Board Members

 

Eliza Fowler, President

2022-2024, two year term

Eliza Fowler was born and raised in Northern Vermont until she came to RIT and matriculated into the ASLIE program. She  graduated in 2016 and has spent the last couple years working in the Department of Access Services at RIT as a staff interpreter.

Eliza has previously served one term as Treasurer and has been actively involved in several other GVR projects and committees.

Email: President@GVRRID.org


Mabel Najarro-Tibbs, Incoming Vice President
July 1, 2024 - June 30, 2025
Mabel was elected by special election in May 2024 to fill the vacancy of the 2023-2025 two year term

Mabel Najarro-Tibbs is a Hispanic person who grew up in the Greater Rochester area, currently residing in Brighton with her spouse. She studied ASL at MCC and ASL-English interpreting at RIT/NTID. She is a nationally certified interpreter and has been providing interpreting services since 2016. Additionally she has earned a degree in Criminal Justice from RIT. Mabel has also earned a certificate from the Cultivating Legal Interpreters from Minority Backgrounds (CLIMB) program at the University of Northern Colorado. She has experience providing interpreting services in a wide variety of settings, including but not limited to: medical, legal, DeafBlind using Protactile, VRS, platform, and more.

Statement of interest: Through my work, I have noticed a need for stronger community input by interpreters, and for interpreters. I strive for equity and transparency in all that I do, and I hope to bring that into the fold of the work GVRRID does. I hope to facilitate more comradery, ethics, and knowledge to our profession, so that all communication flows freely and expertly. Only by bringing together diverse perspectives can we all succeed and evolve. My intent is to serve the GVRRID board and membership by supporting the President of GVRRID, as well as support current and future initiatives, oversee strategic planning, and to identify avenues for improvement based on the community's needs.

Email: VicePresident@GVRRID.org


Benjamin Leyer, Incoming Secretary

2024-2026, two year term

Benjamin Leyer has been connected to and involved in the local Deaf community since 2002 with the birth of his son. The influence and encouragement of that community is what motivated him to become an interpreter. With the support of his family and friends, he attended the Rochester Institute of Technology’s ASL and Interpreting
Education program, graduating in 2022. He currently works as an interpreter in Education, Performance, Medical, Religion, and Community settings.

Prior to his studies in ASL-English interpreting, Benjamin was an Art Educator working in several local school districts as well as the Creative Workshop at the Memorial Art
Gallery. He is also a published illustrator having worked as a professional artist in the mid-1990s. Benjamin has worked in several career fields granting him a wide breadth
of experience and knowledge that he can draw on as an interpreter. He continues to look forward to new opportunities to further develop these skills and enrich his practice.

Statement of interest: During my time in the ASL and Interpreting Education program I was an active member of the Student Interpreter Association where I held the offices of Vice-President, Public Relations manager, and Student/Professional Interpreter Network coordinator. My time working as part of that team gave me insight and  perspective on the various needs and approaches that many of today’s interpreters have. By providing events and opportunities for my fellow student interpreters I found myself working as both team support and leader depending on the needs of that event. I feel I would be a good fit for the GVRRID board as I believe in the need to continue to foster relationships between professional interpreters. My background in education, my continued work to develop my own practice, and my constant efforts to extend my network will be able to be used as models for future interpreters coming into the field. The belief that we can only maintain best practices through collaboration and discussion is at the core of myself and this organization. I look forward to the opportunity to work with you in this new capacity.

Email: Secretary@gvrrid.org


Michele Martinez, Secretary

2022-2024, two year term
(Michelle was elected unopposed by special election in August 2022 to fill the position, which had been vacant since July 1st, 2022)

Michele is a  graduate of the interpreting program at the National Institute of the Deaf at the Rochester Institute of Technology. She has been a certified interpreter for over 20 years working in Rochester and Buffalo, NY. In 2018, Michele transitioned to working remotely, expanding to provide services across the United States which brought new challenges and opportunities. Throughout her career she have held many different roles in the field of interpreting. Michele has worked as a Dedicated Interpreter, Trainer, Manager, Director, Diagnostician, and Instructional Designer in the field of interpreting, as well as other industries. Michele is currently serving as the Director of Professional Development for Partners Interpreting. 

Email: Secretary@gvrrid.org


Michael Fisher, Incoming Treasurer

July 1, 2024 - June 30, 2025
Michael was elected by special election in May 2024 to fill the vacancy of the 2023-2025 two year term

Michael Fisher is a nationally certified interpreter, interpreting mentor, and interpreter educator. He holds his B.S. in ASL/English Interpreting from Keuka College and his M.A. in Applied Linguistics and Foreign Language Pedagogy from the University of Massachusetts Boston. Michael lived in the Rochester area previously until 2018 post-graduation and has recently returned to Rochester in 2023 after living and working in the NYC/Long Island region. He is familiar with working on the board of an affiliate chapter, since he was both a Director at Large and the mentorship chair for the New York City Metro Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf. Through those positions Michael assisted in developing and implementing the first cohort of their Connection Network, which paired novice and certified interpreters to engage in practice and reflection on the work. Outside of interpreting and interpreter education, Michael enjoys spending time with his family, hiking, and working with animals.

