Conference Presenters

Boys Town

Catherine Carotta Ed.D. CCC-SLP is the Associate Director of Boys Town National Research Hospital’s Center for Childhood Deafness, Language and Learning. She is a licensed speech-language pathologist with many years of experience in the assessment and education of children who are deaf or hard of hearing using sign and spoken language modalities. Dr. Carotta has worked in public/private school settings, hospital, and university-based clinical programs. Currently, she serves as a national consultant to school districts focused on providing best educational practices for students with hearing loss. With a doctorate in leadership education, she has actively worked to create learning organizations using current leadership models.

Frances J. Beaurivage is a former employee of Boys Town National Research Hospital, Omaha, Nebraska, as a Sign Communication and Curriculum Specialist and as Manager of the Educational Interpreter Performance Assessment (EIPA) Diagnostic Center. She is currently hired as a consultant to the EIPA Diagnostic Center. She also travels nationally to present to audiences information about the EIPA Performance Assessment and provides skills training workshops for interpreters working in K-12 educational settings.

Frances holds dual certification (C.I. / C.T.) from the National Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID).

Brenda Schick, Ph.D. is a professor emerita of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder. She studies the development of signed and spoken languages as well as its relationship to literacy and cognition in deaf and hard-of-hearing children. Her recent work has focused on the the development of literacy skills in young DHH students, particularly the role of fingerspelling promoting phonological awareness for signing children (funded by IES). She has studied the development of a Theory of Mind in DHH children and how it relates to language skills (funded by NIH). Dr. Schick is the co-developer of the Educational Interpreter Performance Assessment (EIPA), a tool designed to evaluate the skills of K-12 interpreters (funded by OSEP). With colleagues, she has published data on the performance skills of interpreters who work in the K-12 setting. She is also the developer of the EIPA Written Test and the website dedicated to K-12 interpreting,

The Diversity Academy

Dr. Suzette Garay is a third generation Latina(x) from South America, Nicaragua and a third generational family member who was born D/deaf. Her major areas of studies are Special Education with an emphasis on Deafness and Learning Disabilities, School Psychology, and mentoring/coaching of Interpreters. She is currently a retired Educational Psychologist and teaches diversity courses and Interpreting courses as an adjunct instructor with several colleges online. She also co-owns a private practice working with families, individuals, and private business about interpreting, accessibility, diversity, and advocacy with diverse DHHDB consumers and members of the LGBTQ communities. Dr. Garay has over 25+ years of direct teaching, evaluating, mentoring with Special education students, ASL/Interpreter students, educational/working interpreters, and/or with community-based businesses who use American Sign Language for communicating with their DHHDB consumers. She also has invaluable personal experience and unconventional success teaching, evaluating, and mentoring with BIPOC individuals and/or consumers from underprivileged socio-economic backgrounds. When not on the motivational speaking circuit, she enjoys working with families and very young children teaching them how to utilize American Sign Language with preverbal babies. Dr. Garay can be reached at

Jolanta Galloway is an American Sign Language/English Interpreter, Transliterator and mentor from Massachusetts with over twenty-five years of experience. She is the child of an immigrant, the mother of a KODA and a community interpreter with deep roots. She holds a Bachelors in Sexuality and Disability from Metropolitan State University and a Master of Arts in Interpreting Studies and Communication Equity.

Jennifer Gibbons received her Master of Arts in Interpreting Studies and Communication Equity from St. Catherine’s University in 2019. She is a deaf parented heritage language ASL user with over 15 years of professional interpreting experience in a variety of settings, from academic institutions to grassroots pro bono work.

Jen is committed to deconstructing white supremacy in the interpreting field, in part through her role as a mentor to interpreters across the state of Massachusetts. Her goal is to unpack her whiteness and hearing privilege while working to center the deaf experience in interpreter training and education. She strives to operate from an intersectional framework in every aspect of her interpreting and mentoring work as she continues the never-ending journey of anti-racism work within the interpreting field.

Code of Ethics Task Force

Dr. Deborah Cates (Deb) is the Sign Language Program Coordinator at the Iowa School for the Deaf. She oversees staff sign language development, the administration of the SLPI program, and educational interpreter professional development in the state of Iowa. She is also the board secretary for the National Association of Interpreters in Education, the Iowa representative for the TASK-12 project, and an adjunct instructor for the ASL English Interpreting Program at LaGuardia Community College. Her current research pertains to the skills of interpreters in educational settings and how their skills influence student learning outcomes. She actively develops research-based practices for interpreter skill development. Deb has a Ph.D. in Linguistics from the University of California, Davis, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Deaf Studies with an Interpreting Emphasis from California State University, Northridge. She has been in the field of educational interpreting in middle school, high school and university settings since 2003. She is a licensed interpreter in the state of Iowa with her EIPA score of 4.7 in Secondary PSE, as well as a licensed interpreter in the state of Nebraska with her Mid-America QAST Level V in Interpreting.

Teacher Discourse & Student Engagement

Jen Hayes is an interpreter who has a passion for teaching and learning, and has experience as a university instructor, presenter, mentor and coach. She began her interpreting career in 2004 and in 2017, Jen completed her master’s degree in ASL/English Interpreting Pedagogy. Through her scholarly pursuits, professional work, and personal life, Jen has come to understand the impacts of a mediated education on deaf students. Over the past several years, Jen has engaged in research, writing, and education for interpreters who work in K-12 educational settings. Through her various professional experiences, Jen has gained a well-rounded perspective on the field of interpreting and interpreter education. When creating a learning environment, Jen’s goal is to encourage individuals to discover their own understanding of material through the process of learning, which is created and experienced together. If you find Jen during a rare free moment, you will find her enjoying time with her husband and four children, dabbling in photography, or decorating cakes.


Crom Saunders grew up in Northern California, graduating from California State University, Sacramento with a M.A. in Creative Writing. Crom has his own one-man show, “Cromania!”, which tours internationally, featuring skits, comedy, improv, and storytelling.

Crom also has interpreted dozens of plays, has taught dozens of ASL linguistics and theatrical workshops across the nation. He currently teaches at the ITP program featured at Columbia College, Chicago. You can check out some of his work on or search “Crom Clog” on YouTube.

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