Conference Presenters

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Diana Arbiser is originally from Argentina. She is a multilingual interpreter and translator, with more than 20 years of experience and an extensive cultural and humanistic background. Diana’s areas of expertise include law, health and medicine, social sciences, and literary translation. She holds a B.A. from Boise State University/Universidad de Buenos Aires, and an M.A. in Language, Literature, and Translation from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. She is also fluent in French, and has completed advanced academic studies in Greek and Latin. Diana is a federal court certified interpreter and an Idaho and Oregon state master level certified interpreter. She holds certification from the Administrative Office of the Courts in Washington State, and  ATA certification for English>Spanish translation. She is a transcription and translation expert, an interpreter assessment specialist, and she has provided expert testimony about language-related issues in state and federal courts.

Maribel Alonso was born in Cuba and raised in Spain where she studied English Philology at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid. Upon moving to the United States, she first worked  in San Diego as a linguist helping in the development of  the translation software used in Microsoft Word and then moved to Miami where she has been working as an interpreter in the health care, legal, and business segments for the last 25 years. In 2011, she became a Florida State-Certified Court Interpreter. She has worked as a free-lance interpreter for the Miami Immigration Courts in Miami since 2008. Maribel is also an interpreter trainer who has prepared hundreds of professional and prospective Interpreters through her successful webinars. She enjoys keeping abreast of all language and cultural matters, and practicing her hobbies which include Zumba, Yoga, meditation, and Flamenco Dancing.

Magdaliz Aroura grew up in Puerto Rico where she obtained a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Puerto Rico. In 1994, she moved to Philadelphia to study for her M.A. in Music Therapy at Hahnemann University/Drexel University. In 2010, she took the BTG course and started working as a medical and judicial Interpreter in Philadelphia and surrounding areas. In 2013, she became a licensed BTG trainer” and has been teaching several times a year since then. In January of 2015, she became a PA certified judicial interpreter and in May of 2016, she became a National Board certified Spanish medical interpreter, CMI. In November of 2016, she became a licensed interpreter trainer for The Community Interpreter (TCI). In 2018, she became a NJ Certified Judicial Interpreter. Magdaliz joined the DVTA Board of Directors in 2019 and manages the blog and social media networking. In December of 2019 she began working as a New Jersey court staff interpreter in the Camden Vicinage.

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

Andy Benzo is an ATA certified translator English >Spanish. He also holds a degree in law and a degree in Translation from his native Argentina. He has been working as a freelance translator for more than 25 years. He taught legal translation and business translation at UCSD Extension for 6 years. He was a founding member and first president of ATISDA (Association of Translators and Interpreters in the San Diego Area).

Prof. Karen Borgenheimer, MFA Translation, a classically trained, certified interpreter and translator, is regarded as a skilled, insightful and versatile professional who is equally comfortable in the courtroom and at international conferences, where she has interpreted for major corporations, the Department of Defense and Homeland Security. Her interpreter training workshops have been a huge success in Florida, California, Oregon, Arizona and Spain. Karen has trained hundreds of certified interpreters and interpreters in training. She has been a university professor for 30 years and a professor in the translation and interpretation program at Florida International University (FIU) in Miami, Florida, for the past 19 years. Karen obtained a 4-year Master of Fine Arts in Translation Studies from the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. She also completed doctoral coursework in Spanish Language and Linguistics at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

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Erik Camayd-Freixas, PhD. in Romance Languages from Harvard University, is Professor of Interpretation at Florida International University. He began interpreting at the Boston Superior Court, obtained his federal certification in 1985, and went on to practice in ten states across the nation. He has served as a forensic linguist for federal and state agencies, has testified before Congress, submitted briefs to the Senate Judiciary Committee, and contributed as amicus curiae to the US Supreme Court. Since 2003, he has interpreted live broadcasts of presidential speeches and debates in Spanish TV networks, interpreting for twelve heads of state, including Pope Benedict XVI. He has published and lectured internationally on linguistic, literary, and socio-cultural topics. Dr. Camayd has experimented with Consecutive Playback Interpreting (CPI) since 1998 and published its first controlled trials in 2005. He served on the Florida Supreme Court’s Interpreter Certification Board and continues practicing, researching, and teaching interpreting standards, methods, and techniques.