Statement of Interest: I believe that having a strong and active community of support is vital for our field. Community support fosters belonging and access to resources, direction and inspiration, and diverse perspectives. By prioritizing these principles, we are able to create an environment where every member feels valued and empowered to contribute to our collective success. This is what I aim to do as part of my role on the GVRRID board.

Email: Treasurer@GVRRID.org


Jeanette Corso, Member-at-Large

2022-2025, 3 year term

Jeanette is from downstate New York, Queens/Long Island to be more specific. She relocated to Rochester in 2007 following the completion of her Interpreter Training Program. She attended Northeastern University and graduated in 2006 with a double major in American Sign Language Interpreting and Human Services. She later returned to the University of Rochester to pursue a graduate degree; She graduated in 2021 from The Warner School of Education with a Masters of Science in Human Development.

Currently she is a staff interpreter at Strong Memorial Hospital, a freelance interpreter, video relay interpreter, as well as a video remote interpreter with higher education institutions that provide distance learning opportunities. Since graduating from U of R, she has had the opportunity of teaching the curriculum she created, which focuses on her thesis work, and she looks forward to more of those opportunities in the future. She was involved with GVR in the past when she served on the Professional Development Committee; she loved finding presenters and exciting resources to bring in and share with her fellow community of interpreters.

Email: JeanetteCorso@gvrrid.org


Keven Poore, Member-at-Large

2023-2026, three year term

My name is Keven Poore and I am a CDI. I have been certified since early 2011 and have worked in a range of settings. Prior to relocating to Rochester from the Philadelphia area, I worked as a freelance interpreter for 7 years. I have provided multiple trainings to individuals who are pursuing their DI certification, to interpreters re: interpreting in Behavioral health settings as well as training on Deaf/Hearing teaming. With my behavioral health background (MA in Mental Health Counseling) I bring both interpreting and a working knowledge of mental health and substance use disorder to the table. I was a content expert for Center for Atypical Language Interpreting (CALI) Training - Module 3 and a content expert for CATIE's Introduction to Addiction and Recovery Interpreting Training module. I am a facilitator for the Supervisor Module in CALI's Training series with my fourth year coming up this spring. I am also the co-chair for the Test Development Committee at the Center for the Assessment of Sign Language Interpretation (CASLI). Additionally, I am an instructor for ASLIE’s Certificate in Healthcare Interpreting program and the newly formed Certificate in Deaf Interpreting program. Currently, as Director of Substance and Addiction Intervention Services for the Deaf (SAISD) at NTID/RIT, my work as a CDI is limited to on-call opportunities at URMC and a few press conferences here and there. I enjoy the ever evolving field of interpreting and want to be part of normalizing the use of deaf interpreters in the GVRRID region.

Email: KevenPoore@gvrrid.org


Lisa Prinzi, PhD, Member-at-Large

2022-2025, three year term

Dr. Lisa Prinzi is a native of the Rochester area and has worked as an interpreter for over 20 years (community, VRS, educational). She obtained her associate degree in educational interpreting in 2001 and her bachelor’s degree in American Sign Language-English interpretation in 2004, both from the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID) at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). She also earned her master’s degree in secondary education of students who are deaf or hard of hearing from NTID at RIT in 2007. Lisa completed her Ph.D. in educational culture, policy, and society from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 2020. She is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of American Sign Language and Interpreting Education (ASLIE) at RIT/NTID. Statement of Interest: I firmly believe in the idea of life-long learning. Education is an individual journey yet a collaborative effort. People learn and grow best when they feel safe, supported, and seen. My interest in serving as a Member-at-Large is to liaison and support the local community, ensuring that the membership’s interests, needs, and desires are addressed and collaboratively met.

Email: LisaPrinzi@gvrrid.org


Kat Daviton-Burland, Deaf Member-at-Large

2023-2026, three year term 

Hailed as a New York City native, Catherine (Kat) Daviton-Burland, CDI, has been providing interpreting services in the Deaf and DeafBlind community in Upstate New York since 2015.  She has also began virtually interpreting nationwide since 2020.  Kat has formerly served two terms as GVR’s member-at-large. Prior to working as a CDI, Kat was the Assistant Director at the Program for Deaf Adults in the Division of Adult and Continuing Education at LaGuardia Community College/CUNY in Long Island City, New York.  She holds a Master of Social Work from Hunter College/CUNY, a Bachelor of Social Work from New York University, and an Associate of Applied Science degree in Chemical Technology from the Rochester Institute of Technology.

