Jayne McKenzie has long been interested in languages other than English. From junior high through community college she took French and Spanish. Her interest in ASL was sparked when she accompanied a friend to Gallaudet so her friend could register for a consortium class. Her fascination with this new language led to a decision to take ASL evening classes at Gallaudet; she had the incredible good fortune to have Dr. Clayton Valli as the instructor for three out of the four classes she took. She counts Dr. Valli as the most brilliant teacher she has ever had.
Jayne has been at Gallaudet since 1988 and has been the Linguistics Department secretary since 1996. In this capacity she handles paperwork related to faculty actions and department finances. Most importantly, she serves as "mother hen" for department students (the sign name given to her by students), helping them navigate the non-academic aspects of life at Gallaudet whenever she can so that they have more time to focus on their studies.