Feb. 14-16

"Empowering ASL in the Community"


Meet the Presenters

Scroll down or click a presenter's image to learn more about them! 


FASLTA is honored to collaborate with TRUE+WAY ASL to create the best conference yet! The TWA team, Raychelle Harris, Tracy Shannon, and Lisa Gilineau, will be hosting workshops all day Sunday. 


Tiri Fellows will be teaching a workshop on Acquisition and Retention of ASL in Adult (Hearing) Learners in College Credit ASL Courses. She currently teaches at St. Johns River State College, St. Augustine/Orange Park Campus



Third generation Deaf and a native ASL signer, Raychelle Harris received her Bachelors in American Sign Language (ASL) from Gallaudet University and Masters in Deaf Education from Western Maryland College in 1995 and 2000, respectively. Raychelle has been teaching ASL as a first and second language since 1993.  She returned to Gallaudet University for her doctoral studies in the areas of education and linguistics, with her dissertation topic focused on ASL discourse in academic settings. In 2008, Raychelle joined Gallaudet University’s Department of Interpretation as a faculty member. Since 2009, Raychelle has been teaching with the Department of ASL & Deaf Studies, preparing future ASL teachers in the Masters in Sign Language Education program in online, hybrid and onsite formats.  Raychelle holds Professional Certification with the American Sign Language Teachers Association (ASLTA) and is certified with the Board for Evaluation of Interpreters (BEI) and a Texas Court Interpreter.  


Ben Jarashow, a California native, graduated from Gallaudet University in 2004 with a Bachelor’s degree in Deaf Studies. He obtained his Master’s degree in Deaf Studies: Cultural Studies in 2006, also from Gallaudet University. His Master’s thesis focused on developing criteria for a better quality of ABC storytelling. At the moment, he is pursuing his Ph.D. in the division of Philosophy, Art and Critical Thought of the European Graduate School. He teaches at the University of South Florida in the Deaf Studies program. He lives in Lutz, Florida with his wife, Kat, their children, Boone, Cypress, Wilder, and their dog, Rosie, a smelly Boston terrier.


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Mary Luczki is Deaf, from an extended Deaf family. The dog, however, was hearing but of course, learned ASL! Her family was very involved in the Deaf community, so from a very early age, Mary was exposed to many different styles of communication, and was always curious about how and why people communicate the way they do. She has been teaching ASL classes, workshops and seminars in a variety of settings, including schools, universities and colleges, and workplaces for over 40 years. She currently resides in Michigan, and has presented workshops in many states besides Michigan, including Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana and Minnesota.  She also gave a presentation on the Miranda Warning at an APA Conference in Denver in the 90’s, which she developed while working for the Detroit Medical Center in Detroit, Michigan.

She has worked with Deaf people in a variety of settings, such as schools, colleges, vocational centers, mental health clinics, and many others.  She has taught and mentored interpreters for over 30 years.

For eight years, she did online news stories and other types of stories in ASL, all of which are now available for free on YouTube.  There are plans to resume that work via the YouTube Channel.

Through the years, she has analyzed the differences between ASL and English, and Hearing and Deaf interactions.  This has resulted in many workshops for the Deaf community, and these workshops are now being converted into DVDs.

So far, she has produced two DVDs, Fingerspelling Strategies in 2007 (which is currently being revised to match the format of later DVDs), and English vs. ASL: A Grammatical Analysis in 2014 (DVD with workbook), with several more in the planning stages.

She worked for nearly 10 years at Baker College in Michigan, as an instructor in the ITP program, which recently closed.  She currently works at the Michigan School for the Deaf in the ASL Resource Center.


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Campbell McDermid, PhD is an Assistant Professor at the University of North Carolina Greensboro and holds both a doctorate and master’s degrees in Education from York University and a master’s degree in Psychology from Gallaudet University. His research and publications encompass translation theory, discourse, identity and Groupthink, pragmatics, cohesion, accuracy and assessment. His work has helped him to develop a model of interpretation that conceptualizes “sense” at different levels and led to him writing “Learning to Interpret” a textbook that explores pragmatics and various theories of translation for sign language interpreters. Another recent publication, “The Dialectic of Second-Language Learning: On Becoming an ASL-English Interpreter” was recently published (Sign Language Studies) and charts the path interpreters go through from a blank slate to ally.



