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Meet the Instructors


ASL Immersion

Laurie Achin

Laurie Achin

LAURIE ACHIN graduated from Gallaudet University majoring in Educational Drama 2003, then earned her Masters in Deaf Education at Gallaudet 2008. She has been teaching since 2001, started as fellowship at Model Secondary School for the Deaf in Washington, D.C. on Gallaudet Campus. Then she moved to Mass. and started working as Deaf educator for R.E.A.D.S Collaborative Deaf and Hard of Hearing program 2008- 2016. She also taught ASL at Suffolk University and Boston Children Hospital 2008-2016. Currently she is ASL Specialist for R.E.A.D.S. Collaborative DHH program in Norton and Taunton and teaches ASL at Bristol Community College.

She comes from a hearing family and enjoys spending time with her husband, two daughters and two dogs. She loves theatre, to play sports, dance and travel!

Jennifer O’Brien

Jenn O'Brien

JENNIFER O’BRIEN is a licensed educator and has taught Deaf children in elementary school for seven years. She is currently an ASL instructor at Bristol Community College and works with families through the Family Sign Language Program. This is her second year teaching the ASL immersion track of the Annual Summer Symposium at Northeastern University. Jenn studied at Gallaudet for her bachelor’s degree and then went on to Boston University for her Master’s degree in Deaf Education. Jenn is a committee member of LEAD-K (Language Equality & Acquisition for Deaf Kids.) When she is not teaching, she enjoys spending time with her husband, two children, and their dog.


Michael Olivier


MICHAEL J. OLIVIER hails from Massachusetts and is a proud graduate of one of the first bilingual/bicultural schools for the Deaf—The Learning Center for the Deaf. Michael received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education with a Theatre minor from California State University, Northridge. Michael obtained a Master of Arts degree in Deaf/Hard of Hearing Education from The University of Arizona. Michael worked at Phoenix Day School for the Deaf as an ASL Specialist for six years and taught ASL courses at Phoenix College. Michael has also worked at Western Oregon University as an Instructor for ASL Studies and Deaf and Hard of Hearing Education programs for three years. Currently, Michael is an ASL Specialist at The Learning Center for the Deaf (Marie Philip School). His areas of interests include ASL linguistics, Academic ASL and ASL storytelling. Michael is married to Renee and they have two sons. In his free time (if any!), Michael enjoys running, DIY projects, and traveling.



Practitioner Tune-Up: Tools for Work Analysis and Reflective Practice

Dennis Cokely

Dennis Cokely

DENNIS COKELY is currently a professor the director of the ASL Program at Northeastern University. Dennis is internationally known as a consultant and lecturer. For 15 years Dennis worked in various positions at Gallaudet University (as a teacher of elementary and high school students, an administrator, an assistant professor in the Graduate School, and as a research associate in the Linguistics Research Lab where he worked with William Stokoe). In 1985 he served as director for a project funded by the Canadian government through the University of New Brunswick to develop a model curriculum for Interpreter Education programs. From 1983 through 1987 he served as the president of the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) and was instrumental in revising the RID’s certification and testing program. During the past several years he has conducted numerous training modules both in the United States and abroad on ASL semantics and developing and conducting diagnostic assessments of interpreters.

Dennis received his doctorate in sociolinguistics from Georgetown University and also has a master’s degree in applied linguistics. His publications include numerous articles, a series of five textbooks on American Sign Language (generally known as “The Green Books”) which he co-authored with Charlotte Baker-Shenk, Sign Language Interpreters and Interpreting and Interpretation, which he edited, and A Sociolinguistic Model, which has been translated into German and excerpted into Swedish and Japanese. A Sociolinguistic Model is widely used in the U.S. and Europe for interpreter education and has formed the foundation for formal diagnostic assessments of interpreters in the U.S., Canada, and Europe. Through the company he co-founded, Sign Media, Inc., Dennis has produced and/or directed over 250 videotape programs focusing on American Sign Language, Deaf Culture, and Interpreter Education.

Nicole Crossman

Nicole Crossman

NICOLE CROSSMAN completed her undergraduate work at the University of Rochester, with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and allied field in American Sign Language. She went on to get her Master’s degree in Deaf Education from Boston University. She taught upper elementary, middle school and high school. Nicole continued her education, completing the Northeastern University interpreter training program. She has been a freelance interpreter ever since; working in various settings from post-secondary to medical. For the past four years, she has also been a staff interpreter at a Boston high school. She holds CI, NIC and EIPA certification.

Nicole is a practicum supervisor for interpreting students and has served as a co-facilitator for Northeastern University’s Summer Symposium for the past nine years.


Angela Herbert

Angela Herbert

ANGELA HERBERT is an alumna of Northeastern University’s ASL-English Interpreting program. After receiving her B.S. degree from Northeastern University, she went on to practice as both an educational and a freelance interpreter. Angela has worked in a variety of settings as an ASL interpreter including: K-12, post-secondary, medical, mental health, performing arts, conferences and twelve-step programs. Beyond her work as an interpreter, she has formally and informally played the role of mentor while working with both novice and student interpreters.

Angela is currently an interpreting instructor at Northeastern University’s ASL-English Interpreting Program, where she combines her love for teaching and interpreting. She holds the NIC certification through RID and has served as a co-facilitator for Northeastern University’s Summer Symposium for the past eight years.

In addition to interpreting, Angela is also passionate about the field of Deaf Education. She has an expanding background in the area of education and she has worked within several school systems with a diverse population of Deaf and Hard of Hearing students. She holds a M.Ed. degree from Boston University’s Education of the Deaf program.

When not working, Angela loves spending time with her five year-old and one year-old daughters, who keep her on her toes.

Patrick Rosenburg

PATRICK ROSENBURG is currently a doctoral candidate at Boston University in the Language and Literacy program under the School of Education. While he continues to work on his EdD in Language and Literacy, he does independent consultant jobs such as, theatre interpreting and educational interpreting. He also works with the Center for Research and Training (CRT) at The Learning Center providing training and support with ASL assessment and bilingual teaching. Prior to Boston University, he graduated from Gallaudet University with a B.S. in Art History and a M.S. in Deaf Education from McDaniel College in 2012. He taught various subjects at the Maryland School for the Deaf from 2007-2012 and the Blanche Nevile School for the Deaf in London, U.K. from 2016-2018. In addition to K-12 education, he has also taught several university courses in relation to ASL and Deaf Education. When he is not busy, he enjoys traveling, reading, playing crosswords and cooking a storm in his kitchen.