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Instructional Team 

IRIS Project's ability to positively impact rural areas through the skill development of interpreters living and working in these areas would not be possible without dedicated instructional team and facilitators to guide and foster communities of learning.

They have our gratitude!

Group photo of the 2023 Instructional Team

IRIS team members are listed by first name. NOTE: The members' bios, credentials, and participation were last updated January 2022.

Alicia McClurkan

Headshot of Alicia McClurkan

  • Maine
  • CDI
  • Mentor for IRIS: CORE Initiative Cohort 2

Alicia is so excited to be a mentor for IRIS. She has worked as a mentor for more than ten years. Currently, she lives in Maine but she travels a lot. She works for FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) working with different disasters. She is looking forward to working with IRIS participants and instructional team members.

Amy Richardson

Headshot of Amy Richardson

  • Maine
  • Facilitator for IRIS: CORE Initiative Cohort 3

Amy, an NH native and a resident of Maine, is a freelance Deaf Interpreter throughout the Pine Tree State. She is also an ASL Instructor at the University of Southern Maine and a co-chair for the Maine Sign Language Interpreting Committee. In her free time, she enjoys traveling with her husband, spending time with family & friends, dog-sitting her friends’ dogs, and reading books. Amy is thrilled to be a part of the IRIS Project Instructional Team as a facilitator, providing a unique perspective as a former participant of the IRIS CORE Initiative Cohort 1 and Induction Cohort 1.

Cheryl Thomas

Headshot of Cheryl Thomas

  • Mississippi
  • NAD V, CI, CT, NIC Master, SC:L & BEI Court
  • Facilitator for the 2022 Instructional Team
  • Mentor for IRIS: CORE Initiative Cohort 1
  • Facilitator for IRIS: CORE Initiative Cohort 2
  • Facilitator for IRIS: Induction Cohort 2

Cheryl is a freelance interpreter in Mississippi. Cheryl began her interpreting career in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada prior to moving to Arkansas in 1999. A Deaf Parented Interpreter, and raised in a large Deaf family, Cheryl lives in Louisville Mississippi with her husband, and has 4 children and 6 grandchildren.  For fun, she enjoys riding her motorcycle and spending time with her grandchildren.

Dan DeLuca

Headshot of Dan DeLuca

  • Maine
  • B.S. & Ed.M.
  • Facilitator for IRIS: CORE Initiative Cohort 1 & 2

Dan holds a B.S. in aerospace engineering and an Ed.M. in education of the Deaf both from Boston University. Before becoming a freelance interpreter in 2002, Dan was a teacher and principal at Governor Baxter School for the Deaf in Falmouth, Maine. Passionate about ASL acquisition and development in Deaf children, he has been an advocate for the provision of natural ASL environments in educational settings for over three decades. A certified chess instructor, Dan coached the US Deaf chess team at the 2019 Deaflympics in Chiavenna, Italy. He has four children and lives on an organic farm in Maine.

Daniel Gough

Headshot of Daniel Gough

  • California
  • CDI
  • Facilitator for IRIS: CORE Initiative Cohort 3
  • Mentor for IRIS: CORE Initiative Cohort 3

Distinguished for his expertise in ASL and Deaf studies, Daniel Gough plays a pivotal role in shaping these fields through his comprehensive approach to teaching, curriculum design, and professional involvement. As an Assistant Professor at the College of Marin, Gough dedicates himself to nurturing the next generation of interpreters, enriching educational programs, and fostering a culture of excellence. His responsibilities extend beyond the classroom, as he meticulously evaluates ASL proficiency, conducts impactful research, and contributes to scholarly publications and organizational advancement. Gough's multifaceted contributions as an educator, evaluator, researcher, and practitioner are instrumental in leaving a lasting impact on both his students and the broader Deaf community.

Donna Walker

Headshot of Donna Walker

  • Washington
  • CI, CT, NIC-Advanced, SC:L, & QMHI
  • MetaFacilitator for IRIS: CORE Initiative Cohort 1 - 3

Donna, after earning her interpreting degree in 1996,  entered the field of interpreting in higher education and quickly moved into the freelance interpreting arena. In the last 25 years, she has earned several national certifications including CI, CT, NIC-Advanced, SC:L, and QMHI. She is honored and grateful to serve on the Washington State Supreme Court Interpreter Commission as the ASL representative and the WSRID Legal Interpreter’s Committee Chair. The biggest joys in her career are serving the interpreting community as a mentor, team member, and workshop coordinator and presenter.

