Presenter Biographies NAJIT2019

40th Annual Conference

Conference Presenters

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Mary Lou Aranguren has worked as a court interpreter in California for 27 years.  She was at the forefront of a movement to pass legislation that created 800 staff interpreter jobs and granted interpreters employment rights in 2003.  She was a leader in the California Federation of Interpreters (CFI) when interpreters unionized and negotiated first contracts. She held a staff position in CFI for more than a decade and was chief negotiator for a 2017 contract in the San Francisco Bay Area that achieved a 21% wage increase. She was also appointed to California’s Commission on Judicial Performance and served for seven years reviewing complaints against judges and deciding discipline cases for violations of the code of ethics. She is currently employed as a per-diem interpreter in Oakland, California.

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Dr. Ricardo Bardo is a state and federally certified court interpreter and translator. He has also worked as a conference interpreter in many international gatherings in the US and abroad. He taught translation and interpretation at the University of Havana, Cuba and the Universidad Autonoma de Baja California, Mexico, and is currently the faculty coordinator of the Translation and Interpretation Studies Program at Miami Dade College in Florida. He has also taught Spanish at Dartmouth College and Florida State University.

Susan Berk-Seligson is a professor of Spanish Linguistics at Vanderbilt University. She describes herself as “a linguist, with research and teaching areas of specialization in (1) sociolinguistics, (2) forensic linguistics, (3) pragmatics and discourse analysis and (4) language and gender.” She is the author of The Bilingual Courtroom: Court Interpreters in the Judicial Process (The University of Chicago Press, 1990, 2002 and 2017), and Coerced Confessions: The Discourse of Bilingual Police Interrogations (Mouton de Gruyter, 2009). She holds a Ph.D. in linguistics from the University of Arizona, and has taught in the Modern Languages Department of Purdue University (1983-85) and in the Hispanic Languages and Literature Department of the University of Pittsburgh (1985 to 2004). At Vanderbilt University she has served as associate director of the Center for Latin American Studies and director of Graduate Studies of that center.

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Javier Castillo

Heidi Cazes is an interpreter, translator, and terminologist. She is a federal court certified interpreter, and a former staff interpreter at the District Court of Puerto Rico. As a freelancer, she works as a contractor for the federal court, the USDA’s Office, various 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 an instructor for the IULA English Online Master in Terminology. She has participated on panels for standard setting of language proficiency in court interpreter certification exams and the DLI, and as a 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, interpreting and language services.

Angela Chenus is the happiest French<>English interpreter in the Midwest, as she did not ever expect to find work in her chosen field once she moved back home. She has degrees in both Spanish and French, a love for all languages, and over twenty years’ experience in translation and interpretation. She is a fully certified, class A National Center for State Courts French interpreter in Illinois and in Iowa. She is a trainer of interpreters in medical and legal fields and an author.

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Agustín Servin de la Mora is the President of DE LA MORA Interpreter Training. He was born and raised in Mexico City, Mexico, and has been a professional interpreter for 28 years, both as a freelance and a staff interpreter. He is one of the supervisor raters 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, and served as a member of the Project Advisory Committee responsible for the creation of the National Standards for Healthcare Interpreter Training Programs for the NCIHC. He was a member of the Florida Court Interpreter Certification Board and a voting member of the Technical Committee of the National Consortium for Interpreter Certification. He is a state and federally certified court interpreter, as well as a certified medical interpreter. He has been a consultant for the National Center for State Courts for 20 years.

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Elda Ellis is the founder of Translating Worlds by EYE, providing coaching for certified interpreters related to judicial proceedings Protocol and Ethics, as well as a consultant for different professionals who interact with interpreters on a regular basis. The Daily Journal in the cities of San Francisco and Los Angeles has published Ms. Ellis’ article, “Simplifying the Code of Ethics.” As a certified court interpreter in the state of California, Elda Ellis is proficient in all three modes of interpretation required by the judicial council. With over a decade of experience, she has worked in the court system in criminal and civil and other fields of law matters. Ms. Ellis is also a consultant, educator and translator for blockchain and fintech companies, and for individuals around the globe. Originally born in Latin America, her immersion and understanding of the Latin American and American societies gives her the unique ability to accurately bridge the communication gap between both cultures.

