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LaRon Esau, Translator & Interpreter

LaRon Esau
LaRon Esau

“Although I studied Spanish in elementary school and college, I never realized my love for the Spanish language and culture could translate into a career,” stated LaRon Esau, as he shared his “non-traditional” path to the online UMass Amherst Professional Translation and Interpreting Certificate program. 

Even though he had not yet received any formal training, as a paralegal at various law firms, Esau was frequently tasked to perform as an ad hoc in-house interpreter and/or translator. “This continued when I began to work in medical sales and marketing, interpreting or translating company materials for Spanish speaking audiences,” he added. However, he always felt the need to pursue formal education in the field and  continue to develop his skills, and found that the UMass Amherst online T&I certificate program was precisely the foundational piece he was missing. 

“The instructors are very engaging, the curriculum is well rounded and provides a fascinating dive into the theory, mechanics and the practice of interpretation and translation,” explained Esau, who also shared with UMass Amherst program director Cristiano Mazzei that his courses at UMass have been accepted by the Wisconsin Court Interpreter Program Manager to fulfill their continuing education requirements. 

LaRon Esau has achieved Spanish interpreter medical certification (CCHI and CMI), as well as certification as a State Court interpreter. He is currently pursuing certification as a Federal Court interpreter, as well as ATA certification. 

Jessica Fugaro, Dentist

Jessica Fugaro
Jessica Fugaro

“After living 24 years in Mexico City, 22 years in the US, and being raised and educated bilingual, like others, I assumed that a translator and/or interpreter were “simply” bilingual professionals,” says Jessica Fugaro, who graduated from the online Certificate in Professional Translation and Interpreting in spring 2020.

Following a non-traditional career path, Jessica graduated first with a degree in dentistry in her native Mexico, and came to the US to pursue a master’s degree in Operative Dentistry. In her private practice, she identified a tremendous need for professional translators and interpreters for Spanish speakers and even though she found herself being asked to perform such tasks without any previous training, she always felt she needed to pursue education in the field to be able to translate and interpret professionally. “I can state, without a doubt, that studying translation and interpreting at the university level has opened my eyes to many different subjects that require a wide spectrum of knowledge. This is not limited to terminology; it includes a greater understanding of contexts,” comments Jessica about her learning journey at UMass Amherst.

To add credentials to her resume as a professional interpreter and improve her employment prospects in the field, Jessica took and passed the first phase of the certification exam for healthcare interpreters from the Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters in summer 2020. When asked about her experience in the program, she added, “I am extremely proud and honored to now be a UMass Amherst Alumni. I highly recommend the program for those who are seeking to become a qualified professional translators and/or interpreters.”