ASL student Spotlights
Rebecca Stevener Galloway
Rebecca Stevener Galloway is a licensed Speech-Language Pathologist that has been working for more than 12 years with deaf and hard of hearing students in both the mainstream setting and at the Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center where she presently provides services for students ages birth to four and in high school. She is a Ph.D. student in the area of Hearing Speech & Language Sciences at Gallaudet University with a research interest in early childhood bilingual language development.
Growing up in Texas, I always wanted to learn Spanish. Despite having talented and gifted high school teachers, Spanish never came easy to me. I learned how to fingerspell the alphabet in sign language with my sister on a family road trip when we were kids and was fascinated by the idea of communicating with your hands. I was thrilled to learn that I could take American Sign Language at Baylor as a Communication Sciences and Disorders major. Mrs. Lori Wrzesinski, Mrs. Nancy Pfanner and Mr. Larry Umberger taught me ASL 1 & 2. I found myself looking forward to each class. Not only did they teach us about the language itself, but immersed the class in discussions about the Deaf community and culture. This is where I first heard about Gallaudet University. I am grateful to Baylor for providing me the educational foundation and language experiences to learn American Sign Language. As a freshman in ASL 1, I would have never imagined that now I would be working as a Speech-Language Pathologist at the Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center at Gallaudet University...the world's only liberal arts college for the deaf and hard of hearing. Dreams do come true!
Dr. Serena Johnson
My name is Dr. Serena Johnson and I graduated from Baylor in 2008 with a degree in Deaf Education. I’ve used ASL almost every day since I graduated. After I graduated I worked at Deaf Action Center, a non-profit in the Dallas Area as an advocate and education assistant. My supervisor was Deaf and so were many of my co-workers. If I hadn’t been proficient in sign language, I wouldn’t have gotten the job. During that time I also worked as a freelance interpreter. And I’ve been doing that since I graduated. Now, I’m a professor of sign language interpreting at Fresno State in California. And obviously, if I didn’t know sign language I wouldn’t have gotten this job. Taking ASL gives you insight to a minority community that many people never have access to. There’s such a need for sign language interpreters and so few people who know it. I’m really excited to be a part of training the next generation of sign language interpreters as friends, partners, and allies in the Deaf community.