College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities; Research

Meet a Tiger: Stephen Fitzmaurice


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This Tiger helped develop Clemson’s American Sign Language (ASL) educational interpreting program, which gives students the necessary knowledge and experience to work with deaf children in mainstream school systems. Educational interpreting is offered in only seven programs across the country. Clemson is the only higher-education institution in the state that offers a four-year degree in ASL.

Meet Stephen Fitzmaurice.

Title: Assistant professor of ASL interpreting

Years at Clemson: Nine. I started at Clemson as a visiting assistant professor with the goal of launching an interpreting program. Five years ago, I was offered a tenuretrack position.

What I do at Clemson: I teach upper-level ASL coursework, mostly related to linguistics and ASL-English educational interpreting. I am also the principal investigator for a large grant from the South Carolina Department of Education to manage the South Carolina Educational Interpreting Center.

What I love about Clemson: I absolutely love Clemson students. The students I meet, teach and advise carry with them an effervescent yearning to learn and a passion to serve the greater good. The other thing I love, particularly about the department of languages, is we have such a culturally and scholarly diverse faculty – the opportunities to engage with teachers and scholars from such different backgrounds is always thrilling. Finally, I love that Clemson is the only institution in South Carolina offering a four-year degree in ASL and is home to one of only a handful of educational interpreting programs in the nation.

My defining moment at Clemson: One defining moment for me was attending the graduation ceremony and witnessing the first modern languages (ASL) students receiving their degrees. I knew each one of the students to be exceptionally talented Tigers. They all had job offers when they walked across the stage.

Accomplishment I’m most proud of: I am most proud our alumni. They are all gainfully employed and are scoring significantly higher on their exams than the national mean. I am also proud of the fact that I was able to complete my doctoral degree at Gallaudet University while raising two amazing kids and working at Clemson full time.

Where I see myself in five years: I see myself wearing Clemson orange and continuing to grow our program.

Last thing I watched on TV:  Aside from Clemson football and Clemson men’s and women’s soccer – Madame Secretary.

Guilty pleasure: I love Lindt dark chocolate with chili peppers.

One thing most people don’t know about me: I am originally from Canada but have lived in South Carolina for the last 20 years. And, although I am left-handed, I sign right-handed.


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