2019 OSTI Conference

OSTI 6th Annual Conference
Bridges Across Borders

Date: September 14 – 15, 2019
Location: Clackamas Community College Harmony Campus Harmony West Building (campus map)
Address: 7726 S.E. Harmony Road, Milwaukie, Oregon 97222

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Conference Prices


On or before 8/25/2019

Extended to Labor Day 9/2/2019


Early Bird (Member)
Early Bird (Non-member)
Student (w/ valid ID)



On or after 9/3/2019

Late/On-site (Member)
Late/On-site (Non-member)
Student (w/ valid ID)



9/15/2019 Special Workshop on Sunday by Aimee BenavidesSimultaneous Interpreting Skills Building: Additional $35


We had a successful conference. Thank you!


Conference Schedule

Note: Conference schedule may change.


Saturday 14 Sep 2019

7:45 am – 8:45 am Registration & Breakfast

8:45 am – 9:00 am President’s Welcome

9:00 am – 10:00 am Keynote

Tips and Tricks for researching specialized terminology

Aimee Benavides

This presentation will provide practical guidelines for using online search engines to find reliable source documents that can be used in various ways. Participants will be able to see how these documents can help them prepare for new and interesting assignments, compile localized glossaries, cement new terms to memory and prepare new practice materials.

Aimee Benavides resides in Fresno, California and has been a California Court Certified interpreter since 2003 and a Federally Certified interpreter since 2015. As the current Chair of the NAJIT Board of Directors, she spends her time volunteering on behalf of the association and as an active freelance interpreter in the Central California area. Her range of experience has extended beyond the courtroom and she specializes in focus groups and technical agricultural training events. These varied assignments have been the impetus for her to present regarding the wide range of assignments outside of the courtroom as well as the research techniques necessary to quickly and effectively prepare for them.
Sat 9:00 am – 10:00 am

10:15 am – 11:30 am Session 1

A patient has been referred to Genetics. Now what?

Dr Tuohy

Genetic counseling is indicated for patients with a personal and/or a family history of cancer, especially in the context of early ages of diagnosis, multiple primaries in one or more individuals, or more diagnoses than would be expected for the size of the family (especially cancers not attributable to known exposures, like smoking, significant exposure to sun, or radiation therapy).
Genetic testing for inherited predisposition to cancer (as well as several other conditions) has undergone an enormous evolution in the last 6-7 years, and now allows parallel testing of up to 100-200 genes related to overlapping risks for cancer, heart conditions, eye diseases, metabolic conditions etc.).
We will review a typical scenario related to cancer predisposition, and examine several issues related to a patient genetic counseling consultation, including pedigree analysis, scope of tests, interpretation of results, screening and management recommendations, genetic privacy and the law, available resources, and recommended follow-up for other family members.

Dr. Tuohy trained as a molecular biology at Trinity College in Dublin, and the University of Utah, then specialized in inherited risks for cancer, and trained as a genetic counselor at the University of Cincinnati. She has over 25 years of experience in genetic counseling in clinical and research settings, and aims to make her consultations intuitive and fun, despite the seriousness of the issues involved.
Sat 10:15 am – 11:30 am

Employment-related legal claims, Indigenous farmworkers in Oregon

Julie Samples

Farmworkers in Oregon face many challenges at their workplaces including discrimination, retaliation, unsafe and/or unhealthy work settings, and substandard housing. Significant percentages of agricultural workers in Oregon (and other states) speak an indigenous language from Mexico and from Guatemala. The Oregon Law Center, in collaboration with other partners, has worked for years on learning about the health, safety and other legal needs of farmworkers. Based on feedback from farmworkers, the Oregon Law Center has worked to develop culturally and linguistically appropriate materials. The presenters in this session will discuss common employment-related claims for farmworkers (wages, health and safety, discrimination including sexual harassment, retaliation) with an eye towards preparing interpreters for the vocabulary and documents they might encounter. The presenters will also share terms commonly used by farmworkers that are agricultural specific. Finally, the presenters will share information regarding farmworkers in Oregon who speak indigenous languages from Mexico and Guatemala.

