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Dr. Merrilee Gietz

Instructional Assistant Professor

Dr. Merrilee “Mizzy” Gietz was raised and educated in Alberta, Canada.

Dr. Merrilee Gietz has been teaching students in American Sign Language (ASL) interpreting programs in higher post-secondary education for more than 16 years in higher education. Dr. Gietz presents ASL workshops at national and state levels on ASL and interpreting issues. Dr. Gietz has made conference and workshop presentations on topics such as ASL haikus, ASL depictions, and various topics related to ASL teaching and interpreting.

Dr. Gietz earned her Ed.D degree in Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 2013 at Lamar University in Beaumont, TX. She also has an M.S. degree in Deaf Education, with specialization in ASL (2003) from McDaniel College in Westminster, MD and a B.A. in History (1996) from Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C.

Through ongoing teaching and research Dr. Gietz makes effort to stay current with the latest developments in interpreting, literature, and linguistics in ASL.

Education

  • Ed.D.
    • Lamar University, Beaumont, TX Deaf Studies and Deaf Education August 2013
    • Dissertation: ASL Handshape Stories, Word Recognition and Signing Deaf Readers: An Exploratory Study
  • M.S. McDaniel College (formerly Western Maryland College), Westminster, MD Deaf Education, with a concentration in American Sign Language August 2003
  • B.A. Gallaudet University, Washington, DC History May 1996

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Teaching

Instructional Assistant Professor                                                               2015-Present
American Sign Language Interpreting Program,
Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders
University of Houston, Houston, TX

  • Teach one interpreting course, ASLI 4346 - ASL Transliteration and Educational Interpreting and two ASL courses for ASLI 2302 - Intermediate American Sign Language II (ASL 4) this fall semester, 2015.
  • Assist in program analysis by correlating curriculum components and skills taught with professional competencies required.  Enhance interpreting course offerings by incorporating recent research trends and evidence-based activities into upper-level undergraduate courses.  Investigate research proposals to obtain program funding that will increase recruitment and student retention.

American Sign Language Assistant Professor                                         2013−2015
Department of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education
Lamar University, Beaumont, TX

  • Taught undergraduate classes and lead scholastic and administrative activities, with extensive use of Blackboard and American Sign Language (ASL) curriculum combined with other materials (for detailed information: Teaching assignments). Led development of online courses. Utilized digital tools on GoReact.com to elicit constructive feedback on students’ expressive ASL skills and to provide informal and formal assessments of receptive and expressive ASL skills; assessed individual performance to measure progress over four years of study.
  • Administered program of studies for junior students majoring in ASL; enrollment in the Bachelor of Arts in ASL program expanded dramatically to more than 100 students.
  • Led and worked collaboratively with other faculty members, including other professors at post-graduate and doctoral levels, in research projects and in implementation of curriculum mapping for Bachelor of Arts in ASL, Masters of Deaf Education, and Doctorate of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education.

American Sign Language Adjunct Professor                                            2011−2015
Interpreter Training Technology Department
Lone Star College System-Cy-Fair, Cypress, TX

  • Currently taught SLNG 1347 Deaf Culture utilizing DL2 (online course).
  • Utilize computer technologies for quizzes, assignment submissions, discussion forums, written reports and presentations.
  • Used Angel Online for teaching online course, Deaf Culture, from 2011 to spring 2013.

Communication Skills Workshop Facilitator                                              2010−2015
Texas Education Agency, Department of Assistive Rehabilitative Services, and Board for Evaluation of Interpreters Texas School for the Deaf, Austin, TX

  • Presented “ASL Haiku” to ASL teachers, deaf education teachers, parents, and non-certified and certified interpreters, levels I/II/III, basic on July 12-15, 2015; July 19-22, 2015; and July 26−July 29, 2015.
  • Presented “Depicting Verbs” to ASL teachers, deaf education teachers, parents, and non-certified and certified interpreters, levels I/II/III, basic on July 13-17, 2014; August 3-7, 2014; July 14−18, 2013; and July 28−August 1, 2013. 
  • Presented “ASL Depiction: Storytelling Techniques,” “ASL Linguistics Jeopardy”; “Techniques for ASL and English Language Usage in the ASL Classroom”; and “Computer Techniques for Using Edmodo in the ASL Classroom” to beginning, intermediate, and advanced ASL teachers and interpreters from 8am to 5pm in three summer sessions: July 15−19, 2012; July 22−25, 2012; July 10−13, 2011; July 17−20, 2011; and July 11−14, 2010.
  • Provided hands-on activities for participants working with other facilitators during the evenings.

