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Student Assistants

Photo of Sarah Aldawood

Sarah Aldawood, Communication and Outreach Assistant 

Summer 2020 - present. Sarah Aldawood is a Ph.D. student in the Comparative Literature Program. She received her MA in the Theory and Practice of Translation from SOAS, University of London, and her BA in English Translation from King Saud University in Saudi Arabia. Her research interests include the sociology of translation, intersemiotic translation, transfiction and modern Arabic literature. She is a native speaker of Arabic.

Photo of Eva Álvarez-Vázquez

Eva Álvarez-Vázquez, Workshop Support

Spring 2021 - present. Eva Álvarez-Vázquez is a Ph.D. Candidate (ABD) and Teaching Associate in the Spanish and Portuguese Studies Program at UMass Amherst. She earned her B.A. in English Studies from the Universidad de Oviedo (Asturias, Spain) and her M.A. in European Literature and Second Language Teaching from the Universidad de Huelva. She is pursuing a graduate certificate in Film Studies, and has participated in the organization of the Catalan and Lusophone Film Festivals at UMass Amherst. Her research interests include Iberian cultures, film studies, cultural memory, gender studies, and videographic criticism. She is a native speaker of Spanish and Asturian, with knowledge of Catalan, French, and Portuguese. She has been collaborating with the UMass Amherst Translation Center since 2021 as a workshop facilitator and Spanish language expert.

Photo of Rou Chen

Rou Chen, Undergraduate Office Assistant

September 2023 - present. Rou Chen is an undergraduate student at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, majoring in Psycology. She is originally from Fujian, China, and moved to the United States at the age of five. She is fluent in both Mandarin Chinese and English. She is a Crisis Counselor at the Crisis Text Line and a member of the UMass Concert Band. Her interest in translation stems from her history of translating for her immigrant family since she was young. At the UMass Amherst Translation Center she gets experience in professional translation project managment and contributes to the promotion of translation education.

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Isabella Craft, High School Connections Assistant

Spring 2023 - present. Isabella Craft is from Hanover, Massachusetts and is a native speaker of English and fluent in Spanish. She is a senior in the Commonwealth Honors College at UMass Amherst pursuing a dual degree in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology and Spanish. After graduation, she plans to take a gap year to work in a clinical setting and apply to medical school. She has completed several research projects relating to translation and language access literacy and is now working on her honors thesis research project which focuses on promoting heritage language maintenance in children through the use of virtual affinity groups. She is currently an assistant for the UMass Amherst Translation Center’s collaboration with Revere High School led by Professor Regina Galasso to design and implement a high school course titled “The Foundations of Translation, Interpreting, and Language Access.” As an aspiring physician, she plans to leverage her knowledge and skills in multilingualism, language access, and language justice to become an advocate for her future linguistically diverse patients.

Photo of Iman Fenina

Iman Fenina, Undergraduate Office Assistant

September 2023 - present. Iman Fenina is a junior at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She is pursuing a degree in Linguistics and Anthropology in the College of Humanities and Fine Arts as well as in Marketing at the Isenberg School of Managment. She is minoring in Japanese, a language she has been studying for three years. Originally from Tunisia, she is a fluent speaker of English, Arabic, and French. She has experience as a French translator for the Massachusetts Daily Collegian. She is also the laboratory manager for the Department of Linguistics. At the UMass Translation Center she supports projects with partners from all around the world and learns more about the dynamics behind the crucial role translation plays in our increasingly global and linguistically diverse communities.

Photo of Nefeli Zervoudaki

Nefeli Forni Zervoudaki, Workshop and Interpreting Support

Spring 2021 - present. Nefeli Forni Zervoudaki (A.A. University of ORT, Uruguay, BA in Audiovisual Communication, University of Vic, Spain) is a Ph.D. student in the Comparative Literature Program at UMass Amherst. She has worked in translation, interpretation, and education for more than a decade and has taught "Culture, Gender, and Environment" to unaccompanied minor refugees in Barcelona. Her main interests are the representations of gender and sexuality, the effects of film on society, and the interaction between literature and film. She is a native speaker of French and Greek, and her languages also include Spanish and Italian.

