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Antioch University Santa Barbara to Offer Interpretation Services at Commencement

MaryLou Hernandez, retiring Antioch University President Nancy Leffert and Lena Moran. Hernandez and Moran, who are both graduating with master’s degrees in education, are the minds behing the university’s first multilingual commencement ceremony. Click to view larger
MaryLou Hernandez, retiring Antioch University President Nancy Leffert and Lena Moran. Hernandez and Moran, who are both graduating with master’s degrees in education, are the minds behing the university’s first multilingual commencement ceremony. (AUSB photo)

To demonstrate Antioch University Santa Barbara’s commitment to inclusivity and social justice, simultaneous interpretation services between English and Spanish will be offered at this year’s commencement June 20, 2016.

While the idea of offering interpretation at the ceremony began as a theoretical project by two graduating Master of Arts in Education students, Lena Moran and MaryLou Hernandez, the two worked with local nonprofit Just Communities Central Coast to turn theory into reality.

Just Communities sponsored two workshops on campus entitled “One Room, Many Voices” and helped purchase the interpretation equipment, and AUSB is hiring two professional interpreters who will provide simultaneous interpretation of the full commencement ceremony Monday, June 20, at The Fess Parker.

This marks the first time AUSB has been able to include a language interpreting service at its commencement exercises. 

“It is exciting to be one of the first universities in the area to offer language access through simultaneous interpretation at such an important event,” Moran said. “It is a true testament to Antioch’s mission statement and the environment the school creates that allows students to truly flourish as leaders and implement their learning into practice.”

“Being the first in my family to earn a graduate degree is an honor,” Hernandez said. “And when I walk across the stage and look my parents in the eyes, I will know that they had the opportunity to participate, engage and understand commencement because we helped create an inclusive environment.”

As their project began to take shape, Moran and Hernandez sought the assistance of retiring AUSB President Nancy Leffert, who immediately agreed and offered to support the hire of the interpreters.

“I am thrilled that Lena and MaryLou took the initiative to make this a reality. They are wonderful examples of AUSB’s students and displayed the heart of an Antioch education,” Leffert said. “I’m especially happy we’ll be able to make this commencement ceremony such an inclusive and special one, and it is precedent setting for making interpretation services available at future campus events.”

Over 150 students from AUSB’s Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology, Doctorate in Clinical Psychology (PsyD) and Graduate Education and Credentialing programs will receive their degrees.

The first graduates of the Master of Business Administration program, who completed their degrees in December, will be honored as well.

Brian Dearth is the marketing manager for Antioch University Santa Barbara.

 

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