Program Personnel

Kathy Miraglia, M.S., CSC, Program DirectorKathy Miraglia

Kathy Miraglia has more than 35 years of experience as an interpreter, manager and educator in the field of sign language interpretation. She managed the Interpreter Services Program at the University of Rochester Medical Center for 23 years before joining the full-time faculty at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf in fall 2009. Miraglia teaches Introduction to Healthcare Interpreting and Introduction to Mental Health Interpreting as well as core curriculum courses in the ASL-English Interpretation bachelor's degree program. She also is the program coordinator and instructor for the “Certificate in Healthcare Interpreting” program at NTID. Miraglia was the principal investigator on the national grant Speaking Together from the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation aimed at developing best practices for Language Access Programs in hospitals across the United States.

Miraglia holds a master's degree from Rochester Institute of Technology in career and human resource development and the Comprehensive Skills Certificate (CSC) from the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf.


Scott R. Smith, M.D., MPH, ConsultantDr. Scott Smith

Dr. Scott Smith is a board-certified developmental-behavioral pediatrician who is profoundly deaf and uses sign language to communicate with others. He obtained his medical degree from the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University in 1996 and completed his residency in general pediatrics at the Children's Hospital of Eastern North Carolina in 1999. He then moved to Boston, Massachusetts where he completed two post-doctoral fellowships in general academic pediatrics and developmental-behavioral pediatrics. In 2004, Dr. Smith relocated to Rochester, New York to take a position as an attending behavioral pediatrician at the Behavioral Pediatrics Program at Rochester General Hospital where he evaluated and took care of many deaf and hearing children with variety of behavioral and developmental problems. From a busy clinical practice at the Rochester General Hospital System, Dr. Smith joined the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) and the National Center for Deaf Health Research as a Preventive Cardiology Fellow in March 2009. During his fellowship, Dr. Smith prepared a K01 grant to study health knowledge and health literacy in young deaf people, which was successfully funded by the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute beginning in July 2010. Dr. Smith was subsequently promoted to Assistant Professor in the Department of Public Health Sciences at URMC. In November 2015, Dr. Smith began a new position as a Research Associate Professor in the Office of the President at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf at Rochester Institute of Technology.


Robyn K. Dean, CI/CT, Ph.D.Robyn Dean

Robyn Dean has been an interpreter for more than 25 years, with particular service experience in medical and mental health settings. She conducts workshops internationally on the topics of ethics, reflective practice and work effectiveness, with particular emphases on healthcare interpreting and professional development. Dr. Dean’s demand control schema has been the topic of numerous presentations, publications, grant projects and most recently a textbook which is being used in interpreter education programs across the globe. She is currently on the teaching faculty as an assistant professor at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf at the Rochester Institute of Technology in the department of American Sign Language and Interpreting Education.

Dr. Dean continues her research on ethics, decision-making and moral development in community interpreting. Her doctoral dissertation examined the ethical discourse and justice reasoning abilities in sign language interpreters. She completed her Ph.D. in translation and interpreting from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland in June 2015. Her contributions to interpreter education was recognized in 2008 with the Mary Stotler Award, an award conferred every two years, conjointly, by the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf and the Conference of Interpreter Trainers.


Kim B. Kurz, Ph.D. Dr. Kim Kurz

Dr. Kim Kurz is the chairperson of the American Sign Language and Interpreteing Education Department at the Rochester Institute of Technology's National Technical Institute for the Deaf. She co-directs the Sign Language Studies Lab where she studies the cognitive and language learning experience of L2 learners and effective teaching methods in ASL pedagogy. She has given numerous presentations and publications related to best practices in ASL teaching and ASL national standards. She co-authored the New York ASL Learning Outcomes in 2008 and the ASL National Standards that was published in 2014. Dr. Kurz received the Service Award from the American Sign Language Teachers Association for the committee’s work on the ASL National Standards.


Kimberly Kelstone, B.S., CI/CT, R.N.Kim Kelstone

Kimberly Kelstone has more than 25 years of experience as an interpreter and educator in the field of sign language interpretation. Over the years, she has enjoyed the challenges and rewards of working in a multitude of interpreting settings through private practice, as a designated interpreter, in live and virtual settings, and as a contract or staff interpreter. She has presented locally, regionally and nationally on topics of medical interpreting, healthcare access for deaf people, women’s health, healthcare research and working with deaf professionals. She has served on interpreting, midwifery and nursing professional boards and committees, and is proud to be one of the co-founders of the Interpreters in Healthcare Settings Special Interest Group of the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf. In addition to interpreting, Kelstone also is a member of the professional nursing staff at the University of Rochester Medical Center in Rochester, New York.

Kelstone holds an associate degree from the National Technical Institute for the Deaf at Rochester Institute of Technology in educational interpreting, as well as bachelor’s degrees in ASL studies (SUNY Empire State College) and nursing (University of Rochester). She is currently pursuing a doctor of nursing practice with a midwifery specialty through Stony Brook University, which is anticipated to be complete in spring 2018.


Daniel Maffia, B.S., M.S. Daniel Maffia headshot

Daniel Maffia obtained his bachelor’s degree in American Sign Language-English Interpretation with a minor in communication in 2009 from the National Technical Institute for the Deaf at Rochester Institute of Technology. In 2010, he became nationally certified and in 2014 he earned a master’s in interpreting studies with an emphasis in teaching interpreting from Western Oregon University. He has work experience in a variety of settings including working at a local Rochester, N.Y., hospital. Currently he is a lecturer in NTID’s Department of American Sign Language and Interpreting Education. Previously Maffia served as a staff interpreter in the Department of Access Services at RIT. Maffia continues to work as both a video relay interpreter at Sorenson Communication and as a freelance community interpreter which includes medical work.


Naomi Sheneman, M.A., M.S., CDI Naomi Sheneman

Naomi Sheneman has been working professionally in the interpreting profession since 2000 in a variety of roles including interpreter, educator, mentor, supervisor, diagnostician and consultant. She currently is working as the Vice President of Business Affairs for Network Interpreting Service, and as an adjunct faculty member in the Department of American Sign Language and Interpreting Education at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf at Rochester Institute of Technology. In Rochester, N.Y., she primarily interprets in medical settings. She also is a doctoral student at Gallaudet University in the interpretation program in the research track. Her dissertation is focused on ASL translation of cancer texts. She developed Interpreting Diagnostic Assessment Rubrics (ASL-English/English-ASL) with Marilyn K. Mitchell which was reprinted in “Gordon, P. & Magler, M. The Mentor’s Companion” (2007). She co-authored a study of hearing and Deaf interpreters’ work in an international conference involving several sign languages in “International Signs: Linguistics, Usage and Status” edited by Jemina Napier and Rachel Rosenstock. She also recently published in the “Journal of Interpretation” about her study of Deaf interpreters’ ethics.