Laurie Swabey, PhD

Principal Investigator, CATIE Center

St. Catherine's University

contact information

Dr. Swabey was previously the Project Director of the RSA Region V Grant Project at St. Catherine University. She serves as the ASL/Interpreting Department Chair and Associate Professor of the B.A. program in Interpreting at St. Kate's and has taught interpreting for 25 years. Before moving to MN in 1990, Dr. Swabey was the Director of the RSA Grant Project at Merrimack Valley College/University of NH from 1982 – 1990 (serving ME, NH, RI and VT). She has had 13 years of successfully managing RSA grant projects. Dr. Swabey has served on the board of the Conference of Interpreter Trainers (CIT) for 3 terms and worked on the early development of the CIT accreditation process. She developed the curriculum in medical interpreting for the University of Minnesota and for the NY Task Force on Immigrant Health, and has taught interpreting theory to interpreters of Russian, Spanish, Khmer, Hmong, Vietnamese and Somali languages. She currently serves on the Advisory Committee of the National Council for Interpreting in Health Care. She has presented at numerous conferences including: RID, CIT, AVLIC and all four of the international Critical Link conferences, held in Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal and Stockholm. Dr. Swabey developed the bachelor’s degree program in Interpreting for the University of NH in 1988 and was instrumental in the transition from the associate degree to the bachelor’s degree, both at UNH and at St. Kate's. Her Ph.D. is in Linguistics from the University of Minnesota, where her dissertation focused on the use of referring expressions in ASL and English, due to the difficulties second language learners of ASL often have with pronouns. She recently had a chapter published in Advances in Teaching Sign Language Interpreters (Roy, 2005) on teaching students to understand pronouns and other forms of reference more effectively.

In 2008, Dr. Swabey was awarded the Bonnie Jean Kelly and Joan Kelly Faculty Excellence Award. This distinguished honor has only been given to one other faculty member here at the University. The University's Senior Vice President acknowledged Laurie's many accomplishments, including her research and publications in the field of interpreting and interpreter education, her travels to Australia, the Netherlands and across the country presenting on various topics; and the grant work she has done, including establishing the CATIE Center. Equally noteworthy are her talents in educating student interpreters, and her tireless efforts in advancing the profession of interpreting and promoting, through these efforts, the interpreting program here at St. Kate's.

As project director for the CATIE Center, Dr. Swabey oversees all aspects of the project, ensuring collaboration and non-duplication of services with the other four Regional Centers and the National Center, working on the domains and competencies project for medical interpreting, and providing information/resources to the interpreter education programs in the region regarding up-to-date practices.

Current Research Projects:

"An Examination of Deaf Physicians-Deaf Patient Discourse: Implications for Interpreting Practice"

with Dr. Brenda Nicodemus and intern Roberto Santiago

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