ASL Alumni Reflect on Education at FSCJ

ASL Alumni Reflect on Education at FSCJ

Joshua Cauley and Savannah Hiatt both earned their Associate in Science (A.S.) in American Sign Language (ASL)/English Interpreting in 2015 at FSCJ.

Joshua's interest in ASL was piqued after finding an infant sign language book one day. “The next day I went to the library and checked out everything related to ASL,” he said.

For Savannah, joining basic ASL classes with her mom at their church inspired her to take ASL as an elective at her previous state college. Hiatt later switched her plans toward becoming interpreter. “Once going and hearing about the program at FSCJ, I was sold and decided to apply. One of the best decisions I’ve ever made!”

“Working with the faculty was a great experience. They helped me become an interpreter and guided me by always giving me feedback of my work,” said Cauley. “The instructors are some of the best out there, and I feel lucky to have been able to learn from them,” added Hiatt.

Cauley and Hiatt both felt being part of FSCJ’s ASL program was like being a part of a family. “The interpreting department is special because, for two years, we are all together and everybody was always supportive of each other. I can still go back and it will feel like home and I can ask for advice anytime,” Hiatt commented. Cauley added, “I still turn to my instructors for advice even now.”

Lori Cimino, instructional program manager, shared that from the minute she met Joshua and Savannah, she knew they were determined to learn everything they could to become professional interpreters.

After receiving their degree, they both furthered their education at Gallaudet University, the world’s only university designed to be barrier-free for deaf and hard of hearing students, earning a Bachelor of Arts in Interpretation and were also recently accepted into the Master of Arts in Linguistics program and are working toward becoming educators themselves.

Gallaudet’s uniqueness of being a complete ASL environment is what sets it apart from other schools. “As somebody who wants to be an interpreter and study the language, it is the perfect place to be,” says Hiatt.