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Brittany Pavao

American Sign Language – English Interpreting

2022

As a fellow native of Massachusetts, the buzz of the city has become all too familiar. Entering the university originally with a passion to become a physician, it was not until I came in contact with a plethora of resources that my passions quickly geared towards language. In my identity as a child of a Deaf adult (CODA) with Deaf family, my fascination with the inner workings of the mind motivated the decision to pursue a double major in ASL/English Interpreting and ASL/Psychology (see below for more information).

As a fellow native of Massachusetts, the buzz of the city has become all too familiar. Entering the university originally with a passion to become a physician, it was not until I came in contact with a plethora of resources that my passions quickly geared towards language. In my identity as a child of a Deaf adult (CODA) with Deaf family, my fascination with the inner workings of the mind motivated the decision to pursue a double major in ASL – English Interpreting and Psychology.

Through my academic experience, ASL linguistics with Dr. Lori Whynot and Performance Interpreting with Professor Nicole Sasson were of the most impact. Learning the intricate structure of American Sign Language in ASL linguistics marked the biggest learning curve, where I had been able to distinguish aspects and recognize features that could not have otherwise been made explicit. Theatrical in nature, performance interpreting worked to transform my creativity skills with American Sign Language.

Working as President of the Interpreting Club at Northeastern (ICNU) was an incredible experience. Hosting events that cultivated a space for students willing to learn the language while connecting with others who may share similar interests. ICNU was able to have their first Halloween ASL Workshop, where students gathered together over Zoom to learn new spooky signs and phrases.

I went on practicum with interpreters at Department of Developmental Services (DDS), where I learned professional business practices in real life settings that can be applied to my future practice. This opportunity has given me incredible insight into how psychology related concepts can be expressed in ASL.

Post-graduation, I hope to attend graduate school where I can pursue further education in clinical psychology for the Deaf community.

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