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OSTI 2022


Words = a Pathway to Peace

September 10, 2022 - Pre-Conference Kick Off!

September 14 - 15, 2022 - Opening Night & Events

September 16 -18, 2022 - Main Conference

*All times listed are in Pacific Time

Speaker Bios & Session Abstracts

Saturday 9/10/2022 - Pre-Conference Kick-off!

Session 101

A Panel with Gustavo Negrete, Dr. Chantal M. Portillo, and Mike Lemay

Getting Started, Getting Certified, and Networking as an Interpreter (or Translator)


Mr. Gustavo R. Negrete received his training at California State University in Fullerton, and completed their Extended Education Program in Court Interpreting English-Spanish, Spanish-English; totaling 144 hours of interpreter education. In 2014, he achieved certification through the National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters (CMI) and is also a Certified HIPAA Privacy Expert (CHPE). Mr. Negrete is currently an Interpreter/Translator at Riverside University Health System (RUHS), Coordinator and Lead Instructor for TransInterpreting's Healthcare Interpreter Program, and an OPI and VRI for the Healthcare Interpreting Network (HCIN). He is also the President and CEO of an interpreting and training company and was Director of Compliance for a technology and nurse registry.

Dr. Chantal M. Portillo was born in the USA and raised in Spain, which provided her with a bicultural family background from a young age. This sparked her interest in languages and interculturality, which led to a bachelor’s degree in Translation and Interpretation first, and a master’s and PhD in fields related to intangible heritage, sustainable tourism and intercultural interpretation and translation. Chantal was a Conference Interpreter in Spain for 10 years, as well as being certified by the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs as Judicial Translator and Interpreter since 2004. After moving to the USA and working as a telephonic interpreter and later as a Certified Medical Interpreter, Chantal got certified as Judicial Interpreter with the OJD and started working in 2015 as a independent contractor for agencies and the courts. In 2020, and after 23 years of being an independent contractor, Chantal was hired by the OJD as Staff Interpreter for Marion County, her current placement. In 2020 she also obtained the ATA certification EN to SP and got judicially certified in CA and NM. In her free time Chantal loves hiking, doing yoga and acro-yoga and crafty house projects.

Mr. Mike Lemay is a dynamic English-French-English Simultaneous Conference Interpreter from Montreal, Quebec, Canada with over 20 years of experience under his belt. He loves communication and sharing his passion with his colleagues—young and old, newbies or the seasoned pros. Mike is proud to serve his private market clients, and always with energy and passion. He prides himself on transmitting the message with clarity and enthusiasm. In 2019 co-founded the #HotSauceInterpreters community on IG, FB & WhatsApp. He is a 91 graduate of Vanier College, a Rhema Bible College graduate, class of 2001, husband, father, pastor, entrepreneur, freelance interpreter. He can be contacted by email at: miketheinterpreter@gmail.com // on LinkedIn at Mike Lemay // On IG at: miketheinterpreter // On Twitter at: miketheinterp // On FB at: Mike Lemay (interpreter).

Session Abstract

Are you a medical or community interpreter with an interest in working in the judicial field? Are you an immigration interpreter and would like to increase your client portfolio? Would you like to get court certified but don’t know where to begin? Are you a linguist or translator interested in learning about the certification process to become a medical interpreter? Are you an emerging translator or interpreter who feels isolated and would like to develop a larger market through social media and online networking?

Then this panel is for you!

The Oregon Judicial Department (OJD) is currently experiencing a shortage of Spanish Certified Court Interpreters. This has led OJD to double their efforts to provide certification opportunities in 2022. During this informative panel CLAS staff interpreter Chantal Portillo will share her experience interpreting in the courts as a certified court interpreter. Including how court interpreters are considered an integral part of court proceedings in this considerably well-paid branch of the interpreting field. Attendees will then receive an overview of what the certification process entails, including required orientations and exams.

Gustavo R. Negrete will discuss the National Board's mission is to foster improved healthcare outcomes, patient safety, and patient/provider communication, by elevating the standards for and quality of medical interpreting through a nationally recognized and validated credentials for medical interpreters, briefly review the CMI and Hub-CMI programs, explain the process and exams, and how to maintain your credential once you’ve earned it.

