Nolan Trupp, Student of Distinction

Nolan Trupp

With a childhood ambition of becoming a teacher, Nolan Trupp knew he wanted to change people’s lives, but didn’t quite know what he wanted to teach until he took an American Sign Language class at Fresno State. He fell in love with the language and the culture knew he had found his way to change the world.

Trupp’s concentration in Spanish and American Sign Language and his focus on ASL has inspired him to pursue a teaching credential and eventually a Master’s degree in Deaf Education. He is motivated to provide an education for people who may otherwise face difficulties.

“Nolan is passionate and dedicated about Linguistics, especially its application to American Sign Language and its role in the Deaf community,” said Chris Golston, Professor of Linguistics. “Nolan’s AA degree was in psychology but he’s made the switch to Linguistics admirably and brings a great deal of relevant knowledge to the field. His understanding of Spanish rounds out a trilingual student with a broad base in understanding how language is structured and how it helps structure the mind.”

A passion for further study in ASL and working in Deaf Education as a career has caused the faculty in the Linguistics Department to take notice.

“I think his skill in Linguistics is very high, far beyond where many of our graduate students are achieving currently,” said Sean Fulop, Professor of Linguistics, Cognitive Science Program Director.

Trupp has also made his mark in the community in volunteering with the Salvation Army and Relay for Life.

Personal Narrative

My goal in life has always been singular and profound: I want to change the world. Maybe not for all 7 billion people on the globe, and maybe not even for a thousand people, or a hundred. But even to change the life of just one person for the better would be to attain this goal. I’ve kept this objective in mind through each of my eclectic ventures. I’ve chased dreams of filmmaking, novel writing, providing counseling and therapy, and journalism. But finally, I settled on education. I’ve known that to become a proficient educator myself would be to take my own education very seriously, and I have poured my heart and soul into my academic career. Regardless of what life has thrown at me, from mental illness to a cancer diagnosis, I have kept pushing myself to learn more and more. I graduated from a college preparatory high school with a 4.0 academic GPA. I graduated from community college with an Associate’s degree in Psychology. And finally, I came here to Fresno State and chose Linguistics as my outlet toward education.

In the Linguistics department, I have found faculty and colleagues who are just as enthusiastic about communication as I am. Each instructor that I’ve had has only strengthened my resolve and ensured me that I am on the right path. Each interaction with my professors has made me feel more and more at home in the field of Linguistics. I thank them for dissuading any fears that I may have had about being wrong in my choice of major. I know that I am where I should be.

Linguistics was my choice for one reason: communication. To do the best I can by as many people as possible is to be able to communicate earnestly and directly with those I aim to connect with. I never want a language barrier to prevent me from providing the best education possible with my future students. I want to genuinely connect with them, and foster a love of education within them. I want to quash any idea that a communicative barrier might keep them from achieving their goals, and instead elevate the idea that they can absolutely reach their full potential.

In the Spring of 2018 I took an American Sign Language class out of simple curiosity. I immediately fell in love with the language, and with the culture behind it. Each semester since then I have advanced through language courses rapidly, gaining excellent proficiency in the language of ASL.

With my knowledge and respect of ASL and Deaf Culture, I intend to pursue a Master’s degree in Deaf Education. I want to put my communicative skills to good use and help provide an education for people who may otherwise face difficulties in the world of education.

I could never have dreamed of getting to where I am without the help of the amazing faculty of both the Linguistics and CSDS departments here at Fresno State.

Many thanks for considering me for this award.

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The College of Arts and Humanities provides a diverse student population with the communication skills, humanistic values and cultural awareness that form the foundation of scholarship. The college offers intellectual and artistic programs that engage students and faculty and the community in collaboration, dialog and discovery. These programs help preserve, illuminate and nourish the arts and humanities for the campus and for the wider community.

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