Department News

RIT/NTID interpreting students Elizabeth MacLaren and Jonathan Roman are two of the winners of the 2016 RIT Leadership Awards.The awards are given to nominated students who possess high leadership qualities, help advance college life on campus or in the community, help to build bridges for their peers and, in some cases, overcome personal hardships. More.

More than 25 national and local companies and agencies attended the first annual NTID Interpreter Career Fair held on April 6, 2016. The fair was hosted by the NTID Student Interpreter Association, and was a great opportunity for students to network with potential employers.

Robyn K. Dean is a new faculty member in NTID’s American Sign Language and Interpreting Education Department.

Dean earned a bachelor’s degree in American Sign Language Interpreting at Maryville College in Maryville, Tennessee. She went on to earn her master’s degree in Theological Studies from Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School in Rochester. Recently, Dean completed her Ph.D. in Translation & Interpreting Studies at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland. 

Her responsibilities at RIT/NTID include providing classroom instruction to students in NTID’s ASLIE Department and co-developing curriculum for the college’s master’s degree program in Health Care Interpreting.

Dean served as a consultant for an ethical code developed for interpreters working on field missions for the International Criminal Court of the United Nations and as a member of the review board of the International Journal of Interpreter Education, among others.

Dean has published numerous journal articles, co-authored books, worked on films and has developed curriculum for courses nationally and internationally. She is a sought-after workshop and conference presenter throughout the United States and internationally.

Lisa Johnston has joined the faculty as a member of the RIT/NTID's American Sign Language & Interpreting Education Department.

Johnston holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Gallaudet University and a master’s degree in sign language studies from the University of Arizona, focusing on signed language and deaf studies, curriculum development and pedagogy, and American Sign Language. Her thesis focused on the process of acquiring ASL as a second language for teachers of deaf students in academic settings.

Her major academic interests are literature, Deaf culture, teaching ASL as a first and second language, linguistics of signed language, ASL assessment and diagnostics, curriculum development and pedagogy, and first and second language acquisition. She has taught courses in all levels of ASL, as well as “Narrative and Poetic Styles in ASL,” “Current Trends in Deaf-related Careers” and others.

She holds professional certification from the American Sign Language Teachers Association (ASLTA), and serves as an ASLTA evaluator. She is a former board member of Deaf Women of Rochester, served on ASLTA’s Greater Rochester chapter, and served on the education/training subcommittee of the National Center for Deaf Health Research at the University of Rochester.

Prior to joining the faculty, Johnston was a faculty member teaching American Sign Language at RIT, the University of Rochester, Gallaudet University, Riverside Community College in Riverside, California, and the University of Arizona, Tucson.

She enjoys travel and water-related activities. Her two children are being raised in combined Deaf, Greek and American cultures.

Joseph Hill has joined RIT/NTID's American Sign Language and Interpreting Education Department as an instructional/support faculty member.

Originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, Hill earned a bachelor’s degree in Systems Analysis from Miami University of Ohio, and went on to earn his master’s degree and doctorate in American Sign Language Linguistics from Gallaudet University. In 2008, he was named a Fulbright Scholar, and held a National Science Foundation Fellowship 2003-2006.

He is a member of the Linguistic Society of America, National Association of the Deaf, National Black Deaf Advocates and the American Council on Teaching of Foreign Language, among others. He has presented at conferences throughout the United States and internationally, and has published numerous peer-reviewed articles. He previously taught at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Siena School for Liberal Arts in Siena, Italy, and at Gallaudet.