Aidan McLaughlin
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My Story

After falling in love with American Sign Language in high school, Aidan came to Northeastern with a specific career path in mind, and hasn’t looked back. She is currently pursuing a BS in American Sign Language/English Interpreting.

Here is her Northeastern story…

My Path
Aidan McLaughlin, Senior ASL Interpreting Student
Why ASL / English Interpreting?

Aidan decided to major in ASL / English Interpreting as a result of her upbringing. Growing up, Aidan was exposed to ASL through Deaf family members, and a desire to truly be able to communicate with them inspired her to learn ASL. Starting in tenth grade, she began ASL classes, and within a year knew that she wanted a career that would allow her to use ASL everyday, and interpreting provides her with a way to do this.


“Hi Everyone.  My name is Aidan McLaughlin.  I am currently a senior at Northeastern University.  My major is ASL / English interpreting.  As a sophomore in high school, I took my first ASL class and I really fell in love with the language.  I decided then, that I wanted to become an interpreter and attend Northeastern’s ASL Program.  Soon I’ll be graduating and am truly thankful that I made the decision to come to Northeastern.”


Transformational Coursework

“Interpreting Inquiry Texts”

In, “Interpreting Inquiry Texts”, the first in a series of four interpreting classes, taught by Professor Angela Herbert, Aidan had her first real experience with interpreting and working with cultural mediation. In the classes leading up to this, classes were focused on building a strong language base. The experience of working with interpreting processes and utilizing more than just the language itself affirmed in Aidan’s mind that this is what she wanted to do.

“American Sign Language Linguistics”

In the class “American Sign Language Linguistics”, taught by Professor Deborah Perry, Aidan studied the American Sign Language from a technical linguistic viewpoint, another area of interest for her. Through the study of the morphemes and sentence structure of ASL, among other aspects, Aidan gained a deeper working knowledge of the language.

“In previous linguistics classes, only spoken languages had been examined.  This class was the first time I was able to analyze a Signed Language in depth, which was really fun!”

Global Opportunities

Aidan participated in a Dialogue of Civilizations in Dublin to fulfill NU core requirements. As part of the Dialogue, Aidan studied Irish literature and film, and was immersed in Irish culture.


Experiencing and immersing herself in a different culture provided valuable experience that can be applied in a career of working with another community and culture.

Dublin Castle, Dublin, Ireland
Experiential Learning / Practicum

During the spring 2017 semester, Aidan completed her Interpreting Practicum – similar to co-op – with the interpreting team at Boston Arts Academy. Through this experience, she was able to shadow working interpreters to observe and utilize the skill developed in the program. During her time at practicum she received invaluable “real world” experience that was essential for her future as an interpreter.

Next Steps

Upon graduation in May 2017, Aidan decided to stay in the Boston-area and work within the local Deaf Community. She was also able to continue to work with her practicum supervisor throughout the summer months to gain further experience, particularly in a freelance interpreting setting. Lastly, Aidan prepared to take the Massachusetts State Screening through the Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, a test that guarantees the quality of American Sign Language interpreters in the state of Massachusetts.

This is Aidan’s Northeastern Path…Where will yours lead?

The American Sign Language Program at Northeastern University

Centennial Common, Northeastern University