Issuu on Google+

“SIGNS” OF BUCKEYES NEWS FROM THE COLLEGE OF ARTS AND SCIENCES AMERICAN SIGN LANGUAGE PROGRAM

ASL PROGRAM STUDENTS AND STAFF SHOWING SCHOOL SPIRIT PRIOR TO SIGNING THE NATIONAL ANTHEM AT AN OSU FOOTBALL GAME.

1


DEAR FRIENDS, In 2009, we launched “Signs” of Buckeyes, our first newsletter for our alumni and friends; in it, we outlined future goals for the American Sign Language Program. Now, we are happy to announce major progress toward those goals: strengthening our focus as an undergraduate foreign language, increasing our presence on campus, and enhancing experiences for our students. As always, we are grateful for your continued support and would love to hear from you. Please share your experiences with ASL and the deaf/signing community, by contacting us with any comments, stories, or inquires (see last page).

Tammy Eckard, Senior Lecturer For more information about the OSU ASL Program, or to read more about our latest news, please visit asl.osu.edu.

PROGRAM UPDATES A NEW HOME We are now housed in the College of Arts and Sciences, administered by the Foreign Language Center. NEW DIRECTIONS Our new team: Lauren Sanders, Program Director; and Tia Jones, Associate Coordinator, provide dayto-day leadership. Diane Birckbichler, PhD, Director of the Foreign Language Center, is our Faculty Supervisor. EXPANDING PROGRAM Hiring our sixth full-time Senior Lecturer, Kristin Saxon, brings us to a full-time staff of eight. Read about Saxon on page 3. OUR CURRICULUM IS CHANGING A thoughtfully-redesigned curriculum addressing expectations for our students as they work through and complete our courses will take effect in Autumn 2011. OUR VISUAL MARK IS OUR “SIGN” Created by design student Heather Porter, our new mark reflects the spirit and energy of our program. {pg. 11}

ASL Program Team: (l. to r.) Lauren Sanders, Marcia Woodfill, Tammy Eckard, Marla Berkowitz, Robin Price, Trena Shank, Kristin Saxon, Emily LeGros, Tia Jones

2

OUR CONNECTIONS ARE GROWING We continue to seek new opportunities to engage the community.


PEOPLE YOU SHOULD KNOW

OUR MISSION The Ohio State American Sign Language (ASL) Program seeks to create a challenging and safe learning environment that develops student communication skills using ASL. Our program also promotes a deeper understanding about the history of and current issues within the American deaf and hard-of-hearing community. We strive to foster positive relationships between our students and instructors that celebrate diversity and authenticity. We endeavor to create and maintain partnerships to fulfill our goals for undergraduate education, service, and research in the field.

EACH OPPORTUNITY TO SHARE ASL WITH STUDENTS IS AS EXCITING AS WHEN I LEARNED MY FIRST SIGN. ~Kristin Saxon

INTRODUCING OUR NEWEST SENIOR LECTURER, KRISTIN SAXON Kristin Saxon has a master’s degree in Deaf Education, as well as an undergraduate degree in Special Education from Ohio State. For the past 15 years, Saxon has taught deaf and hard-of-hearing students in both public and residential school settings. Most recently, Saxon pioneered the Interactive Video Distance Learning (IVDL) program at the Ohio School for the Deaf. This unique program provided ASL education to high school students in 15 Ohio districts. Since 2006, Saxon has taught ASL classes at Ohio State as an adjunct lecturer. She looks forward to transitioning into her full-time Senior Lecturer position and said, “Each opportunity to share ASL with students is as exciting as when I learned my first sign.” Saxon’s educational background, depth of experience in teaching and curriculum development, and her proficiency in technology, make a great addition to our existing group of talented instructors.

asl.osu.edu

3


ANNUAL EVENTS

OUR VARIOUS ANNUAL EVENTS ALLOW US TO REACH OUT TO THE COMMUNITY, ENGAGE AND EDUCATE THE PUBLIC, MAKE OURSELVES MORE VISIBLE, AND PROVIDE ENHANCED LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES FOR OUR

LANGFEST Each autumn, the Foreign Language Center hosts LangFest, a celebration of the more than 30 languages that Ohio State offers.

