Potomac Chapter

of the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf



Carla Bell

Carla Bell is a greater Seattle area freelance writer with many local bylines, and nationally at Ebony and Essence magazines; and The North Star, first first established by Frederick Douglass in 1847 and re-established by Shaun King in 2019. Her work is social criticism with particular focus on rights, justice, culture, and arts.

Carla’s writings have contributed to the Race, Crime, and Justice Encyclopedia project of John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, and has been displayed at the Seattle's Northwest African American Museum. Her work has been adapted and produced for the stage and performed by No Peeking Theater of New Jersey, and, on invitation, she read at LitCrawl Seattle 2018, and international annual literary festival.

Carla's notable interviews include Jane Elliott, educator and diversity trainer internationally known for the Blue Eyes Brown Eyes Exercise; Robin DiAngelo, diversity trainer and New York Times best selling author of White Fragility; and Bob Bland, Co-Founder, Women’s March; Bryan Stevenson, renowned civil rights attorney responsible for more than 140 exonerations, and founder of the National Memorial for Peace and Justice, or the "Lynching Memorial" in Alabama; and Benjamin Crump, civil rights attorney and counsel for families of Botham Jean, Stephon Clark, Michael Brown, and Trayvon Martin.

Su Isakson

Su Kyong Isakson, MA, NIC, Ed:K-12, is an Assistant Professor in the Interpreter Preparation Program at the Community College of Baltimore County in Catonsville, MD. Her area of interest includes curriculum design and teaching strategies of heritage signers in ASL and interpreter training programs, and the sociocultural impacts of professional identity development among Coda interpreters. Her contributions include Heritage signers: language profile questionnaire (2016), and The Case for Heritage ASL Instruction for Hearing Heritage Signers (2018). When she is not professing, Ms. Isakson is enjoying her role as a new mother to daughter Halcyon Areum.

John Lewis

John G. Lewis has worked as a professional interpreter for over 30 years, providing interpreting services in American Sign Language, Spoken English and Spoken French. His career history includes an 18 year tenure at Gallaudet University, where he held multiple positions including, adjunct professor, Sign Language interpreter and Manager of the Gallaudet/Sorenson VRS Interpreting Center. Most recently, he held the position of Program Manager for Interpreting Services at the US Department of Labor, from which he recently retired. John is a founding member of the National Alliance of Black Interpreters Inc. and he is co-author of the publication Black Perspectives in The Deaf Community. John has earned a M.A. degree in Linguistics from Gallaudet University, a B.A. degree in French from San Diego State University and an A.A. degree in Sign Language interpreting from San Diego Mesa College. He holds CI and CT Certification from RID Inc.

Dave Coyne

Dr. Dave J. Coyne is the Language Access Director for interpreter services at HASA, a nonprofit based in Baltimore, Maryland that aims to connect people to their worlds. Dave has extensive academia and community experience in partnering with under-represented and disenfranchised communities through issue-based coalitions, government and community partnerships, and social justice organizations at the local and national level. He has designed and taught courses on social justice, leadership, and allyship topics that promote critical thinking, community-building, and principles of social justice; linking interpreters’ ability to reestablish and promote connections with community members and Deaf individuals’ autonomy. He holds an Ed. D. in Urban Education Leadership from the University of Cincinnati and remains committed to liberatory pedagogy.

Kevin Dyels

Kevin Dyels is an owner of a performing arts interpreting company called First Chair Interpreted Productions and has held Board positions of several organizations. He is a professional sign language interpreter and commits to mentoring veteran and new interpreters.

Originally from northern California, Kevin presents interpreting workshops in theater, affect, team building, and self-confidence nationally and internationally. He has traveled to India, Romania, Hong Kong, and South Africa with Quest Visual Theatre, a performance group that presents workshops and performances to deaf and hearing audiences around the world.  Kevin has a degree in theater and served as Production Manager for Deaf Way II; overseeing over 50 visual theater performances featuring the world’s best talented deaf performing arts groups.

When not interpreting, Kevin coordinates interpreters for various conferences and festivals, and works as a professional sound designer and disc jockey. In his spare time he enjoys international travel.

Jenese Portee

Jenese brings a passion for service and equity between the D/deaf, D/deaf Blind, and Hard of Hearing communities and the general public. Born and raised in North Carolina, Jenese learned American Sign Language at 16 years old from the Deaf community. Jenese has earned both a Bachelor of Science and Masters of Science in ASL/English interpreting as well as National Interpreter Certification from the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf. As an advocate for inclusion, Jenese has served the community as a state, and federal government employee; teaching workshops both domestically and abroad. Jenese has continued her service when she was elected president of the National Alliance of Black Interpreters- DC (area) chapter. She was also elected Chair to the Interpreters and Transliterates of Color membership section under the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf. Jenese brings the dynamic of living in the south as well as being exposed to the practices of interpreting internationally, allows Jenese to bring a different lens to the profession.

Michon Shaw

Mrs. Michon Shaw, an alumna of the University of South Florida's Interpreter Training Program, is a proud Florida native. Nationally Certified as a Sign Language Interpreter in 2010, Michon has interpreted in a variety of settings including Educational, Mental Health, Religious, and Video Relay, to name a few. She served the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) as the 2015-2017 Vice Chair for the Interpreters and Translators of Color (ITOC) Member Section. Michon continued her professional development and  earned a Master of Science in ASL/English Interpreting, with a concentration in Interpreter Pedagogy, from the University of North Florida (UNF) in 2015.  