Jeremy Quiroga

Headshot of Jeremy Quiroga

  • Washington
  • MFA & CDI
  • Mentor for IRIS: CORE Initiative Cohort 1 - 3
  • Facilitator for IRIS: RIPPLE Cohort 2

Jeremy continues to share his love of life and his language through workshops and performances nationally. He started out as a medical interpreter by becoming the first staff CDI for the University of Rochester Medical Center. From that point forward medical interpreting became his focus. By combining his CATIE Center training, his ASL mastery skills & life experience, Jeremy provides interpreter workshops with a phenomenal range of tools for the medical setting. Currently, Jeremy works as a VRI interpreter in medical settings. 

Jordon Oswald

Headshot of Jordon Oswald

  • Mississippi
  • Mentor for IRIS: CORE Initiative Cohort 3

Jordon Oswald is a staff interpreter and Disability Resource Center Coordinator for Mississippi State University. She has also had the esteemed pleasure of beginning mentorship for Interpreter Training Program students and plans to continue to keep her mentor door open to future students. Jordon began her career over 13 years ago in Little Rock, AR. In addition to her professional training, being raised in both the Deaf and interpreting communities has enabled Jordon to achieve her Mississippi state QAST level 3 as well as her EIPA. Above all else, Jordon's faith is what keeps her grounded, rooted and forward moving, thus shaping her values of strength, kindness, love and perseverance. A huge passion for Jordon is interpreter education and she is working hard to expand and enrich interpreter education in Mississippi. For fun, Jordon loves spending time with her children, family and studying aromatherapy.

Lakesha Trotter

Headshot of Lakesha Trotter

  • Louisiana
  • Mentor for IRIS: CORE Initiative Cohort 3

Lakesha, preferably called “KT,” started out as a teacher in Deaf Education. She earned her B.A. in Education of the Deaf from the University of Southern Mississippi in 2001. KT has taught deaf students grades Pre-K through 12th  for the past 23 years. Her passion for the Deaf community and love of ASL led her to a career in interpreting. Since that time, KT has worked as a community interpreter. She also interprets for the Louisiana Early Steps Program and Birnbaum Interpreting Services. KT enjoys being with her family, snuggling with her dog, and traveling.

LaShawnda Lowe

Headshot of LaShawnda Lowe

  • Alabama
  • MS, NIC, & QMHI
  • Mentor for IRIS: CORE Initiative Cohort 2
  • Facilitator for IRIS: Induction Cohort 2

LaShawnda is a freelance interpreter in Alabama. Her interpreting experience includes mental health, K-12, post-secondary, medical, and VRS. LaShawnda received a bachelor’s degree in American Sign Language/Interpreting from Valdosta State University and a Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Walden University. She completed her clinical internship with the Alabama Department of Mental Health Office of Deaf Services. LaShawnda has an interest in presenting and looks forward to exploring those opportunities. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling, working out, and spending time in nature.

Laurie Walcott

Headshot of Laurie Walcott

  • Idaho
  • CI & CT
  • Facilitator for IRIS: CORE Initiative Cohort 3

Laurie learned SEE sign in Junior High School to communicate with her deaf friends.  After graduation from high school, she went to Mesa College in San Diego to start her ASL/interpreting journey which continued at CSU, Northridge where she graduated with a BA in Deaf Studies. Laurie is RID certified CI and CT and has worked in a variety of settings over the past 35 years. She recently moved to rural Idaho and was fortunate enough to be part of the first cohort for IRIS and is now looking forward to continuing the journey with IRIS as a facilitator.  

Lianne Moccia

Headshot of Lianne Moccia

  • New Hampshire
  • CI, TC, & CT
  • Facilitator for IRIS: CORE Initiative Cohort 1 & 3
  • Mentor for IRIS: CORE Initiative Cohort 2

Lianne, a Boston native, has been an interpreter in private practice in New Hampshire and Vermont for over 40 years. She happened into ASL and the Deaf world with no thought of ever becoming an interpreter. But, life happens. Fortunately, in those early days she connected with MJ Bienvenu and Betty Colonomos and has been a practitioner of the Integrated Model of Interpreting ever since. Lianne developed the Vermont Mentorship Program which worked with pre-certified interpreters across the state and held numerous board positions in both NHRID and VTRID. She was also the coordinator of the Etna Project in NH and has participated in NH and MD Etna seminars for twenty years. For fun, Lianne enjoys cycling, gardening, knitting, reading, and spending time with her family, especially her two fabulous granddaughters.