Armando Ezquerra Hasbun has degrees in psychology, international studies and Spanish language and literature. He was state certified as a court interpreter in Delaware, federally certified by the AOUSC, and as a judiciary interpreter and translator by NAJIT. He was ATA-Certified as an ENG>SPA translator; was acting administrator of ATA’s Interpreter Division and was awarded the ATA’s 2015 Harvie Jordan Scholarship. He is also a certified trainer for medical interpreters as well as a conference interpreter, grader, lecturer and industry consultant. He is currently an adjunct professor of Interpretation and Translation Studies at La Salle University in Philadelphia. He has published on various topics of interest to the language services profession and, as a recognized thought leader in the industry, is often engaged as a speaker.

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Dr. David Gilbert is an Australian lawyer and is currently chair of the Vietnamese panel of examiners for the Australian National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI). He served with the Royal Australian Navy as a cryptologic linguist participating in numerous joint US-Australia military operations and has worked in various government departments in areas of intelligence and security. Dr Gilbert’s doctoral dissertation focused on Australia’s language capability relied upon to combat serious and organized crime. He is a graduate of the Juris Doctor program at RMIT University and has presented at international conferences in Australia and the US on the subject of evidence law and forensic translation. Dr Gilbert holds military awards for active service (1991 Gulf War) and special operations. Dr Gilbert has recent operational experience in the area of investigative interviewing directly related to serious and organized crime.

Mylene Green, a native of Chile, came to the United States at a young age. Her parents insisted the family communicate in Spanish at home, making her fully bilingual. At age 18, Mylene was accepted by the University of Chile. While attending college in Chile, she had the opportunity to put her bilingual skills to work by accepting interpreting opportunities offered by the American and Korean embassies in Santiago. Upon her return to the United States, she had the honor of working as an interpreter for the 1984 Olympic Organizing Committee – Language Services Department. Prior to becoming a court interpreter, Mylene worked as a complex litigation legal assistant for a national law firm in Los Angeles. She is a graduate of the U.C.L.A. Extension Translation and Interpretation Program. She is a federal and state certified court interpreter and actively works in state and federal courts.

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Tamber Hilton is a certified court interpreter (Virginia, 2018) practicing in the Arlington immigration court since December 2017. She began her interpreting career in Seattle, and interpreted in the Seattle immigration court from 2007-2009. Tamber also works at DC Superior Court as a contractor, interpreting in a broad range of court contexts. She holds a Master’s Degree in International Human Rights Law from the University of Oxford, and is currently pursuing her J.D. at Georgetown University Law Center in the part-time evening program. In addition to her work as an interpreter, she has extensive experience teaching and training interpreters, having spent three and a half years in Thailand managing the interpreter services program for the U.S. refugee resettlement program in East Asia. She is passionate about legal interpreting, and the promotion of quality interpretation as a component of advancing access to justice and the protection of human rights.

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Judy A. Jenner is federally certified court interpreter, a master-level court certified Spanish interpreter (Nevada), a court-registered German interpreter (Nevada), a 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, 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 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 Norway. She pens the popular “Translation Times” blog and writes the monthly “Entrepreneurial Linguist” column for the American Translators Association (ATA). She also serves as an ATA spokesperson.

Julie E. Johnson, EdD, teaches French>English graduate translation and interpreting courses at the Middlebury Institute (MIIS) and regularly conducts skill-building, ethics, and train-the-trainer seminars for working professionals, including court interpreters and government linguists. With Genevieve Navar, she co-edited the Judicial Council of California’s Professional Ethics and the Role of the Court Interpreter (4th Ed.), and regularly co-presents the companion workshop. In her own practice, she interprets at international conferences, corporate seminars, diplomatic missions and legal proceedings. Her primary research interest is in mindfulness as it relates to interpreter training. At MIIS, she developed the innovative Mindfulness for Interpreters course and has hosted weekly drop-in meditation sessions for faculty, staff, and students. Julie draws from the rich intersections of teaching, professional practice, and research to support the wellbeing and effectiveness of students and working professionals.

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Katty Kauffman is a seasoned federally certified court and conference interpreter and a member of the International Association of Conference Interpreters (AIIC) and TAALS. Her extensive conference experience includes several presidential summits and OAS General Assemblies, among other major events. In the court arena, she has worked as a freelancer in New York, Miami and Washington, DC, and served on staff with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.

