President Jamie Olson holds an Associate of Applied Science Degree from Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, a Bachelor of Science degree in ASL-to- English Interpreting, from William Woods University, and she holds a National Interpreting Certificate (NIC). In 2005, she began her professional interpreting career as a staff interpreter at de l’ Epee Deaf Center, which allowed her to gain work experience in a variety of venues. She has worked in the classroom as an adjunct instructor, and is currently working as a full time faculty member at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. In addition to training interpreters, she works as a freelance/contract interpreter, and is heavily involved in the Deaf community. Currently, she reside in Gulfport, Mississippi with her husband and their four children. Mrs. Olson is quoted as saying, “She would not be where she is today if it were not for the patience, love, and support of the Deaf community. They have taught me so much, and for that, I am forever grateful!”
Vice President Samantha Sovell graduated from the Interpreter Training program at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. She is a Mississippi state registered interpreter with a Level 3. Samantha began working for de l’Epee Deaf Center in Gulfport, MS, in 2008 as a staff interpreter and is currently their Youth Director. She previously served on MSRID Board as Secretary for the 2016-2018 term. She is looking forward to seeing where her new role as the Vice President leads her as well as working with the other board members.
Treasurer Lauren graduated from Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College’s interpreter training program in 2015. She is a state registered (LV-II) and has been in the field since completing the program. Lauren resides on the Gulf Coast, and within the last three years has worked in many different settings such as, Educational, and Community. Previously, she served as a general member of MSRID, and now is excited to see where her new role leads her as well as collaborate with the other board members on a variety of different topics. She is currently a staff Interpreter for de l’Epée Deaf Center and their Religious Programs Director. Her love for the community, culture, and people has fostered a passion that shows through her work on a daily basis.
Secretary Sarah Francis is a state registered (LV-II) and pre-certified interpreter living on the Gulf Coast. She is a staff interpreter and community outreach coordinator at de l’Epee Deaf Center. Sarah was raised with two Deaf sisters allowing a deeper respect of the life experiences of those with whom she works. After her son was diagnosed as Deaf at birth, she began to delve deeper in the linguistic components of American Sign Language. Upon graduating from Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College’s interpreter training program, Sarah decided to further her education as a dual-enrolled student at William Woods University (Bachelor’s in ASL-to-English Interpreting) and University of North Florida (Master’s Interpreting: General Practitioner). Her love and appreciation of the language and culture of the Deaf has encouraged her to adopt a service leadership approach in her work. She strives to create environments in which Deaf are empowered through communication access. Sarah’s goal is to act as the exchange of information without the dilution of the message, to serve as the communication bridge to ensure comprehension, to be an ally for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, and to provide access without intrusion.
Members at Large
Keeah McKlveen is a new interpreter from the Gulf Coast, having recently graduated from the Interpreter Training Program at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. She is certified through the Mississippi Quality Assessment Screening process as a Level 1 interpreter. Keeah brings with her roughly 20 years of experience being on different organizational boards in her community. Her goal for MSRID is to provide interpreters, new and seasoned, with the opportunities to learn more of the craft.
For the last five years, Darren Reed has worked in Jackson, MS as a staff interpreter at a community health center. He is a nationally certified medical interpreter for Spanish-speakers (NBCMI). He is also a sign language interpreter who has passed the Mississippi Quality Assessment Screening with a Level I. He graduated summa cum laude from the Interpreter Training Program at Hinds Community College. Additionally, Mr. Reed is the International Medical Interpreter Association State Chapter Chair Representative for Mississippi. He is cofounder and President of PAMIT, the Professional Association of Mississippi Interpreters and Translators. Mr. Reed is a public speaker and professional trainer who has presented workshops and seminars on Medical Terminology, Medical Interpreting, and Cultural Competency. His goal is to become a nationally certified trilingual interpreter.
My name is Misty Gibson, I live in Madison, MS. I am married and a mother of 3 beautiful children. I have been an Interpreter for 6 years and working with the Deaf is right where my heart belongs.