2020 ATA Honors and Awards Recipients

Alexander Gode Medal

Sue Ellen Wright

ATA Past President Caitilin Walsh delivered the following remarks during ATA’s 61st Annual Conference.

The American Translators Association is honored to recognize Sue Ellen Wright as the recipient of the 2020 Alexander Gode Medal. Sue Ellen has been a member of ATA for over 35 years.

Sue Ellen earned her PhD in Germanic languages, literature, and linguistics in 1971 from Washington University in St. Louis. In addition to her graduate work at Washington University, she studied at the Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Universität Frankfurt/Main as a Fulbright Fellow.

Sue Ellen has always balanced work as a freelance translator and a college professor, first at Baldwin Wallace College, Cleveland State University, and most recently at Kent State University. She retired from teaching translation at Kent State University’s Translation Program in 2020, leaving behind a legacy of achievements:

  • She and her late husband, Leland D. Wright, Jr., and several other Cleveland-based translators founded ATA’s third chapter, the Northeast Ohio Translators Association, in 1977.
  • Together with her husband and other collaborators, Sue Ellen pioneered the use of computer-based approaches to manage terminology and support translation.
  • She was a member of the original development team for the LISA TBX (Termbase eXchange) standard, which is now the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standard ISO 30042:2019.
  • She is the co-compiler (with Gerhard Budin of the University of Vienna) of the Handbook for Terminology Management and the author of many articles on applied terminology management in industry.
  • She has written numerous articles outlining the role that the ISO’s Technical Committee 37 plays in a variety of venues, including translation and localization, translator training, and knowledge resource management.
  • She chaired ATA’s former Terminology Committee.
  • Her numerous (and often humorous) presentations at ATA Annual Conferences over the years have had an impact on several generations of translators and interpreters.

Far from resting on her laurels, Sue Ellen continues in many capacities in her “retirement”:

  • She is active in the national and international standards community (ASTM International and ISO), chairing several committees and convening proposals related to translation technology and terminology applications.
  • She also participated in the initial development of ASTM F2575-06, Standard Guide for Quality Assurance in Translation, and is also a member of the ASTM effort to create an evaluation metric for annotating translation errors.

Sue Ellen continues to be an outstanding, warm, and welcoming teacher and mentor to hundreds of students at the undergraduate, master’s, and PhD levels. In the past, students have been regularly invited to the Wright home for meals, hired as pet and house sitters, and made to feel part of the family. A former student sums it up nicely: “She has always been my model and mentor, and I have her to thank for my career. Dr. Wright sparked my love of translation and terminology that has kept me going for almost 25 years.”

For these reasons, Sue Ellen’s nomination as a recipient of the Alexander Gode Medal was unanimously supported.

The Alexander Gode Medal, ATA’s highest honor, is named for ATA’s founder and guiding spirit, who was the first recipient. The medalists represent a record of achievement in a variety of linguistic fields, including not only translators and interpreters, but also lexicographers, theorists, association leaders, and institutions. This award may be given annually.

Lewis Galantière Award

Michael Meigs


Michael Meigs was awarded the 2020 Lewis Galantière Award for his translation from Spanish into English of Dolores Redondo’s novel All This I Will Give to You (Amazon Crossing, 2018). Michael has also translated Redondo’s newest novel, The North Face of the Heart (Amazon Crossing, June 2021).

All This I Will Give to You, an international bestselling thriller, centers around novelist Manuel Ortigosa, who learns that his husband Álvaro has died in a car crash in a remote region of Spain. Manuel discovers that his husband of 15 years was not the unassuming man he thought. Redondo, the acclaimed author of the thrillers of her Baztán Trilogy, wrote a vivid mystery that examines deep-seated conflicts in contemporary Spain.