Mrs. Shaw is employed by the University of South Florida (USF). For three years, 2015-2018, she was the coordinator of the university's interpreting agency, Hands On USF. During this time, in addition to serving as the Staff Interpreter, she also found great fulfillment in the opportunity to serve in the role of Mentor/Instructor to student interns enrolled in USF's Interpreter Training Program (ITP). In 2018, she accepted a position as a full time instructor in the ‚ÄčInterpreter Training Program. Michon prides herself on being an instructor passionate about the success of her students. A special commitment of Michon is to be an active contributor to the rise of the number of Interpreters of Color in the profession. To this end, Michon partnered with a colleague to be the faculty advisor of Diverse Interpreters of Color Alliance, a recently formed student-ledorganization on the campus of USF.

 Michon and her husband, A. D. are the co-owners of Shaws Unlimited Group, LLC. A company established to provide awareness, information, and consulting in the areas of ASL, Interpreter Education, Ministry, and more. Michon and A. D. enjoy the thrills of parenting their three, energetic, smart, entertaining and independent girls!

Renuka Purimetla

Renuka Purimetla, a Chicago native, with a degree in Family and Child Studies from Northern Illinois University landing in the Baltimore-area to earn her Certificate of Completion from the Interpreting Department at the Community College of Baltimore County. She is Hatha Yoga trained by profound leaders, provides a force of healing as a Thai Yoga Bodywork Practitioner and American Sign Language Interpreter.

The Divine Goddess is a life-long learner that allows her to have an understanding of people, language and cultural perspective. She has mastered the art of combining her love of community, yoga and interpreting. Renuka embodies and radiates love using her friendliness as a way to plant seeds of hope, healing and create conversations to spreads love and light on and off the mat. Currently, she leads a daily yoga practice to live a peaceful life with the home she has builtminside herself and teaches others to do the same.

Brandon Copeland

Brandon Copeland began practicing yoga as a way to relieve mental stress and focus on being more mindful. The journey he has been on, exploring the body’s capabilities and opportunities, has brought joy, love, and insight to his personal life and to the lives of others. He is a graduate of Yoga District’s 200 hour teacher training and has received hundreds of more hours of instruction on asana, alignment, nutrition, and philosophy from many dynamic yogis including: David Kyle, Marie Belle Perez Riviera, and James Brown. Brandon became interested in yoga at Howard University where he went on to get a bachelors of science in Psychology with a minor focus on Philosophy.

Brandon encourages you to be creative on your mat and create your own practice one pose at a time. He finds ways to challenge the most advanced, as well as the new and unsure, students. His mission is to enlighten people to their own potential and to help cultivate their internal sources of power, creativity and love.

Krystal Butler

Krystal Butler is an ASL/English interpreter from Washington, D.C. Krystal grew up in North Carolina where she earned a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. In 2015, Krystal worked closely with members of the Wilmington Deaf community to learn ASL. With the help of her mentor, Daisy Wooten Rivenbark, Krystal was introduced to the world of interpreting. In 2018, Krystal earned a Masters of Arts in Interpretation from Gallaudet University. Since graduating, Krystal has worked as a freelance community interpreter, mostly in business and government settings. Krystal also spends her time researching racial disparities within interpreter training programs and its impact on students of the profession. Krystal is currently working on publishing her thesis and continuing to conduct further research on the topic. Krystal is the recipient of the 2018 Ron Coffey Award from the Department of Interpreting and Translation at Gallaudet University and the 2015 Community Service Volunteer of the Year Award from the North Carolina Division of Services for the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing of Wilmington. Krystal is a member of the DC chapter of the National Alliance of Black Interpreters (NAOBI-DC), the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) and the Potomac Chapter of RID (PCRID). Krystal currently resides in Washington, DC with her husband, Keith and their cat Marley.

Doug Bowen-Bailey

Doug has been presenting workshops for over 25 years. His work for the past two years as an instructional designer with the Graduation to Certification has focused specifically on working with novice interpreters and supporting their efforts to become certified. 

Doug Bowen-Bailey is an instructional designer at St. Catherine University’s CATIE Center with a history of developing innovative resources for interpreter education. In May 2019, he completed a MA in Interpreting Studies and Communication Equity at St. Kate’s with a project focused on best practices for RID’s continuing education requirements related to power, privilege and oppression. Having just turned fifty, he is glad to have a growth mindset that sees there is much to be learned and so still feels young (Well, with the exception of his left knee). He and his partner, Holly, live in Duluth, Minnesota’s hillside, with a view overlooking Lake Superior and are always grateful for the opportunity to be riding somewhere on a bicycle. 

Jenny Smith-Hastings

Jenny Smith-Hastings is a program specialist for CATIE Center at St. Catherine University. Her responsibilities include scheduling pre- and post- assessments; monitoring participant progress; coordinating continuing education documentation for mentors, coaches, and supervisors; maintaining the website; planning immersion experiences; and supporting the GTC Pilot Deaf Interpreter cohort. Jenny graduated from Gallaudet University with a degree in interpretation. She has taught ASL courses as well as presented on ASL skill development and interpreting process at Minnesota Chapter of RID (MRID)’s Camp ASL and fall conference. She lived in DC for 6 years and moved back to Minnesota with her partner, Ryan, and now lives in Owatonna, south-central Minnesota’s hidden gem. Jenny enjoys spending time with her 3 cats.  

Mai Yang

Richard Rose

Penelope Miller

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