ATA Honors and Awards

Alexander Gode Medal


Above photo: InterpretAmerica cofounders Katharine Allen and Barry Slaughter Olsen accept the Alexander Gode Medal on behalf of InterpretAmerica during ATA’s 62nd Annual Conference.

ATA Past President David Rumsey delivered the following remarks during ATA’s 62nd Annual Conference. InterpretAmerica cofounders Katharine Allen and Barry Slaughter Olsen were present to accept the award.

The American Translators Association awarded the 2021 Alexander Gode Medal to InterpretAmerica for its outstanding contributions to the field of interpreting and translation. ATA also recognized cofounders Katharine Allen and Barry Slaughter Olsen for their roles leading InterpretAmerica through a transformational decade for the profession.

InterpretAmerica was established in 2009 to raise the profile and reach of the interpreting profession. Through national and international conferences, webinars, publications, and other activities, InterpretAmerica sought to facilitate the sharing of information and resources, provide networking opportunities, and support the critical work of professional associations, vendors, academic institutions, and researchers across the field.

Until it ceased operation in 2020, InterpretAmerica provided a place where interpreters could come together, be counted, and focus on innovative and effective ways to support the craft of interpreting. During its 11-year existence, mutual awareness, understanding, and collaboration blossomed among a wide variety of interpreting stakeholders.

The increasingly unique and public profile of interpreting is not just due to a more interconnected world with a growing demand for language services, but also from the increasing awareness and self-confidence among interpreters in understanding the critical role they play for society as a whole. Through its activities, InterpretAmerica had an impact on this transformation.

“We started InterpretAmerica when Barry was in his second year of teaching in the MA in Translation and Interpretation degree program at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey and I was just graduating from the program,” said Allen, a community and conference interpreter with over three decades of experience interpreting, training, and designing curricula. “For me, those 10 years were completely transformational.”

“I hope InterpretAmerica’s legacy will be that we were able to see what was coming and help rally people together to create connection, envisage the future, and then mobilize and inspire them to move,” Olsen said. “We didn’t change the world, but I think we were able to empower people and inspire them to go out and make a difference in the profession.”

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.

Rising Star Award

Céline Browning
Céline Browning is the recipient of the 2021 ATA Rising Star Award, which recognizes an early-career translator, interpreter, or entity that has already “made a mark” on ATA and is seen as having great potential to positively impact ATA and the language professions in the future.

Browning has played a leadership role in ATA’s Japanese Language Division (JLD) for the past five years, most recently as the division’s administrator. Despite having an incredibly heavy workload as a highly sought-after interpreter, she has worked tirelessly to offer division members opportunities to meet, connect, support each other, and grow together. She has organizing regular webinars and virtual coffee hours and reached out to other translation organizations to cross-pollinate and build connections. Her efforts have truly made a mark on the division, our Association, and our professional community.

Browning has a master’s degree in conference interpreting from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. Browning provides translation, interpreting, and cultural consulting for all matters involving the Japanese language. She is also a contract interpreter with the U.S. Department of State.

Dynamo Award

Shymaa Ebrahim
Shymaa Ebrahim is the recipient of the 2021 ATA Dynamo Award, which recognizes a person or entity that has worked in a particularly energetic way to benefit ATA and/or the language professions.

Ebrahim is committed to supporting and promoting ATA’s Arabic Language Division (ALD) through a wide range of activities. She is the social media coordinator on ALD’s Leadership Council, managing the division’s social media platforms on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Every month, she creates a social media calendar with posts that she reviews with the division’s administrator. The goal of these posts is to raise awareness about ATA’s role as a professional entity for professional translators and interpreters, encouraging more Arabic professional translators and interpreters to join ATA, and highlighting enrichment and development opportunities available in ATA for members and non-members. Her goal is to make the calendar fun, informative, and inspiring for beginners and professionals alike.

And she does all this while holding down a full-time job as a cultural affairs specialist at the U.S. Embassy in Kuwait, managing professional and academic exchange programs for professionals, academics, and students. She also has an impressive track record interpreting for U.S. government officials.

Mentoring Award

Ibrahim Alkhaldi
Ibrahim Alkhaldi is the recipient of the 2021 ATA Mentoring Award, which recognizes a person or entity that has provided outstanding mentoring to the next generation of translators and interpreters, either through ATA’s Mentoring Program or another channel.

Alkhaldi is a professional translator, interpreter, and linguist who has worked in the U.S., China, France, the United Arab Emirates, and more than 40 other countries. He is an ATA-certified English>Arabic translator and is certified by the Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters. He is an experienced international conference, trade show, and meeting planner. He has a BA in the arts.

Alkhaldi dedicates much of his time to help other colleagues, whether it’s answering questions about ethics in the medical field or helping solve a complex translation issue. His passion for improving and learning makes him a great professional capable of understanding, appreciating, and interacting with people from cultures or belief systems different from his own. He understands the importance of sharing his knowledge. Only then, he says, can we demand better work conditions and find our real value among clients.

2021 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 scholarships are partially funded from donations made in the name of Edith Losa, who served ATA as president-elect and then president from 1991 to 1995. The 2021 recipients are:

Yasmin Alkashef, CT is an ATA-certified Arabic>English translator, certified health care interpreter, registered court interpreter, and conference interpreter. She has an MA and PhD in translation and interpreting studies from Ain Shams University. She taught translation and English as a second language at Ain Shams University and the American University in Cairo.

