You are on page 1of 2

LeWana Clark

8 Page Place, Woburn, Massachusetts 01801 303-902-0242

August 30, 2016

To Tenure and Promotion Committee:
I am honored to write this letter in support of Dr. Keith Cagles application for tenure in
the Department of Interpretation, Gallaudet University. I am a double-track (pedagogy
and research) doctoral student in the Department of Interpretation currently working on
my dissertation proposal. During my coursework, I had the opportunity to work with and
be taught by Dr. Cagle. He was my supervising professor during my teaching practicum
courses INT 831/Fall 2013 and INT 841/Spring 2014.
During the coursework phase of my program, Fall 2012 to Spring 2014, sometimes I was
an on-campus student and other times an off-campus student. Some of my classmates
were also on-campus while others were off-campus. Off-campus students connected to
the classroom via remote technology Fuze Meeting. Dr. Cagle was always very flexible
in setting up the classroom to allow for both on-campus students and off-campus students
the opportunity to fully participate in the class discussion and activities.
Dr. Cagle always came to class prepared. As a student, I knew what was expected of me
for the semester and topics we would discuss at each class because he provided a clear
syllabus and grading rubrics at the beginning of each semester. Dr. Cagle led us in a
number of fascinating and relevant topics throughout these semesters. For example, we
talked about the impact that PowerPoint has on student learning. The comparison of
passive learning and active learning was a lengthy and fruitful exploration.
One of the best things I (re)learned from Dr. Cagle was the importance of lesson
planning. He insisted on clear and pedagogically sound lesson plans for each class I
taught. Although I had been teaching for a number of years, I had gotten into the habit of
relying on PowerPoint as my lesson plan instead of taking the time to document the
components of a detailed lesson plan for each class. This activity helped me clarify my
intentions, resources, and activities both inside and outside the classroom.
During each semester, Dr. Cagle attended several of my classes and observed me in
action. Afterwards, he and I would sit and talk about his observations and my written
self-assessment analysis. The self-assessment was quite challenging because it forced me
to see my teaching behaviors from a students perspective. During my student teaching
practicums I had the new opportunity to teach Deaf students how to become interpreters.
Two examples of something I learned about myself comes from my self-assessment
report to Dr. Cagle on March 11, 2014:
When talking about interpreters teaming, my default is CHI/CHI
(Certified Hearing Interpreter). I need to be clear about the type of
interpreter Im talking about CHI or CDI (Certified Deaf Interpreter). In

fact, I realized during this analysis that my default concept of interpreters

needs to change because now I have Deaf students in my class (first time
in 15 years of teaching interpreter education)! Mary Mooney (2006) talks
about how curriculum transformation and change can lead to social
action, equality, and transformative dimensions (p. 143). My paradigm
needs to change to think of interpreters as both CDI/CHI as possibilities
for any assignment (Clark, 2014, p.9).
I didnt work with students on proper ways to introduce themselves to the
Deaf actor sociocultural aspects of the job. This is the sociocultural
aspect of interpreting that I want to make sure gets taught so students
know how to properly introduce and interact with the Deaf person when
they are on the job (Clark, 2014, p.10).
The conversation with Dr. Cagle about these two realizations was refreshing. He talked to
me from not only as an interpreter educator but also from his personal experience
working with interpreters reminding me that interpreting is more than just a conveyance
of utterances but also includes the proper social behaviors by the interpreters during the
interpreted event.
Another interesting conversation we had in class over several weeks was the delicate
balance of deciphering if students were actually learning the material presented in our
classes or where they just following the rules to get the grade. Dr. Cagle encouraged us to
explore the relationship between the academic skills of a student (being able to prepare
for class, do the homework assignments, participates in class, etc.) and the second
language skills of a student (American Sign Language skills for non-deaf students and
written English skills for Deaf students). Should students be allowed to pass a course if
they complete the academic skills but may not have acquired the requisite level of first
and second language fluency? How much should interpreting classes focus on the
teaching of interpreting skills when the student has yet to master both languages she/he is
working with? These quandaries are everlasting and one that we certainly didnt resolve
in our time with Dr. Cagle. I loved that he was willing to ponder such ominous questions
in our field.
As you can see from my recommendation, I believe Dr. Cagle has made and continues to
make a remarkable difference in the lives of students certainly true in my case. Again, I
recommend Dr. Cagle for tenure.

LeWana Clark