Javier Castillo, Jr., president of Castillo Language Services, Inc., has worked as an interpreter and translator since 1999. Mr. Castillo is a federally and state certified court interpreter, a conference interpreter, a certified medical interpreter and a contract interpreter for the U.S. Department of State. In addition to his career in language services, Mr. Javier Castillo is a veteran actor, having performed improv comedy for over 10 years with OOOPS Improv and IBX Improv in North Carolina and has been a guest performer with the Diabolical Experiments show in Portland, Oregon.  He has studied improv in North Carolina, Washington, D.C., New York City, Chicago and San Francisco, and has coached for his current group, IBX Improv. In addition to his stage acting, Castillo has appeared in commercial videos for Blue Cross and Blue Shield and has done voiceover work for TV and radio spots.

Heidi Cazes is an interpreter, translator and terminologist. She is a federal court certified interpreter, and former staff interpreter at the District Court of Puerto Rico. As a freelancer, she has her own business and works 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. Heidi has worked in terminology research, developing specialized dictionaries, and is an instructor in the IULA English on-line Master in Terminology. 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 of ASTM’s F43 Committee, working on drafting standards for translation, interpreting and language services.

Fatima Cornwall arrived from the Azores Islands, Portugal, in 1993. Her academic achievements include an M.A. in Spanish Literature from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a B.A. in Spanish from Boise State University. Fatima has many years of experience in different areas of the profession. She is a federal court certified interpreter, an Idaho master level court certified interpreter in Spanish, and a certified Portuguese interpreter. She is also a certified medical interpreter through the National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters. She has been serving as faculty for different workshops and training sessions for new and experienced interpreters and judges for the past five years. Fatima has a great passion for teaching, and she is a professor at Boise State University, where she works as the Spanish language coordinator and teaches Portuguese and Spanish upper division courses, including Introduction to Court Interpretation and Medical Interpretation.

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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 29 years, both as a freelance and 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.

Regine Duroska-Murray is a Maryland court certified legal interpreter and a conference interpreter, working in Haitian Creole and French. She is based in Maryland. She has interpreted in local, state, and federal courts and at congressional hearings. She taught Haitian Creole at the Haitian Embassy in Washington, D.C. She holds a bachelor’s degree in legal studies from the University of Maryland Global College (UMGC), and a master’s degree in interpreting from the University of Maryland, College Park. She is a member of ATA, NAJIT, and TAALS.

Sandra Dejeux works as a freelance interpreter in the Houston metro area. She has a master’s degree in Spanish Interpretation and Translation, she is a certified healthcare interpreter, and has a master designation as a Texas Spanish licensed court interpreter. She also currently serves as a UT Austin instructor for the Legal Interpreters Certificate Program.

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Douglas G. Denton is the supervising analyst for the Language Access Services Unit at the Judicial Council of California, which works to ensure language access throughout California’s courts. Since 2015, he has served as lead staff to the Judicial Council’s Language Access Plan Implementation Task Force. From 2013–2015, he served as lead staff to the Joint Working Group for California’s Language Access Plan, the advisory body that developed the Strategic Plan for Language Access in the California Courts. The Language Access Plan provides recommendations, guidance, and a consistent statewide approach to ensure language access for California’s 7 million LEP residents and potential court users. Douglas is a founding board member of the Access Institute for Psychological Services, a mental health training clinic that provides low fee psychotherapy for individuals, couples and families. He has an A.B. in Economics from U.C. Berkeley.

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Dr. David Gilbert is an Australian lawyer and is currently coordinator 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 and counter-terrorism capability development. Dr Gilbert’s doctoral dissertation focused on Australia’s language capability, relied upon to combat serious and organized crime, including terrorism, which resulted in significant changes concerning the preparation of translated transcripts used in drug-related trials. Dr Gilbert has presented at international conferences in Australia and the US on the subject of evidence law and forensic translation. Dr Gilbert has also had operational experience in the conduct of coercive interviews relating to serious and organized crime.

Abdelaaziz el Ghayate is an arabic translator/reviser at the Arabic Translation Service at the United Nations Headquarters in New York since 2005.

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Édgar Hidalgo García is a certified court and medical interpreter in California. He spent half of his life in South America and finished High School in Colombia. He went to California State University, Long Beach, where he obtained two majors: a B.A. in Translation and Interpretation Studies and a B.A. in Spanish Translation. He completed his master’s degree in Spanish at CalState, Fullerton. He worked for several years as a staff interpreter both at Long Beach Memorial Hospital and Children’s Hospital of Orange County. He also worked for 10 years as a staff interpreter at the San Bernardino Superior Court. Mr. Hidalgo was the coordinator of the CalState Fullerton’s Legal Interpretation Program and an instructor in the Court Interpreting Program at UC Riverside for 10 years. He is also the owner of his own online school,TransInterpreting, where he offers online continuing education for court and medical interpreters, along with workshops, seminars, and other services.

