ASL/English Interpreting Faculty

ASL/English Interpreting Faculty


Jessica Bentley-Sassaman, program coordinator and assistant professor

Jessica Bentley-Sassaman

Jessica Bentley-Sassaman, Ed.D., graduated from Bloomsburg University in 2001 with her Bachelor's of Science degree in interpreting. She earned her Master's of Art degree in linguistics from Gallaudet University in 2006 and has finished her Doctorate in education from Walden University in 2011. The focus of her study was Deaf-Hearing interpreter teams and how they work together as a team.

Bentley-Sassaman, Ed.D., has been interpreting professionally since 2001, earning her Educational Interpreter Performance Assessment (EIPA) from Boystown Research Hospital, Certification of Transliteration, and Certification of Interpretation from the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID). She also holds the state legal certification from the Administrative Offices of the Pennsylvania Courts.

She is one of only eight interpreters in PA to earn the Special Certificate: Legal (SC:L) from the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, Inc. In addition, she is the only college faculty in PA to hold this certification. RID describes this certification as, "Holders of this specialist certificate have demonstrated specialized knowledge of legal settings and greater familiarity with language used in the legal system. Certification recognized by RID, documented training and legal interpreting experience are required prior to sitting for this exam. SC:L holders are recommended for a broad range of legal assignments." She is also involved in the Pennsylvania Chapter of the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (PARID) and a member of the Conference of Interpreter Trainers.

Research and Scholarship

October 2017 — Jessica Bentley-Sassaman, Ed.D. and Dr. Kristin Lizor have recently conducted a study that was published in the Polygraph & Forensic Credibility Assessment: A Journal of Science and Field Practice in October of 2017 titled Whether or Not ASL Interpreters are Needed to Administer Polygraph Examinations on Deaf Individuals. by Kelly Roth (Criminal Justice, Jessica Bentley-Sassaman, and Kristin Lizor.
Abstract: A comparative study on deaf populations tested the effectiveness of administering a polygraph examination first without an interpreter and then with an interpreter. The study results suggested that there is a higher chance of successfully completing a polygraph examination when a certified ASL legal interpreter is provided. The pretest interview questions should be modified for the population because in many cases English is not their first language. In addition, the researchers found that when a polygraph examination booklet/mock pre-employment screening booklet that was used it also needs to be modified.

May 2013 — Bentley-Sassaman, Ed.D., was recently published in the Journal of Interpretation, which is set up through the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf. The article, part of her doctoral study related to deaf-hearing interpreter teams, focused on how deaf interpreters and hearing interpreters know how to come together to work as a team. Her progressive research focuses on an area of interpreting that has seen very little research to date.


Leonard Granda, assistant professor of exceptionality programs, ASL and deaf culture

Leonard Granda

Leonard Granda, Ed.D., has taught America Sign Language for 14 years in various levels from kindergarten to college level students. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Gallaudet University and a Master’s degree in Education of the Deaf from San Diego State University. Dr. Granda has taught at San Diego State University, The College of the Holy Cross, Austine School for the Deaf, The Learning Center for Deaf Children, Loudoun County Public Schools (VA) and various community colleges. Granda completed his doctoral degree at Lamar University in Deaf Studies / Deaf Education. Dr. Granda enjoys traveling with his wife, Lizor-Granda and his two kids, Ethan and Ashlyn along with their hearing dog, Kelsey.


Bridget Klein, instructor of exceptionality programs, ASL and deaf culture

Bridget Klein

Bridget Klein grew up on a 60-cow dairy farm in rural Wisconsin. She enrolled in Keuka College in New York, to receive her Baccalaureate Degree in American Sign Language. After receiving her degree, she moved on to attend Gallaudet University in Washington, DC to receive her Master’s Degree in Sign Language Teaching and Culture Studies. Ms. Klein is a current PhD candidate in Anthropology at American University in Washington DC. Klein holds the professional level certification through the American Sign Language Teachers Association (ASLTA).


Tracy Knight, tenure track assistant professor

Tracy Knight

Tracy Knight

Tracy Knight, Ed.D., has taught in various levels from kindergarten to college level students. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Gallaudet University and a Master degree in Deaf Studies and Deaf Education from Lamar University. She received her Doctoral degree from Lamar University as well in Deaf Studies and Deaf Education in 2013. She has Texas teaching certification for Deaf children from Pre-k to 12th grade level. She enjoys her time traveling and spent time with family and friends. She has two homes, one is here in Bloomsburg, PA and other one is in Houston, TX where her husband, Howard Knight, who is CPA and 4 children who are KODAs (Kid of Deaf Adult) live.


Kristin Lizor, assistant professor of exceptionality programs, ASL and deaf culture

Kristin Lizor

Kristin Lizor, Ed.D., has more than 20 years of intensive educational and diversified working experience in both the Deaf and hearing communities. Her educational background consists of a Bachelors of Science Degree in Criminology and Victimology, a Master’s of Science Degree in Counseling, and she is currently working on completing her doctoral degree in Deaf Education/Deaf Studies, focusing on Deaf inmates and the Americans with Disabilities Rights. Lizor has served as a Deaf mentor, drug and alcohol counselor, Deaf victims advocate, ASL consultant, private tutor, and ASL instructor. Lizor is a highly motivated and talented individual who strive to create an innovative and positive learning environment. She is active in advocating for the Deaf community and is working on becoming a Certified Deaf Interpreter through the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf.

Jay Pittman

Jay Pittman

Jay Pittman

Mr. Jay Pittman joined the ASL/English Interpreting Program at Bloomsburg University in 2016. He graduated with his bachelor’s degree from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 2008. He holds his master’s degree from Gallaudet University in Interpretation; which he received in 2016. Currently, Mr. Pittman is a doctoral student at Gallaudet University in the Department of Interpreting and Translation. He holds his National Interpreter Certification from The Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf. His areas of interest include interpreter training and ASL prosody.