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ROSEANN DUEÑAS GONZÁLEZ

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Birth Date: 1948
Birth Place: Phoenix, AZ

Honored By

Donor names:   Lauretta Adelo
Frank Almeida
Patricia Anders
Davida Arambula
Brenda Armenta
Robert & Maria Arvizu-Jakubicki
Hector Camacho
Susana Carman
Robert Carney
John Bichsel & Yvette Citizen
Carolyn Cluff
Valerie Conforti
Michael Curtis
Rosemary Dann
John Aubrey Davis
Ramon M. del Villar
Gilbert Dueñas
Oralia Dueñas Galas
Carole Edelsky
Joshua Elliot
Jaime Fatas
Eugenia Favela
Frank Felix
Celestino Fernandez
Paul Gatto
Christine González
Robert S. González
Larry Evers & Barbara Grygutis
Greg & Vicki Hart
Shirley & Tom Harwood
Robert & Patricia Houston
Ingrid Jordan
National Association of Judicial Interpreters & Translators
Richard Kinkade
Jon Leeth
Adela Licona
Marisa González & Ricardo Llamas-Vidales
Bilingual Citizen LLC Interpreting Services
Richard Martinez
Carol Myers
David Myers
Kirsten Nigro
Elizabeth Paulette
Frank & Leyla Cattan Pialorsi
Donna & John Rabuck
Irene Radillo
Gloria S. Ramchandani
Roberto González & Sarah Rapawy
Cynthia Roat
Stephanie & Ryan Sandell
Susana S. Sawrey
Beatriz B. Senor
Gail Staples
Briana Swift
Las Adelitas Tucson
Margaret van Naerssen
Victoria Vasquez
Date submitted: January 23, 2013
Gift: Brick Paver - large
Location on plaza map: B4
Areas of Achievement: Education, Higher Education, Sociolinguistics, Language Policy, Court interpretation Policy and Protocol, Language Proficiency Testing, Second Language Pedagogy, and Activism
 
BIOGRAPHY - Roseann Dueñas González, Ph.D.

Dr. Roseann Dueñas González, Professor of English at the University of Arizona, is a native Arizonan, born in Phoenix, who has the distinction of being the first female Mexican American Full Professor at the University of Arizona. She founded three unique programs at the University which all share the same goal: to provide fair and equal access to underrepresented persons in all aspects of U.S. society. Dr. González is the founder and director of the Writing Skills Improvement Program (1979-2012), the Agnese Haury Institute for Interpretation, with the generous support of philanthropist Agnese Haury (1983-2012), and the National Center for Interpretation Testing, Research and Policy (1983-2012). All of these notable programs carry out the land grant mission of the University of Arizona and the larger mission of social justice in the United States. These programs have created the field of interpretation and opened the door to thousands of Latinos and other underrepresented students at the University of Arizona. Dr. González’ dynamism, stamina, and courage are her greatest legacy. Her inability to take no for an answer regarding the needs of marginalized and otherwise excluded persons is the trait that has marked her professional life as a researcher, a teacher, and an activist.

Born in Phoenix, Arizona to Maria Luisa and Jesús Dueñas, Roseann attended Grace Court and Whittier Schools, North Phoenix High School, and the University of Arizona. Like many other families escaping the political and economic hardships of post-revolutionary Mexico, Roseann’s grandparents immigrated to Ajo, Arizona, where her grandfather and uncle worked in the mine. Leaving behind their small, but productive working ranch between Pitiquito and Altar, Sonora Mexico, the family stayed in Ajo until the economic possibilities of moving to the big city of Phoenix beckoned. In a Model T Ford, the family moved to Litchfield, where her grandfather became a foreman on a large ranch. Grandmother Victoria died of pneumonia and, with no other available recourse, Roseann’s mother Maria Luisa, 11 years old, was taken out of school to tend to the two younger children. This inspired a deep devotion to formal education which Roseann’s mother passed on to Roseann. After a strictly chaperoned courtship under Grandfather Lorenzo Sazueta, Maria Luisa married Jesus Dueñas, and four children were born: Oralia, Gilbert, Gloria, and Roseann, Roseann being the youngest of the four, born in 1948.

