Alumni Night for Glendon School of Translation offers chance to network

Alumni and students of the Glendon School of Translation came together April 1 to network and hear news about the industry from practicing professionals at its Alumni Night 2011, as well as celebrate the school’s recently retired administrative secretary, Aileen Rakocevic.

Welcoming the alumni was Andrew Clifford, chair of the School of Translation. “When you reach the end of school, it is a big step into unfamiliar territory,” he said. “The good news is that the world of translation is relatively small and it is easy to network and to make connections.”

 Gabriel Huard (left) and Andrew CliffordRight: Gabriel Huard (left) and Andrew Clifford

Gabriel Huard, director of the federal Translation Bureau’s Terminology Standardization Directorate, part of Public Works & Government Services Canada, delivered the evening’s keynote address, bringing news about the terminology field. “Our directorate’s mandate is to furnish terminology to the public service, enabling its members to communicate adequately with the public,” said Huard. “Our terminology bank makes it possible for the federal government to use clear, standardized and consistent terminology for use within Canada and internationally.”

Huard expressed great pride in the Translation Bureau’s Termium, Canada’s unique online language portal and writing and editing tool – the second largest terminology bank in the world, after the European Union’s. Available to the general public free of charge since 2009, it currently receives about 75 million queries per year.

From left, Jean-Marie Brouillette, a Glendon translation grad, Gabriel Huard, Andrew Clifford and translation grads Danièle Covelo and Jenn CookLeft: From left, Jean-Marie Brouillette, a Glendon translation grad, Gabriel Huard, Andrew Clifford and translation grads Danièle Covelo and Jenn Cook

Three Glendon alumni working as translators also spoke. Danièle Covelo (BA ’02, MA ’08), is currently manager of linguistic services at Johnson & Johnson, Inc. She said the translation side of the pharmaceutical industry is stimulating, with constant changes and new discoveries. But today’s working reality, she added, is that fewer translators have to do increased workloads.

Jean-Marie Brouillette (MA ’05), a Glendon translation grad, is a translator and reviser at Sears Canada with 23 years in the field. “When I started, everyone worked in private offices; these have now been traded for cubicles with lots of activity all around, making it harder to concentrate.” He said proficiency in translating technologies is a must.

The third speaker was Jenn Cook (BA ’05, MA ’10), who is a Glendon translation grad and an Anglophone translator at Fédération des Caisses Desjardins in Montreal, the largest cooperative financial group in Canada. Cook encouraged new graduates to apply for any jobs in their field, even if they don’t have all the requirements. “Caisses Desjardins does seven million words of translation per year with 90 per cent into English, an outstanding opportunity for Anglophone translators.”

Retiree Rakocevic, whose career was celebrated during the event, joined Glendon College in 1985, and from 1986 served four different directors of the Glendon School of Translation as administrative secretary.

Aileen Rakocevic (left) with Glendon Principal Kenneth McRobertsRight: Aileen Rakocevic (left) with Glendon Principal Kenneth McRoberts

In 1998, she was the recipient of Glendon’s Jacques Aubin-Roy Staff Award, named after the person who had originally hired her to Glendon, in appreciation of service and dedication to the University beyond all requirements and expectations. In 2005, she received the York University President’s Ronald Kent Medalfor her personal commitment and dedication to her department, her college, the students and alumni.

In a warm testimonial, Professor Emerita and Senior Scholar Rosalind Gill, director of the School of Translation from 2002 to 2006, said, “In Sunday school, when I was a little girl, we were told that you should be good, but I didn’t really believe that it was possible to be that good, in that shiny, golden way, until I got to know Aileen. She embodies the qualities of courtesy, kindness, legendary patience and the notion of doing unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

Submitted by Marika Kemeny, Glendon communications officer