↑ Return to Blog

Blog contributors


Meet our blog contributors


[Monica Almada]Monica Almada started her professional career as a lecturer at California State University’s Extended Education Court Interpreting and Translating Program. She is a Certified Court Interpreter with 7 years of practical experience as a paralegal and 5 years as a Certified Court Interpreter. She has worked for the Ventura County and Los Angeles Superior Courts, and for numerous agencies and private organizations seeking interpreting and translation services. She was invited to serve as a speaker at the Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE) conference for bilingual educators seeking continuing education in the translation field. Monica is also an advocate for interpreter’s labor rights, and strives for the protection and enhancement of the profession and the quality of interpreting services.


[Farah Arjang]Farah Arjang Vezvaee is a professional, English<>Farsi language pair freelance translator and interpreter. She has been working in the industry for more than 25 years as a linguist, supervisor and manager, and runs a language center specializing in Farsi/Dari. In her years of working in the translation community, Ms. Arjang has had the opportunity to serve many international organizations including the Olympic Committee and the World Bank, to name a couple. She has also served the Department of State, US Supreme Court and the Congress on the national level. Ms. Arjang has been a member of ATA for more than 15 years and currently serves as the Vice President of NCATA, the DC, MD, and VA chapter of ATA and is a member of the ATA Interpreter Division’s Leadership Council.


[Roberta Barroca]Roberta Barroca is a journalist, translator and passionate English<>Brazilian Portuguese conference interpreter. Proud ATA and AIIC member. Gemini with Virgo rising. 36 years old. Favorite expression: “Thank you Universe!”




[Aimee Benavides]Aimee Benavides is a Federal and CA Court Certified Interpreter who lives in Fresno, CA with her husband and two small children. That is the simple version, as life is a little more chaotic than that! However she makes time to attend conferences and is a member of ATA, NCTA, NAJIT, AIJIC to name a few.





Milena Calderari-Waldron, WA Court and DSHS Medical & Social Services Certified Spanish Interpreter. An Archaeology graduate from the University of Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne, she was a National Council for Scientific and Technological Research (CONICET) doctoral grant fellow for seven years and taught Argentine Archaeology at the University of Buenos Aires. She moved to the USA in 1992 where she worked as a bilingual legal assistant at a personal injury law firm. After a hiatus devoted to her family, she began working as a freelance interpreter in 2004. She is currently a shop steward and the Secretary of the Interpreters United Local 1671/AFSCME Council 28 (a freelancers’ labor union), a member of the DSHS/Language Testing and Certification Professional Development Committee, Adjunct Faculty for Ethics and Business Practices for Interpreters at the Bellevue Community College Translation and Interpretation Certificate Program, Advocacy Committee Chair of the ATA Chapter Northwest Translators and Interpreters Society, and a member of the ATA Interpreters Division Leadership Council. She is fluent in Spanish, English, French, and Italian and has an O level in Latin.


[Giovanna Carriero-Contreras]


Giovanna Carriero-Contreras has been working in the language services industry for 25 years and is a graduate of the School of Translation and Interpretation in Geneva, Switzerland. Her working languages are English, Italian, French and Spanish. Before co-founding Cesco she held positions in Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States. Giovanna is not only a seasoned translator and interpreter herself, but she is also a nationally licensed trainer of trainers for The Community Interpreter®, an interpreting training program of 40+ hours for community interpreters, and is a co-author of the recently published international edition of the textbook and workbook for the program. As a strong proponent of professional development for interpreters and the advancement of the profession, Giovanna is also very active in the interpreting community and is involved in developing professional standards for the interpreting industry on the national level, through ASTM International, and on the international level, through the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). A strong language access advocate, Giovanna has expert understanding of Title VI and Executive Order 13166 requirements in that regard.


Jennifer De La Cruz


[Marsel De Souza]


Marsel de Souza is a full-time interpreter and translator based in Brasilia, Brazil. Marsel holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English/Portuguese Translation from the University of Brasilia and a Certificate in Advanced French Studies from Alliance Française. He is a member of ATA, AIIC, Abrates and Sintra. Marsel nurtures a true passion for cinema – and for science fiction in particular – and has recently started casually writing short movie reviews. “Arrival” was the perfect opportunity for a lengthier, more focused piece.