Email: katdavitonburland@gvrrid.org


Jabriel Parham, Student Interpreter Representative

2023-2024, one year term

Jabriel Parham (she/her) is a current ASLIE major in RIT/NTID’s ASL interpreting program. A native of Rochester, Jabriel first attended St. John Fisher University, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and French after pursuing a double-major. As a student and emerging interpreter, she is involved as a leader in the ASLIE program through her work as a Learning Assistant, and has done joint research with several ALSIE researchers. She has had numerous opportunities for leadership and collaboration with local organizations. A fluent Spanish-speaker holding a medical interpreting certificate, Jabriel is looking toward a career as a trilingual interpreter after graduating in May 2024. Jabriel will begin practicum this fall with a goal of working as a medical interpreter.

Email: jabrielparham@gvrrid.org


Committee Chairs

 

Don Heinz, Membership Committee Chair

Board appointed position with no specific term

Don Heinz is originally from Houghton, NY and is a graduate of NTID. Beginning in 1994, he worked at several different public schools, before he joined Monroe 2 BOCES in 2003 as an Interpreter for the Deaf. Don has served on the GVRID board since 2008 in different positions, such as membership chair, treasurer, and member at large. He enjoys spending time with his family and friends.

Email: info@GVRRID.org


Vacant Professional Development Committee Chair

Board appointed position with no specific term

This position is currently vacant. Please email President@gvrrid.org if interested.

Email: PDChair@GVRRID.org


Sarah Morgenthal, Social Media Committee Chair

Board appointed position with no specific term

 

A native of Long Island, New York, Sarah Morgenthal is a recent graduate of the RIT Honors Program, where she studied American Sign Language-English Interpretation at NTID/RIT. Sarah began working as a member of the GVRRID Social Media Committee in 2021, and served as the Student Interpreter Representative for the 2022-2023 election term. She currently works as a Staff Apprentice Interpreter for the NTID Department of Access Services, with a focus in interpreting for engineering and NTID classes.

 

Email: sarahmorgenthal@gvrrid.org


Alyx Vaisey, CI, CT, CMP Coordinator, Website Committee Chair

Board appointed position with no specific term

Alyx is from Rochester, NY and got into interpreting because of their Deaf family members. As a graduate of RIT/NTID, they began interpreting professionally in 2000 and have experienced pretty much every interpreting setting you could name. They currently work full-time at the University of Rochester Medical Center serving their Deaf Professionals. They have been involved with GVR in one way or another since 2011, including doing two terms as Treasurer. 

CMP Email: CMP@GVRRID.org

Website Email: Use the "contact us" feature of the website


The GVRRID Board meets monthly on the second Saturday of the month at 9am. All members are welcome to attend!


