A native ASL signer, originally from Baton Rouge, LA, MJ received her BA in English and MA in Linguistics from Gallaudet in 1974 and 1983, respectively. She worked at Gallaudet in various departments; including Linguistics Research Lab and English, for a total of 11 years. She then moved to be a co-director of The Bicultural Center for 7 years. She later became a director of Language and Culture Center for 3 years before she came back to Gallaudet.
MJ has published several ASL teaching materials (Faces of ASL and ASL Numerical Systems) and several American Deaf Culture videos and workbooks. She was also a sign model for the first ASL instruction books, also known as the Green Books.. She also presented to schools, colleges and universities and centers around the country, Canada, Europe, Japan, Israel, and Cyprus on topics of Sign Language Instruction, Culture, Oppression and Empowerment, Cross-cultural Interactions and Interpretation.
MJ is presently serves as co-chair of the Sorenson Language and Communication Center building project. She also served as president of the Deaf Women United, Inc. from 1997 to 1999 and a co-chair of Deaf Lesbians Festival from 2000 to 2004. She is currently president of the National Organization of the Phi Kappa Zeta Sorority since 2004.
On a personal level, MJ enjoys reading, traveling, and pets at home with her partner.