Sunny Brysch, I have a master’s degree in social work from Augsburg College, with a specialization in clinical mental health focusing on families and children therapy. I realized that I didn’t feel like the field was a good fit, so I went in a different direction. My passion was in education, so I decided to earn a certification in ASL Studies from St. Paul College. I began teaching at the high school and college/university level. Before coming here to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, I was the ASL program coordinator for several years at the University of Minnesota-Duluth. I also taught ASL there.
My vision for the UWM ASL program is to lead the program into a model of teamwork that supports the foundation of the program. The goal is to see the program grow while preserving the language and culture of the Deaf community. I want the program to be inclusive and diverse, so that those who go through the program can go out into the community and spread the knowledge through partnerships and sharing of resources.
The program also should value individuality along with the values of ASL competency and cultural competency. With these competencies, ASL learners can become allies of the Deaf community with greater awareness and understanding. This will guide the program’s future along with graduates’ futures. I strongly believe in the 5 Cs for program growth and success: culture, community, cooperation, communication, and collaboration.