Andrea Smith, a native of Sarasota, Florida, has been a working practitioner since 1995 in the greater Tampa Bay area. She completed her interpreter training at both Hillsborough Community College and St. Petersburg College in 1995. Upon completion, she received her Florida state Quality Assurance level 2 and soon after, in 1999, received her national certification from the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf. She continued her professional development, focusing on interpreting within the legal setting. She received her Specialist Certificate: Legal in 2008. A firm believer in “life-long learning”, she continued her formal education at the University of South Florida, eventually receiving her Bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Social Sciences in 2003 and her Master’s degree in Adult Education in 2009.
Currently, Andrea is a full time instructor at the University of South Florida in the Interpreter Training Track. In addition, she also continues to provide interpreting services in private practice. While she specializes in interpreting in the mental health and legal settings, she has worked in a variety of areas, including VRS, VRI, medical, post-secondary, conference, and performing arts. She has given numerous workshops throughout the state on a variety of topics. She has an extensive background in mentoring interpreters entering the field and has a strong belief in the elevation of the interpreting profession.
Andrea also has a strong sense of volunteerism and “giving back” to the profession in a number of ways. She began this effort on the local level, serving on the board of directors of BayFRID, the local Tampa Bay chapter of FRID. She eventually went on to serve on the Board of Directors of the Florida Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, FRID. She served in several positions including CMP coordinator and President. She also served on the FCCDHH Licensure Task Force charged with developing a proposal for sign language interpreter licensure for the state of Florida. She is honored that this commitment was recognized in 2007 when she was awarded the Distinguished Service Award from FRID.
Terra Benton, a native of Tennessee, received her bachelor’s degree in Interpreting from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville in 1999 and her master’s degree in Interpreting from the University of North Florida in 2010. She began her professional career in eastern North Carolina. In 2000, she received her national certification from the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf. As an interpreter who keeps abreast of the changes in the field, Terra has professional experience in numerous arenas including mentoring, VRS, VRI, post-secondary education, K-12, mental health, substance abuse, medical, and much more. In addition to her interpreting work, she was honored to be an adjunct instructor at East Carolina University. Also while in North Carolina, she was active in Eastern NCRID serving in multiple roles; from Board of Directors positions to the Newsletter Editor. During her time with the organization, Terra received two awards: the Wilson Regional Resource Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing 2004 Interpreter of the Year and a NCRID Special Recognition Award for Service.
In 2006, Terra moved to the greater Tampa Bay area and dove right in to the Interpreting community. In 2007, she received the Tampa Sorenson Interpreter of the Year award. She continued to work in the classroom as an adjunct instructor for the University of South Florida, teaching ASL and Interpreting courses as well as mentoring students.
She currently resides, with her family, in her home state of Tennessee, where she works as a private practitioner.