2016 Conference Presenters

For more than 15 years Alan R. Abarbanell has toured the United States with his one-man show, The Abababa Road Tour, which are the hilarious and touching chronicles of his life as a hearing man, growing up in the world of the deaf. ABABABA is an amalgamation of every mispronunciation and misspelled version of his last name and was bestowed upon him by a dear friend who got tired of trying to say it correctly. The World of Abababa is a series of shows and workshops written by Alan that exemplify the crosssectionality of language and culture, But rather than emphasize how those differences separate us, Alan's presentations crystalize the unity among us all.


Kiva Bennett is a Florida native, now living in Washington, DC. She holds a BA in Education and is currently pursuing an MA in Linguistics at Gallaudet. Kiva likes to research and to teach. She periodically gets lost down the black hole of procrastination by means of investigation, trying to find ways to enhance her skills. Upon surfacing, she's been known to say, "Hey, I bet other interpreters would love to know this stuff too!" And a workshop is born. 


Judy earned an M.A. degree in Deaf Education from Teacher’s College, Columbia University and two certificates from Union County College in NJ: “ASL/Deaf Studies” and “Interpreting for the Deaf”, along with NJ EIPA certification.  She founded Sister Brother Deaf Inc. a non-profit corporation disseminating information about deaf and hearing siblings.  Judy and Marla Berkowitz co-authored Deaf and Hearing Siblings in Conversation, detailing and analyzing the dynamics between deaf/hearing siblings.  Based on separate qualitative open-ended interviews, it is the first text to include both deaf and hearing perspectives on sibling relationships.  Judy was the editor/interpreter of her deaf friend’s memoir: Rose Pizzo’s Growing Up Deaf: Issues of Communication in a Hearing World. Janice Honig and Judy co-founded the Fair Lawn Deaf Program, a national award winning Adult Basic Education, job placement, counseling, vocational evaluation and job placement program for deaf adults.  After co-authoring Adult Basic Education for the Deaf, they established five literacy programs for deaf adults in New Jersey; the employment program was replicated in south Jersey at Camden County College.  Judy is the youngest of three siblings, with several deaf relatives: a brother, sister-in-law, nephew and a niece.


Amanda Kennon, MA, NIC, graduated from Maryville College in 2007 with a dual degree in Interpreting and ASL/ Deaf Studies. Since relocating to Northern Virginia, she has worked in various settings, both as a staff and freelance interpreter, specializing in government, business,and educational settings (K-12 and post-secondary). From 2010-2013, she served as the VRID District I Representative and led several discussion groups on ethics and the NIC Interview Examination as well as Community Dialogues on Team Interpreting and Social Media. In May 2014, Amanda graduated from George Mason University with a MA in Interdisciplinary Studies, with a concentration in Individualized Studies: Ethics and Interpreting. Her Capstone Project was entitled Ethics & Professional Identity: A Proposed Curriculum for Students in Interpreter Education Programs.


Beth Klein has been working with the Deaf community for over 15 years in a variety of roles and currently provides employment services through Employment Solutions for Deaf and Hard of Hearing, LLC and is the Executive Director and Founder of PAH, Inc. a non-profit organization provides advocacy and outreach for Deaf and Hard of Hearing and is based in Prince William County. Beth is a Nationally Certified Employment Specialist (Job Coach), a Certified Work Incentives Specialist and holds state level credentials in interpreting. Beth has been a Certified WRAP Facilitator since 2014.
CW Tillman is the Director of Merrifield Peer Resource Center with the Fairfax - Falls Church Community Services Board. He has a strong background in disability advocacy and mental health. He has an Associate degree in ASL Interpreting from Northern Virginia Community College and graduated Magna Cum Laude. He is a certified WRAP (Wellness Recovery Action Plan) Facilitator. Volunteerism is important to him as well. He serves on a national suicide prevention taskforce, is the past president of the disAbility Law Center of Virginia, and was part of the ADA Legacy Project Tour team.

Hilary Mayhew, MPA, NIC, Project Coordinator for the Gallaudet University Regional Interpreter Education Center. Hilary, originally from Nevada, began her career as a Spanish/English medical interpreter, though a Deaf classmate had also introduced her to sign language. She became an ASL/English interpreter after completing a Spanish & ASL/English Interpreting degree from Goshen College (IN). She earned her Masters of Public Administration degree from Gallaudet University (’15), where she conducted original research on effective interpreter education. She has received and led trainings on topics from mentorship and assignment prep to intercultural communication, conflict resolution and mediation, and diversity and advocacy. She joined GURIEC in 2012, after several years leading the mentorship and professional development programs at a large interpreting agency. At GURIEC, Hilary focuses on outreach and dissemination of best practice resources, and supports various NCIEC taskforces. She is a Qualified Administrator of the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) assessment, a member of the Visual Language and Learning (VL2) Scholars Network, and a member of several DC-area interpreter and Deaf organizations. Hilary lives in Washington, DC.

Gary Mowl is a retired administrator and teacher with extensive experience in American Sign Language and interpretation education. He obtained his B.A. in Psychology from Maryville College and his M.S. in Deaf Education from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Gary has more than 15 years in higher education administration and education. He taught at Mount Aloysius Junior College, Bloomsburg University, and the National Technical Institute for the Deaf. He has also served as Chair for the Center of ASL and Interpreting Education at NTID and directed the AAS degree program at Mount Aloysius and the BS degree program at Bloomsburg University. He has also participated in strategic planning, communication and access task forces and committees.

Jay has been interpreting professionally for 18 years in a variety of settings from Educational (K-12 to Doctoral) to Medical. Jay holds a Bachelor of Science in Recreation Management from East Carolina University and is a graduate student in Security Studies at American Public University pursuing a Masters of Public Administration. Jay is currently a full time government interpreter/interpreter coordinator in vocational rehabilitation for the District of Columbia, Department on Disability Services.


Sarah has experienced the dangers of a sandstorm in Kuwait, a California earthquake, and skydiving from an airplane, and she never would have imagined that those adrenaline rushes would match what she feels daily when she goes to work as an interpreter. Sarah holds an Associates degree in health services administration from the Community College of the Air Force and a Bachelors degree in business management from Mt. Olive College. She also has a certificate in non-profit management from Duke Continuing Studies. During her time at Duke, she participated in Leadership Wayne County. It was during this time that she strengthened her understandings of how different agencies collaborate to provide social services. Sarah Wheeler received her M.Ed. Interpreter Pedagogy degree from Northeastern University and is currently going back to school to obtain a Ph.D. in General Psychology with an Emphasis in Instruction and Cognition. Growing up a coda she was immersed in Deaf culture and to this day she continues to be humbled by how much there is to learn about ASL, Deaf culture, and history. She is a nationally certified interpreter with a license to interpret in North Carolina. She is teaching now as an adjunct professor at University of North Florida and is teaching interpreting workshops.  She seeks to share her knowledge and continue to learn and grow with others in the field.

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