WKU senior’s journey to sign language mastery

Noah Moore

Morgan Moore has found a balance by combining school with the things she loves most. 

“I want to be a mental health counselor,” Moore said. “But I would like to work especially with hearing and deaf children. Two years ago, my ASL professor was talking to me about how she was a mental health counselor and she taught ASL, so she talked about it with me to make me realize it’s what I wanted to do.”

Since then, Moore has risen to the top and become president of ASLO, or American Sign Language Organization, a member of the Preparing ASL Hearts Executive Board, a lab worker in the ASL department and an active member of Best Buddies, an organization dedicated to creating opportunities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Among her vast experiences, she does have one that stands out in particular – her work on the PAH Executive Board.

“My favorite experience was in PAH when we created a silent immersion weekend in October. We picked a performer and camp and set up a whole weekend, with all voices entirely off the whole weekend,” she said. “The coolest part was seeing deaf people from all over Tennessee and Kentucky come to it.”

Moore started learning ASL in kindergarten but her experience with it until college was very little. Moore said her teacher was her inspiration and the bond she created with her was the reason she pursued it as a minor. Now she is one class away from graduating with a degree in it and reflects on the large amount of the language that she has learned.

“My favorite part about ASL is definitely the way that certain things in English translate. For example, idioms always flip to different structures and it’s so funny how they change. ‘Beating a dead horse’ would not look the same in ASL,” she said laughing.

Due to her incredible involvement, Moore was awarded a spot on the 2017 WKU Homecoming Court, one of the highest honors of the university for involved and motivated students. She represented the American Sign Language Organization.

“It was so much fun, I feel like a lot of times Homecoming doesn’t have the smaller organizations, but we’ve never had a representative before, so it was an honor that they nominated me,” she said. “It was so cool because a lot of girls hadn’t heard of ASLO, so getting the word out and being involved was super fun.”

The ASL program, though often filled up quickly through registration is one that is growing immensely, in part due to Moore’s work in the program. But though her graduation date nears, don’t expect to lose sight of Moore.

She intends to pursue a Master’s degree in clinical and mental health counseling at any of the three schools to which she has applied, one of them is WKU.

Reporter Noah Moore can be reached at 270-745-2655 and [email protected].