STUDENTS.

Language departments come together to share the food, music, and culture of their language’s home country with incoming freshmen and returning students.

LANGUAGE TABLES

We are proud that the ASL Program is now featured during the performances (pictured above), with staff and students signing the National Anthem.

When Hagerty Hall’s Crane Café is a-buzz with chatter in any of the many different languages offered at Ohio State, one might not notice a group of people communicating without uttering a word. But take a closer look and see the vibrant conversations going on. The ASL Program has partnered with the Interpreters from the Office for Disability Services to host Language Tables for American Sign Language (ASL). This is an opportunity for ASL students to use and improve their conversational signing skills with other students, interpreters, and instructors outside of the classroom.

4

Office of Disability Services interpreters (l. to r.) Jan Wulf, Tiffany Buch, and Susan Wilson.


SILENT PICNIC Our annual Silent Picnic, at Whetstone Park of Roses, celebrates diversity and fosters positive relationships among deaf and hearing people of all ages and signing abilities. “I enjoyed this event and would recommend it to not only any other ASL student, but any individual interested in learning about deaf culture, said student Ryan Heffernan, “I thought the fun element of games helped break the ‘awkward silence’ and turn it into fun silence.” Student Nick Dominique added, “Overall, this was a great event to attend and an even better event to serve as not only a concluding point for my ASL IV class, but a step to further participation in the deaf community.”

asl.osu.edu

5


WHAT OUR STUDENTS AND ALUMNI ARE SAYING

INSPIRED STUDENT CONTINUES ASL STUDIES {BY MARLA SCHAEFFER} THE ASL PROGRAM AT OHIO STATE HAS HAD A HUGE IMPACT ON MY LIFE. ~Marla Schaeffer Communication is essential to living in our diverse and social world. The desire to communicate with a unique subculture of American society is the source of my passion to become fluent in American Sign Language. I have always wanted to learn another language, and after some early failed attempts at spoken/written languages, I took a chance and enrolled in ASL in autumn 2008. I felt instinctually drawn to the language, like a skill I did not know I possessed until someone pointed it out to me. The people who saw my potential and fostered my passion were my ASL 101-104 instructors at Ohio State. Throughout my ASL classes, I expressed to my instructors that I wanted to become fluent in American Sign Language. Their encouraging words, advice, and extra help always made me feel that I could do it. It was my ASL 103 teacher, Marcia Woodfill, who I spoke with most often about my desire to pursue a career using ASL. She told me about the graduate program in Teaching American Sign Language as a Foreign Language at

6

Teacher’s College, Columbia University. Marcia’s belief in me that I could get accepted to and succeed at that program was invaluable. When I returned to OSU in the fall of 2009, I was enrolled in ASL 104 with Lauren Sanders, who is an alumna of the Columbia program. After many conversations with and support from Lauren, my ambition for a career within the field became concrete and I decided to apply to Columbia University. In January of 2010, I received the news that I had been accepted to Columbia’s MA Program, an accomplishment that I am extremely proud of. Last summer I interned at the American School for the Deaf (the first school for the deaf in the United States, founded in 1817) in West Hartford, Connecticut. Through this internship, I experienced deaf education and deaf culture through ASL immersion within the classroom. This gave me additional and unique experiences and skills toward my educational and career goals. The ASL Program at Ohio State has had a huge impact on my life. It introduced me to a language that I love, and the instructors gave me the knowledge and confidence to continue my ASL studies and build a career with it. The master’s program at Columbia University will give me the tools to reach my career goals, but my roots will always be with Ohio State.

