Interview with Professor Regina Daniels

Professor Regina Daniels

Introduction: What does it mean to love our neighbor? Is it our actions or words? For the ASL program, it is both and for years, the ASL program has been a pillar for  North Central and as provided services across our community. Being able to share their story has been an honor. To accurately display the hard work of the program, I was able to ask the Program Director, Professor Daniels a few questions relating to her own journey and the importance of the ASL department at NCU. The following responses are her answers. 

Preface Question 1: For any position, the reason behind the work is crucial. It is the driving force of how our work is completed and who we complete it for. To begin, I asked Professor Daniels one of the most important questions that would set the preface for the entire interview. 

Question: Why do you teach at North Central University? What is your mission here? 

Answer: My goal is to continue working with students who want to learn ASL and become an interpreter. My mission is to provide both communities (hearing and deaf/hard of hearing) a service they need to communicate. I love working for NCU because it is a family and their belief, encouragement, and faith to serve God and to serve others. 

Preface Questions 2 & 3: From there we moved into the Love Your Neighbor initiative. As CAS’s goal is to showcase the work it has done for the community. Professor Daniel’s students are active participants in making our community more accessible, loving, and caring. Each student and professor prides itself to become a bridge for the hearing and deaf communities. Professor Daniels’s answers to the following questions are shining examples of this. 

Question:  Share with me what you know about the Love Your Neighbor initiative, and why it is important to the College of Arts & Sciences? 

Answer: To love our neighbor is a way to provide support to each other and regardless of our faith, religion, belief, and spirituality, we are still human and united in one country. It is so important for the College of Arts & Sciences to show how much we care about our neighbors and what we can do for them to succeed.

Question: Have you, or students in your program, gotten involved in any specific community efforts to date? 

Answer: Our ASL Interpreting students have been involved with a lot of mission work. They are involved with the community in ways such as interpreting for clients, working with deaf and hard of hearing children in school, providing interpreting service in education settings, and attending and volunteering for Deaf Missions Interpreting Conference in Omaha, NE. Our ASL students complete at least 10 hours of community service per year and are involved in workshops and volunteering deaf events.

Preface Question 4: Next, Professor Daniels touches on an ideal student for the program. This student must excel in academically and professionally. The job of an ASL major is difficult. Students are required to balance the hearing and deaf world and provide a connecting point for both. Though this task can be daunting, Professor Daniels is more than confident her student possesses the skills and knowledge to be successful. 

Question: Tell me about your ideal student – what characteristics do they possess and why are they successful in your program? 

Answer: Our ASL students have one of the difficult tasks to possess their skills in translation, transliterating and being able to facility the second language to the deaf and hearing community. Our students’ characteristics are to adhere to the code of professional conduct policy and professionally. In my program, it has been successful because students were able to pass their written exams to become certified and qualified to become an interpreter for the community and working in the field as well. 

Preface Question 5: This brings us into the classroom, Professor Daniels share that an environment of vulnerability and honesty is how students find success in the program and professionally. 

Question: What is the value of bringing real-world experiences into the classroom? And how do you do that in your particular discipline? 

Answer: As a practiced profession, we are developing our craft through our lived experiences. By sharing stories with the students about what we’ve been through, it helps them to be more prepared for the future. We are also able to have students analyze current experiences and what they would do if they were in our shoes. Sharing our experiences changes education from theoretical to practical. They get to learn from our mistakes and our successes, making the work real- something they can connect with. 

Preface Question 6: As the interview concludes, Professor Daniels answers the final questions regarding prospective students and parents. She shares how the exposure ASL students receive daily is only one of the many reasons students should come to NCU. Professor Daniels also encourages prospective parents that students at North Central will receive more than academic care, NCU will help grow your student in imaginable ways. 

Question: If you could share one story with a prospective student that might influence them attending North Central, what would you share? 

Answer: Students of ASL get to be in the chapel every day worshiping in the language that they are learning, which strengthens their skills. During junior and senior years, they also start leading the interpreted worship from the stage, and during Worship Live video recordings, we highlight students’ work to be seen across the globe. Also, our department is close-knit, supporting one another recognizing that everyone has something to bring to the table. We frequently have pizza parties and game nights where we break out into dance and have some fun! Don’t worry, that fun is also brought into the classroom with faculty that love to laugh! 

Question: If a parent asked you why they should send their child to North Central, what is the one thing you would share with them? 

Answer: North Central prepares students for their futures. We not only focus on the academic side of preparation, but we focus on the whole student. Their emotional, spiritual, and mental wellbeing and growth are just as important to us.  We desire for your students to graduate, not with the ability to know all the answers, but the ability to think for themselves and the confidence and curiosity to explore answers on their own. 

Conclusion: It was an honoring opportunity to interview Professor Daniels and learning about the work she has completed in the ASL program. It is my hope that readers, have not only learned the importance and value of this program but have felt challenged to help the mission of providing a bridge for the deaf and hearing cultures. As Professor Daniels and her students have and will continue to do. The ASL department is only beginning and I am more than excited to see the future of this wonderful program.