Judith Kenigson Kristy is a federal and state certified Spanish court interpreter in the USA, as well as a certified court interpreter and certified translator (EN-ES, ES-EN) in Canada. She is a subject matter expert for T&I testing entities in both countries. In addition to full-time freelance work in courts and conferences, Judith has spent hundreds of hours performing Forensic Transcription/Translation (FTT) work and is an experienced expert witness when called upon to defend her FTT products. She is a former member of the NAJIT Board of Directors and served as an editor and contributing author for several NAJIT position papers, including, “General Guidelines and Minimum Requirements for Transcript Translations in Any Legal Setting.” Judith lives happily with her two dogs, two cats, and two pottery studios in Nashville, Tennessee and Manitoulin Island, Ontario; she welcomes inquiries at jkinterp@gmail.com.

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Cynthia Lepeley (Ph.D. in Spanish, University of Illinois) is professor of Spanish and chair of the languages department at Heidelberg University in Tiffin, Ohio. She has been interpreting in medical and legal settings since 1995. She is a federally certified court interpreter, a state certified court interpreter (Ohio and Michigan), a certified medical interpreter and a certified healthcare Interpreter. She has also served as an interpreter trainer for the Language Services Program of the Supreme Court of Ohio.

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Darinka Mangino is the Founder of Léxica Aula Virtual para Intérpretes. She is also an adjunct professor of interpreting and legal interpreting at Anahuac University. She received her bachelor’s in interpreting from the Instituto Superior de Interpretes y Traductores in 2000 and her PGC in forensic linguistics from Aston University in 2012. She became a member of Colegio Mexicano de Interpretes de Conferencias (CMIC) in 2007 and of the International Association of Conference Interpreters (AIIC) in 2013. She was also appointed as AIIC´s public relations representative for the Mexico, Guatemala and Caribbean Region in 2016. She is a certified court interpreter for Mexico City and in 2011 became part of the pool of interpreters hired by the Mexican Office of the President.

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, and 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 vice-president of NAJIT’s Society for the Study of Translation and Interpreting (SSTI) and a member of the executive board of the American Translation and Interpreting Studies Association (ATISA).

Marianne Mason holds a PhD in linguistics from the University of Georgia. She is currently an assistant professor of translation and interpreting studies and linguistics in the Foreign Languages, Literature, and Cultures Department at James Madison University. Her main areas of research include language and the law/forensic linguistics, discourse analysis/pragmatics, and translation/interpreting studies. In these areas, Mason has published a book, Courtroom Interpreting (2008), and has a forthcoming (2019) co-edited volume, The Discourse of Police Interviews, with the University of Chicago Press. She has also published on police–lay person exchanges, covertly taped conversations/the discourse of wiretaps, and bilingual courtroom proceedings in journals such as the International Journal of Speech, Language, and the Law, Translation and Interpreting Studies, Police Quarterly, Language and Communication, Journal of Pragmatics, Pragmatics, among others. In the spring of 2018, she was awarded a fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies/ACLS to complete her research titled, “Language at the Center of the American Justice System.”

Athena Matilsky holds a BA in Spanish interpreting and translation from Rutgers University. She is a federally certified court interpreter (Spn<>Eng), a certified healthcare interpreter (Spn<>Eng) and an approved court interpreter (Frn<>Eng). She was the recent editor-in-chief of Proteus (NAJIT’s academic publication), and she served as a staff interpreter for the NJ judiciary from 2013-2016. Currently, she works as a freelance interpreter/translator and trains candidates for the state and federal interpreting exams. She owns her own company, Athena Sky Interpreting, where she coaches students on interpreting technique, and she also frequently collaborates with De la Mora Interpreter Training and Interpretrain. She is currently enrolled in the Master’s in Conference Interpreting Program at Glendon College. When she is not studying or teaching, you may find her practicing Acroyoga. Website: https://athenaskyinterpreting.com/

Gladys Matthews, PhD, holds a degree in French from the Universidad de Costa Rica, a Master’s degree in terminology and translation and Ph.D. in linguistics with an emphasis on legal translation from the Université Laval in Canada. An experienced court interpreter, Matthews is currently the instructor and area coordinator in the Master of Conference Interpreting Program of Glendon College of York University, Toronto. She developed two court interpreting courses for the program–one taught in English and the other in English-French–and has been teaching them online for over six years. She also served as program director and faculty member in various colleges and universities. She is immediate past chair of the board of directors of NAJIT.