Jonathan was born and raised in New York City and is a third-generation Deaf person in his family. He attended the Lexington School for the Deaf and then was accepted to Gallaudet University to study Political Science (BA). He received his Master of Arts in Deafness Rehabilitation Counseling from New York University, NY and another Master of Arts in Deaf Studies & Deaf Education from Lamar University, TX. He has been teaching ASL courses for over 25 years, loves what he does. In his spare time, he loves spending time with his sons, reading magazines, watching TV/Movies, and hitting the gym.​


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Rose Adams was born Deaf to hearing parents. She has a Deaf brother who is a year older than her. She was mainstreamed throughout her education without an interpreter. She graduated from Nazareth College of Rochester with a BA in Psychology. She went on to Graduate school at FAU for her Master's in Education. During this time, she was asked to teach at Indian River State College in 1991. A few years later, she was asked to establish an ASL program at a Magnet school in Fort Pierce called "Lincoln Park Academy High School". She began teaching there in 1995. In 2002, she transferred from Indian River Community College to Palm Beach State College. In 2005, a new high school was built in Loxahatchee called "Seminole Ridge Community High School". Rose also has an education degree for DHH K-12 and has been teaching elementary school children during the summer since 2007.  Rose has given numerous workshops to Interpreters in the Palm Beach County area. In February of 2008, Rose was awarded the FASLTA Distinguished Service Award. She has taught at both college and high school levels. In October, 2017, she was awarded the TOY -  “Teacher of the Year” by FFLA (Florida Foreign Language Association) In 2013, she received her endorsement in teaching ASL. Rose was nominated by the FASLTA Board as the Treasurer from 1996 to 2002. She held this position for 12 years when she was forced to resign due to family.  She was then nominated by the FASLTA Board as the Vice President from 2015 – 2018.  In April of 2018, she was asked to join the Board of American Sign Language Honor Society as the Operations Manager/Coordinator.  She is currently serving this position.


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Maryrose Claussen, Deaf and from a Deaf family, is an American Sign Language Visiting Instructor at University of North Florida. Maryrose holds a BS in Family and Child Studies from Gallaudet University and a M.S. in Deaf Education from McDaniel College. She has been teaching American Sign Language for more than 15 years at various universities and colleges in Alaska, Wisconsin, North Carolina and Florida. She also gave presentations and trainings at various conferences, workshops and centers on teaching ASL in the past. She strives to make American Sign Language learning relevant, practical and fun.



June Ann LeFors is a pure-bred Cajun. She was born and raised in Louisiana, the state that caught Bonnie and Clyde. She is a southern belle who is a serial chocolate eater and a foodie. She also likes fermented grapes. She grew up living south of I-10 in Baton Rouge and currently lives 50 minutes south of I-10 in Saint Augustine. She loves the swamps but prefers living by the ocean. 

She married her H.S. sweetheart and instead of having a dozen of kids, because it is cheaper by the dozen, they stopped at kid #6 when they could not have a son. The house they live in is divided. The oldest daughter graduated from F.S.U. (GO SEMINOLES!) and their second daughter is in Gainesville (GO GATORS!) Their youngest daughter attends Florida School for the Deaf and Blind (GO DRAGONS!). As for the three other daughters, they do go to school. Don’t worry, her husband gets his male-fix by coaching football and basketball at FSDB. 

She comes from a crazy, funny, and animated Deaf family with two Deaf sisters and one OHCODA (only hearing child of Deaf Adults). She graduated from Louisiana School for the Deaf (GO WAR EAGLES!) and attended Gallaudet University (GO BISONS!) She has a BA in Elementary Education (GO KIDS!) and a MA in Deaf Education (GO DEAF KIDS!) One of her sisters has MASLED and the other one has a MA in Deaf Studies. Whenever June Ann is in an ASL bind, all she can do is call home. 

On a serious note, June Ann currently works at Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind, which is a bilingual school, as an ASL Specialist. Her job requires her to work closely with teachers that teach Deaf students. Her previous jobs include: ASL instructor at UNF (GO OSPREYS!), Early Childhood Teacher, and Domestic Engineer. She is on the EHDI advisory team based in Tallahassee, Florida and is a freelance Deaf Interpreter. June Ann also contributes her time developing videos in ASL for different educational purposes such as FSA (Florida State Standard Exams), Pineapple PD @FSDB, and for the Deaf community. 


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Jillian Kalish - a RID-certified interpreter working at ASL Services (https://aslservices.com/) based out of the Orlando area! She is a University of North Florida alumni (BS) as well as Florida State College of Jacksonville alumni (AS). She is a music interpreter with experience at local Orlando theme parks, traveling Broadway productions, and concerts.


She will share her experiences as an artistic interpreter and teach strategies for merging music and ASL in a way that can be inspiring and complex – a GREAT topic for all ASL teachers to learn how to help your students analyze songs musically. In this workshop she will break down the steps to teaching ASL students the basics so that it doesn’t get overwhelming!



FASLTA is providing this workshop/conference as an opportunity for safe, respectful learning and will not permit harassment, discrimination or horizontal violence based on another's comments, questions, schema, race, color, religion, gender, gender expression, age, national origin, disability, marital status, sexual orientation or any other protected class.

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