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OSU-OKC student selected to attend interpreter conference

OSU-OKC student chosen for mental health conference

Only six students nationwide selected for honor of representative at interpreter training

OKLAHOMA CITY (April 27, 2020) – Angela Ortega, an Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City student in her final semester, has been selected to be a student representative at the upcoming Mental Health Interpreter Training Conference in Alabama in August.

Only six student interpreter representatives from around the United States were chosen. They will have the opportunity to learn and network with leaders in the mental health interpreting field.

“Mental health interpreting requires extremely seasoned and skilled interpreters,” Ortega said. “That’s why it is such an honor to be able to be surrounded by these professionals and their wisdom. It is my goal to be a mental health interpreter in the future.”

Ortega has been a participant in OSU-OKC’s Project SOAR, and director Deborah Morgan said she’s done a great job utilizing the program’s services.

“She is an outstanding, outgoing and motivated student who came to us as a first-generation student who needed guidance in college,” Morgan said. “Since she will be graduating soon, she also utilized the program for transferring assistance and learning how to navigate other institutions.”

Ortega said that sign language interpreters may not be the first profession to come to mind when thinking of mental health, but they are crucial to the process.

“Communication really is the first step, so I think to have an interpreter that understands from a human perspective and also specializes in the field can make a world of difference,” she said.

For Ortega, her background played into her interest in the field. When Ortega was 13, her mother died after a lifelong battle with addiction and mental illness. 

“My ultimate goal is to help people like her and like the younger me, who did not know how to deal with a situation like this,” Ortega said. “My experiences with mental health don’t cause me to shy away from it; I believe that it is something that needs to be discussed so that solutions can be reached.”

The 18th annual Mental Health Interpreter Training Conference is scheduled to run Aug. 3-7 at Troy University in Montgomery, Alabama.

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For more information:

Nick Trougakos, OSU-OKC – nick.trougakos@okstate.edu – (405) 945-9196

About Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City

Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City (OSU-OKC) is part of the modern land-grant system of Oklahoma State University. OSU-OKC is a two-year public institution, offering more than 40 degrees and certificate options. Through quality education, a supportive environment, leadership training and service opportunities, OSU-OKC trains students to work and educates them to lead. OSU-OKC graduates are found throughout the community serving as police officers, firefighters, nurses, teachers, healthcare professionals and business owners. More information is available at www.osuokc.edu.