Board Candidates

 

 

Candidate: Santiago Paéz

Position:          Director – 1 yr term

 

Hello, my name is Santiago Páez. I am a Spanish Interpreter with a background in Education who came to the profession six years ago. I am Court Certified here in Colorado, and have experience also with medical, community and remote interpreting. I am now finishing a two year term as one of three Directors for CAPI. During this time I’ve participated actively in all the decision making for our organization, I have helped secure presenters and drafted contracts for them, I mediated a Panel Discussion last Fall that was very well received by the participants,  and I have expanded CAPI’s Social Media reach.

 

As a result of COVID-19, our profession has experienced a sudden push into remote platforms, and although I do not think they will completely replace in person interpreting, there is no doubt that Remote Interpreting is here to stay. It is now more urgent than ever that we help shape the standards for the future of our profession. Standards that will guarantee not only living wages, but also optimal work conditions for the years and decades to come. I look forward to expanding CAPI’s online presence, as a provider of webinars and on demand training for all of us in the medical, community, and legal fields. I will be honored if I obtain your vote, and if reelected, I will continue to work tirelessly for the benefit of the Colorado Association of Professional Interpreters.

 

 

Candidate: Stephanie Ponce de León

Position:          Director – 2 yr term

 

Relevant Background and Qualifications:

  • ESL diploma (English as a Second Language).
  • Medical interpreter since 2007.
  • National Board-Certified Medical Interpreter (English<>Spanish).
  • Translation and Interpretation Certificate from the Community College of Aurora (CCA).
  • Respected and in demand freelancer for many of the Denver based interpreter agencies.

 

Recent Interpreter Experience:

  • Children’s Hospital at Anschutz (present)
  • Editor and proofreaders for transcriptions and translations for Children’s Hospital at Anschutz and the school district of Adams County.
  • University of Colorado Hospital
  • Denver Health (Hospital)

 

During my time as a medical interpreter I have attended IMIA conferences, created presentations for the interpreter team, updated in-house training folders and organized brown bag sessions between the medical providers and the interpreter team. I have also worked as a special education certified consecutive and simultaneous interpreter for Aurora Public Schools.

 

I freelance as a translator for the school district of Adams county. My volunteer work includes 9HealthFairs, Denver Legal Nights and pro bono translations for immigration law firms.

 

With an English mother and Spanish father switching between languages became second nature and I was fortunate to be able to live and study in both countries; which meant I assimilated both cultures from a very early age. I came to the US in 2001 and have lived in different states, settling in Denver when it was still possible to drive across town in under 10 minutes!

 

I love interpreting and being able to help LEP patients and families navigate the complexities of our healthcare system. I am also very passionate about advancing our profession and mentoring and guiding those who are new to it or are considering it as a career path.

 

I think it’s important for CAPI leadership to recognize and respond to the many various challenges and pitfalls that face the novice interpreter.  Often this is compounded by lack of readily available representation or the appropriate channels of communication with mid and upper level management. I see this as a great opportunity for CAPI to grow and have a positive impact on newcomers to the interpreter field.

 

My main objectives would be:

 

Interpreter safety during pandemics, the good the bad and the ugly.

  1. Know your rights and where you can find information/resources with regards to your safety at work.
  2. Understanding how to communicate to the community the impact you make on the treatment, comfort level and quality of life for the patients and families you interact with.

Interpreter learning opportunities that generate income.

  1. Webinars – members and non-members can sign up to participate in different webinars and earn credits towards or to maintain certifications. Examples can be seen at https://www.dinjesce.com/ – we can look into the possibility of offering these through our website.
  2. Brown Bag Sessions:

– Medical interpreting (Emergency Department, Pediatrics, Fetal Demise, Mental Health Encounters, etc.)

– Court interpreting (state, federal, traffic, immigration, USCIS interviews – adjustment of status, Asylum, etc.)

– School interpreting (IEP’s, Parent/Teacher Conferences, Suspensions/Expulsions

– Practical Knowledge for Interpreters

Power Point presentations on how to become:                

Court Interpreters

Medical Interpreters

School Interpreters (including special education)

  

 

Candidate: Victoria Asi

Position:          Director – 2 yr term

 

A certified Spanish interpreter for the state of Colorado, Victoria Asi has a very diverse professional and educational background. She grew up in Nicaragua, where she attended the American School and became bilingual at a very young age.

