About MasterWord Institute
MasterWord Institute supports your professional development through continuing education for language professionals in a wide range of settings. Experts have designed every course to equip you with the tools and insights you need to excel in your career.
MasterWord Services is a vicarious trauma-informed organization in accordance with the principles and best practices of the Department of Justice Office for Victims of Crime. We’re fully committed to increasing awareness about and comprehensively addressing vicarious trauma in the language services industry.
Certified Deaf Interpreter
M. Cody Francisco holds the position as MasterWord’s Senior Advisor for Language Access Solutions and is a Certified Deaf Interpreter (CDI) in the Houston, Texas area. He attended Oklahoma State University for his Bachelor’s in Human Resource: Organizational Development. He also attended Rochester Institute of Technology and obtained his Bachelors of Social Work and Master’s in Multidisciplinary Studies with a focus in Deaf Studies and Counseling.
Prior to joining MasterWord, he held leadership positions for a large Video Relay Service provider, Interpreting Agencies, and was a former representative for Region IV of the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf. Cody carries over 16 years of experience in the industry as well as being an adjunct professor for several Interpreter Training Programs in Oklahoma and Texas. He has provided numerous of educational training for legal advocacy and solutions for effective communication, including in Emergency Management Training and Medical Interpreting. Cody has been awarded as a Certified Deaf Interpreter (CDI) by the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID – Certification #49098).
Certified Healthcare Interpreter
Gabriela Siebach is a Certified Healthcare Interpreter (CHI™) who has accumulated more than 15 years of professional experience in linguistics, and has spearheaded the development of multiple training, mentorship, and assessment programs. She holds a graduate degree from the world renown Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey and is currently serving on the National Council on Interpreting in Health Care Board of Director and the Policy, Education & Research Committee.
CHI, LCI Master
Graciela Zozaya brings with her over 30 years of experience in language access, with specific focus in the healthcare and legal fields, including her roles as a patient advocate and interpreter for Texas Children’s Hospital, Manager of the Language Access Program at Harris Health System, interpreter and translator for court proceedings, and a manager of the translation department for Lopez Negrete Communications, the largest Hispanic-focused advertising agency in the US. Graciela has also created her own training tracks for medical and court interpreters and has been providing training for the past 12 years. She has been invited to teach some of her own training courses at the University of Houston – Downtown campus.
Active in the professional community, Graciela served as Director of Professional Development for the Texas Association of Healthcare Interpreters and Translators (TAHIT), as Treasurer and later as Vice President of the board of the Houston Interpreters and Translators Association (HITA), and held the positions of Director, Vice Chair and Interim Chair for the National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters (NBCMI).
Originally from Mexico City, Graciela has lived in the Houston area for over 25 years. She is a Certified Medical Interpreter, a Master Licensed Court Interpreter and an ATA Certified Translator and is fluent in both English and Spanish.
Training and Assessments Specialist
Linda Golley was raised in Germany, Peru, and Mexico. Upon arriving in the United States in 1974 she became involved in international refugee resettlement. Throughout her 40-year career in healthcare she has had the pleasure of serving patients and families from the myriad immigrant communities in gateway cities on the West Coast. As a community activist, she has been honored to mentor many individuals from very diverse backgrounds as they struggled to integrate successfully into the US landscape. She has strong personal connections with the Palestinian, Russian Jewish, Andean, Afghan, Syrian, Chinese, and Somali communities.
As an outgrowth of her healthcare and resettlement work, Ms. Golley creates and presents training about cultural competence for health care professionals and for social workers. She also creates and presents technical training classes for healthcare interpreters and for other health care staff and providers. Her present position is as Training and Development Specialist for MasterWord Services.
The author has a Master’s degree in Organizational Management, and a B.A. in International Relations. She began working as a Medical Assistant in 1977 in Internal Medicine in the San Francisco Bay Area. From that time, she assisted Spanish- and Russian-speaking immigrant neighbors as an informal interpreter and translator. She proceeded to manage medical practices, then community clinics, then university medicine clinics, then managed the Interpreter Services program for the University of Washington Medical Center for 15 years. From 2018 to 2020 she developed the program to support patient access for Deaf and blind clients at Swedish Medical Center in Seattle. Throughout all of these healthcare positions Ms. Golley carried out direct patient care and support. She was a founding member of the UWMC Patient Education Committee and received numerous awards for making healthcare information accessible to patients. One of her favorite projects was collaborating with Post-Partum nurses to create a culturally comfortable inpatient experience for Somali and Latina new moms.