Roseann’s mother Maria Luisa bought the leviathan 1948 Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary and began teaching herself English when Roseann was about 3. Roseann remembers her mother, with her steaming cups of coffee, diligently reading the newspaper every day with her dictionary beside her, searching for the meaning of the words she came across. When her mother wasn’t consulting the dictionary, Roseann used it as a bench, accompanying her mother in her daily quest to conquer the English language. Her mother was so devoted to English that she tried to speak to Roseann only in English and declared her wish for Roseann to be a teacher of English when Roseann was born, promising herself that this child would not be spanked for speaking Spanish in school as her other children were. Thankfully, Roseann’s father told her stories every night in Spanish about la llorona, toothless brujas, and other phantasmagorical figures, regardless of what her mother said about “English only.” From her father she learned Spanish and a bit of a rebellious spirit, and from her mother she learned both languages, and especially a love of words and their plain and specialized meanings, the joy of learning and sharing ideas, and the ideals of social responsibility and social justice. Students together, Roseann went to Kindergarten and her mother attended ESL classes at the Friendly House, a cultural institution that is as important to newcomers now in Phoenix as it was then in the early 1950’s. Together, Roseann and her mother made numerous visits to the Phoenix Public Library and read the books of Mario Pei – the great popularizer of ideas in an accessible format to adult learners. It was no wonder that Roseann learned to love school and all her teachers, as her mother regarded school with a religious reverence and questioned Roseann on a daily basis about what she had learned, so that she could learn it too. Roseann excelled in school and received numerous awards and scholarships when she graduated from high school, was a member of the National Honor Society, and graduated in the top 1% of her class.

The first in her family to pursue higher education, Roseann was one of the few Mexican Americans in attendance at the University of Arizona in 1966. An English Education major, she graduated cum laude from the University of Arizona, had the distinction of induction into the Women’s Honorary Society, Mortar Board, and was honored in Who’s Who Among Students in Colleges and Universities. She completed her student teaching at Pueblo High School, where she was inspired to continue her graduate education to begin to improve secondary school teaching for Latino and other minority students. Roseann continued her studies at the University of Arizona, where she obtained a Master’s degree in English as a Second Language in the Department of English. In 1972, at the age of 24, she was appointed Lecturer at Arizona State University, where she taught composition and the English Education practicum for student teachers in Phoenix high schools, and established and taught in the Writing Clinic, a University supplemental instruction program for athletes. In 1973, she was recruited back to the University of Arizona Department of English where she was appointed Lecturer in English and began teaching in the writing program and the Center for English as a Second Language.

In 1976, she was appointed Assistant Director of the Freshman English program, serving under Professor Charles E. Davis, Director of Freshman English. Her early teaching at ASU and UA and interaction with underrepresented students inspired Roseann’s lifelong interest in helping minority students develop their writing and thinking skills to meet their intellectual potentials, assisting university administrators and instructors to recognize the talents of these students, and creating a supportive environment for students of color at the University of Arizona. In her work, Roseann had the privilege of working with student leaders, many of whom were the first in their families to attend college. These outstanding students completed not only their undergraduate degrees, but also pursued professional and graduate education, and became the bedrock of leadership in Tucson and other communities. In 1979, in response to the concerns of the Mexican American and other underrepresented community members, President John Schaefer and Frank Felix, Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs, with the approval of Charles E. Davis, assisted Roseann in founding the Writing Skills Improvement Program, the first academic support program demonstrating the ability to improve retention and graduation rates among this population at a statistically significant level.

Roseann is not only an educator, but also a passionate leader who created culturally and linguistically appropriate methodologies and techniques that inspired and encouraged the talents of students who were often deprived of educational success. She was a leader among teachers of English across the state and became President of the Arizona English Teachers’ Association, initiating her lifelong professional leadership at the national level with the Conference on College Composition and Communication, where she served as a member of the Executive Committee and committee chair for several years. She was chair of the Latino Caucus in the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) for many years, bringing the voices of Latino children and teachers to the fore. Among many leadership positions, Roseann was the Director of the Commission on the English Language for several years as well as the founder of the Rainbow Strand, the NCTE committee established to ensure the inclusion of topics and speakers addressing minority literatures and classroom research on students of color. After 25 years of service to this distinguished national organization, Roseann became the first and only Mexican American woman in the history of the organization to receive the NCTE Distinguished Service Award in 1999.

In 1974, shortly after being recruited back to the University of Arizona, Roseann began her doctoral studies in the newly formed University of Arizona interdisciplinary program in linguistics and completed her dissertation in 1977. In 1977, she was promoted to the rank of Assistant Professor of English, and became one of the six women professors in the Department of English out of a faculty of 90. She began teaching courses in the Master’s Program in English as a Second Language, which she directed from 1979 until 1989.

In 1989, to fulfill the need for doctoral level education, she co-founded the Second Language Acquisition and Teaching doctoral program. Most importantly, she founded the Agnese Haury Institute, with the generous support of Agnese Haury in 1983, and directed it until 2012. In this unique, groundbreaking program, Dr. González pioneered rapid acquisition training of interpreters that has become a global training model and has produced two generations of professionally trained exceptional interpreters and interpreter trainers throughout the United States. The Agnese Haury Institute is world renowned and has trained interpreters from as far away as Chile, Spain, Mexico, Australia, the Philippines, and from every state of the United States. Through this groundbreaking Institute, she has trained over 2,000 interpreters to date, who have become the foundation of the profession of court interpretation. In 1993, she established the National Center for Interpretation Testing, Research and Policy to house the Agnese Haury Institute and the many testing and other research projects and grants related to translation and interpretation for which she served as Principal Investigator and Director.

