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Transforming from Practitioner to Educator: Experiences of a Program Assistant

by Jamie Schumacher

Poster Session

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Interpreter education is transforming not only in approach, but also in demographics. The generation of educators who helped to establish this profession are reaching retirement age and as a field, we need to support pathways for aspiring interpreter educators like me.

In this poster presentation, I will explain my experience as a program assistant working with my mentor, Doug Bowen-Bailey, to create resources for the Graduation to Certification program. As a student in the MA of Interpreter Studies and Communication Equity at Saint Catherine University, I took part in a university program – the Assistantship Mentoring Program – as a way to learn about strategies for developing engaging resources for interpreter education.

In this process, I applied a Vygotskyan framework for learning shared by my mentor (Bowen-Bailey, 2012) and also drew on my own perspective as a participant in the first cohort of the GTC program. As an assistant, I had the opportunity to develop technical skills working in Word Press and the Canvas Learning Management System. Additionally, I learned how to develop educational objectives for workshops and prepare paperwork for RID’s ACET/CMP process. Throughout this experience, I had the opportunity to meet with Doug weekly to discuss projects and how to develop engaging curriculum for online students.

During my presentation, I will give examples of the resources I created and explain how this applied learning was beneficial to me as a future educator as well as how my work will be beneficial for recent graduates and novice interpreters who are working towards certification.

Participants will be able to:

  • describe effective strategies for mentoring future interpreter educators
  • list the steps of an engaging activity that will benefit a wide range of interpreters
  • identify at least 5 resources that interpreter educators can use within their teaching

A white woman with blonde hair below her shoulders wears a black shirt smiles at camera with flowers in the backgroundJamie Schumacher graduated from Saint Catherine University (SCU) in 2018, majoring in ASL Interpretation. She became nationally certified in 2019 and has been working as a full-time staff interpreter for a local Minnesota freelance agency, Keystone Interpreting Solutions (KIS). In the summer of 2019, she started her graduate studies at SCU in the Masters of Interpreting Studies and Communication Equity (MAISCE) program. With a Masters degree, Jamie hopes to pursue a career in interpreter education as an undergraduate professor for future interpreters. To give her more experience in curriculum and program development, Jamie is working through a SCU program called AMP (Assistantship Mentoring Program) where she works alongside Doug Bowen-Bailey as his program assistant for the Graduation to Certification Program. Jamie hopes to use these skills and experiences in her future endeavors as a mentor and future professor.