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Naomi Sheneman, Ph.D., CDI


Instructional Assistant Professor
Office: Melcher Life Sciences M250H
Curriculum Vitae

Dr. Sheneman has been working professionally in the interpreting profession since 2000 in various roles. She is a consultant, researcher, educator, interpreter, and evaluator. She is the first deaf woman to receive a Ph.D. degree in Interpretation from Gallaudet University in 2018. She gives presentations and training both nationally and internationally, focusing on ethics, deaf interpreters’ work, power dynamics in interpretation, and medical interpreting. In 2022, she received the “Excellence in Research” award from the Conference of Interpreter Trainers.


  • Ph.D., Interpretation, Gallaudet University, Washington, DC
  • M.S., Educational Administration, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY
  • M.A., Teaching and Learning: Bilingual Education (ASL-English), University of California-San Diego, San Diego, CA
  • B.A., Psychology, Gallaudet University, Washington, DC


  • Advanced Techniques and Skills in ASL/English Interpreting (ASLI 4335)
  • Consecutive Interpreting and Translation (ASLI 3430)
  • Privilege and Equity in ASL Interpreting (ASLI 2335)
  • Intermediate Sign Language I for pre-ASLI majors only (SGNL 2301)

Research Interests

Dr. Sheneman’s research interests reflect the interdisciplinary nature of interpreting research, drawing from the disciplines of linguistics, ethics, teaching and learning, specialized interpreting, disability studies, and social justice. She has published work on national and international interpreting practices, sign language competency assessment practices, Deaf interpreters’ ethical decision-making processes, deaf epistemology in interpreting, cultural humility and ableism among sign language interpreters, and how interpreters earn trust from deaf consumers. Additionally, she has projects in the pipeline that involve applications of cognitive linguistics to interpreting, interpreter-consumer relationships, perceptions of Deaf interpreters, and language attitudes’ influence on interpreting preferences. Although her recent research work has come with emotional labor as a deaf person, it is a resilient form of service to deaf people with the aim of improving the quality and experience of their interpreting services and interactions with interpreters.

Selected Publications

  • Decker, K., Hardesty, S., Patterson, J. & Sheneman, N. (2021). UNC-Project CLIMB curriculum guide for facilitators. University of Northern Colorado. Retrieved from
  • Sheneman, N., & Robinson, O. E. (2021). Helpers, professional authority, and pathologized bodies: Ableism in interpretation and translation. In E. Monzó-Nebot & O.C. Cortés (Eds.), Translating asymmetry: Rewriting power, (p. 55-75). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
  • Robinson, O. E., Sheneman. N., & Henner, J. (2020). Toxic ableism among interpreters: Impeding deaf people’s linguistic rights through pathological posturing. In C. McDermid, S. Ehrlich, & A. Gentry (Eds.), Honouring the past, treasuring the present, shaping the future: Conferencing proceedings of the 2019 WASLI Conference, (p. 14-41). Geneva, Switzerland: WASLI.
  • Swabey, L., Sabatke, B., Jones, L., Bowen-Bailey, D., Sheneman, N., & Laurion, R. (2018, November 3). Questioning some answers and answering some questions: Interpreter education for students, novices, and specialists. In B. Winston, C. Monikowski & R.G. Lee (Eds.), 2018 Conference of Interpreter Trainers conference: Reaching new heights in interpreter education.
  • Sheneman, N. (2016). Deaf interpreters’ ethics: Reflections on training and decision-making. Journal of Interpretation, 25(1), Article 8. 


  • Excellence in Research Award, Conference of Interpreter Trainers, 2022
  • Outstanding BA in Interpretation Mentor Award, Gallaudet University Department of Interpretation and Translation, 2019
  • Distinguished Achievement in Teaching in the Linguistics Language Program, University of California-San Diego, 2004

Professional Activities

  • Curriculum/Assessment Developer, Federal and state grants to provide education and development of resources for working interpreters including St. Catherine University CATIE Center Dive In and University of Northern Colorado IRIS Project
  • Evaluation Team Member, Federal grant program, National Deaf Center
  • Consultant, Interpreter education programs on how to incorporate training specific for Deaf interpreters