Gabrielle Colonna is a freelance French>English translator with over 14 years of experience in French. She specializes in literature, social sciences, and international development. She has an MA in translation and interpreting studies and an MA in French linguistics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Anees Gharzita is a medical device professional turned French>English translator. She specializes in the translation of medical devices and regulatory documentation. She has bachelor’s degrees in biology and French with a mathematics minor and is currently a master’s candidate in translation and interpreting at New York University.

Marisa Irwin is a freelance German>English and Russian>English translator. Her work includes translating and editing advertising, historical, and personal documents. She also provides subtitling and captioning for clients in the food production technology sectors. She has an MA in translation and interpreting from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee and a BA in German, Russian, and history from the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

Applicants interested in applying for first-time attendee scholarships in 2022 must 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, 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 2022 ATA Conference. For more information, visit:

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

Ungar German Translation Award

Philip Boehm
Philip Boehm was awarded the 2021 Ungar German Translation Award for his translation of Arthur Kostler’s Darkness at Noon. This is the third time Boehm has received the award, having won in 2013 for his translation of Herta Müller’s 2009 Nobel Prize-winning novel, The Hunger Angel, and in 2007 for his translation of A Woman in Berlin, written by an anonymous journalist.

Darkness at Noon is a powerful and haunting portrait of a Communist revolutionary caught in the vicious fray of the Moscow show trials of the late 1930s. Published in Great Britain in 1940, it was praised by George Orwell and went on to be translated into 30 languages. And yet the novel’s worldwide reputation has, for over 70 years, been based on the first English translation, hastily completed alongside the original, just before the German occupation of Paris in 1940, when both Arthur Koestler and the translator had to flee. The original manuscript was lost in the upheaval…until it was recently rediscovered in a Swiss archive. As it turns out, this document, equipped with Koestler’s corrections, departs in several places from the first English edition.

Arthur Koestler (1905-1983) was a Hungarian-British author and journalist who immersed himself in the major ideological and social conflicts of his time. In 1931 Koestler joined the Communist Party of Germany until, disillusioned by Stalinism, he resigned in 1938. Over the course of his life, Koestler espoused many political causes. His novels, reportage, autobiographical works, and political and cultural writings established him as an important commentator on the dilemmas of the 20th century.

Philip Boehm is a translator, playwright, and theater director whose career zigzags across languages and borders, artistic disciplines, and cultural divides. He has translated more than 30 novels and plays mostly by German and Polish writers, including Herta Müller, Ingeborg Bachmann, and Hanna Krall. He has received numerous awards, including fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. As a theater director and playwright, he has staged dozens of professional productions at theaters in the U.S., Poland, and Slovakia. Boehm is also the founding artistic director of Upstream Theater in St. Louis, a leading producer of new international work.

Boehm is grateful to the Ungar jurors, as well as to the American Translators Association for all they do to advance the art and practice of translation.

The Ungar German Translation Award may be bestowed biennially in odd-numbered years for a distinguished literary translation from German into English that has been published in the U.S.

Marian S. Greenfield Financial Translation Presentation Award

Liming Pals
Liming Pals is the recipient of the 2021 Marian S. Greenfield Financial Translation Presentation Award. The award is given by the American Foundation for Translation and Interpretation to recognize an outstanding presenter of a financial translation session during ATA’s Annual Conference.

Liming presented one intermediate session (International Mergers and Acquisitions and Common Translation Pitfalls) at ATA’s 62nd Annual Conference in Minnesota. She discussed the important role translators and interpreters play in the success of cross-border and multinational mergers and acquisitions. These transactions rely on effective understanding and communication across all parties, no matter the country or spoken language of the companies involved. As a legal and financial translator, Pals provided attendees with an overview of the general legal framework for international mergers and acquisitions before discussing the various agreements involved. She used some translation pitfalls as examples to explain key terminology.

Liming Pals is an ATA-certified English<>Chinese translator with over 12 years of experience in legal and financial translations. She has a master’s degree in international law from China’s Northwest University of Political Science and Law. She graduated from Iowa State University with a dual degree (Master of Finance and MBA) in December 2021. She has worked on projects for global financial institutions and international law firms and has extensive experience translating documents related to mergers and acquisitions.

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.

2022 Honors and Awards Now Open!

ATA and the American Foundation for Translation and Interpretation (AFTI) present annual and biennial awards to encourage, reward, and publicize outstanding work by both seasoned professionals and students. Awards and scholarships for 2022 include:

The Alexander Gode Medal, ATA’s most prestigious award, is presented to an individual or institution for outstanding service to the translating and interpreting professions. Nominations are solicited from the membership at large.

Alicia Gordon Award for Word Artistry in Translation is presented by AFTI for a translation (from French or Spanish into English, or from English into French or Spanish) in any subject that demonstrates the highest level of creativity in solving a particularly knotty translation problem. Open to ATA members in good standing.

ATA Advocacy Award 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.

ATA Impact Award recognizes a person or entity that has demonstrated outstanding leadership having an impact with ATA through work on a specific project or initiative. This award differs from ATA Honorary Membership in that it is presented for a specific project or initiative, rather than for lifetime achievement.

ATA Innovation Award recognizes a person or entity that has worked in a particularly innovative way to benefit ATA and/or the language professions.

Lewis Galantière Award is presented biennially for a distinguished book-length literary translation from any language, except German, into English.

S. Edmund Berger Prize is presented by AFTI to recognize excellence in scientific and technical translation by an ATA member.

Marian S. Greenfield Financial Translation Presentation Award is offered by AFTI to recognize an outstanding presenter of a financial translation session during ATA’s Annual Conference.

Student Translation Award is presented to any graduate or undergraduate student, or group of students, for a literary or sci-tech translation or translation-related project.

For complete entry information and deadlines, visit

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