Jessica Stern

Listening and Spoken Language User, and American Sign Language User.

"I graduated from the University of Minnesota and I became a licensed funeral director and a life insurance producer for my firm. My favorite things are spending time with family, friends, reading, watching Gilmore Girls, and drinking coffee."

Jessica Stern

 

Shawn Madden

Listening and Spoken Language User
 
"I graduated from Kaleidoscope Charter School in Ostego, MN. In my free time I enjoy swimming, tennis, mini golf, photography, and dancing, I also have three pet frogs. Most people consider me quite the jokester so be prepared to have that come your way!"
Shawn Madden
 
Photo Credit to Katie Raivala Photography
 
 

Jessica Goldberg

Listening and Spoken Language User

"I graduated from Hamline University with a major in Economics and a minor in Business. My hobbies are playing hockey, photography, play sports, bowling, and spend time with family and friends."

Jessica Goldberg

 

Sherri Rademacher

American Sign Language User

"I am an instructor for the Univeristiy of Minnesota's ASL program. My hobbies include playing with grandkids, motorcycle riding, secondhand shopping, gardening & canning, stamping, and volunteer work."

Sherri Rademacher

 

Sara Lundquist

Listening and Spoken Language User

"I work as a program director for KSCR radio in Benson MN. I also have a radio show on each weekday morning called Sunrise with Sara. I am a mom of two kids and family keeps me busy. I enjoy cheering on my kids in taekwondo, softball and baseball. I love to garden, canning, and enjoy photography. One of my most favorite times a year is County Fair. I love to enter many different categories and my dream is to bring home a grand champion ribbon."

 

Heidy Nazario

Listening and Spoken Language User (In English and Spanish)

"I am currently working as a caregiver. I enjoy exercising, reading, and spending time with my family."

 

 

Eric Nooker

American Sign Lanugage User, and Listening and Spoken Language User

"I currently work at is a the Minnesota Department of Agriculture as a Soil Scientist in Minneapolis. I enjoy fishing, biking, and reading."

Photo Credit to Darlene Zangara

Photo Credit to Darlene Zangara

 
 

Kate Mayhew

Listening and Spoken Language User

"I work as a nurse at Mayo Clinic in Rochester. I enjoy biking, drinking coffee, and spending time with my family and friends."

 

 

Marisa Sorenson

American Sign Language User

"I graduated from North Central University with Bachelors of Arts in journalism. I enjoy reading, hanging out with family and friends, and taking long walks around Minneapolis."

Marisa Sorenson

 

Kate Eckroth

Listening and Spoken Language, User and American Sign Language User

"I work in the field of Public Health, specifically in quality assurance for managed care such as with comerical and MN public program HMOs around the state. I graduated with my Masters in Public Health in Epidemiology from the University of Minnesota. I love coffee, long-distance running, cooking new recipies at home with different spices, watching Netflix and Prime TV shows, chocolate chip cookies, and spending time with my husband and young daughter."

 

Jerry Geist

American Sign Language User

A North Dakota native, Jerry Geist is a mentor with the Deaf Mentor Family Program. Jerry is Deaf and uses hearing aids. He graduated with a degree in Biology from Gallaudet University. After completing Peace Corp service in Ecuador , South America, he is currently a Supervisor at the Minnesota Relay Center in Moorhead. During his leisure Jerry enjoys reading, trekking, golfing and reading good books.

 

 

Michele Rolewitz

American Sign Language User

Michele Rolewitz attended North Dakota School for the Deaf and the National Technical Institute for the Deaf/Rochester Institute of Technology. She has worked at North Dakota State University Financial Aid and Scholarships for 33 years. She also teaches ASL classes. She is the Deaf Mentor Family and Deaf Mentor Interpreter.  She enjoys being with her family, cats, gardening, and traveling. Being a Deaf Mentor Family, she enjoys teaching families American Sign language (ASL) and wants to see the whole family have full communication access with their deaf child without any barriers. 

