About Us

Paul Fugate
Owner / CEO

Founder, and a  nationally certified interpreter, working with Deaf children for the last 15 years. Additionally, he has worked in a variety of settings such as legal, collegiate, mental health, relay, medical, courtroom, and education, to name a few. After interpreting for a number of years in the classroom, Paul obtained a teaching degree in Deaf Education. In 2006, he earned a Masters Degree in Special Education, specializing in emotional impairment and learning disabilities. Paul is passionate about his teaching opportunities, and possesses the desire to help all students to learn at their maximum potential.

Diana C.
Executive Content Developer

Diana graduated from the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind (FSDB). She is also a CODA (Child of Deaf adults). She works as an ASL Specialist with Bloomfield Hills Schools, in Michigan, working with bilingual students, and has worked as an intervener with Deaf and Blind students for over 23 years. In addition, Diana is a mentor to the interpreter students at Oakland Community College.

Angela K.
Executive Content Developer

Born Deaf, Angela is married, and the mother of 3 wonderful children. In addition to teaching ASL through Sign On CPR, Angela also works as an interpreter and intervenes for those who are Deaf and blind. She has a passion for teaching, and is encouraged to see everyone learning ASL, to communicate with the Deaf community.

Mindy R.
Content Developer

Mindy was born Deaf. She graduated from Madonna University with a bachelor’s degree in Language Arts. She has been an instructor of American Sign Language at several colleges and universities. Her passion is seeing the success of students/parents as they become proficient signers and interpreters. Her goal is to continue teaching those who possess this same enthusiasm and desire to learn ASL.

Ken B.
Content Developer

I was born hearing and became Deaf when I was a child. I graduated from Macomb Community College (MCC) with an Associate Degree in Tool Fixture and Die Design.  I am eager to teach people ASL for Fellowship, Deaf Culture and community.  I work as a window cleaner currently.

Benjamin H.
Content Developer

Born Deaf, into a Deaf family, Benjamin grew up with sign language his first language. A graduate of Lasher High School, in Bloomfield Hills, MI, Benjamin worked in play productions for many years, culminating in co-directing Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, along with Diana C., another one of your ASL instructors. When asked what he hoped to accomplish as a teacher with ASLdeafined, he quickly responded, “I cannot wait to work with those learning ASL. Remember, Practice makes perfect!!!”

Justin T.
Content Developer

Justin was born Deaf . After graduating from Bloomfield Hills School, in Michigan, Justin attended the Rochester Institute of Technology, in Rochester, New York. He is currently employed in the restaurant and food services industry. Justin enjoys tutoring and teaching ASL, with the desire that his family learn as much ASL as possible. He also works with Sign On CPR. Due to his vision difficulties, Justin relies exclusively on public transportation, bus, walking, Uber, or friends, to get around. “I won’t allow my lack of sight to hinder my mobility,” he proudly proclaims.

Stacie B.
CEO Executive Assistant

Stacie is the CEO Executive Assistant for ASLdeafined and enjoys her work there.  She loves the field of interpreting and is working toward her goal of becoming a Nationally Certified Interpreter.  Stacie has been married to her husband for 29 years and has four sons that make her laugh every day.  Her hobbies aren’t extensive but enjoys studying about the interpreting field and reading any book she can get her hands on about it.  

Kayla P.
Curriculum Developer

Hello! My name is Kayla Piper. I have always had an interest in ASL even as a young child teaching myself how to fingerspell. Fast forward in time, I was needing a foreign language credit for college. I decided to take my first ASL 1 class at Mott Community College. I LOVED it! The facial expressions, the emotion behind the signs, and the beauty of the visual language was mesmerizing. I was fascinated watching my teacher. I decided after one semester of ASL to switch colleges and focus solely on ASL. I enrolled at Baker College in Flint. I received my Bachelor’s in Interpreting Training there. The love for Deaf culture and the Deaf community continued to grow throughout the program and my everyday life. I have gained many great friendships through this experience. Meeting Paul Fugate, through my former peer and best friend Stacie Bush has been a major blessing! I am proud to be a part of ASLdeafined. I enjoy being a behind the scene type person. I have wonderful co-workers whom I can confide in and look up to. Work isn’t truly “work” when you’re with the people you care about.

Kelly N.
Content Coordinator

Kelly is the content coordinator for ASLdeafined. She has been involved with the website for a few years. Kelly obtained her bachelors degree in Communication from Oakland University. Kelly graduated in April of 2017 and went to obtain her associates degree in August of 2017. Kelly obtained her associates in Sign Language Interpretation from Oakland Community College in December 2019. Kelly’s favorite hobbies include getting involved with community theatre, running, and playing with her dog. Kelly is currently in the process to become a state certified sign language interpreter.