he taught English as a Second Language courses at DEAF, Inc. in Boston and computer classes for the Massachusetts State Association of the Deaf. He has been married to Brenda Schertz since 1994. John has previously served on the GVRRID board as a Member at Large. Email: Michele is a  graduate of the interpreting program at the National Institute of the Deaf at the Rochester Institute of Technology. She has been a certified interpreter for over 20 years working in Rochester and Buffalo, NY. In 2018, Michele transitioned to working remotely, expanding to provide services across the United States which brought new challenges and opportunities. Throughout her career she have held many different roles in the field of interpreting. Michele has worked as a Dedicated Interpreter, Trainer, Manager, Director, Diagnostician, and Instructional Designer in the field of interpreting, as well as other industries. Michele is currently serving as the Director of Professional Development for Partners Interpreting.  Email:  Email: Jeanette is from downstate New York, Queens/Long Island to be more specific. She relocated to Rochester in 2007 following the completion of her Interpreter Training Program. She attended Northeastern University and graduated in 2006 with a double major in American Sign Language Interpreting and Human Services. She later returned to the University of Rochester to pursue a graduate degree; She graduated in 2021 from The Warner School of Education with a Masters of Science in Human Development.Currently she is a staff interpreter at Strong Memorial Hospital, a freelance interpreter, video relay interpreter, as well as a video remote interpreter with higher education institutions that provide distance learning opportunities. Since graduating from U of R, she has had the opportunity of teaching the curriculum she created, which focuses on her thesis work, and she looks forward to more of those opportunities in the future. She was involved with GVR in the past when she served on the Professional Development Committee; she loved finding presenters and exciting resources to bring in and share with her fellow community of interpreters.Email: My name is Keven Poore and I am a CDI. I have been certified since early 2011 and have worked in a range of settings. Prior to relocating to Rochester from the Philadelphia area, I worked as a freelance interpreter for 7 years. I have provided multiple trainings to individuals who are pursuing their DI certification, to interpreters re: interpreting in Behavioral health settings as well as training on Deaf/Hearing teaming. With my behavioral health background (MA in Mental Health Counseling) I bring both interpreting and a working knowledge of mental health and substance use disorder to the table. I was a content expert for Center for Atypical Language Interpreting (CALI) Training - Module 3 and a content expert for CATIE's Introduction to Addiction and Recovery Interpreting Training module. I am a facilitator for the Supervisor Module in CALI's Training series with my fourth year coming up this spring. I am also the co-chair for the Test Development Committee at the Center for the Assessment of Sign Language Interpretation (CASLI). Additionally, I am an instructor for ASLIE’s Certificate in Healthcare Interpreting program and the newly formed Certificate in Deaf Interpreting program. Currently, as Director of Substance and Addiction Intervention Services for the Deaf (SAISD) at NTID/RIT, my work as a CDI is limited to on-call opportunities at URMC and a few press conferences here and there. I enjoy the ever evolving field of interpreting and want to be part of normalizing the use of deaf interpreters in the GVRRID region.Email: , Dr. Lisa Prinzi is a native of the Rochester area and has worked as an interpreter for over 20 years (community, VRS, educational). She obtained her associate degree in educational interpreting in 2001 and her bachelor’s degree in American Sign Language-English interpretation in 2004, both from the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID) at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). She also earned her master’s degree in secondary education of students who are deaf or hard of hearing from NTID at RIT in 2007. Lisa completed her Ph.D. in educational culture, policy, and society from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 2020. She is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of American Sign Language and Interpreting Education (ASLIE) at RIT/NTID. Statement of Interest: Email: Hailed as a New York City native, Catherine (Kat) Daviton-Burland, CDI, has been providing interpreting services in the Deaf and DeafBlind community in Upstate New York since 2015.  She has also began virtually interpreting nationwide since 2020.  Kat has formerly served two terms as GVR’s member-at-large. Prior to working as a CDI, Kat was the Assistant Director at the Program for Deaf Adults in the Division of Adult and Continuing Education at LaGuardia Community College/CUNY in Long Island City, New York.  She holds a Master of Social Work from Hunter College/CUNY, a Bachelor of Social Work from New York University, and an Associate of Applied Science degree in Chemical Technology from the Rochester Institute of Technology.Email: Jabriel Parham (she/her) is a current ASLIE major in RIT/NTID’s ASL interpreting program. A native of Rochester, Jabriel first attended St. John Fisher University, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and French after pursuing a double-major. As a student and emerging interpreter, she is involved as a leader in the ASLIE program through her work as a Learning Assistant, and has done joint research with several ALSIE researchers. She has had numerous opportunities for leadership and collaboration with local organizations. A fluent Spanish-speaker holding a medical interpreting certificate, Jabriel is looking toward a career as a trilingual interpreter after graduating in May 2024. Jabriel will begin practicum this fall with a goal of working as a medical interpreter.Email: Committee Chairs , Don Heinz is originally from Houghton, NY and is a graduate of NTID. Beginning in 1994, he worked at several different public schools, before he joined Monroe 2 BOCES in 2003 as an Interpreter for the Deaf. Don has served on the GVRID board since 2008 in different positions, such as membership chair, treasurer, and member at large. He enjoys spending time with his family and friends.Email: This position is currently vacant. Please email President@gvrrid.org if interested.Email:  A native of Long Island, New York, Sarah Morgenthal is a recent graduate of the RIT Honors Program, where she studied American Sign Language-English Interpretation at NTID/RIT. Sarah began working as a member of the GVRRID Social Media Committee in 2021, and served as the Student Interpreter Representative for the 2022-2023 election term. She currently works as a Staff Apprentice Interpreter for the NTID Department of Access Services, with a focus in interpreting for engineering and NTID classes. Email: Alyx is from Rochester, NY and got into interpreting because of their Deaf family members. As a graduate of RIT/NTID, they began interpreting professionally in 2000 and have experienced pretty much every interpreting setting you could name. They currently work full-time at the University of Rochester Medical Center serving their Deaf Professionals. They have been involved with GVR in one way or another since 2011, including doing two terms as Treasurer. CMP Email: Website Email: Use the "contact us" feature of the websiteThe GVRRID Board meets monthly on the second Saturday of the month at 9am. All members are welcome to attend!

Interested in Becoming a Member or Renewing Your Past Membership? Visit Our Membership Page or Contact Us Directly

Contact Us

Contact Us

P.O. Box 23672
Rochester, NY 14692-3672

Genesee Valley Region Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (GVRRID) does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations. These activities include, but are not limited to, selection of volunteers and vendors and provision of services. We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members and volunteers.