A Dreamer #ProjectTransfer

picture of A Dreamer

Position: Sign Language Interpreter, Senior/Scheduler

A.A. Sign Language Interpreting, Phoenix College

B.A. Theatre and Dance, Sonoma State University

M.A. Deaf Theatre: Production and Administration, Sonoma State University

Also attended Gallaudet University

1. How did you decide to attend your college/university?

I went to a community college near my home.  I had been working as a waiter for years, then became injured and couldn’t depend on my back for work.  I decided to try college and see if it could change my life.

2. How did you afford college/university?

My family did not contribute to my college tuition at all.  I worked several jobs and also ate at Taco Bells 59 cent menu most days.  Once I began interpreting, I worked at schools during the day and went to college at night. When I finally got into Gallaudet University, I borrowed student loans.

3. What was unique about the college/university you attended?

Gallaudet University was an entirely Deaf college.  I was one of only 3 hearing students in the undergraduate program.  I studied theatre and dance while I was there.  It was amazing.  I consider it my "year on Mars".  It was an out of this world experience and changed my professional life completely.

4. Did you have any experiences transferring?

I transferred to Gallaudet University for one year from Sonoma State University.  It took me four years to get into Gallaudet because of the requirements for a “hearing” student. I had to have a home university, be there for a year before and a year after transferring, set up a consortium with both colleges for financial aid reasons, among other things.  It was a lot of work, but completely worth it.  I actually had to be at SSU for an additional Senior year because of the transfer.  I didn’t mind at all.

5. What kinds of jobs did you get after graduation?

I worked as a sign language interpreter for many years while I attended college, but after graduation, I taught junior high school, and got a staff position at SRJC.  Later I moved to Phoenix, Arizona and taught at the college I had graduated from for 7 years.  I became an administrator and didn’t like it much.  I missed the ocean and so I quit Phoenix College and moved back to Sonoma County.

6. How did you discover you current position?

I had worked at SRJC previously, and so when I quit my job in Phoenix, I flew out here to explore things.  While I was on campus at SRJC for less than two hours, three people approached me and told me that there was an open Interpreter senior position available.  I competed in a national search, and fortunately, won this position.  I couldn’t be happier.  I hope to have my ashes spread under a tree here one day when it’s all over.

7. What do you love about your field?

So many things.  I get to sit in on college classes every day ( and I don’t have to do homework).  I’m the boss, so I get my choice of classes.  Every semester is different.  I get to interpret for amazing people and events on campus, outstanding theatre performances, visiting sports or political stars.  If it’s happening on our campus and a Deaf person wants to attend it, we will provide interpreters.  This is an awesome place to work and it really feels like a family of staff, administrators, and faculty.  We have some amazing scholars here and it’s an honor to be able to interpret their classes.  Also, I love being a part of the Deaf community.  I get to do really cool things, too.  One of them was to interpret the National Anthem at Super Bowl LVII, in 2008.  I  couldn’t love my career more than I do.  It’s such a great feeling to wake up excited to go to work every day.

8. Do you have any tips for transfer-bound students?

Know that you are not in this alone.  Go to the Transfer Center and meet with a counselor and let them guide you.  They are here to help you accomplish your goals.