McLean, VA | Washington D.C.

Conference Speakers


Paula Arturo is a lawyer, translator, and Professor of Law in the areas of Ethics, Legal Philosophy, and Human Rights. She is an independent lawyer-linguist for the United Nations Universal Periodic Review process of several Latin American states, as well as a legal-linguistic consultant for various international organizations. She has translated several technical law books and publications in major international law journals for high-profile authors, including six Nobel Prize laureates and other renowned jurists. She is a member of the Ethics Committee of the American Translators Association and a member of the Public Policies Forum of the Supreme Court of Argentina. In addition, she is a co-director and co-founder of Translating Lawyers, a boutique firm specializing in legal translation.

Hon. Steven K. Austin, Presiding Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Contra Costa. Judge Steven Austin has served as a trial court judge at the Contra Costa County Superior Court in California since 1998. He has served as a branch court supervising judge and supervising judge of the civil departments. From 2005 to 2014, he was one of two judicial members of the California Commission on Access to Justice serving as Chair from 2007 to 2010. From 2010 to 2016, he served as the Chair of the council’s Court Interpreters Advisory Panel (CIAP). In 2013, he also served as Chair of the council’s Ad Hoc Group for Court Interpreter Issues. From 2013–15, he was a member of the Joint Working Group for California’s Language Access Plan. Since 2015 he has served as the Chair of LAP Implementation Task Force’s Budget and LAP Monitoring Subcommittee, and is a member of the Language Access Plan Implementation Task Force. Judge Austin holds a Juris Doctorate from University of California, Hastings College of Law, and a Bachelor’s degree in communication studies from University of California, Los Angeles.


Karen Bahr is a Nebraska court certified Spanish interpreter who does extensive work in immigration and state courts.  A dedicated interpreter, Karen continually expands her skill set, most recently by undertaking a law degree from the Universidad Tecnológica En Línea based in Mexico City. If she’s not off traveling the world, Karen can often be found in Omaha’s Old Market designing interpreting resources with her friend and business partner, Kelly Varguez, for their website

Aimee Benavides is a California and Federal Court Certified Interpreter, English<>Spanish.  She lives in California and is a current member of ATA, NCTA (Northern California Translators’ Association), NAJIT, AIJIC (Association of Independent Judicial Interpreters of California), and IAPTI as well as a member of the Society of Translators and Interpreters of British Columbia. Aimee enjoys meeting fellow language professionals and attending workshops in a variety of subjects and encourages everyone to find a field of specialization. Aimee’s field of specialization is Agronomy which includes soil science and other crop management practices, which are of great interest in the Central Valley of California where she currently resides.

Carmen Bestué is a trained Attorney and a Lecturer in Translation from English into Spanish at the Autonomous University of Barcelona. She holds a J.D. degree in Law from the University of Barcelona, a University Degree in Comparative Law from the University of Paris II, Pantheon-Assas, and a Ph.D. in Translation Theory from the Autonomous University of Barcelona. She is the Director of the Master’s Degree in Legal Translation at the Autonomous University of Barcelona. She is the lead researcher of the project Translation and Interpretation on Criminal Trials and fellow researcher for the MIRAS group from the Autonomous University of Barcelona. She has published many articles in translation journals as well as a monograph entitled “Translated contracts” (“Los contratos traducidos”).

Terry Burdett has over 34 years of combined experience in working with Federal, State and Judicial customers in information technology and public works. He has functioned as a consulting systems engineer and as the Principal Solution Architect for Connected Justice Efforts. He currently serves as the Principle Solution Architect for Cisco Public Sector Chief Technology Officer. Terry received the Al Gore Hammer Award for reinventing Government and an Achievement Medal for Civilian Service.


Vanesa Cañete-Jurado studied Translation and Interpreting at the University of Málaga (Spain). After gaining master’s degrees in Comparative Literature and Italian Studies, she obtained a PhD in the field of Translation Studies from SUNY Binghamton. Her scholarly interests include adaptation studies, contemporary cultural production, and critical theory.