[Robyn Dean]


Robyn Dean has been a nationally certified American Sign Language interpreter for over 25 years specializing in health care. She has over 20 publications, all of which focus on the theoretical and pedagogical frameworks used to advance the practice of community interpreters. She is currently an assistant professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology, where she is the lead instructor for the Institute’s postgraduate degree in health care interpreting. She also teaches courses for postgraduate degrees designed for sign language interpreters in Europe.




Pedro Diaz - ATA59 ID Guest SpeakerPedro Diaz was born in Lima, Peru. He has a master’s degree in health administration from the University of Baltimore in Maryland. He started working at Language Access in 2003. He has held several leadership roles in health care, including manager of language services and hospitality for Johns Hopkins Medicine International, access manager for radiology services at Johns Hopkins Medicine (JHM), and patient experience manager/coach for JHM. Currently, he is the manager of language services at Children’s National Medical Center, where he has led the expansion of the program to enhance all levels of patient care.



[Maha El-Metwally]Maha El-Metwally is a conference interpreter for the languages: Arabic (A), English (B), French and Dutch (C). She works for a wide range of international organizations, including the European Institutions and the United Nations. She is a member of the International Association of Conference Interpreters (AIIC), The Chartered Institute of Linguists (CIoL) and the American Translators Association (ATA). She is also a Board member and member of the Admissions Committee of the Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI).

Maha’s most recent degree is an MA in interpreter training from the University of Geneva. She is associated with a number of universities both in the UK and abroad where she gives professionalization talks. She  teaches Conference Interpreting at the University of Surrey.


[Helen Eby]Helen Eby has been working in translation and interpreting since 1984. She has been participating actively in ATA, performing different roles for quite a few years, helping with the Spanish Language Division, the Business Practices Education Committee, and the Interpreters Division. She is also involved in the ASTM Standards for Translation. Of course, she keeps it real by keeping it local, working with the Oregon Society of Translators and Interpreters in Oregon!



[Liz Essary]Liz Essary has been interpreting in healthcare and legal settings since 2002, and training interpreters since 2009. After years of supervising interpreters in the hospital setting, she finished her Master’s of Conference Interpreting at the Glendon School of Translation in Toronto in 2016. She currently works as a freelance interpreter and trainer based out of Indianapolis, IN. You can find her blog at www.thatinterpreter.com.




Armando Ezquerra Hasbun is a Federally and NAJIT certified court interpreter, is an adjunct instructor at La Salle University’s Hispanic Institute, has interpreted for many dignitaries, and has been an expert witness on several occasions. He holds a BA in Psychology and International Studies and a MA in Spanish Language and Literature. He lives in Philadelphia.



[David Fetterolf]David Fetterolf leads the overall strategic direction of Stratus Video’s Language Services division. David brings over 26 years of experience working for healthcare information technology and service companies. Prior to joining Stratus Video, he was president and founder of MDeverywhere, revenue cycle management software tailored to the healthcare industry. In 2011 MDeverywhere made the coveted Inc. 500/5000 fastest growing companies list. Prior to MDeverywhere, David was a division president for Datamedic, a leading provider of computer-based patient records and business management software and services for medical practices and clinics. As division president, he was responsible for strategy and financial performance, which included leading the marketing, sales, implementation, support, and manufacturing and development teams. David has a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Cornell University and a Master’s of Business Administration from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.


