ASLTA Awards 2018-09-17T22:33:59+00:00

ASLTA Awards

ASLTA recognizes the contributions made by members to the field of ASL education or to the Association at each national professional development conference. Prior to the conference, announcements will be made inviting nominations for the various awards. If you have questions regarding ASLTA’s awards, please contact the Professional Development chair at

Each award and past recipients are listed below.

Stephen M. Ryan Teacher of the Year Award

This award honors Stephen M. Ryan (1958 – 1995), ASL comedian, storyteller, and teacher.

Given to a person possessing ASLTA certification, who has made major contributions to the cultural and humorous aspects of ASL instruction.

  • 1996   Alan Barwiolek
  • 1998   Ben Baham
  • 2000   E. Lynn Jacobowitz
  • 2002   Sam and Tom Holcomb
  • 2005   Mel Carter
  • 2007   (no nominations)
  • 2009   Leslie C. Greer
  • 2011   David Martin
  • 2013   Patrick Fischer
  • 2015   (no recipient)
  • 2017   April Haggard

T.J. O’Rourke
Memorial Award

This award honors Terence James O’Rourke, civil rights activist, ASL teacher, publisher, and advocate in recognizing ASL as a language, and a pioneer in establishing ASL programs.

Given to an ASLTA member who has contributed significantly to the field of ASL teacher education.

  • 1996   MJ Bienvenu
  • 1998   Keith Cagle
  • 2000  Rachel Stone
  • 2002   Mike Kemp
  • 2005   Ella Mae Lentz
  • 2007   Jason E. Zinza
  • 2009   Ken Mikos
  • 2011    Glenna Ashton
  • 2013   Alysse Rasmussen
  • 2015   (no recipient)
  • 2017   Carla García-Fernández

George Veditz Award

This award honors George W. Veditz (1861 – 1937), NAD President remembered for his courageous leadership, advocacy, and efforts to preserve ASL by spearheading a film project that has had lasting influence.

Given to an individual in recognition of significant contributions to the field of ASL. This is the most prestigious ASLTA award presented to individuals in the field of ASL education. Recipients are not necessarily members of ASLTA.

  • 1994   Ella Mae Lentz, Ken Mikos,
    Cheri Smith
  • 1996   Bill Newell
  • 1998   Marie Jean Philip
  • 2000  Bill Newell
  • 2002   Lou Fant (posthumous)
  • 2005   Leslie Greer
  • 2007   Tim Owens
  • 2009   E. Lynn Jacobowitz
  • 2011   Larry Forestal (posthumous)
  • 2013   Patricia G. Beech
  • 2015   Keith M. Cagle
  • 2017   Regan Thibodeau

Chapter Excellence Award

This award is presented to an ASLTA chapter whose leaders and members have done an outstanding job in increasing membership, promoting fundraising, providing professional development activities, and promoting ASLTA.

The ASLTA Board selects the recipient upon the recommendation of the Chapters Chair.

  • 1996   Greater New York ASLTA
  • 1998   Veditz ASLTA
  • 2000   Michigan ASLTA
  • 2002   Washington ASLTA
  • 2005   Florida ASLTA
  • 2007   Maryland ASLTA (formerly
    Frederick Chapter)
  • 2009   North Carolina ASLTA
  • 2011   Pennsylvania ASLTA
  • 2013   Ohio ASLTA
  • 2015   (no recipient)
  • 2017   Colorado ASLTA

Sponsor Excellence Award

This award is given to a for-profit company or non-profit organization in recognition of its dedicated support and continuous service to ASLTA and affiliated chapters.

The ASLTA Board selects recipients of this award.

  • 1996   DawnSignPress
  • 1998   National Association of the Deaf
  • 2000  MSM Productions / Matthew
  • 2002   Educational Technology
    Resource Room and
    Instructional Design –
    NTID Evaluation at NTID
  • 2005   Conference of Interpreter
  • 2007   Sign Media, Inc.
  • 2009   DawnSignPress
  • 2011   Sign Media, Inc.
  • 2013   Gallaudet University
    Department of ASL and
    Deaf Studies
  • 2015   Sign Media, Inc.
  • 2017   Sorenson Communications
2017Sorenson Communications
2000MSM Productions/ Matthew Moore
2002Educational Technology Resource Room and Instructional Design- NTID Evaluation at NTID
2005Conference of Interpreter Trainers
1998National Association of the Deaf
2011Sign Media, Inc.
2013Gallaudet University Department of ASL and Deaf Studies
2015Sign Media, Inc.
2007Sign Media, Inc.

Marie Jean Philip
Memorial Award

Established in 2013, this award is in honor of Marie Jean Philip (1953 – 1997), who was an international advocate for ASL as a heritage and modern language for all people. She was a noted promotor of bilingual and bicultural education for Deaf children.

This award is given to a K-12 instructor teaching ASL as a heritage or world language and is actively involved in expanding language and literary opportunities outside of the classroom.

  • 2013   ASL Honor Society

Howard Gilliland
Lisa Godfrey
Rhonda Leslie
Patricia McCarthy
Jason E. Zinza

  • 2015   (no recipient)
  • 2017   ASL That! / Joseph Wheeler

Alan “ALB” Barwiolek Distinguished Service Award

This award honors Alan Roy “ALB” Barwiolek (1952 – 1996), better known as ALB, ASL teacher, performer, and advocate dedicated to the ideals of to ASLTA and to service to others. Long after his term as chair of the Evaluation and Certification program ended, he gave freely of his professional expertise to support the certification of ASL teachers, truly reflecting the mission and purpose of ASLTA.

This award is given in recognition of an individual’s contributions to the Evaluation program, and is selected by the current Evaluation Chair.

  • 1996   Isabelle Calvacca
  • 1998   Keith Cagle, Laura Thomas,
    Chuck Gramly
  • 2000  Ruth Sandefur
  • 2002   Ken Mikos
  • 2005   Chuck Gramly
  • 2007   Rachel Stone
  • 2009   JaNahne McReady-Johnston,
    Patricia G. Beech
  • 2011   Dorothy Wilkins
  • 2013   Sharon Lott, Ken Mikos, Bill
  • 2015   Amy June Rowley, Glenna
    Ashton, E. Lynn Jacobowitz
  • 2017   Keith M. Cagle

Isabelle Calvacca Award

This special award was created by the President of ASLTA in 2005 in honor of Isabelle Calvacca and her dedication to ASLTA. It is presented to an individual who has been most helpful to the President in accomplishing the mission and goals of ASLTA.

The recipient is selected by the President.

  • 2005   Laura Thomas
  • 2007   Tom Riggs
  • 2009   Keith M. Cagle
  • 2011   Barbara Hayes
  • 2013   Cathi Bouton
  • 2015   (no award)
  • 2017   Christine Multra-Kraft

Excellent Service Award

This award is given in recognition of outstanding service to ASLTA for special accomplishments as needed.

The ASLTA Board selects recipients.

  • 2013   National ASL Standards

Dr. Glenna Ashton
Dr. Kim Brown Kurz
Dr. Keith M. Cagle
Dr. William J. Newell
Dr. Richard Peterson
Dr. Jason E. Zinza