Julie Samples: Julie is an attorney with the Oregon Law Center Farmworker Program. She has worked with the Oregon Law Center since 2001, representing farmworkers on a variety of employment-related legal matters including wage, discrimination, and retaliation claims in federal and state court and in administrative settings.
Sat 10:15 am – 11:30 am

Landscape for Non-Spanish Translators and Interpreters

Yasmin AlKashef

Establishing oneself as a good translator and interpreter is no small feat. Challenges abound at different levels for all aspiring translators and interpreters. This presentation explores the landscape for translators and interpreters of non-Spanish languages in the North West. While some of the challenges the face are relevant to translators and interpreters around the world, some are very specific to non-Spanish translators/interpreters in the region. The presentation focuses on challenges pertaining to the translator’s essential toolkit such as polishing one’s native tongue and its dialects, developing one’s mastery of English, finding training, and keeping up with culture and content-specific terminology. The presentation also discusses challenges beyond languages and translation, such as limited demand and resources, marketing, and competitiveness. Finally, the presentation proposes ideas to overcome the challenges and thrive as a translator and interpreter.

Yasmin Alkashef is an ATA-certified Arabic-English translator/Interpreter and registered court interpreter originally from Cairo, Egypt. With a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in translation and interpreting from Ain Shams, University, Alkashef practiced translation and conference interpreting across the Middle East for almost 10 years. She also taught translation and English as a second language at Ain Shams University and the American University in Cairo. In 2015, Alkashef moved to Oregon and has since worked her space out in the US market. Alkashef now offers a wide range of language services including localization, linguistic QA, voice-over and language testing in addition to translation and interpreting. Alkashef is a proud mother of two and has travelled extensively for work and leisure with her family.
Sat 10:15 am – 11:30 am

11:45 am – 1:00 pm Session 2

How to Communicate Successfully through an Interpreter/How to be a Successful Interpreter

Alejandra Phillips

  • Nationally Recognized Code of Ethics for Interpreters:
    Presentation of Code of Ethics in detail and how important they are in building
    trust for clients through

  • Interpreting Techniques: Use of techniques to better
    take advantage if the power of an
    interpreter and clearly communicate with the patient.

  • Modes of interpretation: Consecutive, Simultaneous,
    relay interpretation. Practice and explanation on how to best use these modes at medical appointments.

  • Interpreter vs Translator and Over the Phone
    Interpretation: What is the
    difference? When to use it? This is clearly explained for better service to

  • Practice session: Role playing activities to practice
    what’s been learned.

  • Vocabulary Used in Social Services and School System.

Alejandra Phillips, an Anglo Americano Institute in Mexico graduate, she obtained the English as a second language Teacher’s Diploma. This helped her develop her teaching skills, which she now uses that experience as a trainer. Recently graduated with a Associates Degree in Human Services. She has 16 + years experience as an interpreter both for North Clackamas Schools and the medical field and holds a Washington DHS medical interpreter certificate, as well as qualified interpreter status for the state of Oregon through the office of Equity and Inclusion, and the Oregon Health Care Interpreters Association. She has been nominated three years in a row for The Interpreter of the Year award for the state of Oregon. Seeing the need of having qualified interpreters and providers that understand the best way to communicate through an interpreter with second language speaker, she developed the interpreter’s training based on the National Code of Ethics for interpreters. She has presented this training successfully to both interpreters and English speakers once a year. A neighbor School District’s has also sent their personnel to attend the training for best practice.
Sat 11:45 am – 1:00 pm