asl.osu.edu


HIDDEN IN PLAIN VIEW {BY LEISEL WILLIS} Three years of Spanish courses in high school had convinced me that language acquisition was not an area in which I excelled. So as an undergraduate biology major with my sights set firmly on medical school, the thought of earning foreign language credit at Ohio State seemed like punishment. Weighing my options, I decided to forego Spanish in favor of American Sign Language. I already knew English. That alone was ‘half the battle’, right? Needless to say, I did not set out to achieve fluency. Yet from the first day of Introductory ASL 1, I was absolutely smitten with sign. And though I had never knowingly interacted with a deaf person before beginning coursework at Ohio State, I was anxious to put my newly acquired skills to use. Armed with just two weeks of classroom instruction and the encouragement of my instructor, Tia Jones, I found myself navigating the interstate north in search of Columbus Colony Elderly Care. Panic took hold as I neared my destination. Surely I was rushing things? I nervously made my way to the group area, hesitating as I reached the threshold. But before I could turn away, several residents waved me over, introduced themselves, and invited me to join their game of cards. I was grateful for their patience – and overwhelmed with the desire

WHAT STARTED OUT AS AN ACADEMIC OBLIGATION (FOREIGN LANGUAGE CREDIT) HAS DEVELOPED INTO AN UNDENIABLE PASSION, AND (NOW) ASL HAS A PLACE IN MY FUTURE. ~Leisel Willis to develop my ASL skills further. By the end of our evening together, I had learned more than just a few new signs. I had gained an entirely new perspective on the world around me. Driving home that night, I turned off the car radio; language filled the space where silence once stood, and I preferred to let the silence speak, instead. I have been blessed by the talents, wisdom, and richness of experience shared by many wonderful ASL instructors throughout my course of study at Ohio State. With their continued support, I have chosen to pursue a degree in American Sign Language Interpreting. The ASL curriculum at Ohio State provides an excellent foundation in language development and cultural awareness, and I look forward to the program’s expansion. I enthusiastically commit my energy and resources so that future generations of Buckeyes may have the opportunity to discover sign. A career in medicine remains my ultimate goal. But what started out as an academic obligation has developed into an undeniable passion, and ASL

has a place in my future, as well. I certainly could not have foreseen the impact ASL would have on my life. Too often, however, the greatest gifts in life are hidden in plain view. To reveal them, we need only remember to open our eyes.

LECTURE SERIES Every quarter (excluding summer) the ASL Program hosts a lecture featuring a member of the local Deaf/ASL community. This year we were honored to have the following guests share their experiences and knowledge. AUTUMN 2010: Dr. Joseph Valente “d/Deaf and d/Dumb: A Portrait of a Deaf Kid as a Young Superhero” WINTER 2011: Dr. Jeff Bohrman “Innovative Technology to See And Hear for the Deaf-Blind” SPRING 2011: Dr. Ed Corbett “My 20+ Years of Experiences at the Ohio School for the Deaf”

7


ASL STUDENT VISITS DEAF SCHOOL IN AFRICA {BY SARAH MCGRATH}

After taking American Sign Language my junior and senior year of high school, I knew right away that I wanted to do something with my life that involved signing. I immediately fell in love with the language and began looking for colleges that offered ASL classes. Although Ohio State does not have an ASL major, after talking to instructor, Emily Legros I was still enthused about the opportunities that Ohio State had for ASL learners. As an Ohio State student, I have successfully created my own Personalized Study Program in American Sign Language Education, signed the national anthem in the Ohio Stadium and the Schottenstein Center, and I have learned enough sign language to build relationships with deaf people around the world.

8

asl.osu.edu

Specifically, I want to tell you about my trip last summer to Ghana, Africa and the wonderful deaf community that I met there. Last summer, I participated in an Ohio State threeand-a-half week study-abroad trip. It was by far one of the most amazing experiences of my life. We traveled all over the country and learned so much about Ghana’s people, history, and culture. Although the whole trip was extremely memorable, my favorite parts were not on the original itinerary. Upon arriving at our hotel, I met a few deaf employees. Of course, like always, I got giddy with excitement that I would be able to converse with someone using sign language. The first day I got there, I ended up making friends and


AFTER TAKING AMERICAN SIGN LANGUAGE MY JUNIOR AND SENIOR YEAR OF HIGH SCHOOL, I KNEW RIGHT AWAY THAT I WANTED TO DO SOMETHING WITH MY LIFE THAT INVOLVED SIGNING. I WAS SO ENTHUSED ABOUT THE OPPORTUNITIES THAT OSU HAD FOR ASL LEARNERS.

