Introducing EUMASLI staff – part 2

Introducing the EUMASLI team 

Teaching in EUMASLI happens in cooperation. Here is a short introduction (in English) of the staff members from Heriot-Watt, Magdeburg-Stendahl and Humak, but also some external members, who you will be meeting during studies. We’ve also published some introductions in IS.

6 people around a round table discussing, one of them standing - all look at one person, who is signing
Rachel, Robyn (standing), Jemina, Graham, Emmy and Okan are discussing assessment in Antwerp in November 2018. Photo: Jens Hessmann.

Robert Adam is Assistant Professor in the Department of Languages & Intercultural Studies (LINCS) at Heriot-Watt University and his research interests include interpreting and translation, and bilingualism and language contact. He is a qualified and registered ASL/BSL interpreter and BSL/English translator and accredited as an International Sign interpreter (under the World Federation of the Deaf and the World Association of Sign Language International Sign Interpreters Accreditation system) who has done interpreting work for 30 years as both a conference and a community interpreter. He has presented workshops on working as a deaf interpreter and sign language linguistics in many countries including Australia, the UK, and the USA. Currently he is Coordinator of the World Federation of the Deaf Expert Group on Sign Language and Deaf Studies.   

Robyn K. Dean has been a certified signed language interpreter in the US for over twenty-five years with particular service in the field of healthcare. Her scholarship in decision-making and ethics in community interpreting is recognized internationally. Robyn has over twenty publications, all of which focus on the theoretical and pedagogical frameworks used to advance the practice of community interpreters. She is currently an Assistant Professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology, where she is the lead instructor on the institute’s graduate degree in healthcare interpreting. Robyn also teaches and consults on postgraduate degrees for signed language interpreters in Europe. Although Robyn is not a member of staff at any of the three partner universities, her input within the reflective practice component during EUMASLI 2.0, while she completed her doctoral studies at Heriot-Watt University, were regarded so highly by students that the EUMASLI consortium asked her to continue her involvement as an external member of the teaching team.

Liisa Halkosaari is a senior lecturer at Humak University of Applied Sciences. She is one of the study directors of EUMASLI. She has been training sign language interpreters for 10 years. After doing a BA in Sign Language Interpreting she continued to do an MA in Finnish Sign Language. She has been active in developing the profession by joining and also chairing the board of Finnish Association of SLI in the early 2000’s. Her latest interests include working for the endangered Finland-Swedish Sign Language, and she has been leading two educational projects regarding FinSSL language revitalisation. Motto: Communication, communication, communication – not necessarily in this order.

Jens Hessmann is Professor in the bachelor study programme in sign language interpreting and Dean of Studies in the Department of Social Work, Health, and Media at Magdeburg-Stendal University of Applied Sciences. He has been involved with sign language and the German Deaf community in various functions since 1986. Jens is a dedicated teacher and feels passionate about languages and people. EUMASLI originated at his kitchen table and is one of the best things that have happened to him.

Okan Kubus is a Professor at the Department of Sign Language Interpreting at the University of Applied Sciences Magdeburg-Stendal since 2019. He teaches sign language linguistics, sign language interpreting and Deaf Studies. Okan received his PhD from the Institute for German Sign Language and Communication of the Deaf at the University of Hamburg in 2016. He is also interested in sign language planning regarding Turkish Sign Language (Türk İşaret Dili –TİD). He is also an interpreter for TİD.

Annelies Kusters is Associate Professor in Sign Language and Intercultural Research at Heriot-Watt University where she works since April 2017. She leads a research project called “Deaf mobilities across international borders: Visualising intersectionality and translanguaging” (MobileDeaf), funded by the European Research Council (2017-2022). Annelies Kusters has a BA in Philosophy and an MA in Social and Cultural Anthropology (KULeuven in Belgium) and a MSc and PhD in Deaf Studies (University of Bristol). Between 2013 and 2017 she worked as a research fellow at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and EthnicDiversity in Göttingen, Germany. Her current work is situated at the intersection of social and cultural anthropology, social and cultural geography and applied linguistics, in particular the study of multilingual language practices, language ideologies, transnationalism and mobilities. Since 2004, Annelies has engaged in ethnographic research in South-America, Asia and Africa. She has published a monograph, three edited volumes, edited three journal issues, and almost 50 journal articles and book chapters. Of particular relevance for the EUMASLI course is Annelies’ research project on professional mobility and International Sign:

