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.


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 S. Kelstone, DNP, CNM, CI, CTKim Kelstone

Kimberly Kelstone has over 25 years’ 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. Dr. Kelstone is a practicing midwife with the University Midwifery Group, and is an Assistant Professorship at the University of Rochester in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Dr. 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) and a Doctor of Nursing Practice (Stony Brook University). Her research interests center around women’s health, language discordance, health literacy, and access to care. Dr. Kelstone's doctoral project investigated pregnancy and delivery outcomes over a two-year period at a Western NY hospital, identifying disparities that are potentially associated with provider/patient language discordance.


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.


Jodie Ackerman, B.S., M.S.Jodie Ackerman

• M.S., Gallaudet University, Leisure Services Administration, 2007
• Certification, Gallaudet University, Management, 2007
• B.S., Rochester Institute of Technology, Information Systems, 1997

Prior to joining the faculty at National Technical Institute for the Deaf, Jodie taught at Bloomsburg University and Lamar University. She taught courses at all levels of ASL; Deaf Culture; ASL Literature; Introduction to Deaf Studies; DeafBlind Interpreting; and Deaf Culture independent studies. She also supervised Pre-Interpreting Field Experience and Practicum. In addition, Jodie developed a new ASL VI course and revised several other courses, including ASL I & II, Deaf Culture, and ASL Literature.

Jodie is currently pursuing an Ed.D degree in Deaf Studies and Deaf Education from Lamar University with a focus on the lived-in experiences of Deaf Women Breast Cancer Survivors.

Jodie’s major academic interests include teaching ASL as a first and second language, Deaf Culture, and DeafBlind Interpreting, as well as her research in Deaf Women Breast Cancer Survivors.

In her current position, she teaches ASL courses to students in RIT’s Modern Languages and Culture ASL program and courses in the Interpreter Training Program. In addition, she serves on the ASL I and ASL Conversational Practice core teams.