Taking on a Third Language

Kenneth Barger

Have you ever considered working in a third language? As bilingual people and language professionals, we are all already equipped with an array of language-learning tools and professional skills. But taking on a whole new language is a big project and may seem daunting. In this presentation, we will examine this process and strategies to achieve success in it.
I will tell the story of my own path to working in a third language, with particular attention to the things that worked well or not very well. I will also emphasize the differences between learning a second language and a third one and how to leverage these differences.
Then I will offer specific learning strategies. The main challenge of becoming fluent in a third language as an adult is that you are starting late, so you have to make up for lost time. With a bit of strategy and persistence, and by taking advantage of the skills we have already acquired as interpreters and translators, this challenge can be overcome.
It is also important to consider one’s motivations for taking on a third language. Is it for the learning experience? To serve your community? For professional opportunities? A sense of accomplishment? All of these are valid reasons and should be considered thoughtfully.
There is something in this workshop for everyone, whether you have little or no knowledge of a third language or are already fluent in one. And if you do pursue a third (or fourth…) language, the experience will be profoundly rewarding.
Kenneth Barger has been a certified translator and court interpreter for Spanish since 1999, and for French since 2012.

Kenneth Barger is a Spanish and French interpreter and translator with twenty years of experience. He first studied Spanish at Seattle Central Community College, then used the skills he learned there to get a bilingual position at Nintendo of America, where he fielded phone calls and letters in Spanish for several years. After he became a certified interpreter and translator for Spanish in 1999, he left Nintendo and became a freelancer. Years later and after a few false starts, he began in earnest his efforts to become fluent in French as well. This project took him to Quebec City, Paris, and the French and Italian Department at the University of Washington. It was a long road that culminated in success when he became certified as a French court interpreter in 2012. Kenneth’s credentials include certification by the American Translators Association as a translator in the French-to-English, Spanish-to-English, and English-to-Spanish language pairs; certification by Washington, Oregon, and Idaho as a court interpreter for Spanish and French; and a Bachelor of Arts in French from the University of Washington.
Sat 11:45 am – 1:00 pm

Translation at Medical Appointments

Helen Eby

Does this really happen? If so, what’s going on? In 2016 and 2017, the national medical interpreting certification boards surveyed interpreters about their work and asked how much translation they did as part of their responsibilities as health care interpreters. This session will cover a comparison of the results and an analysis of the 808 detailed answers obtained from the Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters. This session will give interpreters, translators, health care providers, language access managers, and trainers an empirical picture of translation in the medical field. There will be an opportunity to discuss the next steps that should be taken.

Helen Eby is certified by ATA as a translator from English into Spanish and from Spanish into English. She is an Oregon Spanish Certified Court Interpreter and an Oregon Certified Healthcare Interpreter. She was a medical school student at the University of Buenos Aires for two years. She graduated from the Escuela Nacional en Lenguas Vivas as a teacher of English and Spanish. One of her major interests is supporting translators and interpreters, which is why she co-founded The Savvy Newcomer blog, and ¡Al rescate del español!, a blog about improving Spanish writing, and the Oregon Society of Translators and Interpreters. She also established training programs for medical interpreting and translation in Oregon. She can be reached at helen@gauchatranslations.com.
Sat 11:45 am – 1:00 pm

1:00 pm – 2:00 pm Lunch

2:00 pm – 3:15 pm Session 3

Complicated Encounters and Interpreter Fatigue—Research on the Use of a Tool to Measure Mental Fatigue

Andrea Henry

Healthcare interpreters’ work can be mentally taxing. However, we are often uncertain as to what contributes to our mental fatigue, outside of the obvious issue of lengthy assignments and long workdays. Unfortunately, interpreter fatigue is not well-documented. This presentation provides information on various factors that can affect both concentration and performance contributing to mental fatigue. It also sheds light on precedents in other industries that make the case for use of a measurement tool to address mental fatigue in a more sophisticated way. Gaps in understanding interpreter mental fatigue and a lack of literature on the subject led the presenter and her co-investigators to develop and internally validate the Complexity and Fatigue in Interpreted Encounters (CFIE) tool. It is commonly believed that interpreters experiencing mental fatigue may jeopardize accuracy of interpretation in these encounters, resulting in unfavorable patient outcomes. The presenter will facilitate a discussion on mental fatigue in our work and potential interventions interpreters and managers can consider reducing mental fatigue. She will also share plans for future research on interpreter errors related to mental fatigue.

