Meet the CATIE Center Staff
Laurie Swabey, Rosa Ramirez, Richard Laurion
Not pictured: Paula Gajewski Mickelson, Andrea Olson, and Janine Schug
Laurie Swabey, Ph.D., Principal Investigator
Dr. Swabey was previously the Project Director of the RSA Region V Grant Project at St. Catherine University. She serves as the ASL/Interpreting Department Chair and Associate Professor of the B.A. program in Interpreting at St. Kate's and has taught interpreting for 25 years. Before moving to MN in 1990, Dr. Swabey was the Director of the RSA Grant Project at Merrimack Valley College/University of NH from 1982 – 1990 (serving ME, NH, RI and VT). She has had 13 years of successfully managing RSA grant projects. Dr. Swabey has served on the board of the Conference of Interpreter Trainers (CIT) for 3 terms and worked on the early development of the CIT accreditation process. She developed the curriculum in medical interpreting for the University of Minnesota and for the NY Task Force on Immigrant Health, and has taught interpreting theory to interpreters of Russian, Spanish, Khmer, Hmong, Vietnamese and Somali languages. She currently serves on the Advisory Committee of the National Council for Interpreting in Health Care. She has presented at numerous conferences including: RID, CIT, AVLIC and all four of the international Critical Link conferences, held in Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal and Stockholm. Dr. Swabey developed the bachelor’s degree program in Interpreting for the University of NH in 1988 and was instrumental in the transition from the associate degree to the bachelor’s degree, both at UNH and at St. Kate's. Her Ph.D. is in Linguistics from the University of Minnesota, where her dissertation focused on the use of referring expressions in ASL and English, due to the difficulties second language learners of ASL often have with pronouns. She recently had a chapter published in Advances in Teaching Sign Language Interpreters (Roy, 2005) on teaching students to understand pronouns and other forms of reference more effectively.
In 2008, Dr. Swabey was awarded the Bonnie Jean Kelly and Joan Kelly Faculty Excellence Award. This distinguished honor has only been given to one other faculty member here at the University. The University's Senior Vice President acknowledged Laurie's many accomplishments, including her research and publications in the field of interpreting and interpreter education, her travels to Australia, the Netherlands and across the country presenting on various topics; and the grant work she has done, including establishing the CATIE Center. Equally noteworthy are her talents in educating student interpreters, and her tireless efforts in advancing the profession of interpreting and promoting, through these efforts, the interpreting program here at St. Kate's.
As project director for the CATIE Center, Dr. Swabey oversees all aspects of the project, ensuring collaboration and non-duplication of services with the other four Regional Centers and the National Center, working on the domains and competencies project for medical interpreting, and providing information/resources to the interpreter education programs in the region regarding up-to-date practices.
Richard Laurion, MA, CI & CT, NIC Advanced, External Liaison and Project Director
Mr. Laurion has a B.A. in Organizational Management from Concordia University, and is pursuing a master's degree in Organizational Leadership. He has 30 years of experience managing services in education, government agencies, and businesses. Mr. Laurion has been interpreting since 1983 and has been mentoring and teaching interpreters since 1988. He has been a leader on the local and national level, serving 6 years on the Minnesota RID Board and 8 years on the national RID Board. At RID, he helped to develop the Certification Maintenance Program and the Generalist Written Test. Much of his work career has been focused on the needs of interpreters living in rural or remote areas. Mr. Laurion formerly served as the programming co-manager for the RSA Region V, Interpreter Education Grant Project. Much of this work has focused on building innovative and creative products, programs and resources for interpreter skill development, including training for interpreters on new technologies, specifically VRI and VRS.
Mr. Laurion currently serves as External Liaison and Project Manager for the CATIE Center, devoting his time to developing and managing relationships with the local partners. In addition, he is actively involved in collaborative workteams of the National Consortium, including Deaf Advocacy Training, Legal Interpreting, VRS/VRI Interpreting, PR/Marketing, Medical Interpreting, DeafBlind Interpreting, Mental Health Interpreting, Website/Internet Technology and Diagnostics. Mr. Laurion has demonstrated an outstanding ability to work with agencies, organizations, colleges and other entities serving consumers and interpreters.
Paula Gajewski Mickelson, CI & CT and NIC Advanced, Testing Coordinator
Ms. Gajewski holds a B.A. degree in Human Service Administration/Human Resource Development, and a master of arts degree in Organizational Leadership. She is currently a faculty member in the Interpreting department at St. Catherine University and previously served as co-manager for the RSA Region V Interpreter Education Project at St. Kate's. Ms. Gajewski has been a partner in SLICES, an agency that has specialized in creating customized educational seminars and activities. Throughout her 22-year career in the interpreting field she has worked with interpreters in rural and urban areas across the country as a presenter, mentor and consultant specializing in mentoring, ethical decision-making, problem solving, mentoring and professional development planning. She has written and coordinated several grant projects, including the development of the MRID Self-Paced Modules for Educational Interpreter Skill Development. Ms. Gajewski was the lead developer for the Midwest Mentorship Retreat and currently sits on the Advisory Board for the CSD Mentoring Program. She leads scheduling of RID testing at the CATIE Center.
Rosa Ramirez, Communications Manager and Budget Administrator
Ms. Ramirez has a B.A. in English and Chicano Studies and over 20 years of experience in communications, accounting and event coordination. Her experience working with interpreters began as a hard of hearing consumer, and has expanded since joining the RSA Region V Interpreter Education Grant Project at St. Kate's in 2002. Under the current grant, Ms. Ramirez oversees the communication and coordination of the grant's projects and programs, connects interpreters and educators with the resources available from all the projects, maintains the website and other communications, coordinates continuing education unit processing with RID, and oversees the program budget.
Janine Schug, Program Coordination Assistant
Ms. Schug joins us with extensive office and program coordination experience. She responds to inquiries and assists with CEU processing, in addition to managing day to day office tasks and providing program support. She is currently attending St. Kate's as an ASL Interpreting major. Ms. Schug is very interested in linguistics, and hopes to pursue her master's degree at Gallaudet after graduating from St. Kate's.
Andrea Olson, Ph.D., Evaluator
Dr. Olson earned her Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Minnesota. The focus of her degree was Industrial/Organizational Psychology with a supporting program in Counseling Psychology. Dr. Olson is an assistant professor in the Psychology Department at St. Catherine University where she teaches Statistical Methods in Psychology, General Psychology, Industrial/Organizational Psychology, and a core University course. She also conducts research, supervises student researchers and mentors students who conduct independent research projects. Before joining St. Kate's, Dr. Olson served as a consultant at a management-consulting firm and as a research analyst for a large survey research company. At St. Kate's, she has served as an evaluator for seven projects, which have varied in scope and complexity.
Dr. Olson coordinates evaluation efforts, working with CATIE Center and the National Consortium. She develops evaluation plans in collaboration with project team members, assists in identifying evaluation criteria, develops evaluation surveys and data collection methods, collects and analyzes quantitative and qualitative data, interprets evaluation data, integrate and summarizes results in written reports and meets regularly with CATIE Center and the National Consortium to communicate updated evaluation work and results.