[Cyril Flerov picture]


Cyril  Flerov is  a  professionally  trained  USA  based  Russian  conference  interpreter  (Russian  A, English  B).  He has over 25 years  of  experience and worked freelance at events organized by major US and international clients. A member of the International Association of Conference Interpreters (AIIC) and of The American Association of Language Specialists (TAALS), he has extensive experience teaching  conference interpretation  both  in  Russia  and  in  the  United  States,  including  at MIIS – Middlebury  Institute  of International  Studies in  Monterey,  California. His speaking engagements and seminars about interpretation include ATA, CHICATA, NCTA, CFI, NASA, STIBC, and others.  www.cyrilflerov.com



Deborah Giustini is a doctoral candidate in Sociology at the University of Manchester and a conference interpreter, director at DG Interpreting and Translation. Her comparative ethnographic research explores conference interpreting as a social practice in the UK and in Japan. Her publications include Conversing with pioneer interpreters: The past and present of interpreting training in Japan (2017); Conference Interpreting as a Social Practice: A Bourdieusian Theoretical Approach (2016); Gender and Queer Identities in Translation (2015). You can find her on FB (@dginterpreting) and Twitter (@deborahgiustini).



Melinda González-Hibner


Ester M. Hermida


Lucy Kathan was born and raised in Lima, Peru. She is a court-certified Spanish interpreter, a certified medical interpreter, specializing in legal, business and medical interpretation. She is a freelance translator and works as a staff medical interpreter at Kaiser Permanente – Language Resource Center. She holds a BS in Business Administration from Inca Garcilaso de la Vega University, and is a member of the Colorado Association of Professional Interpreters (CAPI). Contact: lucy.kathan@gmail.com



[Steve Lank]Steve Lank is VP of Translation Services for Cesco Linguistic Services, working from Washington, DC.  He has worked in the industry since 1987, having started out as a freelance translator and project manager, and subsequently holding senior management positions with companies in the US, Ireland and Spain. From 1998 to 2011 he chaired the ASTM International subcommittee responsible for the ASTM F2575 Standard Guide for Quality Assurance in Translation and currently serves as the Technical Contact for the update.  Steve is a lecturer in the graduate interpreting and translation program at the University of Maryland and earned his MA in Spanish Translation and Interpretation from the Monterey Institute of International Studies.


[Gerardo Lazaro]


Gerardo Lázaro is a Certified Healthcare Interpreter (CHITM) and he works at the National Institute for Coordinated Healthcare (NICHC). He is a Master Medical Interpreter in the Philadelphia Metropolitan Region hospitals and is developing training programs for coordinated healthcare and cultural competency. Gerardo has been a lecturer and trainer of educators in Perú, Colombia, Argentina, Brazil, Spain and the United States. He has a BS in Biology, a BA in Education and Master’s in Education, all form Perú, and is a Ph.D. candidate in Public Health here in the USA. He is interested in improving health care outcomes, primarily for underserved populations such as low-income, immigrants, and the limited-English proficient. He can be contacted at glazaro@nichc.org / Twitter LinkedIn 



[Giovanna Lester]Giovanna “Gio” Lester has worked in the T&I fields since 1980.  She is a co-founder of ATA’s Florida Chapter, Association of Translators and Interpreters of Florida (ATIF) which she has served as its first elected president, director, and interim board president. As a writer, Gio has contributed to various T&I publications both in print and online and is the current Editor of The NAJIT Observer. As an international conference interpreter, Gio has been the voice of government heads and officials, scientists, researchers, doctors, hairdressers, teachers, engineers, investors and more. You can find her on Twitter @cariobana.



Cristina McDowell


[Holly Mikkelson]Holly Mikkelson is Professor of Professional Practice at the Graduate School of Translation, Interpretation and Language Education, Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. She is a certified translator and court interpreter who has taught and practiced translation and interpreting for over four decades. She is the author of the acclaimed Acebo interpreter training manuals as well as numerous books and articles on translation and interpretation. She has consulted with many state and private entities on interpreter testing and training, and has presented lectures and workshops to interpreters and related professionals throughout the world.


Juan Pino-Silva wears two hats. He is a second language educator and a translator and interpreter. He is the founder of L2slates Language Services, LLC in San Jose, CA. where he manages interpreting projects. He was the editor of e-Voice, the blog of the ATA Interpreters Division, from June to October 2018.


[Cynthia Roat - A Christmas Poem for Interpreters]


Cynthia E. Roat is a national consultant on language access in health care. In addition to training interpreters and interpreter instructors, she assists healthcare administrators improve their language access programs. Ms. Roat is the author of a wide array of key resources in the field, and her book Healthcare Interpreting in Small Bites is used as an ancillary text in various interpreter training programs. She is a founding member of the National Council on Interpreting in Health Care (NCIHC) and is known nationally as an engaging speaker, a knowledgeable resource, and an energetic advocate for language access in general.


