Areas of Study


Master’s students in the Department of Interpretation and Translation (DoIT) take a sequence of three research courses in their program of studies. The result is an in-depth study on a specific aspect of signed language interpreting or translation.

The students present their results during the DoIT Annual Student Research Forum that takes place each Spring. Many MAI students go on to publish their research findings in professional journals.

A description of the 2015 MAI student research projects are given below:


Connor Eóin Gillis – Atlanta, Georgia

Deaf & Transgender: An Examination of the Social Structures Influencing Interpreted Interactions.

In this preliminary study, four deaf trans people were interviewed about their experiences with sign language interpreters. Their stories suggest that the interpreter is often providing more than access to the communication; she or he is also complicating and perhaps undoing the individual’s identity in a variety of interpreted settings.


Ami Murray – Los Angeles, California

The Effect of Interpreters on the Recovery Process: A Deaf Experience.

Recovery for an addict is a complicated process whereby those attempting to maintain sobriety seek guidance from others who have successfully traversed this terrain. My analysis explores the ways in which the interpreter, rather than recovery, became the focal point for these addicts.


Caitlin Ramsey – Marietta, Georgia

Interpreting the Miranda Warning: Incorporating Police Prompts.

My research investigated variations between interpretations by Deaf and hearing interpreters of the Miranda Warning, an explanation of rights given to criminal suspects.

The findings indicated that the interpreter’s audiological status was not the only variable to consider when measuring the quality of an interpretation, rather the longevity of the interpreter’s experience in the field.


Anna Nabau Tantull – Barcelona and Washington, DC

Culturally Rich Realities: A Case Study of a Trilingual Interpretation.

Interpretation may include, exclude, or expand communication boundaries. In my study, I examine a Spanish-ASL interpretation of a documentary on the ‘Mexican Vanguard’. The results show that the interpretations contain culturally implied information. I address the question, “Without a cultural approach, would an interpretation be successful?”


Heather Turrell – Los Angeles, California

Deaf Interpreters’ Perspective: Collaborative Approach to Teamwork in Deaf/Hearing Interpreter Teams.

In my research, I present data from six Deaf interpreters regarding their preferences and strategies for interpreting.


Richard A. Zabelski – Saginaw, Michigan

“State of the Profession”: A Snapshot View of Mentoring in American Sign Language Interpreting.

In the U.S., the practice of mentoring is used to varying degrees in the profession of sign language interpreting. In this research, I examined responses to a survey from nearly 1,000 professional sign language interpreters regarding their experiences with mentoring. The results provide a “state of the profession” vis-a-vis mentoring practices.


Brenda A. Wharton – Gwynn Oak, Maryland

Identifying the Interpreting Needs of Black Deaf Leaders.

The African American Deaf community is a subculture of the Deaf American population. Black Deaf leaders speak out about culture, role models, education for Deaf children of color, dysconscious racism, and inequality.

My research explores a social change paradigm in relation to interpreters and their training concerning Black Deaf culture.

MAI Student Research main page

MAI Students Peer Reviewed Publications

Many MAI students in the Department of Interpretation have published the research they conducted as graduate students. Below is a sampling of MAI student publications.

Bower, K. (2015). Stress and burnout in video relay service (VRS) interpreting. Journal of Interpretation, 24(1), Article 2. Read here.

Lang, C. (2015). Language use at RID conferences: A survey on behaviors and perceptions. Journal of Interpretation, 24(1). Read here.

Ganz Horwitz, M. (2014). Demands and strategies of interpreting a theatrical performance into American Sign Language. Journal of Interpretation, 23(1). Read here.

Sforza. S. (2014). DI(2) = Team Interpreting. In R. Adam, C. Stone, S. Collins, & M. Metzger (Eds), Deaf Interpreters At Work (pp. 19-28). Washington, DC: Gallaudet University Press.

Marks, A. (2012). Participation framework and footing shifts in an interpreted academic meeting. Journal of Interpretation, 22(1), Article 4. Read here.

Spingarn, T. (2001). Knowledge of Deaf community-related words, symbols and acronyms among hearing people: Implications for the production of an equivalent interpretation. Journal of Interpretation, 69-84.

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2015 MAI Student Research Presentations


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