Rafael Carrillo is a Federally Certified Court Interpreter currently employed as a Staff Court Interpreter for the United States District Court for the District of New Mexico. Mr. Carrillo served as Supervisory Court Interpreter for six years in addition to the four years he served as a Staff Court Interpreter in two of the busiest border courts in the country. He has been providing language services to courts in different parts of the country for more than 20 years and has served as a consultant for government agencies including the US Department of Justice, FBI, DEA, and Department of Homeland Security.  Mr. Carrillo has worked for government and criminal defense teams on both sides of the US-Mexico border on projects that range from the smuggling of exotic birds to international organized crime. In addition to his current profession, Mr. Carrillo has an extensive background in the legal field in Mexico.  He offers the experience that comes from a lifelong exposure to the cultures, languages, and legal systems on both sides of the border.

Samantha Cayron is a certified legal translator, court interpreter, researcher, and trainer. Born in Mexico and educated in Mexico, France and Switzerland, she holds a Ph.D. in Legal Translation Studies and a MA degree in Translation from the prestigious Faculty of Translation and Interpreting (FTI) of the University of Geneva. A practicing translator since 2001 in Europe (English/French‐Spanish) and a certified French‐Spanish translator in France since 2006, she currently teaches Master’s‐level legal translation at the FTI. As a Research Associate and member of the Transius Centre, she focuses on translation in the judicial field, certified translation and comparative law.

Heidi Cazes is an interpreter, translator, and terminologist. She is a Federal Court Certified Interpreter and currently is a Staff interpreter at the District Court of Puerto Rico. During her years as a freelancer, she worked as a contractor for the federal court, the USDA’s office, different government agencies and private clients. She is a contract translator and conference level interpreter for the US Department of State. She has worked in terminology research, developing specialized dictionaries, and is currently an instructor in the English On-line Master in Terminology given by IULA. She has participated in panels for Standard Setting of Language Proficiency in Court Interpreter Certification Exams and the DLI, and as Spanish Language Expert for Rosetta Stone. She is an ATA certified translator, and member of NAJIT and IAPTI. She is a producer and voting member in ASTM’s F43 Committee, working on drafting standards for translation and interpreting.


Agustín Servin de la Mora is the President of the Florida Institute of Interpretation and Translation. He was born and raised in Mexico City, Mexico, and has been a professional interpreter for over 25 years, both as a freelance and staff interpreter. Mr. de la Mora is one of the Supervisor Raters in the United States for the National Center for State Courts and has been a Lead Rater for the federal and consortium oral exams for court interpreters. He was the Lead Interpreter for the Ninth Judicial Circuit for over a decade, was a member of the Florida Court Interpreter Certification Board and a voting member of the Technical Committee of the Consortium for Language Access to the Courts. Mr. de la Mora is certified by the Administrative Office of the United States Courts as a Federally Certified Court Interpreter. He is also a Certified Court interpreter by the Florida Court Interpreter Certification Board, and a Certified Medical Interpreter.


Sylvia Falchuk holds a Bachelor´s Degree in English>Spanish Legal Translation. She is currently enrolled in a Master´s Program on Language Management in Argentina. She has over 25 years’ experience in the Language Industry as Translator, Instructor, and University Professor. In October 2016, she was commissioned to teach two workshops at the CFI, California Federation of Interpreters Conference: “The Vast territory of the Ñ” and “What if we consider gender-neutral language in our profession, when appropriate?” Sylvia is the Director of Torre de Papel, an Argentinian Linguistic Consulting Agency. She has served as Content Director for EduArgentina, and as Coordinator of the First Convention of Translators & Interpreters organized by the Association of Certified Public Translators & Interpreters of Buenos Aires. She was Translation Program Director from 2013 to 2015. Since 2008, she has lectured on “Exports of Translation Services”; “The Linguistic Policies of Spain around the Spanish Language”; “How to Start your Own Translation Business” and “How to Successfully Participate in Congresses and Exhibition Halls”.