Mike Lemay will outline social-media networking for translators and interpreters, presenting practical, easy ways to work together and introducing successful methods of using the tools that are already in place such as IG, FB, LinkedIn, and Whatsapp.

Stay connected and be successful at any stage in your career or branch out in new directions as an interpreter or language professional!

Session 102

Dr. AKaiser

Multi-lingual Poetry into English Translation Workshop


AKaiser, PhD, is a translator of Catalan, French, and Spanish. She is recipient of a 2022 NEA Fellowship for her translation of Catalan poet Anna Gual’s collected work, Unnameable (annagual.cat). She is currently translating: the essays of transatlantic city-garden advocate (and first Iberian translator of Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass), Cebrià Montoliu; Mexican poets Javier Acosta and Bertha Izuzu; as well as André Breton’s Surrealist watershed hybrid work, with commentary, Nadja. During her years at the UN, AKaiser translated A Wall in Palestine, by René Backmann, translated from the French, and a finalist for the Florence Gould French-American Translation Prize. AKaiser is a Pushcart Prize-nominated poet and author of glint, co-winner of the Milk & Cake Press Book Prize. Poems from manuscript break have won the Women’s National Book Association Poetry Prize and have placed as finalist for the Poetry International, Rialto Nature & Place, Bridport, and C&R Press prizes, among others. Recent poems and photos appear in Amsterdam Quarterly, New Square, Pen + Brush’s In Print No.5, guest-edited by Novella Ford, and Sonora Review's special issue on gender violence, Extinction. Recent readings include with ALTA along with Ms. Gual, Pen + Brush, City of Asylum partnered with Carlow University, Vanderbilt Open Streets and Elizabeth Street Garden’s Reading Series. Photographic work was included in the recent USAGI Gallery show. Her work has been supported by the Fairhope Center for the Writing Arts; Sundress Academy for the Arts (SAFTA); ATLAS ViceVersa Workshop; and Cité Internationale des Arts. For more on AK, & Others: https://akexperiments.org & @akexperiments.

Session Abstract

This multi-lingual poetry into English translation workshop is modeled after a very enriching one the presenter recently attended at ALTA’s 45th Conference. In that online session, Katherine Hedeen was the guide as six translators presented one poem each that they had translated and about which they had questions.

Both the original text and translation will be sent to all participants ahead of time, but discussion focuses on the translated text for grammatical, thematic and flow issues. If someone happens to know the source language, they, of course, can integrate this into their comments and assistance to the translator.

Wednesday 9/14/2022 - Opening Night: Conference Kick-off!!!

Session 201

Dr. Christina Nguyen and Tram Bui

Keynote Speech


Ms. Tram Bui is a refugee from Vietnam who emigrated to the US in 1975 when she was 6 years old. She has been a Vietnamese <> English interpreter and translator since 2004 and has earned her CMI (Certified Medical Interpreter) certification with the National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters. She is an independent contractor who interprets in the field of medical, education, and community interpretation. She is a trainer for the Americans Against Language Barriers, (AALB is 501(c)(3)) a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the care of patients with limited English proficiency by training medical interpreters, providing language services, and advocating for policy reform. a non-profit organization, focused on language access for all. She served five years on the board of the Arizona Translators and Interpreters Association as VP and Member-at-Large. She was the Vietnamese tester/evaluator for the Vietnamese Language Proficiency Test and the Interpreter Skills Test for Language Line Academy/Solutions. Before becoming an interpreter, she taught Junior High ESL (English as a Second Language) for five years for Mesa Public Schools and also taught 2nd and 3rd grade for the Riverside Unified School District. She earned her BS in Social Ecology/Criminology from UCI (University of California, Irvine). She also has a multiple subject K-12, ESL, and Bilingual teaching credential from the AZ Department of Education. She currently resides in Gilbert, AZ with her 1̀6- year-old son. She is passionate about all things related to language. She believes that hard work pays for itself and that we are born on this earth to help our fellow man and in doing so, we help ourselves. Her favorite quote is from Mother Teresa, “We can do no Great things, only small things with great love”.

