Dr. Linda Stauffer, professor of interpreter education, has been awarded the 2020 Faculty Excellence Award for Public Service in the College of Education and Health Professions.
Stauffer currently serves as the program coordinator for both the interpreter education and rehabilitation counseling programs in the School of Counseling, Human Performance, and Rehabilitation and has been leading the reapplication for accreditation for both programs.
In her role as program coordinator for more than 13 years, Stauffer has grown the interpreter program through professional accreditation, increased faculty diversity, increased student enrollment, program and curricula improvements, and partnerships with local and distance interpreter education programs to expand UA Little Rock’s opportunities to recruit distance and transfer students.
“It has been my pleasure to teach in the interpreter education program for the past 34 years,” Stauffer said. “For me, the greatest human service and professional pleasure is to prepare excellent interpreters to provide interpretation between those who are hearing and those who are deaf, deaf-blind, and hard of hearing, thereby allowing these individuals to have communication access for all facets of their daily life and work.”
Since the interpreter education program was first accredited in 2010, Stauffer has helped place UA Little Rock in the national forefront as one of only 13 interpreter education programs with accreditation status from the Collegiate Commission on Interpreter Education. As such, the program draws students from around the nation, including from Tulsa Community College’s (TCC) associate degree interpreting program.
Through a collaborative, hybrid online partnership with TCC that Stauffer helped establish, students are able to earn a bachelor’s degree, which is required for national interpreter certification. Five students from Oklahoma will graduate this May, for a total of 30 graduates since the joint partnership began. Since 1979, UA Little Rock has produced a total of 507 interpreters for individuals who are deaf, deaf-blind, or hard of hearing.
In 2014, Stauffer worked with the Arkansas Department of Education to establish the quality framework for teaching American Sign Language as a foreign language for credit in Arkansas public high schools. Stauffer was later named nationally among the “50 Most Influential People in the Past 50 Years” in 2015 by the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, Inc. (RID) and was recognized with a UA Little Rock Faculty Excellence Award in Teaching in 2017. She has authored two publications and served on the editorial board for RID’s Journal of Interpretation.
Stauffer has served on multiple university and college committees since joining UA Little Rock in 1986, as well as on multiple professional boards, including more than 10 years on the Arkansas Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, and on numerous conference planning committees and task forces. She regularly interprets televised meetings of the Little Rock City Board of Directors and the Arkansas Interpreter Licensure board meetings, as has served as a presenter for the Little Rock School District’s “Camp Can Do” program.
“I believe that service is at the core of teaching and professionalism,” Stauffer said. “Service is part of who I am and I try to instill that value in my students.”
Stauffer received a Ph.D. in rehabilitation education and a M.Ed. in deafness rehabilitation from the University of Arkansas, a B.S. in education of the hearing impaired from Trenton State College, and an A.G.S. from Montgomery County Community College.