2017-2019 Board Members

/2017-2019 Board Members
2017-2019 Board Members2018-02-10T01:31:34+00:00

President – Jose Antonio Lagunes

Mr. Antonio Lagunes is currently involved in a number of bilingual endeavors. He provides interpreting services for USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) during asylum court hearings, U.S. Citizenship tests, and other Immigration proceedings. He also provides medical interpreting for Limited English Proficient patients in the greater Memphis area.

He has over ten years experience interpreting for a religious organization. He has also participated in recent missions trips to Canada, Brazil, Mexico, and Honduras, where he experienced language immersion and multiculturalism first hand.

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Antonio’s first language is Spanish. He moved to the United States when he was 15 and learned English. A firm believer of professional development, Antonio is working on a language degree in college and is constantly working to enlarge his vocabulary with more medical and legal terminology.

One of the main reasons why being a language interpreter and translator is so important for him is because it gives him the opportunity to serve the community and those who like himself in the past are unable to express themselves in a language different than their own.

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Vice President – Espi Ralston

Espi Ralston, MA, MAT, MA, CMI-Spanish, CHITM

Espi Ralston, a native of Spain, holds master degrees in  Modern Philology, French Language and Literature, Curriculum Design & Instruction as well as Foreign Language Education

She has taught college students for more than 30 years.  She entered the Healthcare field in 1999 and since then, she has managed health promotions for Hispanic/Latino families, taught Spanish and cultural diversity courses to healthcare providers, and interpreted in clinics and hospitals.  From 2003-2005, she was project director (planning phase) of En Memphis Hablamos Juntos,  one of the ten-million dollar  Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grant-funded sites to increase the number and the quality of health care interpreters nationwide.  She is  a CMI-Spanish and CHITM  medical interpreter.

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She worked at St. Jude Children’s  Research Hospital in Memphis from 2007-2017. She is also the Director/Instructor of the Health Care Interpreter Program at the University of Memphis,  School of Public Health, the first IMIA accredited program in the country.   She was a co-founder,  first President  elect and vice-President  of the TN Association of Medical Interpreters and Translators (TAMIT).  Currently, she is Vice-President and Co-Chair of TAMIT Membership Committee

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Secretary – Alicia Buckner

Alicia Buckner was originally born in Saltillo, Mexico. She graduated with a BA from the University of Memphis, obtained a State of Tennessee Teacher Certificate with endorsements in Spanish and French and taught for 22 years.  Before becoming a teacher, she worked as a bilingual administrative assistant in Mexico and the United States.  Her responsibilities included translating legal documents, contracts, marketing materials, employee handbooks, etc.

She retired in 2009 from the Memphis City Schools and started to work for the YMCA part time as Director of the Multicultural Achievers, a group of Hispanic children and their families that meet on Saturdays for extracurricular and enrichment activities.  She has also taught bilingual nutrition and diabetes prevention programs at the YMCA for children and adults.

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In 2013 Alicia completed the Health Care Interpreter Course at the University of Memphis and is currently a freelance interpreter for several different language services companies, as well as for the University of Memphis Speech and Hearing Clinic.  She has been a member of TAMIT for two years.

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Treasurer – Andrea Sanchez

Andrea Sanchez was born and raised in Mexico, she moved to Memphis 6 years ago. she was a BS in Business Administration from Escuela Bancaria y Comercial in Mexico City, and Post grade in Marketing and Management. She developed her skills primary in the banking sector. After working for Citibank back in Mexico, where she had professional development from teller to branch manager, she worked for The Credit Company, also in Mexico City as Operations Manager.

Working for Citibank gave her the opportunity to increase the experience of managing numbers, cash, bank accounts, policies, procedures and controls. She also likes to analyze, organize and manage processes.

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Wanting to improve her English skills, she started courses at the University of Memphis, attending to the Intensive English for Internationals and later the Health Care Interpreter Course Level I.

After taking this course she fell in love with the profession and realized that this is a field where she can pursuit a career because there is a lot of demand and professionals are needed.

Recently she started as a Medical Interpreter Volunteer at the Church Health Center of Memphis and she is willing to learn and expand her skills in order to be a qualified professional.

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