Prof. Ragan will detail her journey into working as a translator and interpreter for asylum seekers and others seeking relief from persecution or deportation. She will explain how she has incrementally built a translation and interpreting minor within the Spanish section of her college, incorporating real-world projects along the way. Finally, she will discuss the various ways work with asylum seekers can be incorporated into the Spanish curriculum at each level.
Robin Ragan, PhD, is professor of Spanish at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois. She has a PhD in Hispanic literature from the University of Illinois-Urbana. Dr. Ragan has lived abroad intermittently for over 25 years, spending most of her time in Barcelona, Spain. She has taught Spanish at the university level for over twenty years and has traveled abroad with her students to many countries, including Spain, Mexico and Guatemala. For the past five years, she has been teaching translation and interpretation, including medical and legal interpretation.
Dr. Ragan is an experienced, National Board Certified Medical interpreter and a trainer with Americans Against Language Barriers. In the legal realm, she offers her time pro bono to interpret for advocacy groups helping asylum seekers at the United States-Mexico border. In 2020, the American Council for the Teaching of Foreign Languages awarded Dr. Ragan the Global Engagement Initiative Award, and the Modern Languages Association awarded her a Humanities Innovation Grant.