 

She attended Johnson & Wales University in Denver, where she graduated with an Associates Degree in Culinary Arts. She continued her education at the Metropolitan State University, where she completed her studies in Political Science with a minor in Journalism. Victoria recently became qualified to work for Immigration Court. She is looking forward to attaining the highly coveted Federal certification and will take the written examination in 2020. She is also working on becoming certified as a translator by the American Translation Association.

 

In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, bike riding, dining out, learning new languages and traveling.

  

 

Candidate: Yuliya Fedasenka

Position:          Treasurer – 2 yr term

 

I am proposing myself for the 1-year position as the CAPI co-chair. Last year in May I was leaving my position as a faculty teaching Translation and Interpretation and I was looking for a way to be more active and engaged with my favorite group of people – interpreters in the state of Colorado. It so happened that Ruben Buitrago was moving to California and I volunteered to finish the second year of his term. As soon as I joined the board, I remembered why I volunteer! We have evolved as the organization in the most surprising ways. I felt a lot of collaboration and open discussion and willingness to work to elevate our profession.

 

My work so far:

Over the period of one year we worked on a number of projects. My focus was on the improvement of the efficiency of CAPI operations and money savings for our members. Since the board is a volunteer board, my goal was to increase efficiency and maximize the impact from the work done by the board members. As a result, I came up with a dashboard concept that will be implemented on the CAPI website that will contain everything a board member needs in one place to be able to make decisions and to send out mass emails or post social media messages. The dashboard will help save time for the CAPI volunteers who are usually business owners. In addition, we are hoping to create a similar dashboard for the regular CAPI members and create a single space where the members can view CAPI meeting minutes, access member-only content like classes, review CAPI financials, and any other relevant information.

 

Another point of focus I have had as a chair is to bring in brand- new members from other parts of the state and increase the number of memberships from various practice fields – to include academic and medical fields. I have started working on building ties to the interpreters who work in schools and hospitals. Given the state of the affairs now as the pandemic is ongoing, many interpreters are experiencing similar issues. In my opinion the more diverse voices we have to bring awareness to interpretation as a profession and to any issues that we are experiencing right now – the higher the chance is that we will be heard and that the issues can be resolved. I have also worked together with Michael Mudd to reach out to existing members who struggled with renewal or those who had their membership lapse. I hope that all interpreters in the state can feel that CAPI will hear them and will represent their interests to elevate the standards of the profession.

 

Ever since the start of the pandemic, I have been organizing ways for CAPI to be more responsive to the needs of the individual interpreters in the state. I proposed to create a more robust platform on the CAPI website that will allow members to attend webinars and take online courses that have no instructor interaction to accommodate for the fact that so many of us are now at home. CAPI mobilized quickly. We reviewed a proposal for a custom platform and existing professional development platforms. We made a selection already and are in the process of putting in classes already! There will be various class options, some will be member-only free classes, short and sweet low budget classes, and also some longer “I want to invest in myself”-type classes. We are very excited about this!

 

Future plans:

My priorities for the year if I were to become elected would be several:

  • First, I would like to finish the organizational part of the board-only website section to maximize the impact of the volunteer board members. There is nothing worse for progress than having board members bogged down in the complex logistics. Having to navigate multiple websites with separate logins to get one thing done can be daunting, frustrating and time-consuming. What can be done by an app will be done by an app to leave the minds of our board members to do all the creative planning and thinking! I hope to create simple event-planning checklists, a tracking system of presenters who have been hired and how they were received by the CAPI audience. I also hope to have a section for contracting speakers that will incorporate automated send-off of contracts and electronic signature capture ability. Again, this is focused on simplifying the administrative burden on the volunteer board members.
  • On the professional development front, I hope the add a few courses per each course category on our new educational platform as well as create a few simple free courses that help the new interpreters get started in their professional life.
  • I also hope to help the interpreter community in Colorado find its voice and be seen by the professionals who are most often in need of interpreter services the way that they deserve to be seen – as professionals who are knowledgeable, reliable, and trustworthy, as linguists who love their craft and know way too much about language, as professionals who can bring very unique skills that allow people from two different ends of the world to understand each other. This i a lofty goal but I will start with simple steps to accomplish it. I will engage with interpreters on the local level, I will create connections to other interpreter associations, and I will engage the consumers of our services by offering client education webinars to their professional organizations.
  • My last and probably most important goal is simple. It is to show up and be there. I think the power of showing up on a regular basis can’t be underestimated in any task one takes one. Showing up no matter what is what makes a difference. It is easy to make promises and talk about the amazing future. I think it is hard to routinely rearrange your schedule because an even needs hosting, or the email is down, or a speaker for your event had to cancel last minute. All these sacrifices that take place behind the scenes is what I call showing up. I promise that I will show up.

