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Dawn M. Wessling 

Dawn Wessling


I have been working as a signed language interpreter for over 23 years.  I learned American Sign Language from the Deaf community while on active duty in the United States Navy and continue to have strong ties to the community that built me.  I worked as an interpreter for Norfolk County Public Schools and then for the Disability Resource Center at UNF from 1997 through 2002 as well as working in the community. 

I was the first person in my family to graduate from high school. I then went on to received my Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Maryland, University College, Europe in 2006 where I graduated summa cum laude. I received my National Interpreting Certification: Master from the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf in 2009. I then worked for Tulsa Community College as an ASL instructor and language mentor. During this time I also worked for Bartlesville, Oklahoma Public Schools.

I then went on to attend the University of North Florida. I was a non-traditional student because of my professional credentials and due to the program utilizing a hybrid delivery method.  UNF helped me achieve my goal of attaining an advanced degree without leaving my family (husband and twin daughter and son) to achieve my goals. The faculty were able to build upon my existing professional knowledge, experience and skills in order to help me fully succeed as a student and realize my own dream of becoming an interpreter educator.  I graduated from UNF in April 2012 with a Master of Education with a concentration in ASL/English Interpreting. 

Soon after graduation, I was hired as an instructor and staff interpreter for the Exceptional, Deaf and Interpreter Education department in the College of Education and Human Services.  I currently teach in the undergraduate ASL/English Interpreting program, and interpret for the faculty of the COEHS.  My areas of interest include the emotional impact that interpreting may have on the interpreter. This was the focus of a research project I completed in 2012.  The study has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Interpretation.