Tamber Hilton is a court interpreter based in Washington, DC She currently works as a freelancer in immigration court and in state-level courts in D.C., Virginia, and Maryland. In addition to her work as an interpreter, Tamber has also had a career in refugee protection. She worked for five years in Bangkok, Thailand, as the interpreter services program manager for the International Rescue Committee’s Refugee Resettlement Support Center and as a legal advocate at Asylum Access, where she represented and advised refugees seeking recognition and durable solutions from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). She has also worked in Tucson, Arizona, receiving and resettling refugees in her capacity as Resettlement Program Manager for Lutheran Social Services of the Southwest. Tamber holds a master’s degree in International Human Rights Law from the University of Oxford, and is currently pursuing a J.D. at Georgetown University Law Center.

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Cynthia Lepeley, PhD. in Spanish, University of Illinois, is a Spanish professor 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 i+nterpreter. She has also served as an interpreter trainer for the Language Services Program of the Supreme Court of Ohio.

Yongmei Li is currently pursuing a master’s degree in interpreter training through programs at the University of Geneva.  She is a court certified interpreter for both Mandarin and Cantonese, and has been working in judicial interpreting since 2013 and in medical interpreting since 2011.   She has been a director on the board of the Delaware Valley Translators Association for the past three years.   Prior to working in the field of interpreting, she conducted biomedical research for fifteen years in the field of immunology.   She has a PhD. in Pharmacology from Columbia University, a B.A. in Biochemistry from New York University and a certificate in English to Mandarin Translation from the University of Toronto.

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Aída Martínez-Gómez is an associate professor of Legal Translation and Interpreting at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York. She holds a PhD. in Translation and Interpreting Studies from the University of Alicante (Spain). At John Jay College, she is the coordinator for the B.A. in Spanish and certificate programs in legal translation and interpretation. She is also vice president of the Society for the Study of Translation and Interpretation (SSTI), the non-profit educational and research foundation of the National Association of Judicial Interpreters and Translators (NAJIT), and a member-at-large of the American Translation and Interpreting Studies Association. She is certified as a Spanish interpreter by the New York State Unified Court System and as an English sworn translator and interpreter by the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Her main research interests focus on interpreting in prison settings (including language policy and planning, treatment for foreign incarcerated offenders, and the particularities of bilingual prisoners acting as interpreters), non-professional interpreting and child language brokers, interpreting pedagogy for heritage learners, and interpreting quality assessment.

Athena Matilsky holds a B.A. in Spanish interpreting and translation from Rutgers University. She is a federally certified court interpreter (Spanish<>English), a certified healthcare interpreter (Spanish<>English) and an approved court interpreter (French<>English). She is a former 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 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 program for Conference Interpreting at Glendon College. When she is not studying or teaching, you may find her practicing Acroyoga. Website: https://athenaskyinterpreting.com/

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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, Governor George Pataki and Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. He has presented to groups of attorneys, judges and court reporters about court interpreter issues. Additionally, Ernest is a Jeopardy! champion (2012), whose greatest achievement on the show was beating an attorney to the buzzer to answer “co-defendant” in the ”11 letter words” category.

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Maria Camila Pulido is the founder of Target Translations & Interpretations, a federally certified, women-owned small business and a Florida minority business enterprise. In January of 2019, Ms. Pulido founded a nonprofit called Community Language Access, Inc., which advocates for language access in the healthcare and legal systems in the State of Florida and the United States of America. She has been a NAJIT member since 2015. Ms. Pulido was born in Bogotá, Colombia, where she attended the Universidad Nacional de Colombia, where she studied Physical Therapy. She also holds a biology degree from UCF. Ms. Pulido is certified by the National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters as well as by the Board of Court Interpreter Certification in Florida.

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Hon. Victor A. Rodriguez, Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Alameda. Judge Victor Rodriguez was appointed to a judgeship in the Alameda County Superior Court, effective January 26, 2018. Judge Rodriguez served as supervising staff attorney for the Honorable Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar at the California Supreme Court from 2015 to 2018, where he also served as judicial staff attorney for the Honorable Carlos R. Moreno, Goodwin H. Liu and Carol A. Corrigan from 2006 to 2015. He served as a law clerk for the Honorable Consuelo B. Marshall at the U.S. District Court, Central District of California, from 2005 to 2006. He was a Skadden fellow at the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund from 2003 to 2005. Judge Rodriguez is chair of the Language Access Subcommittee of the Judicial Council’s Advisory Committee on Providing Access and Fairness and was a member of the Council’s Language Access Plan Implementation Task Force.  He earned a Juris Doctor from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law, a Master of Arts from California State University, Long Beach, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Southern California.