Dr. Elena Gandía Garcia obtained a master’s degree in Translation and Interpreting from the Universidad de Granada, Spain. She received her PhD in Universitat Jaume I, Castellón, Spain. Her dissertation is on the Spanish translation of free software licenses. Before arriving at UNLV, Dr. Gandia taught at the Escola Politècnica Superior de Gandia. In 2009, AECID (Spanish International Cooperation Agency) awarded her a scholarship to teach in Dalian University of Foreign Languages in China. She has published articles on Audiodescription, Spanish and Using Textual Genres to Teach Spanish as a Foreign Language. Currently, she is doing research on Legal Translation and Interpreting.

Enrique Garcia has been a State certified interpreter (PA) since 2010 and currently is a staff Interpreter at the Court of Common Pleas – Criminal Trial Division – in Philadelphia County for the First Judicial District of Pennsylvania. He was born in Mexico City but has lived in the United States for more than 20 years. He is primarily a court interpreter, but he has also interpreted for national team soccer coaches and players during FIFA press conferences as well as provided conference interpreting services during other international business and trade summits. Mr. Garcia is a legal, medical, and financial translator as well as a forensic transcriptionist and translator (FTT) of recorded material in custodial and legal settings. He has been a presenter in the field of FTT. Mr. Garcia is an Active member of NAJIT and his local ATA chapter, the Delaware Valley Translators Association (DVTA).

Laura García-Hein is a federally certified Spanish interpreter and is state-certified in Nebraska, Kentucky and Indiana. She has been the staff interpreter for the U.S. District of Nebraska since March 2007.  Laura received her juris doctor degree from the University of Costa Rica and obtained her master of laws degree from the London School of Economics and Political Sciences in London, England. She is a member of the Bar Association in Costa Rica. Laura taught negotiations as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Louisville, and mediation at Sullivan University and Just Solutions in Louisville, Kentucky. She served as a Costa Rican diplomat in Sweden for six years. A guest presenter at various interpreter and translator conferences, Laura possesses over 25 years of experience in teaching, designing and providing training courses in law, conflict management, intercultural matters, communication, and interpreting skills.  Laura has been a rater for the Federal Court Interpreter Certification Examination since 2009.

Magdalena Girón holds a Bachelor Degree in Criminal Justice Administration and Corrections from The University of Phoenix, an Associate Degree in Criminal Justice and an Associate Degree as a Legal Assistant/Paralegal from New Mexico State University (NMSU). She has been a Certified Master Court Interpreter in Texas and New Mexico since 1999. She has been a member of the New Mexico Language Access Advisory Committee (LAAC), appointed by the NM Supreme Court, since 2013. She is also member of the NM Interpreters and Translators Association (NMTIA) and NAJIT (including the Bench and Bar Committee).

Mylene M. Green is a federally and state certified court interpreter in California. Born in Santiago de Chile, Mylene has grown up with latin rhythms and enjoys an active lifestyle. Interpreting and fitness are two of her passions and she enjoys sharing them. Mylene holds licenses in the following formats: Zumba Basic, Zumba Toning, Zumba Sentao, Zumba Step, Strong by Zumba, R.I.P.P.E.D. and Cardio Sculpt.  She is a fitness instructor at Crunch Fitness.


Armida Hernandez holds a B.A. in Spanish (Linguistics Concentration) from California State University, Los Angeles, and an M.A. in Applied Linguistics from the University of Texas, El Paso. Ms. Hernandez is a Federal (AOUSC) and New Mexico State Certified Court Interpreter, with 25 years of experience in the interpreting and translation fields.  She currently serves on the Remote Interpretation Subcommittee of the Language Access Advisory Committee for the New Mexico Administrative Office of the Courts, and NAJIT’s Bench and Bar Committee. In addition to her focus on interpreter ethics and remote interpretation, her primary interests as a linguist and personal passion are indigenous language preservation/revitalization and curriculum development for her tribe’s Language Revitalization Program.