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Ernest Niño-Murcia is a freelance legal interpreter and translator based in Des Moines, Iowa. He graduated from Brown University with a B.A. in anthro-linguistics. 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. He has presented to groups of attorneys, judges, and court reporters about court interpreter issues. Additionally, Ernest is a former member of the NAJIT Board of Directors and past chair of the Bench and Bar Committee.

Madeline Newman Rios is an ATA certified Spanish to English translator with over 30 years of experience as a freelance translator specializing in Spanish to English case law translations, and is a former instructor of legal, business, and technical translation at Cal State Fullerton University. She is also certified as a Spanish court interpreter for the U.S. federal and California state courts, and holds an M.A. in Spanish translation and interpreting from the University of Texas, Rio Grande Valley. She has written numerous articles on the subject of translation for the ATA Chronicle and other professional publications in the translation and interpretation industry and has presented at local, national, and international conferences.

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Janis Palma has been a federally certified judiciary interpreter since 1981. She is also certified by NAJIT as an English-Spanish interpreter and translator, and by the State of Texas as a Master Licensed Court Interpreter. She holds a Master’s Degree in Puerto Rican and Caribbean History and Literature from the Centro de Estudios Avanzados de Puerto Rico y el Caribe (San Juan, PR), and has been teaching judiciary interpreting through professional associations, private organizations, higher education institutions, and government agencies since 1986. She is also a former NAJIT chair, and has been an active volunteer with NAJIT and SSTI for over 30 years. Her work trajectory includes freelance and full-time staff work as an interpreter in federal and state courts, including Texas, New York, Washington, DC, and Puerto Rico.

Johanna Parker holds an M.A. in Translation and Interpretation (Spanish <>English) from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (MIIS) and is a federally and California certified court interpreter and CCHI Certified Healthcare Interpreter™. She is the lead interpreter for education and training at Stanford Health Care, a freelance conference interpreter and a contract seminar interpreter for the U.S. Department of State. Johanna trains healthcare and court interpreters around the country and is an adjunct professor at MIIS, where she teaches medical interpreting. She was awarded the California Healthcare Interpreting Association’s Trainer of the Year award in 2015.

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Dr. Gloria M. Rivera, CMI, CHI is an English/Spanish certified medical interpreter, conference interpreter, translator, and instructor. She is a physician/surgeon who obtained her degree from Universidad San Martin de Porres (Lima, Peru). She holds a professional certificate of translation and interpretation from UCSD Extension and taught for said Professional Certificate. Dr. Rivera is part of the core faculty of the National Center for Interpretation (University of Arizona). She is also the owner of Blue Urpi, a company focused on providing medically accurate training for certified and aspiring medical interpreters. She is the recipient of 2018 CHIA’s Instructor of the Year Award.

Marcela Romero-Langlois is a professional linguist, originally from Colombia. Her experience spans both interpreting–in court and for depositions and conferences–and translation, including judiciary and legal documents; contracts; technical manuals; medical, business, technical and literary works. In addition, she also does transliteration and transcription and translation of audio, video and bilingual scripts of forensic evidence for criminal trials. She has also created audio embedded digital documents for the courts, with embedded mp3 audio files, to reach populations with limited literacy skills for increasing the probability of compliance in juvenile court and for conditions of probation, for state courts, and for family violence protective orders. She was president of the Atlanta Association of Interpreters between 1989-1991, and owns a freelance translation company, Buckhead Executive Spanish Translations, since 1988. She has taught Spanish at Berry College and is licensed and certified in Georgia and Alabama.

Tony Rosado is a conference level interpreter with the U.S. Department of State and a court interpreter certified by the U.S. government and by several States. An attorney from Escuela Libre de Derecho in Mexico City, he has worked internationally as a conference interpreter, and has interpreted for high profile court proceedings, Olympic Games, and TV broadcasts. He has worked with many top level politicians, celebrities, athletes and entrepreneurs. The author of two books on court interpreting, he is a visiting professor at various universities in the U.S. and overseas, a well-known conference presenter, and the author of the popular blog, The Professional Interpreter.

