3 years before she returned to Gallaudet, and is now professor in the Department of ASL and Deaf Studies.  She is also a co-coordinator for MA in Sign Language Education.

In addition to teaching, MJ has presented workshops, and served as plenary speaker on topics related to ASL, culture, empowerment, interpretation, and Deaf people and various -isms.  She was co-author of several videos on ASL numbers and facial grammar.  She is also one of pioneers as a Deaf interpreter at major conferences and rallies.  MJ was a board member of CIT in the late 1980s.

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Learn about Patrice

Patrice Creamer worked as Project Director at National Development & Research Institutes – Deaf Research Projects for 15 years. Patrice led ASL translation teams, facilitated focus groups, in-depth interviews, and authored several articles along with her research team. She has presented lectures at national conventions and has been an on screen sign model for several surveys and curricula.

Patrice was one of the first Deaf theatrical interpreters on Broadway. Patrice has also been the ASL Director for over 10 Off-Broadway productions. Patrice has been interpreting in various settings since she entered the workforce and has many years of experience as a client of interpreter services.

Patrice has been a member of the National Black Deaf Advocates for over 30 years and served as Vice President from 2015-2017.

Patrice has been honored to receive many awards including National Black Deaf Advocates Iman Humanitarian Award, National Black Deaf Advocates Leadership Award New York State Senate Citation for Personal Excellence and Achievement, City Council Citation: National Action Network, Deaf Humanitarian Award and New York State Assembly Citation: for work as a social worker, actress and deaf advocate.

Patrice received a Master of Social Work from Hunter College. She lives in New York City.

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Learn about Maya

Maya de Wit is a certified sign language interpreter whose working languages include International Sign, Dutch Sign Language, American Sign Language, as well as spoken English, German, and Dutch. She regularly interprets at the EU institutions, United Nations, Council of Europe, and other international organizations.

She also delivers training and consultancy on topics such as optimizing the cooperation between consumers and spoken and sign language interpreters, sign language  interpreting techniques for high-level settings, and raising  professional standards of sign language interpreters. The author of“Sign Language Interpreting in Europe,”  a book that saw its fifth revised edition published last year,    Maya has been tracking the development of the profession in over 45 European countries and regions since 2000.

From 2006 to 2012, Maya was the president of EFSLI, the European Forum of Sign Language Interpreters.  In 2011, Maya obtained her Master of Science (MSc) in the European Master of Sign Language Interpreting (EUMASLI). She was the firstsign language interpreter to become a member of International Association of Conference Interpreters (AIIC), and she currently is the coordinator of the global AIIC Sign Language Network.

Learn more about Maya de Wit

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Learn about Tom

Thomas K. Holcomb is professor of Deaf Studies at Ohlone College in Fremont, California where he teaches courses related to Deaf Culture, Deaf Education, and Interpreting to both Deaf and hearing students.  Previously, he taught at San Jose State University and National Technical Institute for the Deaf at Rochester Institute of Technology.

Tom is considered a leading authority on Deaf Culture.  He was awarded with the Teacher of the Year Award by American Sign Language Teacher Association (ASLTA) in 2002.  He is well known for his dynamic presentation style, which he uses to bring together Deaf and hearing cultures.  He has presented in 46 states and numerous international countries.

His latest book project, Deaf Eyes on Interpreting is scheduled to be released by Gallaudet University Press in May 2018.  His other contributions include Introduction to American Deaf Culture; Deaf Culture, Our Way; and Reading Between the Signs.  In addition, he produced several on-line teaching tools with Anna Mindess and they include A Sign Of Respect:  Strategies for Effective Deaf/Hearing Interactions and See What I Mean:  Differences Between Deaf and Hearing Cultures.

Tom’s academic credentials include a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Gallaudet University, Master’s degree in Career and Human Resources Development from Rochester Institute of Technology, and a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from University of Rochester.

Learn more about Tom Holcomb

More information about the speakers and their topics will be coming soon.