 

About me:

I started my interpreting and translation career in the far-away country of Belarus in 2000 and later continued it after my move to the US. At first as a college student, I volunteered some, got paid some, and took assignments that on some days started at 7 am and ended at midnight. I have been offered to sleep in the same hotel room as the attorney on the case when my flight was cancelled for weather and the client didn’t want to pay for an extra night in the hotel. I learned the lessons of overworking, underpayment, and the value of a good contract early on in my career.  I have experience in almost every possible setting in interpretation – from farm tours with manure on my boots, to international conferences in buildings with tight security. I have worked in schools, in courts, in hospitals, in the booth, out of the booth, next to cows, in server rooms, and in prisons. I have also spent 10 years teaching interpreting at the Community College of Aurora to allow a professional entry into interpreting for community interpreters. Now I freelance full-time. I do some interpreting but lately have been doing a lot more translation. I am very familiar with many work settings for interpreters and have a soft spot for interpreters in my state. I think I have a lot to offer to CAPI and I can put to use not only my interpreting know-how, but also my research, organizational, and leadership skills that I have gained during my career.

 

 

Candidate: Janet Welch

Position:          Secretary – 2 yr term

 

My name is Janet Welch and I have been a professional French interpreter for 3 years, and an informal one for a very long time. I lived in Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), West Africa with my family for many years and returned to Denver in 2016. I feel at home in multicultural environments and love being able to connect people through language.

 

I joined CAPI as soon as I realized it would be possible to become an interpreter, and have very much appreciated their support, training and networking. I studied English and education, have a Masters’ in French, the Bridging the Gap certification as well as being court certified.

 

Living in another culture has made me flexible and creative. I built and ran a training business for 20 years, created a weekly radio drama with a 6 year run, led seminars, taught, mentored, been on boards and generally done whatever the situation required. I don’t know specifically how that will look in CAPI leadership, but I enjoy solving practical problems and working on a team. I am interested in learning together how we can better advocate for our profession.

 

Candidate: Rosabelle White Aguirre de Rice

Position:          Co-chair – 1 yr term

 

A 2 term Vice President of the Colorado Translators Association,  Ms. Rice prides herself on instilling a special sense of community among our fellow Colorado translators and interpreters. I am a federally and medically certified interpreter, translator and trainer in the language combination English <> Spanish.  She is ATA Certified Spanish to English and is a former CAPI Director. I would be honored to serve as CAPI Director.

  

Candidate: Michael Mudd

Position:          Co-chair – 2 yr term

 

I want to introduce myself to those of you who don’t know me and share with you my plans for CAPI if I am elected to the 2-year Co-chair term.

 

My name is Michael Mudd, and I got my start as a Spanish interpreter in Colorado after earning a certificate in translation and interpretation from the Community College of Aurora in 2016. I have been a Court Certified Spanish Interpreter for the past three years, and this spring I became a CHI Certified Healthcare Interpreter. I have a BA in Spanish from Regis University and also lived and worked in El Salvador and the Dominican Republic as a teacher for several years. I love working as an interpreter, building linguistic and cultural bridges every day.

 

I have been CAPI Treasurer for the past 4 years and have seen how valuable CAPI can be in professionalizing the interpreter community in Colorado, by offering quality professional development and networking opportunities. In this challenging time of rapid transition, unity among interpreters is more important than ever. My goals for CAPI moving forward include increasing the number of members who join and stay committed to the organization, helping CAPI advocate for high standards of quality and good working conditions for remote interpretation, and better representation in CAPI by interpreters in other fields, in addition to seasoned court interpreters.

 

I plan to achieve these goals by working with the CAPI board to offer additional tangible benefits to CAPI members such as an errors and omissions insurance group discount, as well as gathering research about the challenges of remote interpretation and sharing those resources widely to raise awareness among the buyers of our services. I also want to encourage novice and student interpreters through a mentorship program.

 

I love what I get to do each day as an interpreter, and I am honored to give back to my profession as a member of the CAPI board. I am very grateful for this opportunity and for your consideration. Thank you for your vote.