 

Linda Fairbanks

American Sign Language User

"She graduated from MSAD and attended Rochester Community College. She was employed in the Equipment Distribution Program before moving with her  three sons to Faribault where she was employed as a Special Education Program Specialist. After she remarried, she moved to the Mahnomen, MN area in Northwest MN. Linda enjoys being with her family, including her 4 grandchildren and working on the family tree."

 

 

Mandy MacDonald

American Sign Language User

"She graduated from Mesabi Range Community and Technical College with both A.A. and A.S. degrees and from University of Minnesota-Duluth with a B.S. degree, majoring in Biology. She is now an Information Specialist II with the Public Health & Human Services for St. Louis County. She is married with 2 sons. In Mandy’s free time, she enjoys kayaking, disc golfing, reading, and spending time with family and friends. She enjoys being a deaf mentor and seeing the family’s ASL skills and communication grow."

 

 

Jackie Haley

American Sign Language User

Jackie is originally from California and has now lived in Bigfork, Minnesota for 20 years. She is the mother of four children and is an Deaf Mentor for Lifetrack. She graduated from Itasca Community College in Grand Rapids and will return to Bemidji State University to complete her BA degree in teaching, but wants to continue and pursue her MA degree major in Deaf Studies. During her leisure time, she enjoys camping with her family and friends and likes to go four-wheeling and snowmobiling. She also loves to travel all over and meet new people.

 

 

Sharon Rosen

American Sign Lanugage User

"Sharon Rosen is originally from Melrose, MN. Born deaf, she attended the MN State Academy for the Deaf and graduated from University of Minnesota-Waseca with a degree in Horticulture. Over the years, Sharon has seen many families with deaf and hard of hearing children who have nothing or little knowledge of both ASL and the Deaf Community. Because of this, she is passionate to teach both the language and the importance of embracing Deafness."

 

 

Emily Smith-Lundberg

American Sign Language User

"Emily is a founder and director of "Dreams and Inspirations - Deaf and Hard of Hearing Camps & Retreats", setting up many different types of retreats with the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community. Emily is also a Co-Director of Camp Sertoma, a youth camp for Deaf and Hard of Hearing camp at Confidence Learning Center near Brainerd, MN. Emily also serves as a Commission Member on Governor Appointed Commission of Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing Minnesotans."

 

 

Jeff Belevender

American Sign Language User
 
"Jeff Belevender hails from Michigan and currently lives up north of Twin Cities.  He is married and has 2 young boys. Older one is hearing and the youngest one is deaf. He graduated from Gallaudet University with a degree in physical education.  He is currently working part time in Mental Health area and also as a Deaf Mentor. In his free time, he enjoys fishing, spending time with his family, keeping himself busy on his hobby farm."

 

 

Bob Lindquist

American Sign Language User

"He went to Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. to pursue AA degree in Graphic Arts and Computer Programming. He currently resides in Blaine but is serving Missionary in Haiti. He is now Oversee Operation Director at Haiti Deaf Academy until next summer. Bob's hobbies are sports, photography, computer, camping, hiking, and rock climbing."

 

 

Dr. Gloria Nathanson

American Sign Language User, and Spoken Language User

She has her doctorate in audiology and teaches a course periodically at Gallaudet University related to this. She has her certificate in Deaf and Hard of Hearing Infant, Toddler, and Family Collaboration and Leadership. She serves in an advisory capacity for several things, including the Early Hearing Detection and Intervention advisory committee. Her passion is with early intervention, education, and advocacy. 

 

 

Mai Vang

American Sign Language User

Mai Vang is from St. Paul, MN. Mai comes from a full-hearing family and is the only person who is deaf in her whole family. Mai currently works at ARCH Language Network in St. Paul as a Financial Services Specialist and Deaf Mentor. She recently decided to go back to school to complete her degree in Office Technology and is planning to further her education in human services. In her free time, Mai enjoys spending time with her son. She also loves to go to gym, bike, and loves watch sports, especially basketball and football.

