Please congratulate our January 2016 Meet Me at Ohlone recipient!
Staff Sign Language Interpreter, Interpreting and Accommodation Services
"We've always called this place (Ohlone College) our family."
Stephanie had always been interested in sign language since her fourth grade teacher introduced her to it. As a student at De Anza College, she started taking American Sign Language (ASL) that led her to pursue a major in Deaf Education-at Ohlone College. In 1994, she applied and was hired as a part-time interpreter at Ohlone and in 2000 became a full-time staff member. She attended workshops to learn more about interpreting and worked with some wonderful mentors. Stephanie didn't expect a part-time job to become an important part of her life. "But, it's been 21 years now! I realized I really like this job and I enjoy the challenge of interpreting from one language to another. I like making the information accessible. At some point during my 21 years, I went 'this is my career!'"
In addition to her job as an interpreter, Stephanie is the CSEA Vice President and on the Union's negotiation team. However, she wasn't always an active member of the Union. In fact, it wasn't until her department was directly affected that she decided to get involved. "What I resisted for so long actually turned out to be a great experience."
Music and theater are a huge part of Stephanie's life. More than 15 years ago, Stephanie brought her ASL interpreting skills to the theater. She started off interpreting theatrical productions at Ohlone College. She quickly found her services to be in demand with other theater production companies throughout the Bay Area. Interpreting theatrical productions (especially musicals) is one of Stephanie's favorite challenges. After interpreting for many actors, she aspired to perform on stage herself-something she had always wanted to do but lacked the self-confidence. Stephanie conquered her fear of being on stage and found herself performing in several comedies and a few musicals; she even got invited to sing with Chalk Dust one year. Speaking of concerts, Stephanie was recently honored to serve as an interpreter at a Taylor Swift concert. Taylor has a new fan in Stephanie!
Stephanie misses being on stage, but three years ago, a new cast member came into her life. Stephanie's dream role of becoming a mom came to fruition when her son Xander was born. He is the love of her life and absolutely completes her.
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