I am a doctoral candidate at Gallaudet University, and previously worked with the SLRL as a Fulbright scholar (http://www.fulbright.org.il). For that project we compared prosodic features such as manual rhythm and facial movements in Israeli Sign Language and American Sign Language. We found some similarities in how the languages use these features for grammatical purposes, which may point to universal features of the sign language modality. We also found language-specific forms that characterize the prosodic systems of each language.
I am currently finishing up my coursework and beginning my dissertation on construal of affective events in American Sign Language. I am interested in studying constructions in the sign language modality that manage focus at the clause and discourse levels, and I chose to begin with one language and one type of event, in order to manage my own focus at the doctorate level. Along with taking classes and conducting research, I interpret ASL and English and teach linguistics to undergraduate students at Gallaudet. Both of these pursuits drive my research interests toward finding practical application of linguistic research.