 

 

Jakie Correa-Alley

American Sign Language User, and Written Spanish User

Jackie Correa-Alley is very proud to be a Hispanic and Deaf woman. She was born in Puerto Rico and attended Deaf schools in Massachusetts. Jackie went to St. Paul Technical College and had two majors in Data Entry and Business Clerk, and in Massachusettes took up a class in Deaf interpreting. Jackie decided to do something new when becoming a Hispanic Role Model. Her belief is that it is important for Hispanic families to learn how to communicate with their Deaf/Hard of Hearing child. Jackie taught American Sign Language for 15 years through one on one, in an adult and hearing children education community. It included several different positions through advocacy, volunteering, community education, and participation in Deaf Community Organizations in the past.

 

 

 

Jamie Nelson

American Sign Language User

After graduating high school, she moved to Minnesota and attended Inver Hills Community College where she received a Art History degree. Jamie is currently attending Metro State University to get a BA degree for Urban Teaching Program. Also, she is working at Metro Deaf School (MDS) as paraprofessional and volunteers at after school programs and other MDS activities. She always loves to work with kids. She likes to see that she can make a difference for kids, parents and family. When Jamie is not working, she enjoys reading the books, do some kind of crafts, traveling, and hanging out with her family.

 

 

Izzy Mohommed

American Sign Language User

Izzy Mohammed was born in Ethiopia, North East Africa. He graduated with Bachelor of Science Degree in Applied Science and Art at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) and Moved to Minnesota in 2011 from Canada. Izzy has been an Executive Director of Global Deaf Muslim-Minnesota Chapter since 2011. He is a mentor with the Lifetrack Deaf family Mentoring Program specifically for North East African immigrant families as well as working as a Paraprofessional at Metro Deaf School. He teaches Islamic classes for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Muslims on weekends. He speaks several languages such as ASL, English, Oromo, Somali, Arabic and French.  During leisure time, he enjoys playing soccer, field tennis and volunteering various community organizations. 

 

 

Ashley Reuss

American Sign Lanugage User, and Spoken Language User

Ashley has BA in Social Work and Masters in Sign Language teaching. She taught at Metro Deaf School, provided Family ASL classes, worked at Minnesota Employment Center and currently is designing her new career journey providing the general community access to learn ASL. During her free time she enjoys going to yoga classes, working out, biking, reading and be surrounded with friends and family.  

 

 

Leah Bender-Dolezal

Amercian Sign Lanugage User, and Spoken Language User

She taught American Sign Language at Minnetonka High School for eight years and has been at St. Catherine University for the past two. She has a Master's in Classroom Education. She married in February 2016. When she is not working, she enjoys long bike rides, painting, and reading.

 

 

Damian Forkner

American Sign Language User

Damian Forkner is orginally from Tacoma, Washington. He attended Arizona School for the Deaf and Blind starting at the age 3. When he was 12 years old, his family moved to the Tacoma, Washington area where he attended mainstream programs. Damian has a bachelor degree in social work from the Minnesota State University, Mankato. He is currently adjunct instructor at Minnesota State University, Mankato. He enjoys camping, hiking, biking, coaching, playing sports, and spending time with family.

 

 

Melissa Forkner

American Sign Language User

Her mom and family moved to Faribault, Minnesota when she was five years old where she attended Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre at Minnesota State University-Mankato. She is currently teaching American Sign Language classes as Adjunct Teacher at Minnesota State-Mankato.

 

 

Lisa Wasilowski

American Sign Language User

Lisa works as a K-12 school counselor in her 10th year at Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf in Faribault, Minnesota. Her areas of focus are preventive education, student advocacy, and college planning. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology (‘03) and Master’s degree in school counseling (‘05) from Gallaudet University.

 

 

Shanada Shwartz

American Sign Language User

With Bachelors and Masters degree in Social Work from Gallaudet University, she is able to pursue her passion in working with families and kids. Besides working as Stay-at-Home-Mom, she works as a Substitute Teacher at MSAD and as an ASL Teacher for MSAD hearing parents. During her free time, she enjoys running, camping, and spending time with family. She believes that ASL is for everyone, especially Deaf children.