In November, 2020, the National Association of Interpreters in Education (NAIE) newsletter celebrated the careers of three retiring instructors, administrators, and researchers who have spent many decades advancing the field of interpreting in educational settings – Dr. Leilani Johnson, Dr. Brenda Schick and Dr. Laurie Bolster.
Leilani, Brenda and Laurie are also three of the five authors of the Interpreting Consolidated publication Complexities in Educational Interpreting: An Investigation into Patterns of Practice.
Laurie Bolster, Ph.D., CI/CT most recently taught for the University of Northern Colorado ASL & Interpreting Studies Department. Her dissertation research examined the impact on one group of educational interpreters (EICP graduates) who faced the rapid shift towards the professionalization of the field through the 1990s. During her ten years traveling the state with the Outreach Department of the CDE, Colorado School for the Deaf and the Blind, Dr. Bolster developed a focus on strengthening educational interpreters’ capability for delivering high quality interpreting services for deaf and hard of hearing children. Before joining UNC full-time, she did freelance interpreting in the Washington, DC area for 17 years. She is also a returning assistant editor for the 50th anniversary of the Journal of Transpersonal Psychology.
Brenda Schick, Ph.D., was most recently a professor and chair of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder. She studies the development of signed and spoken languages as well as its relationship to literacy and cognition in deaf and hard-of-hearing children. Her work has focused on the development of literacy skills in young Deaf and hard of hearing students, particularly the role of fingerspelling promoting phonological awareness for signing children (funded by IES). She has studied the development of a Theory of Mind in deaf and hard of hearing children and how it relates to language skills (funded by NIH). Dr. Schick is also the co-developer of the Educational Interpreter Performance Assessment (EIPA). With colleagues, she has published data about the performance skills of interpreters who work in the K-12 setting. She also developed the EIPA Written Test and the website dedicated to K-12 interpreting (www.classroominterpreting.org).
Leilani J. Johnson, Ed.D., IC/TC, CI, is the architect and former director of the DO IT Center, now the University of Northern Colorado, Department of ASL & Interpreting Studies (ASLIS). Since 1993, Dr. Johnson has been awarded approximately $22M in federal grants and partnership contracts. She was the Principal Investigator for the OSEP award that supported the studies included in the book Complexities in Educational Interpreting: An Investigation into Patterns of Practice, and she continued as the Principal Investigator on the RSA-funded Project CLIMB. Holding RID certification since 1983, she is a recognized author and presenter at state, regional national, and international conferences. Her most recent research projects focused on educational interpreting, state employment standards for educational interpreters, and two-to-four-year articulation models. In 2016, Dr. Johnson was honored with a perpetual award instituted by the National Association of Interpreters in Education, the Leilani Johnson Leadership Award, and in 2018 she was designated as ASLIS Director Emerita.