Photo Credit: The Office of Governor Tom Wolf –

On March 6, 2020, Ashley Shenk’s day took an unexpected turn.

“I was headed for another job when my agency called me and said I had to head for a press conference immediately,” said Shenk.

Shenk, a MAC American Sign Language/ English Interpreting graduate, ‘09, was being redirected to interpret for a live press conference in which Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf and Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine would announce the first cases of the Coronavirus in Pennsylvania.

“I was given the Governor’s talking points but received very little preparation as to what the other speakers would say,” said Shenk. “The next thing I knew the cameras were rolling for a 30 minute live press conference.”

Shenk met the challenge and interpreted for a number of speakers during the press conference.

“It was an honor to be able to provide my services in this way,” Shenk said. “I had interpreted for the Governor before and done other high profile recorded jobs, but this one was really a special moment for me.”

In her senior year, Shenk used the skills she obtained at MAC to sit for the National Interpreter Certification Knowledge exam which she passed along with her whole graduating class. She went on to pass the EIPA test and the National Interpreter Performance Exam.

“After I graduated from MAC I worked primarily in the educational setting. I am now interpreting more in the community with adults where every day is different,” Shenk said. “I love that variety and it makes each day exciting. Mount Aloysius taught me the essential skills through coursework and an internship to get me to this point.”