Student Q&A: Cheyanne Bumgardner

Cheyanne Bumgardner is a WOU junior and an active part of the campus community. She is an American Sign Language/English Interpreting major with a minor in Psychology.


Why did you choose WOU?

I chose to attend Western because of the ASL/English Interpreting major and leadership opportunities. I knew that I would gain a great community and grow in my skills related to my major both inside and outside of the classroom. I was also very interested in becoming a student leader, and there are so many ways to become involved on campus!


Why did you choose your major and minor?

Throughout my life, I have had an interest in learning languages. Through ASL instruction and a greater introduction to Deaf culture and the community, I found myself considering interpreting as my future profession. Ultimately, I recognized that I could combine interpreting with my love for psychology and pursue a career focused on making healthcare more accessible, one of my greatest passions.


What has been your favorite course for your major?

My favorite course in my major thus far was Ethics & Decision Making for Interpreters. Ethics has always been a subject I’ve enjoyed, and learning about it from an interpreter’s perspective was fascinating. I was provided with many opportunities for self-analyzation and to have lively discussions with my classmates, and I continue to reference the textbooks and my notes regularly.


Are you involved in any campus groups or clubs?

Student leadership has been such a light in my life during my time at WOU. Currently, I serve as one of the student coordinators for our Orientation PLUS Team, the Campus Visitation Coordinator, a Campus Ambassador, the Vice President of Administration in the National Residence Hall Honorary (NRHH), and a member of the Student Outreach Initiative. In the past, I have been a Teaching Assistant in the Department of Psychological Sciences, Hall Host, and participated in Discover Leadership.

Student in red WOU shirt smiles at camera, a fence and tree behind her.
Cheyanne Bumgardner

What is your intended career?

My ultimate career goal is to interpret in the healthcare field with a focus on mental health settings. I plan to obtain my National Interpreter Certification and pursue specialized training in medical and mental health interpreting.


What skills have you learned at WOU that are most helpful to your career field?

Some of the greatest skills I’ve learned at WOU are successful team collaboration and professional communication. Signed language interpreters often work in teams, and I have learned a great deal about group dynamics and teamwork both inside and outside of the classroom. My academic coursework and leadership have given me the opportunity to regularly interact with highly regarded faculty and staff on our campus, which has challenged me to learn and practice my professional communication. As an interpreter, I will utilize these skills in my work daily.


What is your favorite memory from WOU?

My favorite memory from WOU was my first year as a PLUS Team Peer Advisor in 2019. This was my first big leadership role, and I was ecstatic to learn more about the new student orientation process. Some of my closest friendships stemmed from that experience, and I was challenged to take on new responsibilities with constant encouragement from them. I was privileged to return to the team for a second year in 2020 and now serve as one of the team student coordinators during my third year in 2021.


What’s your favorite spot on campus to grab food or a drink?

Caffe Allegro is my go-to! My favorite drink is a vanilla dirty chai latte with oat milk. I’m also a big fan of the burrito bowls at the Western Deli!


What advice would you give to incoming freshmen or potential students?

Invest some time into learning what works for you when it comes to organization, scheduling, extracurriculars, and self-care. Everyone plans differently, and there are so many resources that can help you develop healthy habits. It’s worth it to start working on those now. Additionally, be brave enough to try out new experiences. You never know what could end up being your new passion or what opportunities could arise by attending a club meeting or sending that email!


Where do you see yourself in five years?

My goal is to obtain my National Interpreter Certification and pursue specialized training in medical and mental health interpreting. I also hope to continue my research on vicarious trauma in the interpreting profession for the foreseeable future. Graduate school for interpreting and/or the psychological sciences is on the horizon, as well.

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