Department News

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.

RIT/NTID alumna Lydia Callis and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Lydia Callis, RIT/NTIID alumna and NTID Alumni Association Board of Directors, recently was featured on the CNN series, "Where are They Now?" After gaining national attention for her interpreting skills during Hurrican Sandy in 2012, Callis has formed her own interpreting services company in New York City. Watch the video.

Kayla Stanley, an ASL-English Interpretation major from Bellport, N.Y., received the 2015 Outstanding Graduate Award for interpreting students earning a bachelor’s degree. The award is presented to one associate, one bachelor’s and one master’s degree graduate, each whom has achieved a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 and who has demonstrated appropriate personal and social maturity, and provided service to the RIT community.

ASLIE student History Estill-Varner is one of three RIT winners of the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship. More.