ASL/English Interpreting Faculty
Jessica Bentley-Sassaman, program coordinator and assistant professor
Bentley-Sassaman, Ed.D., graduated from Bloomsburg University in 2001 with her Bachelor's of Science degree in interpreting. She earned her Master's of Art degree in linguistics from Gallaudet University in 2006 and has finished her Doctorate in education from Walden University in 2011. The focus of her study was Deaf-Hearing interpreter teams and how they work together as a team.
Bentley-Sassaman has been interpreting professionally since 2001, earning her Educational Interpreter Performance Assessment (EIPA) from Boystown Research Hospital, Certification of Transliteration, and Certification of Interpretation from the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID). She also holds the state legal certification from the Administrative Offices of the Pennsylvania Courts.
She is one of only eight interpreters in PA to earn the Special Certificate: Legal (SC:L) from the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, Inc. In addition, she is the only college faculty in PA to hold this certification. RID describes this certification as, "Holders of this specialist certificate have demonstrated specialized knowledge of legal settings and greater familiarity with language used in the legal system.
Certification recognized by RID, documented training and legal interpreting experience are required prior to sitting for this exam. SC:L holders are recommended for a broad range of legal assignments." She is also involved in the Pennsylvania Chapter of the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (PARID) and a member of the Conference of Interpreter Trainers.
Jodie Ackerman, instructor of exceptionality program, ASL and deaf culture
Jodie Ackerman hails from Delevan, N.Y. before moving to Bloomsburg in 2009. She is an instructor of Exceptionality Programs and teaches American Sign Language and Deaf Culture classes. She received her bachelor’s degree at Rochester Institute of Technology and her master’s degree at Gallaudet University.
Dawn Anaya, instructor
Anaya traveled from Rhode Island to be able to join Bloomsburg University as an instructor for ASL/Interpreting Program. She attended Gallaudet University, worked on two majors in Theatre and Education fields: Theatre Education; Elementary Education, and a minor in Dance. She graduated Gallaudet with a Bachelors of Art in 2001. After graduation she worked at couple different schools for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Then in 2008, she furthered her knowledge in the education field by studying Early Childhood Education and received her Education Master’s degree at Lesley University in 2010. She has her RI Certifications in Early Childhood Education and in Elementary. She also has her Massachusetts Education License in Early Childhood Education. She is currently working on her Deaf Education Licensures.
While attending Gallaudet University, she interpreted for adults and students who were deaf-blind or had low-vision. She has taught ASL to a child with special needs, who is now able to express her wants and needs as well as communicate with others through the use of ASL. She also has tutored several college students who were studying ASL.
Jennifer Gordon, instructor
Jennifer Gordonwas born in Ohio. She graduated from high school and went on to Gallaudet University. She studied into social work and earned a Bachelor of Arts in 2003. She and her husband moved to Illinois where Jennifer started her new job in the fall of 2004 as a Rehabilitation Counselor for the Deaf in the very southern Illinois for 4 years. In the year of 2008 she was also teaching at John A. Logan College as an ASL teacher (part time). Since 2009, Jennifer has been working as a Rehabilitation Counselor for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing for the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation in Harrisburg, PA and is a part time adjunct instructor at Bloomsburg University.