Our Story

HELPING THE PROFESSION GROW AND GROWING WITH THE PROFESSION

SSTI, the Society for the Study of Translation and Interpretation, is the non-profit charity component of the National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators (NAJIT). NAJIT was created in 1978 to promote the highest ethical and performance standards in the profession. Part of that was the development of educational activities to further these standards among judiciary interpreters and translators whose field experience ranged from completely inexperienced novices to fully-vetted professionals. Also part of the mission was creating an instrument designed by active members of the profession and validated by competency assessment experts to measure and certify the performance of judiciary interpreters and translators.

SSTI, created in 1997, was already conducting educational activities for NAJIT when the association’s certification exam development process began in 1999. Keeping these two activities separate—educating and testing—was one of the requirements to maintain the validity of NAJIT’s credentialing process, pursuant to the Standards for the Accreditation of Certification Programs from the National Organization for Competency Assurance (NOCA), now the Institute for Credentialing Excellence (ICE). And so, while SSTI focused on this credential, NAJIT took over the educational program. Since then, and throughout the years, both of these programs have undergone many transformations in response to shifting priorities for both NAJIT and SSTI Board members.

Fast forward to 2015: the NAJIT Board of Directors comes forth with a renewed interest in the original mission for which SSTI was created: to promote scholarly research and undertake projects intended to advance the profession.

Under SSTI’s Bylaws, “The SSTI Board of Directors (…) shall be appointed by the Board of Directors of the National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators, Inc. (NAJIT), and shall consist of no less than five and no more than seven members, four of whom shall also serve as officers of the Corporation until the appointment of their successors.” (Art. V) Accordingly, a new SSTI Board of Directors was appointed in May 2015: President, Janis Palma; Vice President, Aída Martínez-Gómez; Secretary, Susan Berk-Seligson; Treasurer, Holly Mikkelson; and Member At Large, Melissa Wallace.

As of 2016 Holly Mikkelson could no longer serve on SSTI’s Board, so Melissa Wallace became the Treasurer. The At-Large position was filled in June of 2018 by Marianne Mason.

SSTI is embarking on brand new projects intended to benefit NAJIT’s members and make noteworthy contributions to the professions of judiciary interpreting and legal translation. One of them is a comprehensive review of current scholarly literature on legal and judiciary interpreting found on our projects page.

Our main goals at this time are:

  • To promote authoritative research on judiciary interpreting and legal translation.
  • To collaborate in the development of research-based training guidelines for English-speaking end-users of interpreter services, guidelines that will ensure the highest efficiency and effectiveness of those services.
  • To be a nationally recognized source of information, statistics, and research on judiciary interpreting and legal translation issues.

The SSTI Board members want to hear from you. We want to know what research projects you think SSTI should be sponsoring. We also welcome volunteers with social media skills, grant proposal writing skills, and funded research experience who can help us match the right funding sources with the projects we sponsor. And, of course, we want you to continue to support SSTI with your generous donations when you renew your NAJIT membership.

SSTI Board of Directors

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