MAI Student Research

Masters students in the Department of Interpretation and Translation (DoIT) take a sequence of three research courses in their program of studies. The result is an in-depth study on a specific aspect of signed language interpreting or translation. The students present their results during the DoIT Annual Student Research Forum that takes place each Spring. Many MAI students go on to publish their research findings in professional journals. A description of the 2017 MAI student research projects are given below.

Alice-Dulude-photo

Alice Dulude - Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Roles self-described by Deaf interpreters.  Although Deaf individuals have provided interpretation within the Deaf community for generations, there is little research about their work, either when working alone or with Deaf or non-Deaf interpreters. In this study, perceptions of role as described by Deaf interpreters from around the world will be collected and compared using a combination of an on-line survey and live interviews. This research will serve to fill the gap of perceptions by Deaf interpreters.

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Esther Fass - Brooklyn, New York
DeafBlind interpreting: A Deafcentric study of professional boundaries. Interpreting for a typical Deaf person involves a hearing interpreter transmitting the message from a source language into a target language, but for DeafBlind consumers the interpreter has to make complex decisions in a short amount of time, which may impact typical professional boundaries. Using interview data, this study examines perspectives on ethical boundaries from two sides - the interpreter viewpoint and the DeafBlind consumer viewpoint.

        Meri-Faulkner-photo

Meri Faulkner - Southern Pines, North Carolina
Navigating our anxiety: Pre- and post-assignment controls from experienced ASL-English interpreters. A common misconception about the interpreting profession is that work begins and ends within the confines of an assignment. This notion is untrue, especially when interpreters experience anxiety on a daily basis. The combination of personal and work-related anxiety can result in unique demands for which interpreters may lack effective coping mechanisms. In my study, I consult with experienced interpreters and gather information about how they effectively combat anxiety.

Samantha-Fine-photo

Samantha Fina - Northridge, California
Understanding the role of the community college interpreter. The meaning of "role" of the interpreter has been discussed and redefined by researchers in the educational setting intermittently. This exploratory study takes a glimpse at how post-secondary interpreters define their role and responsibilities in a community college setting in the ASL-English interpreting profession.  

Carlee-James-photo

Carllee James - New York, New York
Student perspectives on social justice in graduate interpreting programs. Interpreters work in different settings with people from various linguistic and cultural backgrounds. An interpreter's ability to successfully navigate these situations depends on experience and training with multiculturalism and social justice. This study examines the extent to which MA interpreting programs prepare students with social justice skill sets. The researcher examined course offerings, faculty demographics, and interview data with students from two MA programs. 

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William Lovik - Okemos, Michigan
Does an interpreter's gender affect how face-threatening acts are conveyed? An examination of interpretations from American Sign Language into English. In this exploratory study, I analyze linguistic features used by male and female hearing interpreters when interpreting face-threatening acts from American Sign Language into English. The goal of this study is to identify differences and similarities in linguistic features used by male and female interpreters use as they construct their renditions and to consider the role of gendered language in interpretation.

Tyriibah-Royal-photo

Tyriibah Royal - Dallas, Texas
Qualities of target English and strategies when interpreting for Black Deaf consumers. Interpreters commit to following the RID Code of Professional Conduct (CPC). Tenet 2.3 of the CPC describes capturing the "spirit" of the speaker. When the speaker and interpreter are from different cultures, what does "spirit" mean and how is it rendered? In this study, I observe the target English language of interpreters who identify as Black and White, and describes the decisions they make when interpreting for a consumer who represents one of two minority groups: Black and Deaf.


Courtney-Slagle-photo

Courtney Slagle - San Diego, California
Confidentiality in travel interpreting: Where does the job end and my life begin? Although confidentiality is a guiding tenet in the interpreting profession, it may be affected by the setting in which an interpreter works. This issue is especially relevant for interpreters who work in travel settings, as traveling can become part of the interpreter's personal life. The unique setting of travel interpreting led to questions about where a job ends and personal life begins. In this study, I survey travel interpreters to assess their current perceptions of confidentiality in their workplace.

Robyn-Weintraub-photo

Robyn Weintraub - Rockville, Maryland
The effectiveness of simultaneous and consecutive interpretation with TASL/PTASL users in the DeafBlind community. Since the early 2000s, language use among members of the DeafBlind community has evolved in response to their communication needs to include Tactile ASL (TASL) and Pro Tactile ASL (PTASL); however, many sign language interpreters have yet to incorporate research on this shifting language use by DeafBlind individuals. This study evaluates simultaneous and consecutive interpretation with TASL/PTASL users in the DeafBlind community to determine which method of interpretation is most effective.

MAI Student Research - Spring 2016
MAI Student Research - Spring 2015

MAI Students Peer Reviewed Publications
Many MAI students in the Department of Interpretation have published the research they conducted as graduate students. Below is a sampling of MAI student publications.

Bower, K. (2015). Stress and burnout in video relay service (VRS) interpreting. Journal of Interpretation, 24(1), Article 2. Available at: http://digitalcommons.unf.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1047&context=joi

Lang, C. (2015). Language use at RID conferences: A survey on behaviors and perceptions. Journal of Interpretation, 24(1). Available at: http://digitalcommons.unf.edu/joi/vol24/iss1/4

Ganz Horwitz, M. (2014). Demands and strategies of interpreting a theatrical performance into American Sign Language. Journal of Interpretation, 23(1). Available at: http://digitalcommons.unf.edu/joi/vol23/iss1/4/

Sforza. S. (2014). DI(2) = Team Interpreting. In R. Adam, C. Stone, S. Collins, & M. Metzger (Eds), Deaf Interpreters At Work (pp. 19-28). Washington, DC: Gallaudet University Press. 

Marks, A. (2012). Participation framework and footing shifts in an interpreted academic meeting. Journal of Interpretation22(1), Article 4. Available at: http://digitalcommons.unf.edu/joi/vol22/iss1/4/

Spingarn, T. (2001). Knowledge of Deaf community-related words, symbols and acronyms among hearing people: Implications for the production of an equivalent interpretation. Journal of Interpretation, 69-84.