Stephen Iwicki joined SOS International as the Vice President of the Intelligence Solutions Group in August of 2016. He is responsible for management of all of SOSi’s language and intelligence programs supporting the Departments of Justice, Defense and the US Intelligence Community. Prior to SOSi, Stephen served 20 years as an Army Intelligence officer, 10 years as an executive within the defense industry, and 1 ½ years as a Sole Proprietor of his own independent consulting company. He has over 25 years of first-hand experience working with linguists, translators, and interpreters supporting counter-drug, military, law enforcement, and intelligence missions. In his spare time, Stephen serves on: the Board of Directors of Adventure Theatre Musical Theater Center (ATMTC); the Industry Advisory Councils of American Military University and American Public University; the Washington Executive Intelligence Council; and the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Atlantic Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Advisory Panel (AP).


Judy A. Jenner is a federally certified court interpreter, master-level court certified Spanish interpreter (Nevada), court-registered German interpreter (Nevada), court-certified Spanish interpreter (California) and an adjunct professor for the Spanish/English certificate of translation and interpretation at the University of California-San Diego-Extension. She is the past president of the Nevada Interpreters and Translators Association, a voting member of the American Translators Association, and the co-author of the book “The Entrepreneurial Linguist: The Business-School Approach to Freelance Translation.” A native of Austria, she grew up in a multilingual household in Mexico City and holds an MBA from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She is a frequent presenter at workshops around the world, including conferences in Brazil, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. She pens the popular Translation Times blog and writes the monthly “Entrepreneurial Linguist” column for the American Translators Association’s magazine, the Chronicle. She serves as an ATA spokesperson.


Katty Kauffman is a conference and legal interpreter, a graduate of Pedro de Valdivia School of Law in Santiago, Chile and the Certificate Program in Comparative US/Latin American Legal Reforms at Washington College of Law at American University in Washington, DC. A member of NAJIT and AIIC, she is a contributing author to the 2nd edition of Fundamentals of Court Interpretation and a member of the Editorial Board of the 2nd edition of Tomasi’s Law Dictionary. A frequent speaker nationwide on the criminal procedure reforms that have swept Latin America, a former staff interpreter with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, she is currently working as a freelancer from her home base in Miami.


Aída Martínez-Gómez (Ph.D. Translation Studies, University of Alicante, Spain) is an Assistant Professor of Legal Translation and Interpreting at John Jay College of Criminal Justice (CUNY). She has been teaching translation and interpreting for 10 years, including at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (MIIS) and at the University of Alicante. Her research focuses on non-professional interpreters, language access in prison settings, and interpreting quality and pedagogy. Her work has been published in prestigious academic journals, such as Interpreting and Perspectives: Studies in Translatology. She is certified as a Spanish Court Interpreter by New York State and as an English Sworn Translator and Interpreter by the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She is also the Vice-President of NAJIT’s Society for the Study of Translation and Interpreting (SSTI) and a Member-at-large of the Executive Board of the American Translation and Interpreting Studies Association (ATISA).

Athena Matilsky earned her B.A. in Spanish at Rutgers University with a focus in translation and interpretation. After graduation, she taught elementary school in Honduras, and then returned home to begin freelancing as a medical and court interpreter. Since then, she has achieved certifications as a healthcare and court interpreter. She was the recent editor-in-chief at Proteus, and she served as a staff interpreter for the New Jersey judiciary from 2013-2016. She has been teaching interpreting techniques for several years, and her dedicated private students have corrected their scores and passed the state court interpreting exams. Currently, she works as a freelance interpreter /translator. When she is not teaching or interpreting, you may find her practicing Acroyoga or studying French. Website: https:// athenaskyinterpreting.

