Professor Reyes Coll-Tellechea appointed to Mayor Walsh’s Human Rights Commision

“As attacks on human rights continue from the highest levels of our country, here in Boston, we’re committed to preserving and advancing human rights, including in our immigrant communities,” said Mayor Walsh. “I’m proud to appoint these seven members to the Human Rights Commission. Their backgrounds and experiences make them uniquely qualified to serve in these roles, and they will make a real difference in the lives of our residents.”

Reyes Coll-Tellechea

Professor Coll-Tellechea is an experienced academic committed to public service who maintains an active public profile in the community. She served on Mayor Walsh’s Transition Task Force (Human Services) and the City of Boston’s Diversity Task Force. She frequently volunteers as a translator and interpreter for Massachusetts nonprofits working with immigrants and refugees. Born in Spain, she arrived in the United States with limited English skills and great hope. She has lived in this country most of her life and considers herself an “American by choice.” Professor Coll-Tellechea lives in Dorchester with her wife, Shauna.

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23rd Annual New England Translators Association Conference

Last Saturday May 4, LAIS  students participated in the 23rd Annual New England Translators Association Conference, which was held in UMass Boston. Under the general topic  “Innovation from Within: How Interpreters and Translators Are Shaping the Present and Future of the Field,” Alfonso Ceciliano (” Towards an Inclusive Education through Translation”), Daniel Flaherty (“An Intralingual Translation of El retablo de las maravillas), Maria Gonzalez (“El secreto encanto de la traducción: A Study of Borges’s ‘El disco’ in Translation”), Jacob Matthews (“Equivalence, ethics and Todorov’s interpretation of the American Conquest”), Michael Nystrom (“A New Translation for a New Silk Road”), Yerielis Rivera (“Ethics & Poetics in A Spanish Translation of ‘Passing the Gift'”), Nery Sanchez-Roman (“Translating Meek Mill’s ‘Championship’: A Socio-Poetic Performance”),  Tyler Tripp (“Back in the ‘Game of Thrones’: A New Spanish Translation”), and  Camila de la Vega  (“Amending Languages: A Spanish Re-translation of the First 10 Amendments in the US Constitution”) showed how translating and translations allow us to make sense of critical current events, and literary and political discourses.   

Translators Read!

 September 27th, 6-8 pm 

Cambridge Public Library

Six translators will read from their English-language translations of poetry and prose from the Portuguese, Korean, Chinese, Spanish, Russian, and Japanese:

Isabel Gomez 

Seung-Hee Jeon 

Chloe Garcia Roberts 

Mark Schafer 

Anna Summers 

J. Keith Vincent 

Cambridge Public Library is located at 449 Broadway, Cambridge . The reading will take place in the Community Room. For more information, call 857-928-2039.

Anastasia Thano: MFA Ambassador



Anastasia Thano, LAIS student, will give her last talk as MFA Ambassador on Friday, April 13th. In her presentation she will talk about four 18th century-Mexican “Casta” paintings.

Anastasia has been a student ambassador at the MFA for four years. It will be exciting to see her sharing her knowledge and interests with UMass Boston community.


Are you interested in a Portuguese minor? Join us on April 10th!

In celebration of the inauguration of the Portuguese Studies Minor, the Latin American and Iberian Studies Department will be welcoming historian Sidney Chalhoub, Professor of History and African and African American Studies at Harvard University to give a lecture entitled “Slavery and Race in Nineteenth Century Peru”, to take place on April 10 at 3pm. Professor Chalhoub has written five books on the history of race, slavery, public health and literature in modern Brazil. On April 10, in commemoration of this year being the 130th anniversary of the abolition of slavery in Brazil, he will be speaking about the legacies of slavery and race in the region.

The Portuguese Studies Minor is a new minor that gives students the opportunity to study the language, societies, politics, and cultures of the modern Lusophone world in all continents. Students can choose from a range of courses on the language, literature, film, culture, economies, politics, and societies of the Lusophone world.

“Black In English” Lorgia García-Peña (Harvard University)

Don’t miss this opportunity to hear Lorgia García Peña, a specialist in Dominican diaspora, literature, and culture.

Here is a chapter from one of her books and one of her articles.

W4 García Peña Lorgia Ch 4 Rayano Consciousness Remapping the Haiti DR Border-2ij8viv

W4 García Peña Lorgia Translating Blackness Dominicans Negotiating Race and Belonging-21eil27


Educación De Calidad Para Un Futuro Mejor: A Costa Rican Adventure

When I walked by the Liceo de Nicoya, Costa Rica and read Educación De Calidad Para Un Futuro Major above the door I felt particularly appreciative that I’ve embraced studying the Spanish language and taken the risk to go deeper in understanding through a Latin American language immersion experience. My two weeks at the Academía de Español Nicoya continues the learning I began two years ago with Professor Mark Schafer’s Spanish 101 class. Why? It is tremendously important to me to keep learning and I hope to teach Latino children in the future. So at 52 years old I joined a group of undergraduates to learn a new language. They could be my children, but in the classroom context we are on the same journey of comprehending something entirely new, daunting, inspiring. They celebrate my 85s and commiserate over my C minus notas (grades). And I support them likewise, as they balance courses and waitressing and other demands. We are in this together, especially after the obligatory language requirement levels.
When I emailed Professor Schafer about enrolling, he responded, “Great! You should know that it’s a challenging course, with a lot of grammar and vocabulary.” There is more than a boat load of grammar and new words. But he was gentle and demanding at once and I stuck to it and continued to Spanish 102 with him. Last fall I progressed to Spanish 201 with Professor Mraz. She delighted me with her enchanting take on language and culture and her use of technology to impart knowledge. Now I’m in Spanish 202 with Department Chair Nino Kebadze whose enthusiasm for Spanish is more than contagious. But before coming to Costa Rica to this Spanish immersion program, I continued to talk with my hand near my mouth so that it would capture all my oral flubs.
My school is located in Nicoya, Costa Rica, comprised of four “parroquiales” which are located in an area named Guanacaste, the majority of which is a fat peninsula facing the Pacific Ocean. I am studying in a town in the center, Nicoya, a simple place, with modest homes, and cold showers that are balanced by incredibly warm inhabitants: the Guanatastecos. Rocking in the chairs on the school’s veranda, we face an elementary school echoing with children’s laughter.
I study with another student or one on one with various teachers — four hours in the morning — and two in the afternoon. Occasionally, a few monos (monkeys) will swing by, but I focus on the language, rather than the remarkable flora and fauna in this lovely country. Learning to speak a foreign language is the Boston Marathon of humility, mile after mile, with Heartbreak Hill moments. But there are victories:  I no longer cover my mouth while expelling verb conjugations. I am starting to speak more naturally!
I live with a family of three, an abuela (grandmother), a mamá (mother), and a 14 year old hija (daughter). La abuela does not speak English, la mamá speaks pretty well, and la hija almost perfectly. Dogs and cats roam the streets, men with little carts attached to bikes are Nicoyan “Ice Cream Trucks,” and men encircle you selling news print lottery tickets. Might I win? I’ll stick with the Mass State Lottery.
Finally, I am grateful that my family and work colleagues have allowed me to take this leap in learning. I’m convinced that the education I am receiving is de calidad and hope that my use of it will somehow bring about Un Futuro Mejor.
¡Pura Vida!
—Nanette Cormier