Session Abstract

Ôi lũ con cùng cha, quên hận thù. (Oh Children of One Father, Give Up Hatred)

The title above comes from the lyrics of the iconic song, “Gia Tai Của Mẹ” (Mother’s Legacy) by Trịnh Cong Son, the legendary Vietnamese anti-war songwriter and poet. Since the theme of this year’s conference is “Words - A Pathway to Peace” and this Vietnamese song is a cry for peace, the keynote speakers will speak about peace from the perspective of two female refugees from Vietnam. One is an interpreter, translator, trainer, and language justice warrior. The other is a doctor and mentor for other Vietnamese medical professionals pursuing a career in medicine.

Thursday 9/15/2022 - Events

Session 301

Ann Mbacke

The Power of Peaceful Communication


Ann’s work focuses on using the power of compassion, and truth telling to bring out the best in others. This includes defining and identifying the connection between violence and trauma. Having served for over 15 years as a middle grade and high school teacher, program facilitator, and/or social worker with an emphasis on serving individuals with lived mental health experience and developmental disabilities, trainer, and therapeutic touch practitioner, Ann brings a wealth of knowledge to help bridge the gap that so many of us seem to feel and or see going on around us. It is her core belief that we are one and the differences are to be appreciated and accepted but fear and or misunderstanding gets in the way and can lead to violence. Recognizing that the only way to understand someone else is to adopt a philosophy of radical compassion while being willing to hear and have empathy with someone’s story is key to overcoming violence against one another. Having worked with many individuals and youth who have suffered from trauma in some way, Ann recognizes that pain can be a great motivator to do good or it can lead to (self) hate projected out to others as violence. This leads to a pattern of dysfunction and anger that can spiral a young person or adult into addiction, low performance in school, hate, suicide, bullying, physical violence, and mental illness (depression, anxiety and more). Ann’s work helping youth, students and adults began early in life, when at age 14 she decided to volunteer with the American Red Cross Youth working with children with disabilities as a Camp Counselor and the Detroit Urban League as a Community Tutor, during this time Ann was experiencing major transition as a teenager herself having the experience of being homeless and a ward of the court until she became emancipated at the age of seventeen. Ann’s dream and purpose in this work is to serve to instill confidence and love in others so that they are inspired to be the change in the world. One of her greatest hopes is to live in a world without war, where everyone matters!

Session Abstract

The goal of this presentation is to support our ability to connect to one another regardless of how we look, present to the world, and think. We are humans. On many levels, seeking community and an empathetic understanding of one another is needed more than ever today in the work of translation and interpreting.

Session 302

Allison deFreese

Literary Translation Open Mic!

Please join OSTI on Thursday, September 15th, from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 PM PDT for a virtual literary translation open mic!

Bring a work in progress to read or come and listen to poems, short stories, and creative nonfiction from around the world! We want to hear you!

To sign up for an eight-minute spot to read or present at this live, virtual event, please email the OSTI conference team. We hope to see you there!

About the host:

Allison A. deFreese's recent translations include María Negroni’s Elegy for Joseph Cornell (Dublin: Dalkey Archive Press, 2020), José Moreno Hernández’s Soaring to New Heights: The Memoir of a Child Migrant Farmworker Who Became a NASA Astronaut (Renuevo, 2020), and Verónica González Arredondo’s I Am Not That Body (Montreal: Pub House Books, 2020), as well as Verónica's book Green Fires of the Spirits (the Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla's University Press, Libros BUAP, Mexico, 2022). Allison’s work also appears in Crazyhorse, Fireweed: Poetry of Oregon, Gulf Coast, Harvard Review, and New England Review. She is winner of Southeast Review's 2021 The World's Best Short-Short Story Contest and has two poetry chapbooks forthcoming this fall, The Night with James Dean and Other Prose Poems (winner of Cathexis Northwest Press's 2022 chapbook contest) and Nurdles and Other Poems.


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