2022 Honors and Awards Recipients

ATA and the American Foundation for Translation and Interpretation present annual and biennial awards to encourage, reward, and publicize the outstanding work being done by both seasoned professionals and students of our craft.

ATA Advocacy Award

Jennifer Santiagos

Jennifer Santiagos is the recipient of the 2022 ATA Advocacy Award, which recognizes a person or entity that has demonstrated outstanding advocacy for the language professions in general, for the importance of professional translators and interpreters, and/or for the greater societal understanding of the value of professional translators and interpreters.

When California Assembly Bill 5 (AB 5), a California law that misclassified all translators and interpreters as employees, threatened our livelihood and put language access at risk in September 2019, Jennifer became an advocate with the Coalition of Practicing Translators and Interpreters of California (CoPTIC America). She met with lawmakers, mobilized colleagues, wrote op-eds, and contributed to the achievement of an exemption from AB 5.

Jennifer was instrumental in getting on-site medical interpreters included in the list of health care personnel eligible for Phase 1 COVID vaccinations in Orange County, California, with the support of ATA’s letter to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She advocates for our profession by being informed and interacting with senators and other political representatives. She shares relevant information about our profession and encourages all our colleagues to join professional associations, including ATA. Jennifer currently serves on ATA’s Advocacy Committee.

In addition to her advocacy work, Jennifer has been interpreting professionally for 13 years. She is a nationally certified health care interpreter (Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters). Over the years, she has expanded her interpreting services to multiple arenas: immigration, education, community, and conference settings. In 2019, she established Antorcha Interpreting.

ATA Impact Award

David Stephenson

David Stephenson is the recipient of the 2022 ATA Impact Award, which recognizes a person or entity that has demonstrated outstanding leadership having an impact with ATA through work on a specific project or initiative.

There were several worthy nominees for this award, but one name stood out immediately. David has been involved in ATA’s Certification Program for 20 years, starting as a grader and eventually becoming chair of the Certification Committee. Under David’s guidance, the program has expanded to offer more language combinations and become more widely recognized and respected both nationally and internationally. Under his leadership, the long-awaited online, on-demand computerized exams have become a reality.

In accepting the award in Los Angeles, David said: “Any praise that comes my way must be shared by and reflect on the hundreds of hard-working individuals who have served as certification graders over the years. And especially the many committed and dedicated people it’s been my pleasure and privilege to work with on the Certification Committee.”

In addition to his work for the Association, David is an ATA-certified Croatian>English, German>English, and Dutch>English translator. He works as a freelance translator of German, Dutch, Croatian, Serbian, and Bosnian into English, specializing in civil litigation, business law, and creative nonfiction, and has recently added subtitling to his range of services.

ATA Innovation Award

Maha El-Metwally

Maha El-Metwally is the recipient of the 2022 ATA Innovation Award, which recognizes a person or entity that has worked in a particularly innovative way to benefit ATA and/or the language professions. Maha is being honored for what you might call “creative innovation.”

When the pandemic struck in 2020, one of the areas of our profession that was hit the hardest was conference interpreting. With the increased reliance on technology brought about by remote work, Maha developed a variety of training courses on remote simultaneous interpreting in response to emerging needs. These courses provided interpreters with the necessary skills to use online interpreting platforms with confidence. She also highlighted new tools and technologies that interpreters could use during assignments. Maha’s creative way of thinking enabled many interpreters to generate income during the pandemic as they learned new skills that helped them continue working remotely.

Maha’s courses continue to be a huge asset for all interpreters due to their innovative design that responds to a rapidly changing world. Her courses are so inclusive that they enable the extensive participation of interpreters working in different languages from all over the world.

In addition to her teaching activities, Maha is an Arabic conference interpreter who works for a wide range of international organizations, including the European Institutions and the United Nations. In addition to ATA, she is a member of the International Association of Conference Interpreters and a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Linguists. She served on the Board of the Institute of Translation and Interpreting for two terms. She is associated with a number of universities in the U.K. and abroad, where she contributes to the curricula.

ATA Student Translation Award

Sam Hankins

Sam Hankins is the recipient of the 2022 ATA Student Translation Award. The award is presented to any graduate or undergraduate student, or group of students, for a literary or sci-tech translation or translation-related project.