American Sign Language Instructor                                        August 2007−May 2013
Department of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education
Lamar University, Beaumont, TX

  • Advised and counseled more than 75 undergraduates in ASL program majors and taught numerous courses (for detailed information: Teaching assignments).
  • Utilized the digital tools on GoReact.com to obtain constructive feedback on students’ expressive ASL skills and saved assessments of individual performance at the beginning and to track progress to the end of four years.
  • Observed and supervised American Sign Language (ASL) practicum and intern student placements outside of the Lamar University area in the greater Houston high school districts, 2011−2013.
  • Developed a report for Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) with an assistant professor; assessed more than 75 students in 2007−2008, 2008−2009, 2009−2010, 2010−2011, 2011−2012, and 2012−2013. Reported and provided SACS with target benchmarks for the ASL program.
  • Supervised ASL lab providing educational DVDs, books, other materials; staff included five ASL tutors, 2007−2009.

American Sign Language Adjunct Professor                                            Summer 2012
American Sign Language Program
Gallaudet University, Washington, DC

  • Taught first intensive session for two weeks: ASL 4 and Beginning Fingerspelling courses, June 18−29; second intensive session for two weeks: ASL 4 and Classifiers I, July 2−13. Frequently utilized embedded multimedia collaboration to provide feedback to students on their ASL performances via Voicethread. American Sign Language Adjunct Professor                                            Summer 2010 Interpreter Training Technology Department Lone Star College System-North Harris, Woodlands, TX
  • Taught SGNL 1402 ASL II in summer 2010 and utilized Blackboard for PowerPoint presentations and student-centric hand-on learning processes.

American Sign Language Adjunct Professor                           Summer 2007 and 2009
American Sign Language and Interpreter Training Program
Austin Community College, Austin, TX

  • Taught SGNL 1401 in spring 2007 and taught SLNG 1317 Introduction to Deaf Community in summer 2007.
  • Taught SGNL 1401-ASL I and SGNL 1402- ASL II in summer 2009 and utilized Blackboard for PowerPoint presentations and ASL lab for students.

Distance Learning Teacher                                                                                        2006−2007
Texas School for the Deaf, Austin, TX

  • Utilized distance learning/videoconferencing technology to teach ASL to nearly 100 hearing students from different high schools.
  • Conducted student learning style assessments and analyzed results to plan instructional activities.
  • Collaborated with students, parents, and other staff members to develop individualized education plans.
American Sign Language Adjunct Professor                                                         2006
World Languages
Mesa Community College, Mesa, AZ 
  • Taught ASL I and IV courses utilizing the Signing Naturally curriculum and evaluated students’ ASL expressive and receptive skills.

American Sign Language Teacher                                                                           2005−2006
Sequoia School and Sequoia School for the Deaf, Mesa, AZ

  • Taught ASL I-IV to more than 50 hearing high school students utilizing the Signing Naturally curriculum and developed ASL sequence map of curriculum.
  • Taught Deaf Studies to 20-plus Deaf high school students and supported two teachers who taught ASL to hearing parents of deaf and hard-of-hearing children.

American Sign Language Community Instructor                                                  2004−2005
Education: Community and Learning Center – ASL classes
The Hearing, Speech and Deafness Center, Seattle, WA

  • Demonstrated and encouraged ASL use among approximately 15 families and among professionals working with deaf and hard-of-hearing children.
  • Utilized the A Basic Course in ASL curriculum.

American Sign Language Proficiency Interview (ASLPI) Rater                         2000−2005
Department of Special Education
Western Oregon University, Monmouth, OR

  • Interviewed and rated candidates for the ASL Proficiency Interview (ASLPI) twice a year.
  • Evaluated candidates from education and human services fields and other professions in the Northwest region.

American Sign Language Adjunct Professor                                            2000−2005
World Languages Program
Shoreline Community College, Shoreline, WA

  • Taught ASL 101-103 on quarterly schedule and utilized the Signing Naturally curriculum.
  • Supervised and provided leadership to ASL Club and assisted with developing ASL Academic Bowl events for high school students.