MS. ANDREA HENRY, BA, CMI-Spanish Andrea Henry has been active in healthcare interpreting for 23 years, beginning her career in 1994 as a freelance interpreter for Pacific Interpreters and later as a full-time remote interpreter at their headquarters in Oregon. Andrea earned her B.A. from the University of Oregon in Spanish and International Studies with a minor in Ethnic Studies. After relocating to Atlanta, she worked for six years in development and management of interpreter services departments for two hospital systems. She has received over 120 hours of interpretation education and has attended 30+ conferences regionally, nationally, and internationally. Andrea regularly presents on advanced interpreter practice and mental fatigue research. One of the most satisfying aspects of Andrea’s career has been working as a staff interpreter at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta while carrying out research on interpreter mental fatigue.
Sat 2:00 pm – 3:15 pm

Preparing for Birth and Delivery Assignments

Ellen Tilden

Dr.Tilden will discuss the birthing process, the differences between latent and active labor, what happens when women start to have labor signs, what kinds of signs and symptoms that often occur and the kinds of communication between the birthing mother and the hospital staff. In this interactive session she will also address some of the common complications that may arise during the birthing process as well as briefly touching upon some of the conditions that may be addressed during prenatal visits that if left untreated, could pose serious health risks to both mother and child. Based on her 19 years experience as a Certified Nurse Midwife, Dr. Tilden will also share the core terminology that will be needed during these events as well as the most common questions that healthcare providers are likely to ask during the course of routine deliveries as well as those that might arise during emergencies. Dr. Tilden will address questions and comments as they arise during her presentation.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Describing the processes of labor and delivery to better prepare interpreters for interpreting during labor and delivery .
  2. Identifying some non-routine situations that may arise in when interpreting for labor and delivery.
  3. Introducing some of the most common conditions that create health risks for mother and child during pregnancy.
  4. Providing the core terminology and basis of substantive knowledge needed to better prepare interpreters for assignments involving labor and delivery.

Ellen Tilden, PhD, CNM, is an Assistant Professor in the School of Nursing Department of Nurse-Midwifery and School of Medicine Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU). She graduated from Reed College, became a Certified Nurse Midwife, was a Midwifery Apprentice in Prenzlaur Berg, Berlin, Germany, received her MS in Nursing and Midwifery from the University of California at San Francisco and completed her PhD in Nursing Science at OHSU. Ellen is a health services researcher focused on healthcare systems factors that impact obstetric procedure in the use of cesarean delivery. Her postdoctoral research has been supported by awards from the National Institutes of Health Office of Research on Women’s Health and National Institutes of Child Health and Development and her research has been published in the Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health, Birth, the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and the New England Journal of Medicine. Her research has been featured in media outlets such as the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, Forbes, Mother Jones, and NRP. She has volunteered as a nurse midwife at free clinics and is currently a Volunteer Nurse-Midwifery Liaison in the Footsteps to Healing Partnership with Mekkelle Hospital, Ethiopia.
Sat 2:00 pm – 3:15 pm

The Role of an Interpreter as a Cultural Mediator

Mary Lee Behar

Have you ever wondered if a term or expression needed to be explained (and not just translated) for better communication between the parties you are interpreting for? What methods do you use for the explanation – an aside, a short description (for words with no equivalent in the target language or culture), or a cultural adaptation? How much information is too much information when you are interpreting and conversely, could not providing a certain degree of cultural context actually hurt communication? Do all interpreters and translators abide by the rules of interpreting everything, including insults and insulting words, even if they could increase tensions or potentially be ill-received by the target audience? Do the rules we follow (regarding culture) vary between the different sectors of interpretation and translation – legal, medical, conference, diplomacy and translation of literature vs. translation for marketing and localization? What is the importance of the cultural context vs. translating mere words? What cultural and linguistic trainings currently exist for law enforcement and other professionals working with limited English speakers? What do different codes of ethics and other professionals in the field of interpretation have to say? What defines culture anyway? What are some effective ways to boost our level of culture in our weaker language(s)? These are some of the fascinating questions I hope to address with my colleagues, encouraging them to come to their own conclusions and then comparing these conclusions to my own.

