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Sign Language Studies Faculty

Daniel McDougallDaniel McDougall, CSC | Bio
Chair and Associate Professor
B.A., Madonna University
M.A., Oakland University
Ph.D., in progress Heriot-Watt University
734-432-5618, 1405
Debbie Mitre-SmithDebbie Mitre-Smith | Bio
SLS Assistant Professor
B.A., Madonna University
M.A. TESOL, Madonna University
734-666-3071, 1405
Bretagne WhitfordBretagne Whitford | Bio
Assistant Professor
B.S., Rochester Institute of Technology
M.S., Rochester Institute of Technology
734-237-3058, 1405
Cheryl A. Airgood
SLS Instructor
B.A., Madonna University
M.A., Eastern Michigan University
M.A., Wayne State University
Fr. Michael DepcikFr. Michael Depcik
SLS Instructor
B.A., Gallaudet University
M.A., Gallaudet University
M.Div., Ss. Cyril and Methodius Seminary
Mary Ann DeVosMary Ann DeVos, BEI I
SLS Instructor
B.S., Eastern Michigan
M.Ed., Lewis and Clark College
Katie FitzpatrickKatie Fitzpatrick, NIC-A
SLS Instructor
B.S., Ferris State University
A.A.S., Oakland Community College
M.A., Gallaudet University
Barbara Hinson, CSCBarbara Hinson, CSC
SLS Instructor
B.A., University of North Florida
Miriam HorwitzMiriam Horwitz, NIC
SLS Instructor
B.A., American University
M.A.I., Gallaudet Univeristy
Michael Meldrum, NICMichael Meldrum, NIC
SLS Instructor
B.S., Eastern Michigan University
M.A., Gallaudet University
Sharon MeldrumSharon Meldrum
Assistant Professor
B.A., Gallaudet University
M.A., Eastern Michigan University
Bridget MitchellBridget Mitchell, BEI II
SLS Instructor
B.A., Madonna University
M.A. TESOL, Madonna University
Tamara Wright, NICTamara Wright, NIC
SLS Instructor
B.A., Madonna University

Daniel McDougall

Dan McDougall, CSC, is the chair of the Sign Language Studies department. He joined the full time faculty of Madonna University in 2007. He has been a certified interpreter since 1986, specializing in shadowed interpreting for the theatre. He founded TerpTheatre, and is an internationally recognized authority on interpreted theatre (see www.terptheatre.com). He has an extensive background in nonprofit program development and fundraising. He is an alumnus of the SLS department (1986), and holds an MA in Linguistics from Oakland University (1991). The SLS department awarded him Distinguished Alumnus in 2005. He teaches in the areas of interpretation, advanced American Sign Language, and linguistics.

Debbie Mitre-Smith

Debbie Mitre-Smith is the Assistant Professor of the Sign Language Studies (SLS) department. She was an adjunct instruct in the SLS Department from 2005 to 2011. She became a full-time Assistant Professor in 2011. She completed her MATESOL degree in 2011 at Madonna University. She teaches most of the American Sign Language (ASL) core classes as well as the Communication and Culture for Health Care Professionals course.

She is involved with program developments for the university. She assisted with developing the following degrees:

  • In 2010, the Sign Language Studies Bachelor of Arts degree became the Sign Language Interpreting Studies Bachelor of Arts and Deaf Community Studies Bachelor of Arts degrees.
  • In 2011, the SLS department and the College of Education collaborated to develop the American Sign Language K-12 Education Bachelor of Arts degree.
  • Currently the SLS department and the College of Education are collaborating on a Master in Arts in Teaching: Deaf and Hard of Hearing, which will be available for students soon.

She is also the Director for the Deaf-Hearing Family Literacy Program. Over the last 10 years, she has been involved with many community organizations. This year she is:

  • a board member for Michigan Hands and Voices
  • a parent advocate for Michigan Hands and Voices
  • a parent representative for the Novi Community Schools Special Education Parent Advisory Committee

Bretagne Whitford

Bretagne Whitford is an Assistant Professor in the Sign Language Studies department. Bretagne went to Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. and Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, NY. In 2009, she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a minor in Business Administration and Public Policy. She continued on for her master’s degree in Deaf Education, acquired in 2011.

Amongst her education, she worked in a research lab and acquired her research interest in deaf children and the familial characteristics that would have an impact on their literacy. She also takes a fascination with ASL assessments and how to accurately document an individual’s ASL proficiency. She had a paper published in 2011 titled Deaf Individuals’ Bilingual Abilities: American Sign Language Proficiency, Reading Skills, and Family Characteristics in Psychology Journal (Vol. 2, No 1, 18-32).

She takes pride teaching sign language particularly, keen to the fact that she is their Deaf role model and provides the students with the appropriate mental and language framework as they enter the Deaf community.