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Olga Shostachuk is a PhD candidate in translation studies at Kent State University, Kent, OH, where she previously completed her M.A. in Translation degree. She also holds an M.A. in Education and Linguistics from Lviv National University in Ukraine and a paralegal degree from the Academy of Court Reporting in Cleveland, Ohio. Ms. Shostachuk served as the vice chapter chair for Ohio IMIA and currently is a Ukrainian editor for SlavFile, the newsletter of the Slavic Languages Division of the ATA. Her research focuses on legal and medical translation, computer-assisted translation, psycholinguistics, localization, pedagogy and assessment.

Javier A. Soler joined the Administrative Office of the United States Courts (AOUSC) 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 AOUSC in 2008.

Patricia Stephenson is a professional freelance court certified interpreter with over 17 years of interpretation and translation experience and over eleven years as an ESL instructor. While working as an interpreter and translator across several states, she completed an intensive community interpreter program as well as an in-depth medical interpretation program and paralegal studies. Patricia has been a freelance interpreter in various settings where she is recognized for expertise in the fields of education community affairs, military multi-national training and medical, legal, and law enforcement subject matter. Currently, Patricia provides interpretation services for the Executive Office of Immigration Review (EOIR); the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA); the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); the Department of Justice (DOJ) Criminal Division; the Virginia General District Courts (civil, criminal and juvenile court) as well as for the US-Mexico Merida Initiative.

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Sandro Tomasi is the author of An English-Spanish Dictionary of Criminal Law and Procedure (view sample: http://www.bilinguallawdictionary.com/sample.pdf), a contributing author of Diccionario Jurídico, Law Dictionary (Cabanellas de las Cuevas and Hoague), a consultant for Dahl’s Law Dictionary, Diccionario Jurídico Dahl (Henry Saint Dahl), and a practicing New York State court interpreter. Sandro has trained around 3,000 interpreters and translators in conferences for professional associations as well as 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.

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Vinka Valdivia is a CA state and federally certified interpreter with 25 years of experience, who also does conference work and work for the U.S. State Department. She has given presentations on LGBTQ+ issues at past conferences.

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Melissa Wallace (Ph.D. Translation Studies, University of Alicante, Spain) is an assistant professor of translation and interpreting at the University of Texas at San Antonio. A certified court interpreter and certified healthcare interpreter, Wallace served two terms as an appointed member of the state Supreme Court Committee to Improve Translation and Interpreting in Wisconsin Courts and a 5-year term on the Licensed Court Interpreter Advisory Board of the Judicial Branch Certification Commission for the Supreme Court of Texas. She currently serves as SSTI’s treasurer and is an active appointed member of the Standards and Training Committee of the National Council on Interpreting in Health Care (NCIHC). Her research focuses on indicators of aptitude on court interpreter certification exams, interpreter and translator training and policy innovations as language access activism. She has presented her research in the United States and abroad.

Georganne Weller holds a Ph.D. in applied linguistics and has been the academic director and professor of interpretation and translation at various institutions in Latin America and the U.S. Her most recent endeavors include the design and implementation of training programs for interpreters in Mexico´s indigenous languages, in the fields of medicine and law in Mexico, and presiding over the non-profit organization of Intérpretes y Traductores en Servicios Públicos y Comunitarios. She has authored over 50 papers and publications and continues to work as a freelance conference and court interpreter. Georganne is a member of AIIC, CMIC, NAJIT, ATA, and CMIC, is a federally certified court interpreter in the U.S. and has held a contract with the State Department for some 40 years. In 2017 ATA awarded her the prestigious Alexander Gode Medal of Professional Achievement at the organization´s annual conference in Washington, D.C.

Ellen Wingo is a state and federally certified court interpreter and a contract seminar interpreter with the Department of State. Based in Washington, DC, she has eleven years’ experience working in courts, as well as in conference settings. She has taught classes on note taking and consecutive interpretation in the DC area, to both new and veteran interpreters. She holds a master’s degree in translation and interpretation from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey.