Did you know that NOTIS provides financial aid to its members and colleagues every year in the form of training and conference scholarships?
In 2017, NOTIS president Elise Kruidenier established the society’s Scholarship Committee. Since then, we’ve set aside an annual budget of $5000 for this purpose alone.
These are reciprocal funds: they come to us in the form of membership dues and event registration fees, and we then return them to our community in a number of ways—chief among them, with our scholarship program. It is our responsibility—and our pleasure—to support our colleagues in their efforts to serve the community as best they can.
Twice a year (in the spring and fall), NOTIS accepts applications for two different kinds of scholarships:
While the conference scholarships are only available to NOTIS members (anywhere in the U.S.), the training scholarships are open to non-members as well (in the five states NOTIS represents: WA, OR, ID, MO, and AL) with the added bonus of a one-year free membership. Scholarships are not available to NOTIS board members.
Earlier this year, NOTIS’s Scholarships Committee surveyed scholarship recipients from 2020 and 2021 about their experiences. Among them were translators and interpreters of varying levels of experience working in such languages as Spanish, Portuguese, Vietnamese, Hindi, Urdu, Punjabi, and Chinese.
They used their scholarship earnings to attend a wide variety of useful courses, webinars, and conferences, including but not limited to:
The Japan Interpreting and Translation Forum (JACI)
American Translators Association Conference (#ATA62)
How to Succeed as a Freelance Interpreter or Translator
Human Plus Machine Translation
Exam prep courses (e.g., FCICE and De la Mora)
These scholarship recipients said that they had selected the above events hoping to, for example, “expand work opportunities”; improve their understanding of idioms or terminology; gain “a deeper understanding of how to become a court interpreter”; improve their organization skills; earn CE credits; and, generally, “stay current” in their fields.
Their feedback was overwhelmingly positive! One conference attendee recalled a “triumphant event,” complete with “rich, educational content” and excellent networking opportunities. Several of those who participated in courses and other trainings also mentioned networking as a perk (though some were eager to return to in-person gatherings; breakout rooms are great, but they’re no substitution for the real thing).
Many also celebrated the quality of the courses they attended, speaking highly of the presenters and the valuable tools, techniques, and personal feedback they had provided. “My experience,” one said, “was uplifting to say the least.”
Here’s one testimonial from 2021, which we feel obliged to reproduce in full:
The networking experience was fabulous because I met other professionals seeking for similar information and the exchange was educational for me. The best part was that I was inspired to use my skills at a professional level in community interpreting. The webinar with Judit Marin was an eye opener for me as a professional to set competitive rates. That webinar changed my perspective about the business in such a way that I feel more confident about speaking with clients and seeing myself as the language expert in the conversation. I appreciate NOTIS so much for giving me the scholarship last year. My funds were low. Though funds are still at minimum, but not at zero as they were through this pandemic. I have grown professionally as a result. I was just starting out putting myself out there as a translator/interpreter, but being part of the NOTIS group through the scholarship program and attending the webinars provided by NOTIS was a big chance for me to discover I can be a business owner. Thanks, NOTIS!
We at NOTIS are endlessly impressed by our members and colleagues in the fields of T&I. In the words of Pinar Mertan, NOTIS board member and chair of the Scholarship Committee: “We are truly proud to support you in your efforts, and we look forward to continuing to provide these services in the years to come.” You are, as it were, our raison d'être.
NOTIS’s Spring Scholarship Round will open in April, 2022. Any NOTIS member or colleague in the states served by NOTIS is welcome—and encouraged—to apply. All applicants are asked to select a translation or interpretation-related conference or educational program and to explain in their applications: 1) why they wish to attend the conference or course, and 2) how they will give back to NOTIS and the greater T&I community.
Stay tuned for the official announcement!
Click here to read more about our Scholarship Program. And don’t hesitate to contact us with questions. You can reach our Scholarship Committee directly by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.