Program: American Sign Language Interpreting
Adam Wasilewski finds inspiration in his parents.
“They immigrated to America from Poland with no English language. They struggled by working all day, learning the language and raising their family,” he said. “After a few years of hardship, they learned English. Once I was born deaf, they learned American Sign Language to communicate with me.”
Wasilewski, who has used ASL his entire life, earned his bachelor’s degree from Northern Illinois University and transferred to Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C., where he received a master’s in ASL Education.
“A unique thing about Gallaudet University is that their mission is bilingual and bicultural. Everything on campus is done in ASL and written English,” he said.
Beginning his teaching career as an ASL instructor at NIU and Harper College, he moved to Waubonsee Community College, where he was an assistant professor for four years. Wasilewski then came to College of DuPage and began building its new ASL Interpreting degree and certificate program.
He loves to teach and provides opportunities for his students outside of the classroom, such as running the ASL Club and overseeing a number of events.
“I want to immerse my students into ASL and the deaf world,” he said. “I am not here to make the course difficult or force them to memorize everything. I strongly use an interactive method where they use ASL to communicate. My goal is for my students to understand the language and culture.”