Photo of Irina Lifszyc Watson

Irina Lifszyc Watson, Worskshop and Translation Support

Fall 2020 - present. Irina Lifszyc is an English-Spanish translator pursuing her Ph.D. in Hispanic Linguistics in the Spanish and Portuguese Studies Program. Irina became a translator after graduating from college in Argentina in 2014. While pursuing her M.A. in Spanish, she worked for the Infectious and Tropical Disease Institute transcribing and translating interviews conducted by researchers in rural communities of Ecuador. She has also served as a volunteer translator for Defense for Children International. Irina has played a fundamental role in establishing the Translation Center's educational opportunities that aim to support bilingual school staff while improving the provision of language access services and supports. She collaborates with the Translation Center by providing support to workshop facilitators and participants, and scheduling and conducting language assessments and translation evaluations.

Photo of Claudia Matachana

Claudia Matachana, Workshop Support and Language Assessment Manage

Fall 2022 - present. Claudia Matachana is a Ph.D. candidate and Teaching Associate in the Spanish and Portuguese Studies Program at UMass Amherst. She holds a BA in Spanish Literature and Linguistic Studies and an M.A. in Spanish as a Second Language from the Universidad de Oviedo. Her research focuses on issues of linguistic discrimination and language practices in educational settings, with a particular focus on Puerto Rican Spanish speakers. She collaborates with the UMass Amherst Translation Center by providing support to workshop leaders and participants, and scheduling and conducting language assessments.

Maíra Mendes Galvão, Workshop, Translation, and Interpreting Support

Summer 2023 - present. Maíra Mendes Galvão was born in Brazil. She holds a B.A. in Graphic Design from the Universidade de Brasília, but changed paths and began a career as a professional translator and copyeditor circa 2004. After a later stint back in academia, studying Philosophy of Language and Logic, with a special interest in theories of meaning, logic, and metaphor, she decided to continue in the publishing industry. In addition to commercial translation, she took on literary projects and translated authors such as Jonathan Safran Foer, Monique Wittig, Mina Loy, and George Orwell into Brazilian Portuguese. She holds an M.A. from the Universidade de São Paulo with a thesis on translation as theoretical practice and is pursuing a Ph.D. at UMass Amherst in the Spanish and Portuguese Studies Program’s area in Translation in the Hispanic and Lusophone World. She has published two books of poetry, and her work has appeared in literary journals and anthologies from Brazil and Mexico. She also creates multimedia pieces exploring the possibilities of intersemiotic translation and performance. Her academic interests are expanded concepts of translation, extemporaneous critical translation, multimodal translation, digital humanities applied to translation, and the Early Modern period in Iberia and the British Isles. At the UMass Amherst Translation Center, she provides various language-related services, as well as workshop support.

Paulina Ochoa-Figueroa, Educational Workshop Programming Assistant and Lab Manager for School Interpreter Preparation Program (with Holyoke Public Schools)

Summer 2020 - present. Paulina Ochoa-Figueroa is originally from Michoacan, Mexico. She is a Ph.D. candidate in the Spanish and Portuguese Studies Program. She is working on her doctoral dissertation, which explores the translation practices of three women writers: Victoria Kent (1892-1987), Aurora Correa (1930-2008), and Valeria Luiselli (1983- ). She is actively involved with the Translation Center, holds a graduate certificate in Translation and Interpreting Studies, and teaches Spanish-English translation and Spanish language and literature. Since 2020, she has collaborated with the Translation Center and its partners, including the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, to professionalize school interpreters and translators, and to improve language access literacy throughout schools.

María Camila Vera Arias, Workshop and Interpreting Support

Spring 2019 - present. Maria Camila Vera Arias is a Ph.D. candidate in the Spanish and Portuguese Studies Program. She completed an M.F.A. in Spanish Creative Writing at the University of Iowa in 2016 with a hybrid thesis of poetry and fiction and holds an undergraduate degree in Journalism from the Universidad de Antioquia. She is an interpreter, translator, and workshop facilitator for UMass Amherst Translation Center. Her academic interests include literary translation, translation theories, and modern and contemporary women writers. 

Photo of Amelia Yeager

Amelia Yeager, Production Editor for Metamorphoses

January 2023 - present. Amelia Yeager (she/her) is a graduate student in the history department at UMass Amherst and production editor for Metamorphoses, the journal of the five-college faculty seminar on literary translation. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in English from Kenyon College, where she studied British literature, art history, and creative writing. Her writing can be found in The Doctor T.J. Eckleburg Review Online, Full House Literary Magazine, and elsewhere. At UMass, Amelia researches the cultural legacies of labor in the Transatlantic world, particularly the material culture of labor in rural areas. She plans to continue writing and working in the museum field after graduation.