Sam won for her translation of an excerpt from Lunar Syzygies and Quadratures, an 18th-century short story believed to be the first Hispanic-American work of science fiction. The story only came to the light in the 1950s after being salvaged from the archives of the Spanish Inquisition. It tells the tale of a society on the moon and an Earthling scientist’s efforts to travel there in a marvelous flying machine. It’s a work of cultural significance that reveals the principles of modern science as subsumed by the Mexican Enlightenment in the 18th century, and it’s also a critique of the inquisitorial scholastic thought. One of our reviewers noted: “When comparing the target and source texts, I was impressed by the candidate’s solutions for archaic terminology and odd spellings employed in the source text. Moreover, this is a wildly ambitious project in terms of the research undertaken and the competing considerations the translator must confront.”

Sam has an MA in Spanish translation and interpreting from the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. In addition to her work as a freelance translator, she has worked as a communications specialist for the Communications and Public Affairs Department of the City of Victoria, Texas, since 2020. She previously worked as a layout designer and copy editor for the Victoria Advocate. She volunteers as a Spanish>English translator for the human rights network Respond Crisis Translation, where she translates documents to be used in U.S. immigration courts on behalf of asylum seekers, including letters, testimonies, identifying documents, crime reports, medical reports, news articles, and text messages.

ATA Lewis Galantière Award

Natasha Wimmer

Natasha Wimmer is the recipient of the 2022 ATA Lewis Galantière Award for her translation of The Twilight Zone by Nona Fernández. The novel was a finalist for the National Book Award for Translated Literature and longlisted for the 2022 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction.

Natasha is a translator of contemporary fiction and literary nonfiction from Spanish into English. Her translations include nine books by Roberto Bolaño, as well as books by Álvaro Enrigue, Mario Vargas Llosa, Gabriel Zaid, and Pedro Juan Gutiérrez. She has a degree in Romance languages from Harvard University. She is a regular visiting lecturer at Princeton University and Columbia University. She has written reviews and criticism for The Nation, The New York Times, and The New York Review of Books, among other publications. She is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Translation Grant, a PEN Translation Award, and an American Academy of Arts and Letters Literature Award.

Author Nona Fernández was born in Santiago, Chile. She is an actress and writer, and has published two plays, a collection of short stories, and six novels, including Space Invaders and The Twilight Zone.

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 over a quarter century after his death.

Marian S. Greenfield Financial Translation Presentation Award

Analía Bogdan

Analía Bogdan is the recipient of the 2022 Marian S. Greenfield Financial Translation Presentation Award. The award is offered by the American Foundation for Translation and Interpretation to recognize an outstanding presenter of a financial translation session during ATA’s Annual Conference.

In her conference presentation at ATA63, “Blockchain and Cryptocurrency: Cracking the Hard Nut,” Analía discussed how blockchain and cryptocurrencies have introduced extensive changes to the financial industry. These technologies have coined terminology and built new concepts, creating a real challenge for financial translators. The presentation covered key concepts and essential terminology in this field to help attendees understand blockchain and cryptocurrencies in order to render accurate translations. Analía also discussed how these technologies impact our work, not only from a translation perspective, but also in terms of potential opportunities for translators in this specialization.

Analía is a sworn English<>Spanish translator specializing in finance. She has a master’s degree in legal and economic translation and a postgraduate course degree in capital markets. She is also certified as a mutual funds advisor in Argentina. She has given several courses and presentations related to finance for translators and written articles for professional publications, including Intercambios, the newsletter of ATA’s Spanish Language Division, and BLAWG, the blog of ATA’s Law Division. She was also a speaker at ATA’s 60th, 62nd, and 63rd Annual Conferences.

Marian S. Greenfield served as president of ATA (2005-2007), the New York Circle of Translators, and the American Foundation for Translation and Interpretation. She has worked in the translation industry for over 40 years. A translator in New York’s Financial District for 20 years, she is the former manager of translation services at JP Morgan.

ATA Membership Diversity Award

Safira Amazan, Erin LaFargue, and Nael Hijjo

Safira Amazan, Erin LaFargue, and Nael Hijjo are the recipients of the new annual ATA Membership Diversity Award for 2022, presented by the American Foundation for Translation and Interpretation.

The award offers a fully paid ATA membership to individuals who identify as Black, Indigenous, or people of color joining ATA for the first time. Students and newcomers to the translation and interpreting profession (including people changing careers) are given preference, and awardees are selected based on answers to a series of essay questions. The award will be distributed across as many language pairs as possible in any given year. At least one award per year must go to a U.S.-born citizen.