Sheila Shermet has been has been a permanent staff interpreter in the English booth at the United Nations for 14 years.  She is currently posted at UN headquarters in New York, as a senior interpreter. Before joining the UN, Ms. Shermet freelanced out of California for 15 years, and has interpreted a variety of topics. She has worked for the U.S. and Canadian governments, FIFA and the Olympics/IOC, for private market entities and with the Organization of American States and Pan American Health  Organization.

Ms. Shermet was also full time faculty at the Monterey Institute of International Studies (MIIS), Graduate School of Translation and Interpretation for 10 years.  She co-chaired the Spanish department, ran professional development courses in Brazil and Argentina and for the Arabic and Chinese booths of the United Nations. She has taught Trainer-of-Trainers courses and designed and ran the first on-line/in-house hybrid training course for Russian speaking English booths at the UN.


[Daniel Tamayo]Daniel Tamayo began interpreting for the life insurance industry in 1993. Independently or through his company, GlobalTradu Language Services, he serves as an English<>Spanish technical translator and conference interpreter. He frequently interprets and translates for international organizations within the United Nations framework, specializing in sustainable development, environmental policy, education and human rights. Since 2006, he teaches Translation and Interpreting at Cal State University, Fullerton. He has a master’s degree in Translation Studies from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, a master’s degree in Spanish, and graduate studies and a bachelor’s degree in International Management and Economics.


Diane E. Teichman



[Pency Tsai]Pency Tsai has been interpreting and translating for nearly 10 years. Since her first foray into community interpreting six years ago, she has worked steadily to broaden her experiences in the field. Today, she enjoys taking on assignments ranging from courtroom and tribunal hearings to medical assessments and the occasional conference. The “Bird” is currently serving as the ATA Chinese Language Division’s Administrator.

[Carol Velandia]


Carol Velandia M.B.A., P.M.P., C.H.I. is the Administrator of the Interpreters Division at the American Translators Association. She is a seasoned interpreter and translator with over 7 years of experience in the legal and healthcare fields. She is currently completing her Masters in Social Work as she hopes to reduce the healthcare disparities associated with language. She believes that Language access is an essential component in achieving social justice for the limited English proficient population. She is an adjunct professor of Intercultural Communication and Translation at the Graduate program in Interpretation and Translation at University of Maryland College Park..



Anna Vianna graduated as a Conference Interpreter from the Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro in 1996, and as a Translator, in 1998. Working professionally as an interpreter and translator since then, she opened Simultânea Ltda in 1998, having her sister as partner. Her working languages are Portuguese, English, and French. Anna also has a BA in Biology, and a MA in Biophysics, at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, having done part of her research in Paris, at the Université Paris VII, Institut Jacques Monod. Since 2006, Ms. Vianna has worked for the IMF, having done more then 25 missions abroad for the Fund, and worked during the Word Bank and IMF Annual Meetings in Washington, Singapore, Istanbul, Tokyo, and Lima. She is the official voice for the Oscar Ceremony transmission at the main Brazilian broadcasting company, Rede Globo, having been highly praised in media for her good work. Anna is a member of major national and international interpreter and translator’s associations (www.apic.org.br , www.sintra.org.br and www.aiic.net). Born and raised in Rio, she has two children and is an amateur cyclist and a foodie.


[Molly Yurick]Molly Yurick is a Spanish to English translator specialized in the tourism, hospitality and airline industries. In the past she has worked as a medical interpreter in Minnesota and as a cultural ambassador for the Ministry of Education in Spain. She has a B.A. in Spanish and Global Studies and a Certificate in Medical Interpreting from the University of Minnesota. She is currently living in northern Spain. You can visit her website at: http://yuricktranslations.com.

Updated: October 2018

Permanent link to this article: http://www.ata-divisions.org/ID/blog/blog-contributors/

%d bloggers like this: