St. Kate’s ASL/Interpreting program receives excellence award

St. Kate’s ASL/Interpreting program receives excellence award

St. Kate’s and Sorenson VRS Interpreting Institute faculty at the award presentation. Photo by Sharon Rolenc.

St. Catherine University’s ASL/Interpreting program is the recipient of the Sorenson Video Relay Service (SVRS) Excellence and Innovation in Interpreter Education Award for 2015.

The award recognizes interpreter education programs (IEPs) that work to raise interpreter education standards. Each year, Sorenson recognizes one outstanding IEP that exceeds typical educational standards, leverages technology and incorporates interaction with the Deaf Community in its program.

“We are pleased beyond words to receive the award this year. It recognizes the strength of our program, faculty, students, graduates and community in educating the next generation of interpreters,” said Paula Gajewski Mickelson, chair of the ASL/Interpreting program. Anita Nelson-Julander and Holly Nelson, VRS Interpreting Institute faculty members with Sorenson, were on campus last week to present the award.

“When you compare St. Kate’s with other programs, this really is a place of excellence — one of the top programs in the nation,” said Nelson during the award presentation. “Teachers here are not just concerned with educating students, but with advancing best practices in interpreter education nationally.”

A program’s contribution to the Deaf Community is a key selection criterion for the award. “We’re impressed with St. Kate’s collaboration with outside groups to give your students and alumnae access to the technology and tools they need to succeed professionally, as well as the community service opportunities you offer students,” added Nelson.

The recognition comes with a financial award for programming, training and technology. “This will strengthen our connections with the Deaf Community, support ethics and decision making courses and activities, and allow us to purchase technology that will support and enhance our work,” added Mickelson.

The award includes an expense-paid trip for two St. Kate’s IEP directors or instructors to attend the 2016 Conference of Interpreter Trainers (CIT) Convention. A video feature of St. Kate’s award-winning ASL/Interpreting program will be unveiled at the event.

Photo and story by Sharon Rolenc