I have been a California Court Certified Interpreter since 2011 working in Spanish/English, and since approximately 2016 working more regularly in Romanian/English as well. I have a Bachelors degree in French from UCLA, a certificate in Translation and Interpretation from UCLA Extension (under Professor Alexander Rainoff) and another from the Criminal Court Interpreting Program from the Southern California School of Interpretation (under Nestor Wagner). Some notable accomplishments are that I was also a NAJIT Scholar in 2009 and that in recent years, I have had the honor and privilege of interpreting for Tony Robbins and the National Park Service. In 2017, I began a Masters program in Romania to help me become a better Romanian and Spanish interpreter, while at the same time boosting my resume, and now, at the end of that journey, I am writing a dissertation on the role of the interpreter as a cultural mediator, which has turned out to be a fascinating and widely-studied topic. I would love to share some of my research and hopefully some original contributions with my colleagues. Note: This is a work in progress and if all goes well, I will have defended my dissertation between September 10 – 12 of this year in Romania and would be flying straight to Oregon after successfully defending my dissertation.
Sat 2:00 pm – 3:15 pm

3:30 pm – 4:45 pm Session 4

Exploring Ethical Conundrums in Medical Interpreting

Eliana Lobo

Because medical interpreters do not have the luxury to discuss and exchange thoughts about ethical conundrums when they arise in medical appointments, it is important for interpreters to be able to analyze model situations and identify the aspects that may be analogous to other commonly encountered situations. It is likewise important to be able to differentiate in which ways these issues are different from other situations that commonly arise. With the assistance of an experienced certified medical interpreter, medical interpreter trainer and trainer of medical trainers, the class will develop an analytical approach that should help guide their decision-making in the future. This engaging and interactive class will give medical interpreters the tools to make well-founded decisions when situations of first impression that demand a quick response arise.

3 Learning Objectives:

  1. Define the reasons for the differing approach in medical interpreting.
  2. Identifying some situations that require a different approach in when interpreting in medical settings.
  3. Provide medical interpreters with the tools to independently analyze conundrums they have not previously encountered and feel confident that they are making appropriate decisions.

Eliana is an experienced interpreter and Certified Medical Interpreter and Trainer of Trainers. Eliana earned two M.A.s from Brown University in Bilingual Education, and Portuguese & Brazilian Studies. Beginning her career as a Spanish/Portuguese medical interpreter at Rhode Island Hospital, the teaching hospital for Brown University’s Medical School, she eventually settled in Seattle, working as the Trainer & Supervisor for Harborview Medical Center’s Department of Interpreter Services. Later, becoming the National Director of Interpreter Quality for InDemand Interpreting. In 2016 and 2017, she enrolled in the StarTalk Program at University of Washington and Pacific Lutheran University, in pursuit of her goal to train high school heritage speakers as interpreters, and become certified as a World Language and ELL teacher in the public schools. Currently the Director of Lobo Language Access in Tacoma Washington, she provides consultation on language access, interpreter training curricula, and diversity & inclusion issues. Eliana has presented at over 20 healthcare and international interpreter conferences, volunteers as a Commissioner with the Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters, and, as part of the National Council on Interpreting in Health Care’s “Home for Trainers” webinar workgroup, has presented and hosted over 30 webinars for trainers of healthcare interpreters.
Sat 3:30 pm – 4:45 pm

