Committees

NAJIT Committees

As a member-driven organization, NAJIT is only as strong as the involvement of its members. Serving on a committee will allow you to know more about the life of our Association and, at the same time, NAJIT will greatly benefit from your insights and contributions.

Committee work is usually carried out under the guidance of the Chair (or co-Chairs), who in some cases is a member of the Board of Directors. Communication will be via email and periodic conference calls. The time commitment will vary based on the specific projects and on the time of the year. For example, the Conference Committee will be busiest from October to January. If you have any questions about the time commitment for serving on any committee, please contact the committee chair.

The following committees have been created to help in the advancement of the association and the translation and interpretation professions.  Ad Hoc committees are created as needed by the board of directors, and all others are permanent committees named in the Bylaws.

Current Committees

Advocacy

Sandro Tomasi, Chair
Robert Joe Lee, Vice-Chair
Barbara Hua Robinson
Patricia Michelsen-King

Bench & Bar

Sandra Dejeux, Chair
Ludmila Baker
John Botero
Maria Ceballos-Wallis
Claudia Rubio- Samulowitz

Blog

Gladys Matthews, Editor

Authors –
Urszula Bunting
Athena Matilsky
Janis Palma

Bylaws & Governance

Helen Eby, Chair
Heidi Cazes
Steven Mines

Conference

Hilda Shymanik, Chair

Elections

TBD, Chair

Immigration Interpreting

Francesca Samuel, Chair
Gladys Segal

Membership

Hebba Abulsaad, Co-Chair
Janis Palma, Co-Chair

Nominations

Heidi Cazes, Chair
Cristina Helmerichs
Gloria M. Rivera

Proteus Editorial

Editor-in-Chief- Kathleen Shelly

Editors-
Arianna Aguilar
Vicki Bermúdez
Andre Moskowitz

Facilitator- Janis Palma

Poetry Contributor- Hall Sillers

Proof Reader- Vicki Bermúdez

Terminology Contributor and Proteus Indexing Project – Sandro Tomasi

Social Media

TBD,  Chair
Aimee Benavides

Listserv Moderators-

Position Papers

Teresa Salazar, Chair
Christopher Mellinger
Karola Rangel
Gladys Segal

Training & Education

Lili Selden, Chair
Aimee Benavides
Gino Lee
Jaqueline Neves Nordin

VOLUNTEER

Committee Descriptions

Advocacy

The Advocacy Committee focuses on policies that affect the profession, including access to language services for individuals with Limited English Proficiency (LEP) promoting access to professionally translated materials or the services of a qualified interpreter in the right language combination without undue delay. The committee helps monitor and analyze public policies, government initiatives, and press coverage of matters relevant to the legal interpretation and translation professions. The committee also provides recommendations to the board of directors on responses to issues and requests for comment by government agencies. The Advocacy Committee educates the general public regarding Title VI LEP policies and works in conjunction with the Bench & Bar Committee in support of their educational efforts in that same area.

Bench & Bar (ad hoc committee)

The Bench and Bar Committee works to educate judges, attorneys, and other legal professionals on the importance of using certified/qualified interpreters in the judiciary. This committee collaborates closely with the Advocacy Committee as their stated purposes are closely aligned.

Bylaws & Governance

The Bylaws and Governance Committee reviews NAJIT’s bylaws at least every two years at the request of the NAJIT Board of Directors and recommends changes as appropriate. The committee collaborates with the Board by proposing policies and procedures for strengthening NAJIT governance and works in conjunction with the Nominations Committee to ensure the best possible practices for NAJIT elections are followed in keeping with the deadlines, existing bylaws, and the laws of the State of New York. All proposals and suggestions provided by the Bylaws and Governance Committee are subject to review by NAJIT’s legal counsel.

Conference

The Conference Committee plans, schedules, and organizes NAJIT’s annual conference in close coordination with NAJIT’s Administrator and the Board of Directors, including the recruitment and selection of speakers, exhibitors, advertisers, and sponsors. The Committee must ensure all deadlines are met according to the conference timeline as provided by the Administrator. The Conference Committee works within the conference budget as approved by the NAJIT Board of Directors. Additional duties include brainstorming entertainment activities, coordinating with local T&I groups, and providing outreach to colleagues and members of the legal community. The committee also coordinates volunteers who assist NAJIT staff members at the conference.

Elections (ad hoc committee)

The Elections Committee works in conjunction with the Nominations Committee to ensure that the annual election of board members is held within the parameters of NAJIT’s bylaws, and announces election results during the annual meeting.

Immigration Interpreting (ad hoc committee)

The Immigration Interpreting Committee contributes to strengthening NAJIT’s voice in policy related to interpreting and translation in immigration-related settings. The committee also seeks to provide training for interpreters and translators who provide services in this field.

Membership

The Membership Committee is entrusted with promoting NAJIT among a wide array of stakeholders by working on initiatives to attract and retain membership, ascertaining that NAJIT membership materials are available at translation and interpreting events, and helping to develop a database of potential members. The Committee may provide staffing at the NAJIT table during T&I events or conferences when needed.

Nominations

The Nominations Committee ensures that members are keenly aware and involved in NAJIT’s electoral process through the following:

  • Identifying members with good leadership qualities and a successful service history working with other groups or associations and encouraging them to consider running for the Board of Directors.
  • Reviewing all nominations received during the nominations process and preparing a slate of candidates for presentation to the membership, and making every effort to present the most qualified candidates for each open position, while giving the NAJIT Board sufficient notice to take the necessary steps to increase the slate if too few candidates have been identified.
  • Collecting candidate statements in a timely fashion so that they can be published either in print or electronic form and made readily available to the membership in due time for the elections.

Position Papers (ad hoc committee)

The Position Papers Committee is tasked with researching current topics pertinent to the field such as best practices, ethics, and technical issues related to interpreting and translation, among others. Position papers are published on the NAJIT website and are an invaluable tool for educating stakeholders, the public, and for empowering members to promote best practices. Members are always encouraged to contact the committee chair to suggest potential topics and to collaborate in developing new position papers, as well as updating existing ones.

Proteus Editorial (ad hoc committee)

Proteus is a quarterly publication containing news and articles of interest to NAJIT members, and is currently available in digital format only. In its printed format Proteus was an instrumental visual aid in membership drives, advocacy efforts, and making NAJIT known to a broader audience beyond the interpreting and translation communities, therefore there is great interest in publishing Proteus in both digital and printed formats. The work of the Proteus Editorial Committee is to:

  • Prepare and publish Proteus under the direction of its editor-in-chief.
  • Help identify and secure advertisers and sponsors.
  • Maintain a list of key individuals in the interpreting and translation professions, the judiciary, the legal field, and other stakeholders to receive a courtesy subscription.

Social Media (ad hoc committee)

The Social Media Committee is tasked with keeping up the flow of communication between members, stakeholders, and the Board across all platforms. NAJIT currently has a presence on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn. The Social Media Committee members contribute social media posts and other forms of communication as appropriate. The Committee also assists with moderation of the Facebook Group to ensure all exchanges are in keeping with the rules of conduct members agree to abide by upon joining the group.

Training & Education (ad hoc committee)

The Training and Education Committee through the NAJIT Academy develops and organizes a range of educational and training opportunities for members of the profession, including webinars and workshops on topics such as translation, transcription/translation, note-taking, best practices, and skill-building, among others.