ASL ALUMNUS IN ALASKA {BY JEFF GREENE} THE TIME I SPENT AT THE OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY WAS ONE OF THE MOST VALUABLE LEARNING EXPERIENCES IN MY LIFE AND ASL CLASSES WERE SOME OF MY FAVORITE AND MOSTVALUED EDUCATIONAL EXPERIENCES.

~Sarah McGrath spending time everyday signing with them. Even though they use African Sign Language and I use American Sign Language, I was amazed at how we could successfully communicate. To this day, I am still in email contact with my African deaf friends. Additionally, some of my peers and I visited the Cape Coast School for the Deaf on one of our free days. We were welcomed and invited to tour the campus. The students loved having photo shoots with our cameras! This was by far one of the best days of the trip. My trip to Ghana was one of the most memorable experiences of my life. Meeting deaf people and forming strong connections thousands of miles away from home made my love for sign language grow.

~Jeff Greene In spring of 2007, I was looking for a foreign language to take to fulfill my graduation requirements. A friend, to whom I am now very grateful, suggested I take American Sign Language. I had no previous experience with ASL or the deaf community, but it sounded very interesting to me and the way my friend described it sure made it sound fun. So I signed up. After only a few classes, I realized that learning ASL would be a life changing experience. After completing the program I knew I wanted to continue ASL and involvement in the deaf community. The time I spent at The Ohio State University was one of the most valuable learning experiences in my life and ASL classes were some of my

favorite and most-valued educational experiences. Nowadays, I am doing my graduate work in outdoor and environmental education at Alaska Pacific University in Palmer, AK. I am continuing my passion for ASL, which started at Ohio State, here in Alaska by working on my ASL skills and knowledge of the deaf community. After earning my graduate degree, I hope to one day work for, or start, an outdoor/adventure program that provides outdoor and environmental education tailored specifically to deaf youth and adults, which unfortunately is something that is currently quite scarce in the field of outdoor and environmental education – but not for long. I have a passion for outdoor, environmental and deaf education, and want to provide all three.

9


STUDENT NEWS

CLINTON ELEMENTARY OUTREACH Members of the ASL Club and ASL Program volunteered their time once a week to teach a beginners’ ASL course to 2nd – 4th graders at Clinton Elementary School. They provided activities and games to engage the students, most of whom had never before seen a sign or met a deaf person.

AMERICAN SIGN LANGUAGE CLUB A group of students of all ages, skill levels, and areas of interest who regularly meet to not only practice ASL, but to also be a part of the local deaf community. THANK YOU: 2010 - 2011 ASL CLUB OFFICERS President: Andrew Vieth Vice President: Tori Moore Secretary: Sarah Blue Treasurer: Kristan Lucas Webmaster: Ron DeGregorio

WELCOME: 2011-2012 OFFICERS: President: Alex Childs Vice President: Dennis Williams Secretary: Sarah Blue Treasurer: available

Emily LeGros is ASL Club Advisor. For more information on the ASL club, please visit aslclub.org.ohio-state.edu.

OUR VISUAL MARK The ASL program sought a visual design technically referred to as a mark customized to reflect the spirit and energy of our program. We were pleased that Department of Design student Heather Porter chose to design our mark as her class project. THE NEW ASL PROGRAM MARK EMBODIES THE VISUAL EXPRESSION OF THE IDEALS AND CHARACTERISTICS OF THE AMERICAN SIGN LANGUAGE PROGRAM AT OHIO STATE. THE PROCESS OF CRAFTING THE MARK BEGAN BY ESTABLISHING THE KEY IDEALS OF THE PROGRAM. VISUALLY TRANSLATING THE PROGRAM’S USE OF LANGUAGE LEARNING TO PREPARE, ENGAGE, AND CONNECT STUDENTS IN THE ASL COMMUNITY, BOTH ON CAMPUS AND BEYOND, BECAME AN IMMEDIATE GOAL.