The ABC’s Of Literary Translation

Allison deFreese

As we are all aware, fewer than 3% percent of literary works published in the U.S. are translations. Even from our neighbor, Mexico, with a population of over 129.2 million people, only an average of five literary translations by Mexican authors are published in the United States each year. We know that authors from around the globe are writing, and publishing, work that merits a broader audience through translation into English, but how does a translator begin the process of bridging the world of agents, publishers, writers, and rights? During this presentation we will explore how to navigate the oft unfamiliar waters of literary translation and publishing—from rights and to outreach, to agents and authors, to ethics and craft, and finally, submission and publication!

Allison A. deFreese, MA, MFA, MAIT, has three booklength literary translations forthcoming in 2019 and 2020. She has previously translated, and published, works by María Negroni, Luis Chitarroni, Carmen Iriondo, Karla Marrufo and other Latin American writers into English. Her writing or literary translations have appeared in 60 magazines and journals, including: The New York Quarterly, The Indiana Review, Southwestern American Literature, Borderlands, Puerto del Sol, Margin: Exploring Contemporary Magical Realism, Southword (Ireland), Poetry Kanto (Japan) and Asymptote
Sat 3:30 pm – 4:45 pm

Transcription & Translation: Becoming an Expert Witness

Aimee Benavides

This presentation will cover the basics needed to take on transcription & translation projects. Additional resources and tools will be shared to demonstrate to attendees the variations in formatting that may be required by different clients or for different purposes. The newly updated NAJIT position paper will be shared and discussed. Real life examples will be shared, demonstrating the need to clarify and/or ambiguous statements and the pitfalls of not doing so. Ethical consideration will be discussed due to the interpreter taking on a different role in producing a document that can be used as evidence. Attendees will also learn about the process of testifying as an expert witness with advice on how to approach the situation including how to prepare for specific questions.

Aimee Benavides resides in Fresno, California and has been a California Court Certified interpreter since 2003 and a Federally Certified interpreter since 2015. As the current Chair of the NAJIT Board of Directors, she spends her time volunteering on behalf of the association and as an active freelance interpreter in the Central California area. Her range of experience has extended beyond the courtroom and she specializes in focus groups and technical agricultural training events. These varied assignments have been the impetus for her to present regarding the wide range of assignments outside of the courtroom as well as the research techniques necessary to quickly and effectively prepare for them.
Sat 3:30 pm – 4:45 pm

5:00 pm – 5:30 pm Wrap Up/Voting

Sunday 15 Sep 2019

8:15 am – 9:00 am Registration & Breakfast (9/15)

9:00 am – 12:00 pm Sunday Special Session (Additional Cost: $35)

Simultaneous Interpreting Skills Building

Aimee Benavides

This presentation will briefly cover theory and tips regarding simultaneous interpretation. Participants will be able to practice their own simultaneous interpretation from prepared audio files. Audio files will be transmitted to individual receivers and participants are encouraged to bring a recorder or download a recording app to record their rendition. The benefits of shadowing before taking a test or before beginning an assignment will be demonstrated through practices both with and without the benefit of shadowing into the target language. The prepared script with be analyzed to try to predict issues that may arise while interpreting.

Aimee Benavides resides in Fresno, California and has been a California Court Certified interpreter since 2003 and a Federally Certified interpreter since 2015. As the current Chair of the NAJIT Board of Directors, she spends her time volunteering on behalf of the association and as an active freelance interpreter in the Central California area. Her range of experience has extended beyond the courtroom and she specializes in focus groups and technical agricultural training events. These varied assignments have been the impetus for her to present regarding the wide range of assignments outside of the courtroom as well as the research techniques necessary to quickly and effectively prepare for them.
Sun 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
35 max


Click to see the conference CEU table


CEUs approval pending: CIMCE

* OHA accepts credits approved by other organizations. See details here.


A special thank you to our fiscal sponsor






Check out photos from the 2018 conference!