American Sign Language Adjunct Professor                                            1999−2005
Deaf Studies and Interpreter Training Program
Seattle Central Community College, Seattle, WA

  • Taught ASL 101–103 and 201–203 quarterly, utilizing the Signing Naturally curriculum along with other pedagogical interpreting techniques.
  • Utilized computer technology in class for streaming videos of signing action; utilized the ASL lab and faculty website for students.

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Research Interests

ASL literature, ASL poetry, Deaf culture, ASL structure, ASL linguistics, pedagogical interpreting and ASL techniques, and ASL L1 and L2 approaches.

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Teaching Assignments

University of Houston, Houston, TX:

ASLI 2302 Intermediate American Sign Language II
ASLI 4346 Transliterating and Educational Settings

Lamar University, Beaumont, TX:

DSDE 1371 American Sign Language I
DSDE 1372 American Sign Language II
DSDE 1374 Introduction to Deaf Studies
DSDE 2371 American Sign Language III
DSDE 2372 American Sign Language IV
DSDE 2373 Visual/Gesture Communication
DSDE 2377 Introduction to ASL Structure
DSDE 3301 American Sign Language V
DSDE 3302 American Sign Language VI
DSDE 3307 ASL Literature and Visual Media
DSDE 4308 Teaching ASL as Second Language
DSDE 4309 ASL Practicum
DSDE 4310 Sign Language and Sign Codes
DSDE 4311 ASL Linguistics

Lone Star Community District, Cy-Fair, Cypress, TX:

SLNG 1347 Deaf Culture (online)

Gallaudet University, Washington, DC:

PST 102 Classifiers I
PST 136 Beginning Fingerspelling
PST 304 American Sign Language IV

Lone Star Community District, North Harris, Woodlands, TX:
SGNL 1402 American Sign Language Beginning II

Austin Community College, Austin, TX:

SGNL 1401 American Sign Language I
SGNL 1402 American Sign Language II
SLNG 1317 Introduction to the Deaf Community

Mesa Community College, Mesa, AZ:

SLG 101 American Sign Language I
SLG 202 American Sign Language IV

Seattle Central Community College, Seattle, WA:

ASL 121 American Sign Language I
ASL 122 American Sign Language II
ASL 123 American Sign Language III
ASL 221 American Sign Language IV
ASL 222 American Sign Language V
ASL 223 American Sign Language VI

Shoreline Community College, Shoreline, WA:

ASL 121 American Sign Language I
ASL 122 American Sign Language II
ASL 123 American Sign Language III

The Hearing, Speech and Deafness Center, Seattle, WA:

American Sign Language 1 (non-credit)
American Sign Language II (non-credit)

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Selected Publications

PUBLICATIONS

  • Gietz, M. (in press). Introducing Haiku poems: Utilizing American Sign Language for pedagogical purposes. Proceedings of the Deaf Studies Today: Beyond Talk (April 12−14, 2012). Orem, UT: Utah Valley University Press.

POSTER SESSIONS

  • Gietz, M. (2014, February). ASL handshape stories, word recognition and signing deaf readers: An exploratory study, submitted for the 2014 Association of College Educators – Deaf and Hard of Hearing Annual Conference in Washington, DC
  • Gietz, M. (2011, February). Increasing American Sign Language (ASL) vocabulary using phonological handshapes for adult ASL L2 learners, submitted for the 2011Association of College Educators of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Conference in Fort Worth, TX.