Joseph Mazza, a 1984 graduate of the George Washington University (BA, International Affairs), joined the State Department’s Office of Language Services (LS) in 1989 as a translator of Romance languages into English, following five years as a translator of Russian and Romance languages for the Navy. In 2003, he was named Chief of LS’s Romance Branch; in 2006 he became Chief of LS’s Translating Division, with responsibility for most State Department translations. In both capacities, he helped to develop both the ASTM Standard Guide for Quality Assurance in Translation and the ILR Skill Level Descriptions for Translation Performance. In 2015, he began teaching Spanish/English translation at the University of Maryland’s Graduate Studies in Interpretation and Translation (GSIT) program. Mr. Mazza was elected to a 2-year term as Administrator of the Government Division of the American Translators Association (ATA) in 2016, and has been a regular presenter at ATA annual conferences.

Anna M. Medina has served as an attorney in the Federal Coordination and Compliance Section (FCS) of the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division in Washington, D.C. since 2007. She has worked on the FCS Title VI Courts Language Access Initiative since its inception, which protects the rights of LEP individuals in federally assisted state and local courts, and includes enforcement, technical assistance, and outreach. As part of that work Anna has been fortunate to speak with and learn from interpreters across the country. She has also worked extensively on matters that clarify the interpretation of national origin discrimination under Title VI with respect the rights of limited English proficient individuals in federally assisted programs. Previously, Anna was an attorney in the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, where she focused on ensuring nondiscrimination in schools. Anna has over fifteen years of experience as a lawyer in both private and public practice.

Eloísa Monteoliva García is the Spanish Language Assistant at LINCS, Heriot-Watt University (Scotland) and has conducted a PhD study on police interpreting (viva pending) at the Centre for Translation and Interpreting Studies in Scotland under the supervision of Professors Ursula Böser and Jemina Napier. Eloísa has collaborated in several research projects on interpreting in legal settings, including the CO-Minor-IN/QUEST project, a scholarly review of publications on legal and judiciary interpreting produced under the financial support and guidance of NAJIT’s Society for the Study of Translation and Interpretation (SSTI), and the UK adaptation of the UNHCR Training Handbook on Asylum Interpreting.


Esther M. Navarro-Hall is the owner of 1Culture ( an interpreting, training and consulting company. She is an Adjunct Professor at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (MIIS), where she teaches Conference, Court and Community Interpreting. She holds an M.A. in Conference Interpretation from MIIS and has worked as a freelancer for the past 32 years. Ms. Navarro-Hall provides training for interpreters and interpreter trainers in the U.S. and abroad. She is a pioneer in online training, practical technologies and social media for interpreters. She is also the creator of the Sim-Consec™ method (an innovative combination of two interpreting skills plus various digital technologies), and has taught it to hundreds of interpreters around the world. She is a Federally-certified Court Interpreter and a State-certified Court and Medical Interpreter. In addition, she has interpreted for the U.S. State Department and is an ATA-certified EN>ES Translator. Ms. Navarro-Hall is currently NAJIT’s Chair and a Director of Critical Link International.

Ernest Niño-Murcia is a freelance legal interpreter and translator based in Des Moines, Iowa. As a state and federally certified court interpreter, he has interpreted legal proceedings and prepared translations, transcriptions, and expert witness reports/testimony for clients in the private and public sectors. Outside of court, he has interpreted for public figures such as House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Archbishop Timothy Dolan, Governor George Pataki and Senator Bernie Sanders. Beyond his practice, he has presented to groups of attorneys, judges and court reporters about court interpreter issues. He graduated from Brown University with a B.A. in Anthro-Linguistics and is a Jeopardy champion (2012).

Jacki Noh is an interpreter, translator, trainer, and voice-over talent, with 31 years of experience. She is a member of International Association of Conference Interpreters (AIIC). Noh served on the Judicial Council of California Court Interpreters Advisory Panel, and served as board member for the American Translators Association. She is listed with the US State Department as an approved conference interpreter, and is a California certified court interpreter. She has interpreted throughout America, Asia, Australia, Europe, and the Middle East. She holds a Master of Arts in Conference Interpretation from Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (MIIS), and has a BA from University of California at Berkeley.