The author has developed a strong new model of cultural competence. This new model overturns and rejects the previous model of generalizing about people’s values based on national origin, religion, or any other factor. The new model insists on a fresh cultural handshake for every client, every patient. The care provider’s job is to ask the patient about her values, beliefs, and goals in order to help her to achieve them. Ms. Golley teaches this empowering model as part of her classes on caring for mental health patients, reproductive health patients, and patients at end-of-life.
Ms. Golley has served on various boards dedicated to health care language access and cultural competence. She participated in the University of Washington School of Medicine’s development of a cultural competence curriculum for medical students.
President & CEO
Ludmila “Mila” Golovine has been an advocate for victims and survivors of Human Trafficking since the start of her interpreting career. Golovine volunteers for and supports various projects to inspire, promote, and develop solutions to end sexual abuse, exploitation, and violence against children, particularly those related to stopping the exploitation of minors online. Golovine actively participates as a member of the United Against Human Trafficking Coalition and is part of the Coalition survivor services committee where she participated in creating Guidelines for the Provision of Interpretation and/or Translation Services for Trafficked Persons and Survivors. She helps victims and survivors through her support of the World Childhood Foundation, and work with the Rothko Chapel as a member of the Board of Directors.
As a professional interpreter, Golovine is familiar with the toll interpreting for these victims may have on the interpreters themselves. Golovine, therefore, works tirelessly to help promote health and wellness to those in the language services industry and raise awareness about the experiences of human trafficking victims and their language access needs.
Golovine and MasterWord are committed to providing trauma-informed services and have launched training and tools for language professionals as well as trauma-informed providers who work with language professionals to foster a partnership that creates an environment conducive to healing and avoid re-traumatization of victims and survivors.
Certified Sign Language Interpreter
Ryan Foley is a nationally recognized speaker and an ally to professionals striving for growth and success. For more than 15 years Ryan has worked as an interpreter, spoken nationally on communication, interpreter ethics and processes, and social dynamics across many fields. As a nationally certified sign language interpreter, Ryan has mentored and trained hundreds of interpreters and helped them become top level professionals in their own right.
Holly Mikkelson has been working as a court interpreter for over 40 years, mostly at the state level, but she is also certified to interpret in the federal courts. In addition to being federally certified, she’s also certified by the state of California. She is a translator, certified by the American Translators Association to translate from Spanish to English, and she specializes in legal translation. In addition, she has taught translating and interpreting for over 40 years in the Graduate School of Translation, Interpretation and Language Education at what is now the Middlebury Institute, used to be the Monterey Institute of International Studies, and she has written a number of books, including the Acebo training manuals and Introduction to Court Interpreting, as well as co-authoring Fundamentals of Court Interpretation: Theory, Policy and Practice.
Translator & Interpreter
Valeria Delmar is a highly qualified translator and interpreter. She has worked in both translation and interpretation since 2004. In 2010, she received her Master of Arts in Translation and Interpretation from the prestigious Monterey Institute of International Studies. Since that time, she has provided interpretation and translation for the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office and several other federal government clients. In addition to being a freelance interpreter, Valeria designs and teaches new interpreter trainings for MasterWord Services’ interpreters and clients, among them the Introduction to Simultaneous Interpretation.
BEI Advanced Certified American Sign Language Interpreter
Whitney Gissell is a BEI Advanced level certified American Sign Language interpreter and the former Manager for Compliance and Quality Assurance for MW. Her degrees in Psychology and Neuroscience from Texas A&M University laid the foundation of knowledge upon which she drew on during her experiences as the first staff American Sign Language Interpreter at the world-renowned MD Anderson Cancer Center in the Texas Medical Center. During her professional experience, Whitney has acquired deep familiarity with the opportunities and challenges of medical interpreting leading her to develop a collection of training courses for healthcare interpreters and translators that she has presented at forums across the country while she held the position of Training and Development Specialist for MasterWord. She has served as President of the Greater Houston Interpreters for the Deaf, on the board of Texas Association of Healthcare Interpreters and Translators and held a seat on the Advisory Committee for Qualifications for Healthcare Translators and Interpreters established by the Texas Legislature.
Certified Healthcare Interpreter
Mauricio Suarez is a Certified Healthcare Interpreter (CHI) and has over seven years of experience in the field of medical interpretation. He has worked extensively at many renowned hospitals in the Texas Medical Center such as MD Anderson Cancer Center, Memorial Hermann Hospital, Methodist Hospital, among many others since joining MasterWord in 2011. Before joining the company, he started his career as a medical Spanish interpreter working at Ben Taub and LBJ County hospitals in Houston, Texas. He was over three year of experience as an interpreter trainer for MasterWord’s 40-Hour Intensive Medical Training Program, and is one of the developers and curators of the Online version for this program.