Angela G.
Content Coordinator

Hello, I’m Angela! I’ve been using ASLdeafined.com since 2013. I started off using the website as a high school student and continued to use it throughout college! I have a degree in Linguistics and in December 2020 I will have another degree in Sign Language Interpreting. My goal is to be a nationally certified interpreter one day. Thank you ASLdeafined.com for showing me what my true passion is! 

Jenna G.
Social Media

Jenna is our Social Media Specialist! She is Deaf and pursuing a career in Education to encourage a new generation of passionate, quality interpreters. Jenna loves spending time with her daughter, coaching volleyball, and making old-school Italian dishes. She is a bit shy, but you can still find her in the ASL Dictionary.

Travis R.
Content Developer

Hi everyone, my name is Travis, I’m in my 30s. I’m Deafblind. I am gamer, I love to play videogames, I enjoy reading books and manga, you can say I’m nerd. I come from Deaf family, grew up in Deaf school and strong Deaf culture. So I have many stories to tell, some from my experiences, some from my writing creativity. I hope to print poem book someday.

Jonelle T.
Content Developer

Hello! My name is Jonelle Thames. I grew up in Southfield and currently living in Auburn Hills. I am from 5 generations of Deaf family members. I work for JVS as a Job Coach for developmental disability individuals. I enjoy tutoring American Sign Language and I plan to go back to school to be DeafBlind Intervener. My hobbies are hiking with my dog, doing puzzles, and cooking. Looking forward to help with ASL skills!

Kevin H.
Business Manager

A native of Washington D.C., Kevin came to Michigan to attend Ferris State University (FSU). Graduated with a degree in business marketing. During the past 30 years, establishing a proven track record with expertise in organizational development and marketing program management. In support of the Deaf community, Kevin is a cofounder of the United Church of Christ Michigan Deaf Community Ministry.

Ben S.
Website Developer

Ben has been with ASLdeafined since its inception.  Literally.  Ben is the developer that brought ASLdeafined into being and has been making improvements to the site for the last 11 years.  He is the owner of Ideas2Executables, LLC, a company that specializes in support to small businesses and entrepreneurs like ASLdeafined .  Ben lives in Northern Virginia with his wife.  When he is not coding or fixing bugs that Paul finds, he loves to run, take photos, and blog about all random things.

Cassie S.
Storyteller

I graduated from Detroit Day School for the Deaf and Michigan School for Deaf. I was in OIC movies from 2009-2015. When I left from OIC movies I started traveling which I enjoying. It’s teach me lots of things I never knew. It’s help me improve and growing. In 2015  Sorenson for storytelling in NYC.  In 2016 perform for Epic Jan Spotlight in Seattle, Washington, perform Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte, NC. In 2017 interviewed by students from Madonna University in Michigan, signing video recording for ASLDEAFINED in Michigan, Panel in Oakland Community College in Michigan, Master of Ceremony and performer with Reel Def Entertainment, performer for their Detroit Black Deaf Advocates. In 2018 performer with NorCRID in Vancouver, Washington, presenter with MIRID in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, presenter with ASL Immersion In Grasslake, Michigan,In 2019, I am member of Association for the Advancement of Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing(AADHH), presenter with D&HHS workshops in Middleville, MI.

Holly S.
Director of Communications

Holly has been involved in various aspects of ASLdeafined since its formation, from freelance writing and social media to website and educational content. Currently acting as Director of Communications, Holly is excited to play an active role in the messaging, marketing, and promotions of a company whose mission she feels is so important in a world that can always use more inclusivity. Holly has a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Western Michigan University and a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science from Wayne State University. An educator and librarian for her entire professional career, Holly has primarily held positions as a school librarian and subsequently understands the importance of a robust online learning program and opening doors to better communication. In addition to her ASLdeafined duties, Holly is a strong advocate for public libraries and continues to substitute for an area system and work part-time as a school librarian at a local private school. In her free time Holly likes to harass her dog Hazel, explore Detroit, take road trips and buy books.

Ramiz T.
Content Developer

I was born Deaf. I grew up in Detroit, Michigan. I am fluently in American Sign language for my whole life. I graduated with Automotive Tech degree from Macomb Community College. I have few certificates in Auto. I am currently working as a handyman at All Pro Contractors Company and Purple VP installer. I have been in few Comedy ASL videos. I love to travel around the world and meet many people. I have intensive knowledge of Deaf culture.

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