You may not recognize Dallas Diaz walking around campus, but this soon-to-be ACC graduate brings fun and excitement to events all over the region as one of the college’s original Riverbat mascots.
Diaz will walk the stage during the college’s first-ever December commencement ceremony and receive her Associate of Applied Science degree in American Sign Language and Interpreting.
She already has applied to graduate this fall – the deadline is October 5 – and is completing her final degree requirement, an internship that involves providing interpreting services for three local organizations.
“Going through the program has helped me figure out what I want to do for the rest of my life,” Diaz says. “I was figuring it out while I was getting this degree.”
How did you choose your degree major?
At first, signing was my backup plan while I figured out what I wanted to become. I have Deaf twin brothers, and I grew up signing my whole life, so it was easy to decide to major in ASL. Then I fell in love with interpreting. I have internships this semester, and I’m experiencing things I never experienced before.
How did you become the Riverbat?
On the day of tryouts, I happened to be on campus killing time when I saw a flier about tryouts happening in an hour. I called my mom, and she brought a change of clothes. I was surprised to get selected. It was not something I had ever done before, but it’s been a blast. When I first started, there was no connection with the big purple bat and ACC. Now, people recognize us, and they looove the Riverbat!
With graduation a few months away, how are you spending this semester?
It’s been an emotional roller coaster. I’m doing my internship and trying to prepare for the next step. It’s going to be really beneficial to have a degree and graduate.
Who at ACC had the most impact on your experience here?
I don’t remember his name, but one of the counselors at the Rio Grande Campus helped me a lot when I was having some difficulties. He gave me some great advice, and he helped me get through the process of graduating. I had no clue where to begin.
What was one of your most defining moments at ACC?
One of my professors told me how much potential she thought I had and that I was going to have a great career as an interpreter. Her comment really helped me because I was very insecure. I grew up signing, so people expected me to be great, but I didn’t have confidence. She helped me to stop doubting myself.
What would you do differently?
I would try to get straight A’s! My first semester I took it easy, but I buckled down later and got serious.
What are your plans after graduation?
I want to be a lawyer someday, so I’m going to work and save money for college.
posted in: ACC Newsroom, Banner Stories, Current Students, Current Students Feature, Faculty and Staff Feature