Alumni Spotlight

Finding Home: ASL helps recent graduate pursue a better future

School wasn’t always a welcoming, homelike place for Logan Evans. The recent OSU graduate was born deaf, and grew up learning oralism, a process which involves lip reading. Oralism was difficult for Evans, and he didn’t have an interpreter until ninth grade. His grades suffered before he started learning American Sign Language.

“I fell in love with ASL. There were deaf people in my high school, and they taught me about their culture, and that helped me pick it up quickly.”

Evans’ older sister took an ASL class while she was an OSU student.  When he visited her, she mentioned that there was a Deaf community in Stillwater. The supportive community, both hearing and deaf, influenced his decision to become a Cowboy.

“I love the people here. The students really respect each other, and I like the Student Union. OSU is the best place, and the Union is where you see all the best people.”

logan evans 2Still, Evans encountered challenges.

“I had to learn patience. My advice to incoming students is to work hard, keep going and don’t give up. It’s important to have patience and the right mental attitude. Always have the end goal of graduation. You have to be patient with school, and you learn about yourself while you are being patient.”

Evans credits his mother with helping him develop patience, persistence and resilience.

“She was always there for me, and she taught me not to give up, and not to let other people prevent my success.”

Evans used patience and persistence to help navigate many things in college. One of his struggles was finding the right degree plan. He switched majors many times before finding the right fit with liberal studies, now called multidisciplinary studies. This major allowed him to tailor his education to fit personal goals.

“My happy medium and my tie back to the community was finding something that allowed me to teach ASL. Liberal studies was a great fit for me.”

Evans was an ASL Club member, and served as president for three years. There are approximately 160 people in the club, both students and members of the Deaf community. ASL Club hosts many events for ASL students and the Deaf community to interact socially, including silent dinners and coffees.

In addition to his leadership with ASL Club, Evans became an instructor for the College of Arts and Sciences’ noncredit community course, Conversational American Sign Language. He plans to teach the course again in the spring.

Evans also instructs ASL classes for credit at Tulsa Community College. He knows the two populations of students are very different, but his goal remains the same.

“I want the students to enjoy ASL. One thing I love about teaching is sharing my stories and my jokes, and showing the students how the world is through my eyes. I think that is really incredible.”

He plans to continue teaching ASL and is an OSU master’s student in international studies with a focus on education.

“When I come back here, it’s coming home,” Evans said. “When I look back, I have learned so much. I’ve gained so much experience from this campus, and having the cherished memory of being an alumnus means so much to me.”