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Deaf Studies Faculty
Name Phone Email
Kevin Fleese, M.Ed
Professor, Program Coordinator
VP 978-241-7049 kfleese@necc.mass.edu
Larry Stephen, M.S.
Adjunct Professor
VP 978-241-7053 lstephen@necc.mass.edu
Diane Mele, M.A., LMHC, ICTC, NIC V 978-556-3359
VP 978-241-7056
Lab Workers
Name Phone Email
Kim Sampson B.S.
ASL Lab Supervisor/ Program Assistant
978-556-3667 ksampson@necc.mass.edu
Annie LeBlanc
Audio-Visual Technician/ASL Tutor

Faculty Biographies

Larry Stephen, M.S.

Larry StephenAdjunct Professor of Deaf Studies/American Sign Language

Larry is originally from the southernmost Caribbean islands, Trinidad and Tobago. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from California State University, Northridge and a Master of Science from McDaniel College (formerly known as Western Maryland College). He is an alumnus of Marie Philip School at the Learning Center of the Deaf in Framingham, Massachusetts. He is an author of “Courage in our Hearts”; the story about a Deaf immigrant discovered new adopted land in America with his family members and blossomed into a scholar/an athlete with family supports. He is involved state, regional, national, and international conferences such as the World Congress of the World Federation of the Deaf and Deaflympics (Deaf Olympics). He is traveling extensively around the world. He is a co-director of American Sign Language at Wheelock Family Theatre in the city of Boston.

His educational and professional credentials include:

  • Master of Science in Deaf Education, McDaniel College
  • Bachelor of Arts in Geography, California State University at Northridge
  • A Keynote Speaker, American Society of Deaf Children Conference in Indianapolis
  • Member, American Sign Language Teachers Association
  • Member, International Sign Language Teachers Organization
  • Member, The World Federation of the Deaf
  • Athlete & Delegate, Summer Deaflympics & Pan American Deaf Sports Games

Kevin J. Fleese, M.Ed.

Faculty Member, Deaf Studies Program

Kevin Fleese has been teaching in the Deaf Studies program at Northern Essex Community College since 1994. He is the second Deaf professor to receive their tenure in New England.

Prior to becoming a faculty member at NECC, he was a software specialist and taught computer classes at Digital Equipment Corp in Santa Clara, Ca and Marlborough, Ma.

His first experience teaching in American Sign Language was at Vista College in Berkeley, CA where he taught for four years. Kevin was a part of the implementation of the nationally acclaimed “Signing Naturally” ASL immersion curriculum which is so widely used across the US today, serving as one of the first ASL instructors to field test that program.

His educational and professional credentials include:

  • Masters of Education in Deaf Studies; Boston University
  • Bachelors of Arts in Communication Arts; Gallaudet University
  • Bachelors of Science in Business Administration; Gallaudet University
  • Seasoned presenter of workshops and trainings relating to Deaf Studies, ASL Linguistics, and Deaf Culture
  • Implemented state screening for interpreters for the state of New Hampshire
  • Served as a member of the New Hampshire Licensure Board by appointment of the Governor of NH

Diana Mele, MA, LMHC, ICTC

Diana MeleFaculty Member, Deaf Studies Program and the Human Services Program

Diana Mele holds a Masters of Arts Degree from Gallaudet University, Washington, DC and has worked professionally within two distinct disciplines; the field of Sign Language Interpreting and Human Services professions for more than 30 years. She holds her national credentials from the Registry of Interpreters of the Deaf (RID) in addition to having earned her license as a Mental Health Counselor in the state of Massachusetts. She is a tenured member of the faculty and has taught at this institution in both disciplines since 1996. She has worked to train students in career paths in the field of Sign Language Interpreting as well as Human Services and Social Work professions.

Her educational and professional credentials include:

  • Associate of Arts Degree: Deafness Communication – dual emphasis – Human Services Program – Northern Essex Community College
  • Bachelor of Art Degree: Psychology – Flager College, St. Augustine, Florida
  • Master of Arts Degree: Mental Health Counseling – Gallaudet University, Washington, DC.
  • Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC), State of Massachusetts
  • Massachusetts State Screened Interpreter – (1980)
  • Registry of Interpreters of the Deaf : Interpretation Certificate /Transliteration Certificate ICTC (1983)
  • Transliteration Certificate (1986)
  • National Interpreter Certification (2008)