Manuel’s gentle husband turns out to have been a titled aristocrat, the head for the past three years of one of Spain’s most powerful and guarded families, to whom the grieving novelist is an unwelcome and dangerous intruder. Álvaro’s death is revealed to be a murder. With two unexpected allies, a rough and stubbornly suspicious retired policeman and a generous-spirited priest, Manuel establishes a picture of Álvaro’s past, double life, and mysterious death. In the shadows of ancient nobility and arrogant privilege, Manuel unravels a web of corruption and deception that may be as fatal to him as it was for the man he loved.

Author Dolores Redondo’s Baztán Trilogy, set in the Basque Pyrenees, has sold more than 1.5 million copies in Spanish. Twice nominated for the Crime Writers’ Association’s International Dagger Award and a finalist for the Grand Prix des Lectrices de Elle, Redondo was the recipient of the 2016 Premio Planeta, one of Spain’s most distinguished literary awards, for All This I Will Give to You.

Michael Meigs translates literature from French, German, Spanish, and Swedish. Since 2008, he has written and published almost 800 theatre reviews in the online journal CTX Live Theatre. The American-Scandinavian Foundation awarded him its 2011 translation prize for his English rendition of extensive excerpts from The Dean, by Swedish poet and novelist Lars Gustafsson.

Michael served as a diplomat with the U.S. Department of State for more than 30 years. He has graduate degrees in comparative literature, business, economics, and national security studies. He is a board member of Gilbert & Sullivan Austin and a member of the American Theatre Critics Association, the American Literary Translators Association, and Swedish Translators in North America. An ATA member, he is also a board member of the Austin Area Translators and Interpreters Association.

The Lewis Galantière Award is bestowed biennially in even-numbered years for a distinguished book-length literary translation into English from any language except German. It honors distinguished ATA founding member Lewis Galantière (1894–1977). His translations from French drama, fiction, poetry, and scholarship enriched cultural life during the middle decades of the 20th century and are still being read today.

2020 American Foundation for Translation and Interpretation Student Attendance Scholarships for ATA’s Annual Conference

In 2019, the American Foundation for Translation and Interpretation (AFTI) launched its new Conference Attendance Scholarship, awarding five scholarships to students or recent graduates of translation studies programs to help defray the cost of attending ATA’s Annual Conference. The scholarships are funded from donations made in the name of Edith Losa, who served ATA as president-elect and then president from 1991 to 1995.

(Geoff Koby, president of the American Foundation for Translation and Interpretation, delivered the following remarks during ATA’s 61st Annual Conference.)

Due to the hardships resulting from the pandemic, the three scholarships awarded in 2020 cover the full cost of attending ATA’s 61st Annual Conference.

The recipients are:

Ahmed Alhuseiny

a freelance English>Arabic translator who received his MA in translation from Kent State University in May 2020.

 

 

Laura Rodríguez

a Spanish<>English translator who will graduate from Kent State University with an MA in translation in May 2021.

 

 

Terrence Wissick

a Japanese>English translator who will graduate from Kent State University with an MA in translation in May 2021.

 

 

In the future, AFTI would like to expand its scholarship program, both in terms of the number of scholarships given and—assuming we return to a full in-person Annual Conference—the amount of the scholarship. Doing so will make it possible for more students to attend.

Many of us have suffered a drop in business. Therefore, I would like to ask you to donate to AFTI’s scholarship program—perhaps not now, but when you can. Simply go to www.AFTI.org and click on the Donate button. Or keep us in mind for when business picks up again. You can also donate to AFTI when you renew your ATA membership.

Founded in 1997, AFTI is a 501(c)(3) foundation affiliated with the American Translators Association. AFTI—ATA’s charitable arm—supports activities, education, and research in support of the translation and interpreting professions. AFTI promotes this objective by bestowing awards and scholarships, as well as sponsoring conference attendance and presentations.

How to Apply for the 2021 scholarships

Applicants interested in applying for scholarships in 2021 can be full-time or part-time students at the undergraduate or graduate level. All students must be enrolled at a two-year or four-year college or university in a program in translation, interpreting, or both, leading to an academic degree or certificate. Recent graduates must have completed their program within 12 months of the starting date of the 2021 ATA Conference. For more information, visit: www.afti.org.

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