The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Student Assistants

Photo of Aitor Bouso Gavín

Aitor Bouso Gavín, Director's Assistant 

Summer 2020 - present. Aitor Bouso Gavín holds a B.A. in English Literary and Linguistic Studies from the Universidade da Coruña. In 2018, he earned an M.A. in Advanced English Studies, with a focus on Literary Studies, from a joint program between A Coruña, Santiago, and Vigo universities. From 2018 to 2019, he was a Foreign Language Assistant in the Spanish Department at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts. He is currently a Ph.D. student and Teaching Associate in the Spanish and Portuguese Program at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. His research interests include Chican@/x and Latin@/x Literary and Cultural Studies; Multiethnic and American Literature; Contemporary Latin American and US Latinx Art; Performance Studies; Body Studies and Somatic Theory. Aside from that, Aitor has been working with translation and interpretation since his sophomore year as an undergraduate student and is a native speaker of Galician and Spanish with knowledge of Portuguese, Italian, and French.

Photo of Irina Lifszyc

Irina Lifszyc, Interpreter and Translator in Education Workshop Series and Language Assessment Support 

Fall 2020 - present. Irina Lifszyc is a Spanish translator who is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Hispanic Linguistics in the Spanish and Portuguese Studies Program at UMass Amherst, where she is a Teaching Assistant. Her research interests are historical linguistics and morphosyntactic variation. 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. She is a native speaker of Spanish with knowledge of German and Italian

Photo of Kasira Hernández

Kasira J. Hernández, Accounting and Bookkeeping Support 

February 2021 - present. Kasira J. Hernández (กษิรา เฮอร์นันเดซ) is currently pursuing a Master’s in Accounting at the Isenberg School of Management of the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Originally from Rayong province in Thailand, she has an Associate’s Degree in Accounting from Rayong Polytechnic College and a Bachelor’s Degree in Maritime Management with a focus on Logistics from the College of Transport and Logistics of Burapha University, eastern Thailand’s flagship university. She has worked as an accountant and part of the administrative staff at major Thai and Japanese corporations. She is a Thai-English translator.

Photo of Melissa Rodriguez

Melissa Rodriguez, Project Management Support

Fall 2019 - present. Melissa Rodriguez is a sophomore pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, a secondary major in Spanish, and a certificate in Translation and Interpreting Studies. She is a native speaker of Spanish and came to the United States four years ago from Cuba. In 2015, she was formally introduced to the English language during her final year of high school in the United States. She spent the following year mastering her English before applying to college. During that year she volunteered at the YMCA International Learning Center where she was first introduced to the practice of interpreting and translating. She immediately fell in love with it! She experienced firsthand how breaking a language barrier could make a positive impact on someone’s life. She then decided to link this new passion for interpreting and translating with her old love for medicine by enrolling in a six-month certificate program in medical interpreting giving her a new perspective of this amazing field of work. Now as a college student, she is dedicated to helping the Latino community. She is confident that working at the Translation Center will offer her the perfect platform to do that!

Photo of Nefeli Zervoudaki

Nefeli Forni Zervoudaki, Interpreter and Translator in Education Workshop Series Instructor and Participant 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 Paulina Ochoa-Figueroa

Paulina Ochoa-Figueroa, Assistant for Interpreter and Translator in Education Programming

Summer 2020 - present. Paulina Ochoa-Figueroa is originally from Michoacán (México). She received a B.A. in Spanish Literature and Cultures from Manhattan College and an M.A. in Hispanic Literatures and Linguistics from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She continues to study at UMass as a Ph.D. student in the Spanish and Portuguese Program and is currently working on her candidacy exams. She has presented papers on travel and translation, and the work of Spanish author José Moreno Villa at academic conferences. Working with English and Spanish, she is actively involved with translation and holds a graduate certificate in Translation and Interpreting Studies from UMass. She presented on subtitling at this year’s New England Translators Association conference. She regularly collaborates with the Translation Center and was the lead instructor for a remotely taught Medical Interpreting and Translation course for high school students in Texas. At UMass, she also teaches basic- and intermediate-level Spanish.

Photo of Vitor Silva

Vitor Silva, Language Lab Facilitator and Digital Content Creator

Fall 2019 - present. Vitor Silva is currently a senior pursuing a Bachelor of Sciences in User Experience Design, a secondary major in Portuguese, and a minor in Information Technology. He is a native speaker of Portuguese and fluent in French - a language he learned while studying in Brussels, Belgium for three years. After leaving Belgium, he returned to Brazil to finish his schooling. Upon earning his high school diploma, he relocated to the United States to further study design and technology at UMass Amherst in hopes of becoming a UX designer. Vitor’s past cultural influences have helped mold his creative outlook and what he puts into his designs. The Translation Center provides an opportune environment for him to apply and develop his knowledge and skills into bettering the communities near and far.