10

~Heather Porter

Porter’s circular design is meant to represent movement –a key element of sign language-as well as the transition and progression of our students as they advance through our course series. The four pieces making up the mark are similar in shape to a quotation mark, selected to become the root shape of the image representing “the ability of single individuals, single voices to connect through dialogue.” Then this image was transformed to look like hands which offer a personification of our visual language. The mark is representative of the many pieces that together make our program a whole: individuals, courses, community, growth, relationships, and unity.

asl.osu.edu


PROGRAM LEADERSHIP Diane Birckbichler, PhD birckbichler.1@osu.edu Director, Foreign Language Center Chair, Department of French and Italian Faculty Supervisor, ASL Program Lauren Sanders, MA sanders.67@osu.edu Director & Instructor Tia Jones, BA jones.2246@osu.edu Associate Coordinator & Instructor

SENIOR LECTURERS Marla Berkowitz, MA berkowitz.44@osu.edu

Kristin Saxon, M.Ed. saxon.11@osu.edu

Tammy Eckard, M.Ed. eckard.21@osu.edu

Trena Shank, MA shank.61@osu.edu

Emily LeGros, MA legros.8@osu.edu

ADJUNCT LECTURER

Robin Price, BA price.757@osu.edu

Marcia Woodfill, MA woodfill.1@osu.edu

WE WOULD LIKE TO HEAR FROM YOU! We welcome stories from our ASL Program alumni of how you are using ASL outside the classroom or have been impacted by your studies of ASL at Ohio State. If you are a friend of Ohio State and the ASL program, we’d also love to collect your related stories and feedback. Please take a moment to fill out this form and return it so that we can share your news in the upcoming issue of “Signs” of Buckeyes. Tell us your news (professional and personal):

Name Address city

street state

Degree Year of graduation Email Daytime phone Mail this form to: American Sign Language Program, 4132 Smith Laboratory, 174 W 18th Ave, Columbus, Ohio 43210 or email to sanders.67@osu.edu.

zip


AMERICAN SIGN LANGUAGE PROGRAM

Non-Profit Org. U.S. Postage PAID Columbus, OH Permit No. 711

4132 Smith Laboratory 174 W. 18th. Avenue Columbus, Ohio 43210

asl.osu.edu

COLLEGE OF ARTS AND SCIENCES

MAKING A GIFT We are sincerely grateful for all donations, large or small. Each individual gift can make a huge difference to our students and is invaluable in supporting the success of our ASL Program. Your generous spirit keeps us going! YES, I WANT TO SUPPORT The American Sign Language Program (fund # from the list below) through an annual pledge of: $2,500* $1,000 $500 Other $ for years

Payment Options: To make gift or pledge return this form or complete an online form at give.osu.edu. Check payable to The Ohio State University Credit card payment

*presidents club

Bill me

account number

Monthly

Quarterly

Annually

This is a one time gift of $ Enclosed is my payment in full The Lauren Sanders ASL Fund

666287

The Donna Thomas CUT Fund

312644

I would like more information about naming opportunities. I would like more information about estate and planned giving. Please phone me at: ( )

Master Card Exp. date Signature

Visa

Discover

My employer will match my gift. Name of Employer

Phone (

)

For more information contact Elizabeth Burns, Director of Development, (614) 292-2197 or burns.217@osu.edu.

THANK YOU Randi Fahle, Kathleen Kremins, Jean Stuntz Parmir, Aaron Ray, Marion R. Scott, Philip D. Shank, and Charles W. Thomas. Your recent gifts are much appreciated by all of us at the ASL Program!


American Sign Language Newsletter