Janis Palma has been a federally-certified English/Spanish interpreter and translator for over 30 years. She is the current President of NAJIT’s Society for the Study of Translation and Interpretation (SSTI) Board of Directors, and works full-time as a staff interpreter in the U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico. Over the course of her career she has worked for the U.S. Department of State, private clients, state, and federal government agencies on a contract basis; she has taught as well as developed basic, intermediate, and advanced training materials for judiciary interpreters, and has published several papers on different aspects of the profession. Ms. Palma is also a former NAJIT Chair.

Johanna Parker is a Federally Certified Court Interpreter, California Certified Court Interpreter, CCHI Certified Healthcare Interpreter™, and NBCMI Certified Medical Interpreter; and has an M.A. in Translation and Interpretation from the Monterey Institute of International Studies (Spanish <>English).  She is Lead Interpreter for Education and Training at Stanford Health Care, a freelance conference interpreter and translator, and a seminar interpreter for the U.S. Department of State. Johanna trains healthcare interpreters around the country and is an adjunct professor at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (MIIS), where she teaches medical interpreting.  She was awarded the California Healthcare Interpreting Association’s Trainer of the Year award in 2015.

James W. Plunkett, III is the Coordinator of Interpreting Services and the Language Access Program Coordinator of the District of Columbia Courts. He tests, qualifies and contracts interpreters.  He trains judiciary and non-judiciary staff on working with interpreters and court customers. He is a federally-certified Spanish/English court interpreter. He is an oral exam rater supervisor for a national certification organization. He started his career at the 13th Judicial Circuit in Tampa, Florida in 1994. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in General Social Studies from Providence College.  He was raised in Lima, Peru. He also speaks advanced Portuguese, intermediate French and communicates in basic ASL.


Oliver Renwick has worked as an interpreter and translator since 2008, mainly between Spanish and English, and he also works from Catalan and Arabic. His areas of specialization are medical and legal, with an interest in civil litigation. Originally from Ohio, Oliver has lived in Spain for several years, as well as in Phoenix, Arizona, where he worked as an interpreter and translator at the Superior Court of Arizona in Maricopa County. He is currently a staff interpreter at Cleveland Municipal Court. A graduate of the Ohio State University with a BA in Arabic, he also earned his MA from the University of Birmingham (UK) in Translation Studies, is an Ohio state-certified court interpreter, holds a DELE diploma at the C2 level from the Cervantes Institute, and is a candidate for the 2017 oral FCICE.

Dr. Gloria M. Rivera, CMI, CHI is an English/Spanish certified medical interpreter, conference interpreter, and translator. She obtained her medical degree from the Universidad San Martin de Porres’ College of Medicine of Lima, Peru. Her medical training allowed her to gather experience in different settings, including pediatrics, internal medicine, OB/GYN, mental health, general surgery, and other specialties. She worked at the Peruvian Navy Medical Center as a general practitioner and general surgeon. She holds a Professional Certificate of Translation and Interpretation from UCSD Extension and taught for the medical arm of said Professional Certificate. Dr. Rivera is a Faculty Member of the National Center for Interpretation’s Agnese Haury Institute (University of Arizona) at the Medical Interpreter Training Institute (MITI) and Online Seminars for Medical Interpreters (OSMI) where she has worked as an instructor and contributed to curriculum development since 2013.

Odilia Romero has over a decade of experience organizing indigenous migrant communities.  Odilia was the Women’s bi-national coordinator for the FIOB, and is the current director for the bi-national quarterly publication El Tequio.  Her organizing knowledge and experience is held in high regard, having multiple academic publications, awards, and delivering lectures in universities across the United States including John Hopkins, USC and UCLA. As a director, her knowledge and vision is well developed, having published on the challenges of organizing in indigenous communities, developing women’s leadership, and preparing a new generation of youths.  Aside from her work as an organizer, she has worked directly with service providers as a trained medical translator in indigenous languages.  Her commitment to civic engagement expands beyond her own community; she is a past board member for the Southern California Library, and holds a seat in the finance committee of the multi-ethnic Mexican migrant coalition, RED Mexico.


