Jennifer Briggs is the newest addition to the division of Behavioral Science as an Assistant Professor of American Sign Language and Deaf Studies.
Before coming to Maryville, Briggs was a professor at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, a school of the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), for seven years. Briggs attended Gallaudet University in Washington D.C. for an undergraduate degree in ASL, continuing on to gain a M.A. in Teaching ASL from Columbia University in New York City.
However, this was not the path Professor Briggs had intended when going to undergraduate school. She originally attended Gallaudet University for a degree in Sports Medicine, due to her love of sports growing up.
“I wasn’t planning on teaching,” says Briggs.
Yet, this changed after taking ASL literature and linguistics in college, causing her to fall in love with the language. Now Professor Briggs is a curriculum specialist for teaching ASL, and her expertise is a welcome addition to the ASL Interpreting and Deaf Studies majors here at MC.
Amongst her impressive teaching experience, Briggs also has a multitude of certifications. She is a Certified Deaf Interpreter (CDI), a certified legal interpreter, and has certification through the ASL Teachers Association. Her experience with interpreting is a great asset for students looking to become certified interpreters with a degree in ASL Interpreting at Maryville College.
Briggs is currently teaching ASL II and IV, along with a course on Issues in Professional Development. She is also teaching a course on ASL Literature and multiple courses of senior studies.
Regarding the differences between RIT and Maryville College, Briggs says that there was a drastic change in the classroom environments.
“(At RIT), it was hard to give feedback when I had 150 students,” said Briggs, “The benefit of having smaller classes is that a professor can spend more quality time with students, but that also lends itself to having more expectations and higher standards.”
Maryville College is fortunate to have Jennifer Briggs and her expertise to continue to grow the ASL Interpreting and Deaf Studies majors.