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Julie Lovejoy, M.A.
Professor, American Sign Language
Office: South Faculty Office Wing (near L.A. building)
Phone: (805) 986-5800 ext. 7661
Videophone: (805) 246-9072
My name is Julie Lovejoy, and I’ve been an ASL interpreter for about 26 years. Like many of you, I began studying ASL at a community college. (Moorpark College, to be exact.) Even after many years of ASL courses, my real teachers were ordinary Deaf people living in Ventura County. Nothing is more effective than actually using your sign with Deaf people. I owe a great debt to this Deaf community.
At Moorpark College I fell in love with the language, and my instructor urged me to change majors and attend California State University, Northridge to become an interpreter. I took his advice and switched majors from Botany to Interpretation. At the time, CSUN did not have a degree in Interpretation, so I created a special major and graduated with the first Baccalaureate degree in Sign Language Interpretation in the United States. (Fortunately, CSUN has since created a Deaf Studies major that includes ASL Interpretation.)
While a student at CSUN, I worked on campus, interpreting classes for Deaf students. When I graduated I worked as an academic interpreter at various colleges and universities: UC Irvine, CSU Fullerton, UC Santa Barbara, and Santa Barbara City College. After a few years, I was offered a position at St. John’s Hospital & Mental Health Center in Santa Monica, interpreting for Deaf patients at the clinic. The experience at St. John’s really opened my eyes and heart to medical interpreting, and it has been one of my specialties ever since. I especially enjoy interpreting labor and delivery for Deaf families, and emergency room interpreting.
I received my interpreting certification from Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf in 1986, which opened up a whole new world of work for me. I began to branch out and do legal interpreting for Ventura County Municipal & Superior Courts as well. I eventually found my way to Oxnard College as an interpreter coordinator. In 1993 I received my Master’s degree in Teaching Interpretation from Western Maryland College, and that degree culminated in writing a curriculum for a new Interpreter Training Program at Oxnard College. I was hired as a full-time faculty member in 1999 to teach in the new program. Along the way I have taught ASL at several community colleges and mentored many up and coming interpreters. And after all these years, still love this language and the community of people who use it. I hope you will, too.