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College of Liberal and Fine Arts


International Translation Day 2016 Colloquium

September 28, 2016

Walter Benjamin once said, “It is the task of the translator to release in his own language that pure language that is under the spell of another, to liberate the language imprisoned in a work in his re-creation of that work.”

Translation has become one of most valuable skills worldwide. Communication and translation coincide with one another. In our every day lives, we translate books, posters, texts, other people’s words either to ourselves to help us understand or to others to help them understand.

Therefore in light of such an honorary ability, UTSA Department of Modern Languages and Literatures along with Worldwide Languages presented the Second Annual International Translation Day Colloquium. This yearly event takes place in commeoration of the feast of St. Jerome, the Bible translator considered to be the patron saint of translators.

In continued observance of this increasingly vital era of globalization, this public colloquim welcomed five leading researchers, and practitioners in linguistics, translation, interpreting, professional engagement, training and policy:

  • Melissa Fischer, General Administrative Counsel of Bexar County Criminal District Courts is a San Antonio native. She received her Bachelor of Arts from Texas Christian University in 1986 and her Doctor of Jurisprudence from the University of Texas School of Law in 1989. Fischer was appointed to the newly formed Licensed Court Interpreter Advisory Board in June of 2002 by then Govenor Rick Perry, and is currently the Chair of that Board and the only original member still on the board.
  • Jeff Rinard, the Director of Texas Office of Court Administration’s (OCA) Judicial Branch Certification Commission (JBCC). After serving eleven years in the United States Air Force, he spent eight years as the Investigations Manager wth the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation. He continues to manage the Texas Guardianship Compliance Pilot Project and is responsible for the development and implementation of statewide guardianship reporting software for auditing of guardianship filings.
  • Dr. Virginia G. Kaklamani, professor of medicine in the division of hematology/oncology at the UT Health Science Center San Antonio, and is the leader of the Breast Cancer Program at the Cancer Therapy & Research Center. Completeing her residency in internal medicine at Newton-Wellesley Hospital in Boston was only the beginning for her medical field experience, she soon completed her fellowship in hematology/oncology at Northwestern University and also headed the Translational Breast Cancer Program at NU. Her research interests include studying high risk families and identifying genetic mutations that are associated with an increased risk for breast, colon, and prostate cancer. She has identified several genetic mutations related to obesity that increase the risk of breast cancer. Dr. Kaklamani is a clinical invesitagor with expertise in designing clinical trials with targeted agents.
  • Sandra L. Dejeux, Mexican-American Interpreter and Translator with a BA in International studies from the University of Monterrey, Mexico. Dejeux holds a Spanish Master Level License as Court Interpreter in Texas and a CCHI Healthcare Interpreter certification. She has worked with several International Custom Broking Agenciese handling import and export procedures. Dejeux currently works at the Fort Bend Justice Center as an in-house interpreter and translator for all 17 County and District Courts. Finally, Dejeux serves as the President of the Houston Interpreters and Translators Association (HITA) as well as a Texas Delegate for the Certification Commission of Healthcare Interpreters (CCHI), and on the Advisory Board of the T &I Certification Program at HCC.

Special thanks to:

  • Worldwide Languages, a local, certified, woman owned enterprise providing linguistic solutions to the healthcare industry, school districts, law enforcement, military entities, government agencies and businesses involved in the global economyfor their generous donation which aided in making International Translation Day 2016 Colloquium possible.
  •  Artist, Kat Cadena for the meaningful painting, Hikoukigumo 
  • Faculty members, Marcela J. Lopez and Dr. Melissa Wallace for organizing the event. 


 Worldwide Languages states the significance in translators and interpreters, "Respecting and supporting the language access rights of individuals with limited communication in English is crucial for Worldwide particularly in light of our increasingly linguistically diverse population.  When a patient requires medical care, a teacher shares information about a school program with a student's parents,  a police officer or a paramedic provides assistance in a critical situation, our soldiers carry out humanitarian or peace keeping operations, or a public official provides assistance with housing or job training, language is the bloodline allowing these interactions to happen.  For our LEP and non-English speaking populations, they are impossible without the language access services provided by interpreters and translators."


By: Andrea Avalos 

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