PRESENTATIONS

  • Gietz, M. (2015, July, August). ASL Haiku. Paper presented at the Communication Skills Workshop, Texas School for the Deaf, Austin, TX.
  • Gietz, M. & Galloway-Gallego, A. (2015, June). The ramifications of American Sign Language semantics. Submitted to Texas Society of the Interpreters for the Deaf, San Padre Island, Texas in June 2015.
  • Gietz, M. (2014, July, August). Depicting verbs. Paper presented at the Communication Skills Workshop, Texas School for the Deaf, Austin, TX.
  • Gietz, M. (2014, April). Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) - Languages other than English (LOTE) American Sign Language in Fall 2014 - What’s new? Paper presented at the DFW−American Sign Language Teachers Association Mini Conference, University of Texas, Arlington, TX.
  • Gietz, M. (2014, April). Haiku poems: Utilizing ASL handshapes for pedagogical purposes. Paper presented at the DFW−American Sign Language Teachers Association Mini Conference, University of Texas, Arlington, TX.
  • Gietz, M. (2013, July). Introducing Haiku poems: Utilizing American Sign Language handshapes for pedagogical purposes. Presentation proposal accepted (peer reviewed) for the American Sign Language Association’s 7th Biennial National Professional Development Conference, Charlotte, NC.
  • Gietz, M. (2013, July, August). Depicting verbs. Paper presented at the Communication Skills Workshop, Texas School for the Deaf, Austin, TX.
  • Gietz, M. (2012, July). American Sign Language depiction: Storytelling techniques. Paper presented at the Communication Skills Workshop, Texas School for the Deaf, Austin, TX.
  • Gietz, M. (2012, April). Introducing Haiku poems in utilizing some American Sign Language handshapes for pedagogical purposes. Presentation proposal accepted for the Deaf Studies Today! Conference, Orem, UT.
  • Gietz, M. (2011, July). American Sign Language linguistics jeopardy. Paper presented at the Communication Skills Workshop, Texas School for the Deaf, Austin, TX.
  • Gietz, M. (2011, July). Computer techniques for using Edmodo in the ASL classroom. Paper presented at the Communication Skills Workshop, Texas School for the Deaf, Austin, TX.
  • Gietz, M. (2010, July). Techniques for ASL and English language usage in the ASL classroom. Paper presented at the Communication Skills Workshop, Texas School for the Deaf, Austin, TX.
  • Gietz, M., & Moore, M. (2010, April). Techniques for allocating ASL and English language usage for students in the ASL classroom. Paper presented at the Deaf Studies Today! Conference, Orem, UT.
  • Gietz, M. (2009, October). Friendly approach to Deaf clients and their rights. Paper presented to the Speech and Hearing Department, Lamar University, Beaumont, Texas.
  • Rusher, M., Jackson, K., & Gietz, M. (2009, March). Where’s the Deaf in deaf education? Paper accepted at the Association of Council Educators of Deaf and Hard of Hearing conference, New Orleans, LA.

COURSE DEVELOPMENT

  • Online Course. $4,500. ASL Linguistics. Center for Distance Education, Lamar University. Course development proposal accepted in October 2014. Design and development now under way.
  • Online Course. $4,500. Introduction to Deaf Studies. Center for Distance Education, Lamar University. Course development proposal accepted in May 2014 and completed in September 2014.
  • Seattle Central Community College, Interpreting Training Program Articulation. Assisted with development of ASL curriculum and articulation with high schools in King County, Washington State in 2001.

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Professional Activities

UNIVERSITY SERVICE ACTIVITIES

Member: Search Committee for the Chair of College of the Fine Arts and Communications, Fall 2014.

Member: Committee of Academic Lecture Series in the College of Fine Arts and Communications, Lamar University, Beaumont, TX, Fall 2013−2015.

Librarian representative: Serve as representative for Department of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, Lamar University, Beaumont, TX, Spring 2011−2015.

Member: Committee of Fine Arts and Communications Curriculum, Lamar University, Beaumont, TX, 2008−2011.

Advisor: Deaf Cardinal student organization, 2011 - 2013.

Member: Search Committee for Assistant Professor for the Deaf Studies and Deaf Education Department, Lamar University, Beaumont, TX, Fall 2010.

Member: Search Committee for Assistant Professor for the BA-ASL program, Lamar University, Beaumont, TX, Spring 2008.

REGIONAL SERVICE ACTIVITIES

Chairperson, Texas Society of Interpreters for the Deaf (TSID) Student Conference, Fall 2013−March 2014.

Language Other Than English (LOTE) Review Committee for the State Board of Education in Texas, American Sign Language, High School, I−VII, 2013.

Online Moderator, American Sign Language Greater Houston Faculty: standard curriculum for ASL I and II, 2011−2012.

Board Advisor, Houston Community College, American Sign Language Program and Interpreting Training Program, 2007–2010.

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Awards

  • Recognition in Service. Served in recognition of five years of service at Lamar University, 2013.

  • Service to Education Award. Presented in recognition of five years of service. Seattle Central Community College District, Seattle, WA, 2004.  

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Professional Memberships

  • American Sign Language Teacher Association (ASLTA)
  • Texas Society of Interpreters for the Deaf (TSID)

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Certifications

  • American Sign Language Proficiency Interview Training Certification
  • Certified Online Professor (DL2), Lone Star College District
  • Deaf-Blind Service Center Support Service Provider Training Certification

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