Lansing Community College Interpreter Training Program: About Our Faculty

Brenda Cartwright, Brenda Cartwright BS, MS, CODA, is an experienced interpreter, teacher and presenter. Ms Cartwright has been the Director of the Sign Language Interpreter Program at Lansing Community College for almost 30 years. Before that she was a teacher and coach at the Indiana School for the Deaf in Indianapolis Indiana. She has written a number of textbooks that are widely used throughout the country. In her leisure time Ms Cartwright enjoys Triathlon training, eating carbohydrates and taking naps.

Christopher Greene Szmadzinski earned his Bachelor of Science in Public Policy from Michigan State University as well as an Associates Degree in ASL/Interpreting from LCC. His degree involved a series of coursework in Linguistics and, for his final project, he studied code-switching techniques employed by Deaf people when communicating with hearing ASL users. He is an NIC/BEI III interpreter and an interpreter educator, and has interpreted in a variety of settings. In his free time, he enjoys Javascript, Perl and soccer.

Connie Petersen is an American Sign Language Interpreter holding an NIC and RID Ed: K-12 Certification. This includes both an Elementary EIPA score of 4.8 and Secondary score of 4.5. She graduated with an AA in Sign Language Interpreting from LCC’s Sign Language Interpreter Training Program in 1993, where she is currently an adjunct faculty member. Connie interprets in the K-12 educational setting for Northview Public Schools and for a variety of college classes. She also works as a video relay interpreter for Sorenson Communications, as well as a freelance interpreter in the West Michigan area. Connie loves mentoring new interpreters and giving workshops on Educational Interpreting. She is a wife and mother of three daughters, and in her free time enjoys watching movies, swimming, and sunsets.

Josie Sebastian is a nationally certified interpreter. She is a graduate of Lansing Community College’s Sign Language Interpreter Program, where she is now an adjunct faculty member. Josie works as a video interpreter for Sorenson, as well as a freelance interpreter in her community. She holds an associate degree from LCC, a bachelor degree from Siena Heights University and is currently enrolled in the HALE (Higher, Adult and Lifelong Education) graduate program at Michigan State University. Josie enjoys biking, spending time with her husband and two cats and being involved in a book club.

Jenny Welling is an American Sign Language Interpreter. She holds a National Interpreter Certification, as well as an Associates Degree obtained from LCC. Jenny works as a freelance interpreter through various agencies, joint contracts, and private contracts. However, her favorite by far is working for the University of Michigan Health System. In her downtime, Jenny likes to hang out with her handsome husband, and her 3 hilarious children.

Lindy Browne is a Nationally Certified American Sign Language interpreter with a Certificate of Interpretation (C.I.) and Certificate of Transliteration (C.T.). She has an AA from Lansing Community College’s Sign Language Interpreter Program. She has experience as a counselor for the deaf, freelance interpreter, workshop presenter, and teacher. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Michigan State University and a Master of Arts degree in Linguistics, with a focus in American Sign Language, from Purdue University. She splits her time between work as a video relay interpreter for Sorenson and Lansing Community College as an adjunct faculty member. Outside of work, she loves spending time with her 2 kids and her family.

Molly Carlstrom is an educational and freelance interpreter. She is a proud graduate of Lansing Community College's Sign Language Interpreting program. After completing her Associates from LCC, she joined the staff as an adjunct faculty member. Since then she has acquired her Bachelors degree in Sign Language Interpreting from Siena Heights University. Her favorite season is sunshine and she enjoys sleeping under the stars.

Veronica Balcarcel is a BEI II Certified interpreter. She is a graduate of Lansing Community College’s Sign Language Interpreter Program with an AA, where she is now an adjunct faculty member. Veronica works full time at Everett High School and also as a trilingual video interpreter for Sorenson. She holds a Bachelors from Universidad del Valle de Guatemala (University of the Valley of Guatemala) and is currently enrolled at Siena Heights University pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Sign Language interpreting with a minor in healthcare management. Veronica enjoys volleyball, reading, counted cross stitch, traveling and spending time with her family.

April Davidson is an American Sign Language Interpreter. She holds two Interpreter certifications: EIPA 4.0 and BEI II. April interprets in post-secondary settings as well as in the community and as a Video Relay Interpreter for Sorenson Communications. She is a graduate of LCC’s Sign Language Interpreter Training Program where she is now an Adjunct Faculty member. After earning her Associates Degree from LCC, she went on to complete her Bachelor’s Degree in Sign Language Interpreting from Siena Heights University. When not working, April enjoys reading, running, and living the glamorous life of a soccer mom.

Courtney Durvesh is an American Sign Language Interpreter. She holds a BEI I and is a community interpreter. She graduated with a Certificate and an Associate's Degree from LCC's Interpreter Training Program, for which she is now Adjunct Faculty. Her Bachelor's Degree is in Sign Language Interpreting from Siena Heights University. Courtney is currently pursuing a Master's Degree in Teaching American Sign Language through the University of Northern Colorado. In her free time, she enjoys reading, movies, card games and board games, and walks.

Cody Mathis has been working as an ASL interpreter for over 10 years, in a variety of settings. Her passions lie in interpreting in the K-12, Post-secondary, and performing arts settings. She graduated from Lansing Community College's Interpreter Training Program in 2003 with an AA. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and American Sign Language and a Masters in Human Services. She began her love-affair with LCC almost two years ago coming in as an ASL Interpreter. In fall 2013 she accepted a position as the Deaf and Hard-of-hearing Coordinator in the Center for Student Access and began teaching for the Sign Program in 2015. It is an amazing job—each day is a new adventure and she finds she loves teaching as much as interpreting! In her off-hours, she is the wife to a real-life “Mr. Incredible” and mom to mini-men. In her spare time she enjoys reading and writing, eating her vegetables with ranch dip, and lip-syncing in the bathroom mirror.