Alí Salcedo is a Colorado and federally-certified court interpreter. He currently works at the Federal Defenders of Arizona, where he interprets attorney-client contacts and translates medical records, legal documents and client/family letters. Prior to his current position, he was a contract interpreter for the Executive Office of Immigration Review and a staff interpreter the Maricopa County (Arizona) Superior Court´s drunk driving, juvenile, and family divisions. When not interpreting, you can find Ali playing percussion professionally in the Phoenix area, or with a camera in his hands shooting documentaries, cultural events or anything interesting that he may come across.

Julie Sellers, PhD is a Federally Certified Court Interpreter and is also certified in the states of Colorado, Missouri, Nebraska, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania (Master). She holds Bachelor’s degrees in Spanish and French from Kansas State University, Master’s degrees in Spanish Literature (Kansas State University) and International Studies (University of Wyoming), and a Ph.D. in Education from the University of Wyoming. Julie currently works as a freelance interpreter and as Assistant Professor of Spanish at Benedictine College. Julie is the author of numerous articles and presentations on language learning, culture and literature, and interpreter issues. She has published two books with McFarland & Company: Merengue and Dominican Identity: Music as National Unifier in 2004, and Bachata and Dominican Identity: A History of the Music of a Nation, published as a bilingual text in 2014. Her third book, The Modern Bachateros: 27 Interviews is forthcoming from McFarland in 2017.

Javier A. Soler joined the Administrative Office of the United States Courts (AO) in 2008 and currently serves as a Court Interpreting Program Specialist. He is the project manager for the Federal Court Interpreter Certification Examination (FCICE) and as such, oversees management of the administration of the FCICE. In addition, his responsibilities include working as a primary contact and liaison with the federal courts and formulating and providing policy guidance to the courts. Javier was born in Santurce, Puerto Rico and began working as a court interpreter in 1992. He became a federally certified interpreter in 1997 and moved to the Washington, DC area in 1999 where he worked as a freelance interpreter and trainer until 2006. In 2006, he became the Court Interpreting Program Administrator for the State of Maryland, and later accepted his position with the AO in 2008.


Elizabeth Tam-Helmuth (Master of Arts, Ethnic Studies, and Bachelor of Science, Business Administration, San Francisco State University) is an Analyst with the Judicial Council of California. She currently works on language access projects on behalf of the council’s Language Access Plan (LAP) Implementation Task Force. She works closely with program staff to help implement the LAP’s 75 recommendations in the 58 superior courts to further affirm equal access to justice for California’s 7 million LEP residents and potential court users.  Prior work for the council includes serving as Regional Coordinator for the Bay Area/Northern Coastal courts (2003–2013). Prior to joining the Judicial Council in 2003, Ms. Tam-Helmuth spent more than seven years working at the Bar Association of San Francisco in many roles, including managing the association’s legal publications, and, as the lead staff to the Bar’s diversity programs and equality committees (now the Justice and Equality Center).

Sandro Tomasi has been a Spanish-English interpreter and translator since 1991. He is a New York State court interpreter and certified as a medical interpreter by the State of Washington. He is the author of An English-Spanish Dictionary of Criminal Law and Procedure (view sample), and a contributing author of Diccionario Jurídico, Law Dictionary, 2nd ed., by authors Cabanellas de las Cuevas and Hoague. Mr. Tomasi has trained interpreters and translators in conferences for professional associations such as ATA, NAJIT, CFI, CTPCBA and OMT, in workshops for various state courts in the U.S. and has taught interpreter courses for the City University of New York’s Continuing Education Programs at Hostos College and Queens College as well as an online legal terminology course for the New Mexico Center for Language Access.