Margaret Haberman

Headshot of Margaret Haberman

  • Maine
  • CT, CI, & SC:L
  • Facilitator for IRIS: CORE Initiative Cohort 1 - 3

Margaret has been in the field of interpreting for 35 years, give or take. She started her career in the Boston area and then moved up to Maine where she’s been for most of those 35 years. She has been a freelance interpreter working in the community for the majority of her career. She also teaches as an adjunct at the University of Southern Maine, in Portland, in their interpreting program. She is soon moving to a new home in Belfast, Maine with her husband. She has two daughters, one in Maine and one out west in Utah.

Mary Essex

Headshot of Mary Essex

  • Vermont
  • CDI
  • Mentor for IRIS: CORE Initiative Cohort 1 & 3
  • Facilitator for IRIS: Induction Cohort 1

Mary is from the Green Mountain State of Vermont. She has worked with the US Agency for International Development, Canadian International Development and various other organizations coordinating projects with deaf people in Peru, Turkey, and China. These projects allowed her to live and work and learn the local sign language dialects. She completed her interpreter training with the Road to Deaf Interpreting Program and has been a Certified Deaf Interpreter since 2015. She currently does Freelancing in the New England and New York areas.

Michelle Rheault

Headshot of Michelle Rheault

  • Vermont
  • Mentor for IRIS: CORE Initiative Cohort 1 - 3

Michelle has worked as an Interpreter for 30 years in a variety of settings. She also has worked as a parent infant mentor (PIP). This work, with families with a newly identified Deaf child, was an incredible learning experience and provided a new perspective and insights of families as they are learning about navigating their new normal. Educational Interpreting has been a consistent focus and passion. Raised by Deaf parents, Michelle has been and continues to be heavily involved in the Deaf community. For the past 25 years she has lived in Vermont with her two children who now are young adults and are now navigating the world outside of college. For fun Michelle loves water and anything related to water. Her goal is to explore as many bodies of water as possible her lifetime!  Life is an adventure and she looks forward to the journey!

Summer Chappell

Headshot of Summer Chappell

  • Mississippi
  • M.A. & NAD IV
  • Facilitator for IRIS: Induction Cohort 1
  • Mentor for IRIS: CORE Initiative Cohort 3

Summer has been working as a certified sign language interpreter for over 20 years. Summer is a native user of American Sign Language and holds a master’s degree in Counseling from The University of Memphis. In addition to being a professional interpreter, Summer is also a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor. Summer has provided training to law enforcement, sign language interpreters, counselors, and community members on various topics over the last 15 years. Summer is the former President of both Children of Deaf Adults, Inc. (CODA International) and the Tennessee Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf.

Trenton Marsh

Headshot of Trenton Marsh

  • Utah
  • CDI
  • Facilitator for IRIS: CORE Initiative Cohort 1

Trenton has lived in each of the 4 corner states and now calls Utah home. Drawn both to the mountains and the desert, Trenton, Bonnie, and their two kids enjoy exploring much of the Southwest on bikes, skis, kayaks, and ATVs. When not playing outside, Trenton enjoys his work as a CDI and as a mentor to other interpreters, both deaf and hearing. AND when not playing with his kids OR working, Trenton can be found in his workshop trying to finish any one of his many projects!

Grant Recognition

The contents of this website were developed under a grant (H160D210006) from the Department of Education. HD160D210006 (University of Northern Colorado) IRIS Project - Improving Rural Interpreter Skills was one of several interpreter training projects to receive funding under Assistance Listing Number (ALN) 84.160D: 2021-2026. IRIS was awarded under Specialty Area 5, field initiated, in the topic area of improving rural interpreting skills.

The contents of the IRIS Project website does not necessarily represent the policy of the Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government. (Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474).

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The National Clearinghouse of Rehabilitation Training Materials (NCRTM) website is a central portal for accessing archived and new rehabilitation training resources offering search capabilities, a quality rating system, as well as enhanced usability and accessibility.