Susan E. Castellanos Bilodeau 2016 Conference Scholarship Reflections

By: Heba Abou Alsaad

I am so lucky to have had the opportunity to attend the NAJIT conference in San Antonio, Texas. The sessions were very educational and informative, the extra knowledge I acquired about the field was great, and the number and quality of people I met at the conference was priceless. Getting to know, listen to and talk to the top people in the field of legal interpretation is the best experience that can happen to any interpreter. Listening to the points of view, issues and ideas of legal interpreters from different backgrounds, states and countries was amazing. I came back feeling I had attended school for a month, but actually it was just a two-day conference.

Considering the size of NAJIT and its budget, the work done behind the scenes to put together such a conference was extraordinary. It was well organized, and there was excellent information on the sessions and speakers; the conference content was great as was its location.

I had attended the NAJIT conference in Las Vegas a couple of years ago by accident, when friends of mine pushed me into attending. That experience was a huge eye-opener for me, and this one in San Antonio gave me a second glimpse into the profession. When I weigh the advantages and disadvantages of attending NAJIT conferences, I can say without reservation that I have no regrets whatsoever about attending the conference for a second time and very much look forward to the next one!

It was a real pleasure to share a great weekend with like-minded professionals in San Antonio. It presented me with a challenge to grow in the interpreting/translating field. I met very experienced people who are still eager to learn and share their knowledge with the newcomers and remind us about the key role of the interpreter.

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