Tony Rosado is a U.S. Department of State conference level interpreter; 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 interpreted for high profile court proceedings, Olympic Games, and TV broadcasts, including presidential debates and political conventions. 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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Francesca Samuel is a freelance interpreter and translator and founder and president of A la Carte Translations, a web-based translation business. She is a member of ATA, NAJIT, AZSBA and ATI. She graduated from the Pima Community College Translation and Interpreting Program in Tucson, AZ, and has more than 20 years of. Experience in the profession. Francesca is an avid volunteer and served as administrator of the American Translators Association Spanish Division, and as president of Arizona Translators and Interpreters, Inc. She currently serves on several committees, including the ATA Spanish Division Professional Development Committee and the Arizona Translators and Interpreters Board of Directors. She chairs NAJIT’s Immigration Court Interpreters Committee and has presented at several annual conferences, including FIT, NAJIT, CFI, ATA and ATI. A proud native of Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, she lived in NYC and LA before settling in Tucson, AZ.

Gladys Segal has thirty years of experience in translation, federal court interpretation, and forensic testimony expertise in transcription/translation. Supported by an undergraduate graduate education in translation, linguistics, literature and art history, with an emphasis throughout on research. A commitment to the present and the future of the profession is a motivator to contribute to NAJIT’s efforts and make a difference in the present and the future of the profession.

Lili Selden has a PhD. in Japanese literature and has been a freelance translator (Japanese <> English) and academic editor since 2005. In 2012, as a federal contractor in DC, she was thrust into the position of interpreting at witness interviews for criminal and civil matters. Not wanting to let that terrifying but rewarding experience go to waste, she studied for and passed the NY Unified Courts interpreter exam in 2014, while still a federal contractor. Thanks to the kind intervention of several mentors in the field, she joined NAJIT in 2017 when the Annual Conference was held in DC, and by attending every presentation logistically possible, she learned how incredibly valuable it is to take continuing education credits and network with colleagues.

Olga Shostachuk is a PhD. candidate in Translation Studies at Kent State University, Kent, OH, where she previously completed her M.A. in Translation. She also holds an M.A. in Education and Linguistics from Lviv National University in the Ukraine and a paralegal degree from the Academy of Court Reporting in Cleveland, Ohio. Ms. Shostachuk served as vice chair for the Ohio IMIA chapter and currently is a Ukrainian editor for SlavFile, the ATA Slavic Languages Division newsletter. 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 (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 in 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.

Clarissa Surek-Clark has been a practicing translator and interpreter in the United States for more than 25 years. She is an ATA certified translator (English<>Portuguese), and is provisionally certified as a court interpreter by the Supreme Court of Ohio. Her training includes law school in Brazil, and linguistics degrees in the United States.

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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, a contributing author of Diccionario Jurídico, Law Dictionary, 2nd ed. (Cabanellas de las Cuevas and Hoague), a consultant to Dahl’s Law Dictionary, Diccionario Jurídico Dahl, 4th ed. (Henry Saint Dahl), and a contributor to Black’s Law Dictionary, 11th ed. (Bryan A. Garner). Sandro has trained over 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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Melissa Wallace, PhD. Translation Studies, University of Alicante, Spain, is an assistant professor of translation and interpreting at the University of Texas, San Antonio. A certified court interpreter and certified healthcare interpreter, Wallace served two terms as an appointed member of the Supreme Court Committee to Improve Translation and Interpreting in Wisconsin Courts and served 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.

Nataliia Worrell, PhD., is a linguist, translator and certified Russian court interpreter in the State of Florida. Nataliia graduated from Dnipropetrovsk National University in the Ukraine with an M.A. in Philology (linguistics and literary studies) in 1998. In 2001, she obtained her PhD. in World Literatures from the same university. Upon completion of her post-graduate studies, she started teaching at the university in the Ukraine, where she spent 5 years as an associate professor. Nataliia was also working as a conference interpreter and translator in the Ukraine since her student years. In 2008, she was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship and spent a year as an exchange scholar at William Paterson University of New Jersey, working on her book about Gertrude Stein. She immigrated to the United States in 2012. Her 8-year career in this country includes interpreting for state, federal and immigration courts in various settings, including immigration, medical and community interpretation and different translation projects.