Juha Manunen is a Deaf lecturer at Humak University of Applied Sciences in Kuopio campus since 2001. His main responsibility is teaching about Finnish Sign Language and deaf communities and evaluating of sign language interpretation. He received his MA degree in Finnish Sign Language from Jyväskylä University in 2008. In his master thesis, Juha analyzed structures of plural negation in Finnish Sign Language. Juha has been with the EUMASLI programme ever since its establishment and appreciates its international spirit and contributions to the sign language interpretation field.

Jemina Napier is Professor and Chair of Intercultural Communication in the Department of Languages and Intercultural Studies at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh and is currently the Director of the Centre for Translation & Interpreting Studies in Scotland and Director of Research in the School of Social Sciences. Jemina is a heritage signer from a multigenerational deaf family and has practiced as an interpreter since 1988. She is accredited to work between English and BSL, Auslan or International Sign, and now mostly specialises in conference and media interpreting. Jemina established the postgraduate programme in Auslan/English Interpreting at Macquarie University, and then became part of the EUMASLI team when she joined Heriot-Watt in 2013. She is passionate about the iterative career: interpreting practice influencing research, influencing teaching, influencing practice; repeat!

Gary Quinn started his academic career as a research volunteer at Bristol University, before moving to the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) in 2000. His work there included research into Deaf people who have minimal language skills, as well as lecturing on the Deaf Studies degree course. Since 2006 he has worked as a lecturer and researcher at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, teaching on a number of University programmes. He is also studying part-time for a PhD and his research interests include pragmatics, metaphor, signed vocabulary for science terminology, variation in BSL and the different linguistic strategies used within a signed interaction. Gary has worked as a consultant to a number of British and international organisations and has published a range of articles on the subject of sign linguistics.

Rachel Rosenstock is a sign linguist who studied at the University of Hamburg and Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. For her 2004 PhD work, Rachel investigated the structure and comprehension of International Sign. Rachel led the sign language interpreting programme in Zwickau, Germany, for a number of years and now reinforces the Magdeburg team while being based in the United States. Her passion for linguistics, sign language and human beings has inspired many EUMASLI students to date.

Elina Tapio is a Principal Lecturer in the section of interpreting and linguistic accessibility at Humak University of Applied Sciences, Finland. Previously in 2010-2015, she was working at the Sign Language Centre, in the University of Jyväskylä as a teacher and postdoctoral researcher. At work, she enjoys the moments when she gets to explore multimodality, multilingualism, the role of space/place in interaction and language learning with the following question in mind: How to enable participation for people from diverse linguistic backgrounds?

Graham Turner has been Chair of Translation & Interpreting Studies at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh since 2005, initiating and steering its development as a leading international centre of excellence. Graham first worked in the signing community in 1985, as a classroom assistant in a school for deaf children. He has been a full-time academic – researching, lecturing and working with Deaf organisations and public authorities – since 1988. Co-founding the EUMASLI programme is definitely one of the highlights of these 35 years. (You’ll find out why EUMASLI is so special if you come and join us!)

Svenja Wurm has been coordinating EUMASLI since its inception, and is the EUMASLI Study Director at Heriot-Watt University, where she works as a Lecturer in Translation and Interpreting Studies/BSL. After completing her undergraduate studies in BSL/English interpreting in 2002, she found her passion in the theoretical aspects of Sign Language Interpreting and Translation Studies with a particular focus on translation between signed and written languages, multimodality and social aspects of communication, interpreting and translation, which has informed her research and teaching. Svenja enjoys learning from students and practitioners and developing ideas collaboratively – and EUMASLI is the perfect forum for this! Being German, living in Scotland with her Scottish/Norwegian/German family, she feels that she embodies the European character of EUMASLI.

about 30 people posing for camera in front of a grey/white building
Staff and students of EUMASLI 3 in Antwerp in November 2018 after hours of discussing pilot studies and practicing interpreting.