The ATA Membership Diversity Award is made possible thanks to the generosity of long-time ATA Member Lucy Gunderson. Click the highlighted text to learn more about the ATA Membership Diversity Award and the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion in ATA.

2022 American Foundation for Translation and Interpretation First-Time ATA Conference Attendance Scholarships

The American Foundation for Translation and Interpretation (AFTI) offers a limited number of $500 scholarships to students/recent graduates of translation or interpreting studies programs or related fields to help defray the cost of attending ATA’s Annual Conference. The 2022 recipients are:

Halla Bearden

University of Vienna
Vienna, Austria

Halla will complete her MA in translation with a focus in dialogue interpreting at the University of Vienna, Austria, in June 2023. She is currently based back home in Houston, Texas, where she works as a freelance German<>English conference and liaison interpreter and an ATA-certified German>English translator. Her specializations include technology and intellectual property, medicine, and life sciences. She also hosts Slovo, the podcast of ATA’s Slavic Languages Division, and is working toward passing ATA’s Russian>English certification exam.

Nancy Cabrera

Kent State University
Kent, Ohio

Nancy is an experienced audiovisual translator and editor (Spanish>English). She has an MA in Spanish translation from Kent State University (KSU). During her time at KSU, she interned with the Black Squirrel Translator Collective (BSTC), a team of women Spanish>English translators offering translation, editing, and proofreading services. Nancy is now a member of the BSTC and works primarily as a medical and audiovisual translator.

Jill Neuendorf

University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Jill Neuendorf is an associate teaching professor in the Slavic Languages Department at Georgetown University. Previously, Jill taught first- through third-year Russian language and culture courses at the University of Maryland, Bryn Mawr College, Swarthmore College, and Beloit College. She is currently working toward earning an MA in Russian>English translation from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Andrea Perdomo

Stephen F. Austin State University
Nacogdoches, Texas

Andrea is a staff Spanish>English interpreter/translator for Nacogdoches County in Nacogdoches, Texas. In 2019, she received her bachelor’s degree in Spanish with a minor in German from Stephen F. Austin State University, where she also earned a master’s degree in Hispanic studies in 2021.

Susi Rakhmawati

Kent State University
Kent, Ohio

Susi is an instructor, Fulbright scholar, and a PhD candidate in translation studies within the Department of Modern and Classical Language Studies at Kent State University. She was an instructor in the Department of English Education at the Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia in Bandung, Indonesia, where she received her master’s degree in education.

Applicants interested in applying for first-time attendee scholarships in 2023 must be full-time or part-time students at the undergraduate or graduate level. All students must be enrolled at a two- or four-year college or university in a program in translation, interpreting, or both, or a related field (e.g., terminology management, translation project management, etc.) leading to an academic degree or certificate. Recent graduates must have completed their program within 12 months of the starting date of the 2023 ATA Conference. For more information, see AFTI’s website.

If you would like to donate to AFTI’s scholarship program, simply click the Donate Today button on AFTI’s website. 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.

Harvie Jordan Scholarship

Gabriela Escarrá

Gabriela Escarrá is the recipient of the 2022 Harvie Jordan Scholarship. This scholarship is awarded by the American Foundation for Translation and Interpretation to a member of ATA’s Spanish Language Division (SPD) in good standing to promote, encourage, and support leadership and professional development within the division.

Gabriela’s enthusiasm and bold leadership has gained recognition among her peers. She is always willing to go the extra mile to ensure that SPD activities are carried out with the utmost professionalism.

Gabriela is the division’s incoming assistant administrator. She has been an active member of SPD’s Leadership Council since 2018, and chair of the division’s Professional Development Committee (PCD) for the past two years. During her tenure on the PCD, the division has presented more than six webinars and workshops in collaboration with ATA’s Webinar Series. She led the efforts for the first SPD Instagram Live interview and the first SPD member-exclusive webinar. Gabriela is constantly collaborating with other SPD committees, including the Social Media, SPD Podcast, and Editorial Committees. Gabriela has also assisted with organizing division activities during ATA Annual Conferences and SPD mid-year conferences.

In addition to her ATA activities, Gabriela is a certified sworn translator in Argentina specializing in marketing and corporate communications. She has been lecturing on ISO standards, post-editing, and marketing in Europe, the U.S., and South and Central America. She has participated in the adoption and adaptation of standards related to language, terminology, and information security systems in IRAM (ISO member body in Argentina). She is also a member of the ATA Standards Committee and ASTM International’s TC F43 on Language Services and Products.

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