SDCRID BOARD and COMMITTEES
Leah Brown (2021-2023)
Leah was born and raised in San Diego. She graduated from California State University San Marcos in 2006 with a Bachelors degree in Sociology. In 2008, she graduated from the interpreting program at Palomar College and began her career as a sign language interpreter. When not working, she enjoys spending time with her family practicing Taekwondo, mountain biking, surfing, camping and traveling.
Jojo Sullivan (2021-2023)
JoJo Sullivan was born and raised in San Diego, the youngest, and many say the favorite, of 3 CODAs born to Mike and Carol Gallagher. She became nationally certified in June of 2002. She had to go see about a boy up at Stanford University where she continued to freelance and was introduced to VRS for the first time. After returning to San Diego and putting a ring on it, married life took her to Seattle. Seattle was a great place to live and work until JoJo became homesick…and then morning sick…so back to San Diego they went. Glad to be home and working her 20th year as a freelance interpreter, JoJo is looking forward to contributing to the SDCRID board for the first time.
Paul Gabriola (2021-2023)Paul Gabriola was born and raised in San Diego and was first introduced to the Deaf community in 2008. He graduated from Palomar College’s ITP program in the Fall of 2019 and became nationally certified in February of 2020. After working and living in Washington D.C. while completing his M.A. in linguistics as Gallaudet University, he moved back to San Diego to continue to develop his skills. He now works in the greater San Diego area as a freelance interpreter and does VRS. He is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Linguistics at Gallaudet University. He is committed to ensuring the interpreting profession places a priority on diversity, equity, and inclusion in the day-to-day work that is done.
Jessica Cole (2021-2023)
Jessica grew up in Chula Vista and completed her undergraduate degree at Emerson College in Boston. She began working in Deaf education as an aide and later as a teacher for three years in Chula Vista before transitioning to the ITP at Mesa College. She completed her program concurrently at Mesa and Palomar Colleges and began working as a freelance interpreter while also beginning her MA at UCSD where she studied ASL literature. After graduating and doing short stints in community freelancing and VRS, she settled into a job she loves with the San Diego County Office of Education, where she has been for 10 years. In her free time, Jessica loves to walk around the city, travel, read, and (over?)analyze pop culture for its social justice implications.
COMMUNITY REPRESENTATIVE II:
Angelo Ricasata (2021-2023)
Angelo Ricasata is a 1st generation Deaf/Hard of Hearing and Filipino-American, San Diegan native, having grown up in a military family. He had previously lived in Hawai'i for 4 years due to said military family life and had attended Cal Poly Pomona for 6 years, with a Bachelor of Architecture degree. He has traveled to the Philippines, Japan, and Europe and has drawn inspiration from them to pursue his taste in architecture as well as cultures. He has worked at Palomar Community College from 2016-2018 as an ASL Lab Technician and a Deaf mentor for Interpreting students in school and theatre settings. Currently, he works for a design company based in Miramar that specializes on home remodels and new builds. His passions lie not just in architecture but also in performing arts (dancing and playing the violin), sketching, foreign languages (both verbal and nonverbal), as well as cultures. He also performed for the Bay Area International Deaf Dance Festival and the one-time San Diego Deaf Dance Performance Event, with his specialization in SongSign. He has a respectful and positive attitude and ensures complete and in-depth understanding with communication among parties.
COMMUNITY REPRESENTATIVE V: BIPOC
Razi Hall (2021-2023)
Deaf and a Florida native, Rodney “Razi” Hall lives and works in San Diego for Deaf community as a Deaf Interpreter. He is a native ASL user and he enrolled in the ASL Interpreting program at Mesa College to become a Deaf Interpreter. He received a certification of achievement which allowed him to enhance his interpretation skills and knowledge. He conducts myself in a professional manner, able to work well with team interpreters.
He worked as a freelance Deaf Interpreter for a year. Now he works as staff Deaf interpreter for DCS. He is working on becoming a Certified Deaf Interpreter.
In the past, he volunteered for Deaf community Services as a front desk clerk and in the Adult Literacy Department as an instructional aide and one-on-one tutor.
He is tied to the Deaf Community. For most of his life, he lived in the Deaf World. He served in Deaf organizations setting up Deaf events, working with Deaf people, tutoring ASL, etc.
BIPOC Interpreters Committee
Co-chairs: Geri Mu and Norma Villegas
Geri Mu, NIC-Master, CI and CT, is a Chinese American interpreter in private practice since 1984. Currently, she is a Testing Committee member for the Center for Assessment of Sign Language Interpretation (CASLI).
Geri has been formally involved with multicultural issues since 1997. She was the Chair for RID’s Cultural Diversity in Leadership committee for eight years and an Advisory Committee member for the National Multicultural Interpreter Consortium. She is also proud to have been the Interpreting Services Coordinator for the Asian Deaf Conference in 2000 where she was the first to assemble the largest all-Asian Interpreting team known at that time!
She is a lifelong learner, holding an A.A. in Interpreting from Los Angeles Pierce College, a B.A. in Deaf Studies from California State University Northridge, and an M.A. in Linguistics from Gallaudet University.
Chair: Amelia Mester
Amelia Mester was born and raised in Southern California. She has also enjoyed living in San Francisco and Pittsburgh, PA. In 2013, she began learning ASL in Pittsburgh before relocating to North County San Diego to continue her studies at Palomar College. She recently graduated from Palomar's Interpreting Program in 2022 and is looking forward to earning her Bachelor's degree in Interpreting from William Woods online ITP program in Fall of 2022. Amelia is excited to begin work alongside other interpreters within the Deaf Community. She is passionate about advocating for equity and equal access to information. Amelia is a single parent who enjoys hiking, camping, surfing, dancing, and spending time with her dogs.
Jean Kelly Lending Library
Librarian: Annette Miner, Ph.D., CI/CT, NIC-M
Annette Miner, PhD, is an interpreter educator, professional interpreter, and researcher. She received a doctorate in interpretation pedagogy and research from Gallaudet University in Washington, DC. She has published on the topics of curriculum design, experiential and situated learning in interpreter education, and the role of designated interpreters.