Using Your Hands to Talk as a Career
When Angela Myers was in college she accidentally discovered a new passion during an American Sign Language (ASL) elective class. She was immediately encouraged to turn her love for talking into a professional career.
Years later, the Assistant Professor and Chair of Sign Language Interpreting still lets her hands do most of the talking, as both an educator and community interpreter.
When not in the classroom, you will probably find Myers traveling, taking pictures, kayaking or even swimming at the local YMCA. You may even find her interpreting at a community event or next to the cast of The Producers on Broadway, doing what she loves.
Myers recently took some time to tell me a little about her professional and personal life.
CB: Where did you go to school? What did you study?
AM: [I have] a B.S. in Secondary Education with a Middle School endorsement from Indiana University of Fort Wayne, Indiana. [I also have] a B.S. in Sign Language Interpreting with a Communications minor from the University of New Mexico and a M.S. in Deaf Education from Western Maryland College.
CB: What first attracted you to the interpreting field?
AM: I had taken two ASL classes as electives near the end of completing my first degree and my professor was very encouraging about my skills… [After] I graduated, I applied to the UNM program. Out of 40 plus applicants, they selected 17 and I was one, so I went.
CB: What do you like about teaching interpreting at Bethel?
AM: I consider my current job to be both teaching interpreting AND working in the community as an interpreter. It is the best of both worlds! I get to meld both passions and talents into my everyday life… I also enjoy the process of supporting students in their learning of a brand new skill. What keeps me interested in my field is that it truly requires an act of servant-hood and it is cognitively challenging.
CB: What are your future career plans?
AM: I would love to write a small book on the philosophy of interpreting, but I’m still thinking about it. I really, really, want to interpret for a President… but, I think my most immediate career plan is [to] take a sabbatical and work on devising my future plans.
CB: What do you do in your spare time?
AM: I’ve been taking a distance learning course through the New York Institute of Photography. [I also love] enjoying nature and traveling. There is so much to see that I want to get to as many places as possible.
CB: Do you have any interesting facts about yourself?
AM: I have run a ½ marathon and a mini-triathlon. I strain my orange juice because I hate the feeling of pulp in my mouth (yes, even the pulp free!). And I do NOT have a cell phone.
CB: Do you have any personal goals?
AM: Visit my list of gardens/botanicals in the U.S. that I want to photograph, continue to travel, be a work in progress, inspire the interpreters of the future… and be prepared to change my plans at any given moment.