Alumni Spotlight: Melanie Carlisle

Melanie Carlisle’s first encounter with California Lutheran University was in 2007 when she investigated earning her multiple subject credential. Cal Lutheran had a partnership with the school where she was teaching to help working teachers advance their education. The professor who was running the program was Dr. Maura Martindale, Associate Professor of Special Education. During one of her lectures Professor Martindale started using ASL (American Sign Language) and Ms. Carlisle signed back. After class Professor Martindale called Ms. Carlisle up and asked her if she would be interested in joining the new cohort at Cal Lutheran in the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DHH) program.
 
Ms. Carlisle then enrolled in both credential programs, regular multiple subject and special education, as well as the Masters of Education for the DHH program in 2010. Professor Martindale was her mentor from the moment they signed to each other that first day. Professor Martindale created real-life opportunities for the cohort and had hands on experience with children in the language lab as well as labs at the House Ear Institute.
 
After graduation, Ms. Carlisle began an international job search and secured a position at a private bilingual German-English school in Berlin, Germany. Despite the fact that she had no German language experience or skills, the administration offered her the position based on years of teaching experience and unique studies in language acquisition. She was also placed in charge of student teachers from Stenden University. Ms. Carlisle trains, evaluates and mentors these students as well as presents a lecture series at the university. She designed her mentoring style based on her role model, Professor Martindale.
 
Ms. Carlisle has been at the school for four years and was recently promoted to lead teacher of the 5th and 6th grades. She was granted a permanent German teaching license in her first year, rarely given to new teachers. In her first year, she also implemented an ASL club at the school which has been wildly popular. The education she received at Cal Lutheran has allowed her to identify hearing and speech issues and recommend hearing testing and speech therapy for students that may have otherwise gone unnoticed by the faculty. The experience also gave her insight and techniques in her personal pursuit of learning the German language.
 
“The DHH program and credential programs widened my gaze and empowered me to take risks and enter into a new phase of my career. This journey has been surprising, unexpected and exhilarating. The experience and knowledge I gained at Cal Lutheran gave me the skills and confidence to reach beyond my own goals in education and to branch out in ways I didn’t think possible.”

More

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    Wed May 5, 2021

    As the result of a rare interdisciplinary collaboration between undergraduate and graduate programs, California Lutheran University has become one of the first institutions in California where undergraduate students can begin earning their bilingual teaching authorization through coursework.

  • 2020 grads return to celebrate in person
    Thu April 29, 2021

    One year after the pandemic forced California Lutheran University to hold commencement virtually, more than 300 members of the Class of 2020 will return to celebrate their achievements at an in-person ceremony just for them.

  • Faculty retiring with emeritus status
    Wed April 21, 2021

    Seven California Lutheran University faculty members with a combined total of more than 160 years of service are retiring with emeritus status. 

  • Festival reflects year's historic events
    Thu April 15, 2021

    The projects presented next week at California Lutheran University’s 15th Annual Festival of Scholars will reflect the historic events of the past year — from research conducted and films shot in students’ homes during pandemic stay-at-home orders to studies of the impact of distance learning and the optimal amount of lying during a political campaign.

  • Cal Lutheran plans in-person graduation
    Tue February 23, 2021

    California Lutheran University will honor 2020 and 2021 graduates at drive-in, in-person ceremonies attended by their classmates and families at the Ventura County Fairgrounds.

  • Cal Lutheran grad students number 1,220
    Wed September 9, 2020

    The pandemic and the temporary move to virtual classes have had no impact on overall interest in California Lutheran University’s graduate programs, with enrollment remaining the same as last year at about 1,225 students at the start of the fall term.

  • Faculty retiring with emeritus status
    Mon May 11, 2020

    Seven California Lutheran University faculty members with a combined total of more than 200 years of service are retiring with emeritus status.

  • Virtual Graduate Commencement slated
    Fri May 1, 2020

    On May 15, California Lutheran University will launch the first of two virtual 57th Annual Commencement ceremonies honoring 2020 graduates.

  • Book gives voice to 10 autistic authors
    Tue October 1, 2019

    Ten nonspeaking people with autism explain how they found their voices through alternative communication methods in a new book edited by the director of the Autism and Communication Center at California Lutheran University.

  • Int'l admissions director honored for work
    Fri July 26, 2019

    California Lutheran University’s director of international admission received the Distinguished Service Award from the International Association for College Admission Counseling (IACAC).

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