Elizabeth Torres is a federally certified court interpreter. She is also an approved master level interpreter for the Administrative Office of the Courts-New Jersey. Additionally, Elizabeth Torres holds a Master of Arts in Translation and Interpreting from Rutgers University. She has also served as an adjunct-lecturer for Rutgers University and is an active member of NAJIT- the National Association of Judicial Interpreters and Translators.

Jeff Torres is currently a Law Enforcement Professional with over 20 years’ experience. He has amassed vast experience working on many high-level investigations that include Homicide, Robbery, Narcotics and Sexual Assault, to name a few.  Torres is certified by the California State Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training and currently possesses Basic, Intermediate, Advanced and Supervisory Certification which is issued to Peace Officers who have attained defined levels of academic education, law enforcement training, supervisory experience, and years of service in the law enforcement profession. As the Director of the Interpreter Training Group, Torres has extensive presentation experience and has conducted many California Judicial Council approved workshops statewide for the last several years. Torres’ instruction has been previously certified in other states and has been accepted as an American Sign Language (ASL) continuing education Instructor with the National Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID).


Lilia Uitts is one of the few interpreters in the Nation to hold the Federal Court Certification from the Administrative office of the U. S. Courts, the State Court Certification from the National Center for State Courts and the Medical Certification from the National Board of Medical Interpreters. She is the only interpreter in the State of Nebraska to hold all 3 certifications. Lilia is originally from Mexico City and graduated from the School of Science and Humanities Naucalpan Campus in 1997. She began her career as a medical interpreter in 2005. In 2010, she obtained her State Court Certification for the States of Nebraska and Iowa and received her Medical Interpreter Certification in the same year. Lilia has extensive experience in medical and legal settings and procedures.

Dr. Juanita Ulloa is a Classical soprano, Operachi ranchera singer, Professor of Voice, and a certified Spanish Court interpreter. She has taught voice for twenty years, fostering a studio that ranges from beginners to national competition winners and finalists. As a professor, she currently teaches Voice, Diction, Commercial Music Ensembles, and Song Literature at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). Dr. Ulloa holds MA and BA Music degrees from Yale University as well as UC Berkeley. As an artist, she tours the US, Mexico, and Spain as a solo recitalist in Mexican song. She has created seven award winning CDs and songbooks. As a legal interpreter, Ms. Ulloa has worked in California, Colorado and Texas courts.  She trained at the Berlitz Interpreter Program in Mexico D.F., U. Arizona’s Summer Agnes Haury Institute, and the San Francisco State University Legal Interpretation Certificate Program.


Vinka Valdivia is a California State and Federally Certified Court Interpreter with over 23 years of experience in Immigration, Workers’ Compensation, Criminal and Civil Courts as well as Medical and Conference Interpreting. She has also worked for the State Department for over a decade.

Kelly Varguez is a Nebraska, Iowa and U.S. Court Certified Interpreter, an active college instructor and professional Spanish interpreter in the Omaha area.  In addition to her freelance work translating and interpreting, she tutors interpreters one-on-one via her program at and develops online educational resources for interpreters with her friend and business partner, Karen Bahr, for A happy survivor of the U.S. federal court interpreter certification process, Kelly looks forward to sharing her tips and tricks with others seeking to improve their interpreting technique and testing-taking skills.


Margaret Wolfe-Roberts is a Master Certified Court Interpreter with 16 years of experience interpreting in North Carolina state courts. President of her high school’s Esperanto club and two-time First Place winner in North Carolina of the National Spanish Exam, even back then her classmates predicted she would end up working as a Translator, accurately as it turns out. But first Wolfe-Roberts became a scientist, studying Neurosciences at Harvard College while completing coursework in Spanish and Linguistics on the side, going on to a research position at Duke University upon graduation. From exploring the northern part of Chile at the age of 14, to skiing in the Andean slopes, to teaching English and running a hand-painted fan art business in the beautiful El Retiro Park of Madrid, the Spanish language has, for Margaret, always provided an outstanding vehicle for adventure.