NRSC Staff Directory

Phone: 256-474-0452 (VP)

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

MS Deaf Education - Lamar University BS Computer Engineering - George Mason University

Jason Roop, Director

Specialty Areas - Cybersecurity, Math, IT

Joined February 2019

Jason Roop is currently the director of the NTID Regional STEM Center (NRSC) at the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind (AIDB) in Talladega, Alabama. He is a native of Virginia and a graduate of George Mason University where he earned a bachelor’s in computer engineering. Instead of working in the private sector after completing his undergraduate studies, he chose to begin a career in technology education at the Alabama School for the Deaf (ASD). He received his Master’s in Deaf Education from Lamar University shortly thereafter. Because of his personal experience as a Deaf student in a mainstream program and the benefits of being exposed to STEM courses in high school, he desired to promote the same life-changing impact for the students he worked with at ASD. His nearly 21 years of experience in the Deaf Education and Information Technology fields give him a unique perspective for championing STEM content in education. Jason currently oversees NRSC’s robotics, engineering, and academic and transition programs for postsecondary deaf and hard-of-hearing students nationwide. In his free time, Jason enjoys traveling and hiking with his wife and three daughters.

Phone: 256-368-1356 (V)

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

MS Collaborative Teaching - University of Alabama-Birmingham BS Deaf Education - Montevallo University

Debbie Gilliam, Trainer

Specialty Area - English, Literacy, ACT

Joined May 2020

Debbie Gilliam is a dedicated educator with over 25 years of teaching experience in delivering enthusiastic instruction and curriculum based on the learning needs of students who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Her teaching experience includes all ages from primary grades to working with adult learners. She was the 2015 recipient of the University of Montevallo Outstanding Alumna for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Education and the 2002 recipient of the Outstanding Alumni Collaborative Teacher Program for University of Alabama at Birmingham. Debbie also holds an additional interdisciplinary graduate certification in Deaf and Hard of Hearing Infants, Toddlers and their Families: Collaboration and Leadership from Gallaudet University. She enjoys traveling, practicing yoga, and spending time with family on the lake. 

Phone: 256-474-0243 (VP)

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

MA Deaf Education - Gallaudet University BA Elementary Education - Wichita State University

Harry Wood, Trainer

Specialty Areas - Science, Robotics, Coding/Computer Science

Joined January 2017

Harry is a STEM Trainer with a science background. He started out as the math/science specialist and now emphasizes learning through Robotics for STEM education. He tries to combine his 18 years of experience as a teacher of the D/d/HH with the best practices of STEM education into a cohesive model. Prior to his current position, Harry taught students in high school science at the Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind from 2003-2016. Originally hailing from Maryland, he provides support & enthusiasm in robotics and computer science/coding among many other things.  He has a love for gardening and golfing.

Phone: 256-589-0112 (V), 256-474-4560 (VP)

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

MEd Deaf Education - Western Maryland College/McDaniel College BS Bible/EL Education - Roanoke Bible Collge/Mid-Atlantic Christian University

Lynn Dunn, Trainer

Specialty Areas - English, Literacy, ACT

Joined November 2016

Having been in the educational field for over thirty years, Lynn has worn many hats from classroom teacher, language specialist, curriculum coordinator, counselor, and outreach provider in the area of English and literacy in relation to STEM education. She has taught Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing students from the kindergarten level through college level in the areas of Life Skills/ Independent Living Skills, Social Studies, English, and reading. In my latest role as STEM Outreach Coordinator, I have been involved in workshops/trainings involving the Universal Design for Learning, the Outdoor Classroom, and NSTA workshops related to including STEM across the curriculum; as well as, presenting on the regional and national levels on teaching English/Writing Skills to the Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing, ACT Prep, incorporating STEM/NGSS across all subject areas.

Phone: 256-299-7077 (VP)

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

MS Deaf Education – Rochester Institute of Technology MS Computer Integrated Manufacturing – Rochester Institute of Technology BS Mechanical Engineering – Rochester Institute of Technology AAS Electromechanical Technology – Rochester Institute of Technology AOS Automotive Technology – NASCAR Technical Institute

Matt Howell, Trainer

Specialty Areas – Engineering, CAD, Mechanical, Electronics

Joined October 2020

Matt is a STEM trainer in M.E.L.D. (Mechatronic Engineering for Leadership in Deafness). A Model Secondary School for the Deaf Alumni who came from a small town in the Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina. He started off as customization manager for a sports uniform company dealing with graphic design, heat press, screen print, and embroidery for 5 years until he was successful in getting his dream job by working as mechanical design and quality engineering within the automotive technology field. He has worked within NASCAR, military, and motorsports fields. After 20 years of working in technology industries, he wanted to share his knowledge and experience in advanced technology with Deaf students. So, he became an Engineering and Automotive Technology teacher at North Carolina School for the Deaf for a couple of years before joining the NRSC Team. He has a huge passion in motorsports and automotive technologies. He enjoys traveling, hiking, and watching movies with his beautiful wife, son, and dogs. 

