Western Kentucky University

American Sign Language Studies - Peer Mentors

Let Us Introduce Ourselves

We are the people you see in class, but you might not necessarily know who we are or why we're in there. We aren't classmates or instructors, but we are your peer mentors -- and we are here to help! Our roles are quite diverse, ranging from being a prop in class for the instructor, to scheduling review sessions for tests. We are here for your benefit and want you to feel comfortable coming to us for advice or help. Most of us have been where you are at some point in our signing careers and want to share with you our passion for ASL. So, please feel free to contact us if you have any questions, or just want some advice. We are here for you, and have provided little bios below to help you get to know us better!

Luke Akridge

Luke Akridge

Email:  luke.akridge@wku.edu

Born in Lexington, KY. I moved to Bowling Green to attend the Gatton Academy during my Senior year in High School. Graduating from the Academy in 2008, I continued my education here at WKU where I discovered a love for ASL.

I originally enrolled in ASL due to University requirements, and picked ASL because it was something different. I learned Spanish in High School, and a little French and German in Middle School – I wanted to try my hands (literally) at something a little more unique. I was hooked from day one and have completed ASL I - IV, as well as Deaf Culture, Fingerspelling, and an Honors Colloquium: Signing Globally.

Upon graduating I obtained an IT position here at WKU and have continued an active role in ASLO, where I can apply my passion for both ASL and IT. You will always find me at the events ASLO hosts, laughing and having a great time, socializing with others who enjoy ASL and Deaf culture.

 
Holly Bean

Holly Bean

Email:  holly.bean407@topper.wku.edu

Hi all! My name is Holly Bean, like a green bean! Some people say it as one word (HollyBean), but I do answer to just Holly. :-)

This year I am starting my first year of graduate school at WKU in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program – yes it's a mouth full. As a counselor, I hope to have an emphasis in child counseling and maybe even work with the Deaf community. I would love to keep my ASL skills up by counseling in ASL. How cool!?!

Anyways, I became a Peer Mentor to be a friend, an advocate, and a guide for those students taking ASL I and II. I remember my first day of silence. Wow! It was crazy. I hope that I can be there for the new students to help navigate them through the ASL waters. So, I guess in conclusion, I want everyone to have the opportunity to fall in love with ASL and the Deaf Culture like I did; and that is THE reason I chose to be a Peer Mentor! :-)

 
Katie DeCoursey

Katie DeCoursey

Email:  katherine.decoursey388@topper.wku.edu

My name is Katie DeCoursey. I am a Junior from Pembroke, Kentucky. My major is Communication Disorders with a minor in American Sign Language Studies. My first real exposure to ASL was when I was on a high school mission trip and met a little girl named Amber. She was part of a group of children we were in charge of at a daycare. I remember walking up to her for the first time and trying to talk to her. She only spoke ASL. I knew a few signs and did my best to communicate with her. She opened my eyes to the beautiful world of ASL. As soon as possible, I took ASL classes here at WKU and soaked up all of the signs that I could. My class’s peer mentors were awesome and were there to help us any time that we needed it. That is why I became a peer mentor; I want to offer the same encouragement and help!

 
Katelyn Dotson

Katelyn Dotson

Email:  katelyn.dotson423@topper.wku.edu

“From this point forward we will not be using our voices, we will only sign.” For most students this is where the mouth-drops-open, eyes-go-wide, I’m-in-shock look comes in. Your first ASL class can be so intimidating, but the peer mentors are the ones who help make it feel like you’ll make it, they are someone you can look up to, but also to be a friend.

With that said, I am Katelyn Dotson, a Junior here at WKU and Biology major, with a minor in Outdoor Leadership. Last August I was one of the new ASL babies! I thought, “Oh, it will be fun and it will meet my foreign language requirements.” Since then, I have learned so much about Deaf culture and ASL! I’m also currently the Marketing chair for the American Sign Language Organization board – so, you should join that as well! I hope, one day, I will get my Masters in ASL. I love this language and I love WKU, so please ask me about both!? ASL means more to me than I ever thought it would, so if you ever need help, or are interested in learning more about ASL, come find us!

My goal is to make a difference in how someone views ASL and the Deaf community. Since ASL is a new found love for me, and I want to share this beautiful language with others – that’s why I became a peer mentor.

 
Morgan Graham

Morgan Graham

Email:  morgan.graham718@topper.wku.edu

Hello! My name is Morgan Graham and I am in my Senior year at WKU! I am pursuing a double major in Spanish and Religious Studies, as well as a minor in American Sign Language Studies. My interest in ASL began at an early age when my dad was an interpreter for our church in Louisville. As a child, seeing my dad bridge the gap between two worlds of communication was a huge blessing, and is where I believe my passion for languages originated. With my love for languages (I am currently up to 4), comes my eagerness for everyone to take the step of learning a second language, in order to better connect with those around us. As a Peer Mentor, I am so excited to help new ASL students really take hold of the opportunity to learn to sign. Learning to communicate without English can be intimidating, but it CAN be done and it can even be painless! My Peer Mentor for ASL 1 and 2 was off-the-charts AWESOME and I will do everything in my power to be as helpful and encouraging as she was for me!

 
Rachel McLean

Rachel McLean

Email:  rachel.mclean112@topper.wku.edu

Hello! My name is Rachel McLean! I’m a junior here at WKU. My Major is IECE which stands for Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education, which basically means I want to work with young children who have special needs. Also, I am minoring in ASL Studies!!! When I found out that Western offered ASL classes I knew I had to take them. Not only could ASL possibly help with my future career, but I have always thought ASL to be beautiful language and I have always wanted to know how to sign! So I signed up for ASL 1 last Fall! Now after taking ASL 1, ASL 2, and Deaf Culture and History I am completely in love with this language and the culture it helped to create! But for me, just taking the minor was not enough, I wanted to be more involved with the language! So when I found out I could apply to be a peer mentor, I knew I had to try! I have always enjoyed helping people learn. I love that I can be a resource for new ASL learners, and that it will help me advance my own skills!!!!! If you ever need help, have a question, or just want to talk my number is (937) 694-5273, you can call or text!!!? Have a wonderful day!!!

 
 Last Modified 5/1/14