Sherry Matthews has been named College of Western Idaho’s (CWI) Faculty of Distinction for June 2018. Matthews earned her B.A. in Visual Arts and minor in Anthropology and Sign Language from Boise State University in 2012. Following graduation, she started teaching American Sign Language (ASL) at Boise State in 2012 and was able to join the CWI team as a tutor in the spring of 2013. In 2015, she was hired as a full-time instructor at the College where she currently teaches Sign Language Studies.
Matthews is a mentor for deaf children and adults, an active member of the Idaho Association of the Deaf (IAD), and an associate member and current president of Idaho’s local chapter of the ASL Teachers Association, and CWI’s ASL Club advisor.
As an artist, Matthews enjoys video, sculpture, charcoal, and paintings related to deaf culture and has donated several pieces to libraries and schools. In her words, she is a “DeVIA artist”. She has created video and art pieces that are displayed locally and her work is used in classrooms in other regions. Her passion is for teaching and educating others about deaf culture, and her natural language ASL. “The more people I teach, the more people the deaf community have to communicate with,” she said.
Her current goals are to continue working on her master’s degree in Deaf Studies and complete her book, which she plans to use in the classroom. Long-term, she would like to have a house where she can adopt deaf children providing them access to a full language and loving deaf family. She would also like to have a huge shop behind her house where she can create art and learn to weld.
Matthews enjoys road trips to “anywhere”, meeting new people, and listening to their life stories. She enjoys simple things, serving the community, working on family history, and learning about different cultures.