Phone: 256-368-7208 (Voice/Text)

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

MA Special Education - University of North Florida BA Elementary and Deaf Education - Flagler College Alabama and Florida Deaf Education Teaching Certificate Florida Reading Endorsement

Cara Wilmot, Trainer

Specialty Areas - Literacy, Itinerant Services, Transition, and Specially Designed Instruction for Students who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing

Joined June 2023

Cara is an academic and transition specialist and STEM Academy II Coordinator. She has a dual bachelor's degree in Deaf Education and Elementary Education from Flagler College. Her master's degree is in Special Education from the University of North Florida (UNF). She is a UNF Project SPIDERS scholar sponsored by the Office of Special Education Program. She is pursuing her doctorate in Educational Leadership, focusing on Deaf Education. She has 26 years of expertise in Deaf Education with specialties in Reading Intervention, Transition, Itinerant Services, and Specially Designed Instruction for DHH. She has taught students from birth to 22 across the continuum of services, from a self-contained classroom to inclusion support at all levels. She is trained in the following programs designed specifically for students who are DHH: American Sign Language - Expressive Skills Test, AvenuePM, Bedrock Literacy Curriculum, Bilingual Grammar Curriculum, Explicit Contextualized Vocabulary Instruction - Deaf/Hard of Hearing, Fairview Learning, Fingerspelling Our Way to Reading, Foundations for Literacy, See the Sounds Visual Phonics, Strategic and Interactive Writing Instruction, and Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons paired with Visual Phonics. During her free time, she spends time with her husband and two children. She loves reading, traveling, cooking, and trying new adventures. 

Phone: (256) 589-2694 (Voice/Text)

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

RID(NADIV), Q-MHI

Dawn Vanzo, Interpreter Coordinator

Dawn Vanzo is our NTID Regional STEM Center Interpreter Coordinator. She has proven to be a passionate and dedicated interpreter coordinator with 25 years of experience in the field. She began as an ally in the Deaf/ HH community and, as a result of those relationships, was guided towards becoming a professional interpreter and studied at the University of Tennessee. She holds a national Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) certification, specializes in mental health, has served as Huntsville RID Chapter President and Vice president, is a past board member of the Alabama Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (ALRID), is a Council of Organizations Serving Deaf Alabamians (COSDA) Interpreter of the Year and Responsive, Encouraging, Sensitive, Perceptive, Expediting, Caring, and Thoughtful (RESPECT) Award recipient, served with vocational rehab, post-secondary access and is a community interpreter agency owner. She actively supports and coordinates access for events under NRSC-AIDB, including but not limited to Robotics, Drones, ROVs (remotely operated vehicles), STEM Academy, Space Camp, GenCyber, MarineLab, English Language Arts, and Bilingual Grammar Curriculum. She enjoys motherhood, being active, and the great outdoors when not working. If you want to join the Interpreting team, contact her regarding upcoming NRSC events.

Phone: 256-761-3765

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

AAS Business Management

Santori S. Little, Administrative Assistant

Santori Little is originally from Lanett, AL. Santori attended the University of Phoenix and received her Associate of Arts Degree with a Concentration in Business Foundations. She joined NRSC in December 2021. Previously, Santori worked with the Alabama School for the Deaf, where she was an integral part of the ASD High School Staff and students. She specialized in helping with the enrollment process to ensure parents had a smooth transition, whether from a mainstream school or another deaf or hard-of-hearing system. In her spare time, she loves to travel and spend time with her three daughters, Majesty, Faith, and Charity, and her grandson, Carson Drew. She also enjoys being a helping hand to those she meets.

 

 

Phone: 256-589-5909

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

AAS - Gadsden State Community College

Stephanie Morgan, Administrative Assistant

Stephanie Morgan joined Special Projects in February 2023 as an Administrative Assistant and Accounting Clerk. She graduated from Gadsden State Community College in August 2022 with an Associates in Applied Science Accounting Technology. Stephanie is passionate about serving the deaf and hard of hearing community. She is a mother of two beautiful children. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, reading and gardening.