Roseann’s research and service agenda was set by her dissertation study, which she conducted in the Superior Court of Arizona, Pima County in 1976, when the late Judge Ben Birdsall commissioned a test that monolingual English speakers could administer that would tell him when an interpreter needed to be appointed. Dr. González made that study the topic of her 1977 doctoral dissertation: The Design and Validation of an Evaluative Procedure to Diagnose the Aural-Oral Competency of a Spanish-Speaking Person in the Justice System. The results of Dr. González’ doctoral dissertation became the empirical basis for interpreter testing—her work moved the field from subjective to objective testing, which was eventually adopted as the foundation of the Federal Court Interpreter Certification Examination (FCICE).

As the primary consultant to the Administrative Office of the United States Courts (AOUSC) in the implementation of the Court Interpreters Act of 1978, Dr. González was principal in the creation of the federal interpreter testing model, which is the gold standard for interpreter performance testing. In 1981, Dr. González’ expert testimony was salient in the Seltzer v. Foley (1981) opinion upholding the validity of the Federal Court Interpreter Certification Examination (FCICE). Dr. González, the acknowledged national expert, then won the prestigious Federal Court Interpreter Certification Evaluation Project bid from 1985 through 2000. During this time period, Dr González’ work in the evaluation and training of interpreters set the standards for the emerging field of court interpretation.

From 1985 to 2000, under the auspices of the AOUSC, Dr. González directed the Federal Court Interpreter Certification Project at the University of Arizona, developing and administering the FCICE, assuring the competency of interpreters in federal court for Spanish, Navajo, and Haitian Creole speakers. In this period, Dr. González’ work in the evaluation and training of interpreters set the standards for the entire field of court interpretation, and through her efforts, court interpreters gained recognition as true professionals. The testing model Dr. González designed and developed has greatly influenced interpreter testing and has been adopted by every state court interpreter test created since 1980.

Dr. González’ work encompasses the fields of Linguistics, English as a Second Language, Language Policy, Education of Minorities, and Interpreter Theory, Policy, Education, and Professional Credentialing. She also is an active expert witness, and has testified or produced expert reports in numerous federal, state, and municipal trials. Her trial work includes landmark interpreter cases such as Seltzer v. Foley (1979) and El Rescate Legal Services, Inc. et al. v. Executive Office of Immigration Review (1988), among others. She has served as an expert witness in numerous civil and criminal cases involving language discrimination and language access, working with the Department of Justice, the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission, the Legal Aid Society Employment Law Center, the Southern Poverty Law Center, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), the Mexican Capital Legal Assistance Program, the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund (PRLDEF), public defender offices, and legal aid societies.

In 2003, Dr. González initiated a new academic program at the University of Arizona and singular in the nation. The program is open to all students, but targeted at providing higher education opportunities for Latino students to develop their native language and cultural assets and to fulfill the workforce demand for interpreters and translators. With the help of a national expert panel and with the support of grants awarded by the U.S. Department of Education Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE), Dr. González developed the curriculum and course materials to establish the University of Arizona undergraduate program in Translation and Interpretation. This very successful program has at its core the idea of preserving home languages and building on that knowledge a professional level of language proficiency in two languages. Student who exit this program will have the language skills necessary to work in fields as diverse in the criminal justice system as bilingual lawyers, interpreters and translators, or other bilingual positions. This pipeline will also produce bilinguals ready to serve institutions such as medicine, business, education, and literary fields, among others. This degree will certainly become the new mandatory credential in the field of interpreting and translation. Under a series of grants from FIPSE, supplemented by Agnese Haury and the University of Arizona, she and a team of national experts created and pilot tested a set of translation and interpretation curricular units with the objectives of improving academic language proficiency in both Spanish and English, introducing interpretation and translation to secondary and postsecondary students, and attracting underrepresented Latino students to higher education. These academic materials proved highly successful and are currently being tested on a national basis. In this work, Dr. González has turned her attention to building an educational pipeline from high school through the Master's level that will culminate in higher education degrees for interpreters and translators.

Dr. González has written and lectured extensively in the areas of language policy, judicial language policy, specialized interpreter training, interpreter testing, language testing, minority education, and first and second language acquisition and instruction. Her work on interpreter theory, policy, education, and testing of interpreters has made her a world renowned expert in the field of interpretation and translation. She is the primary editor (with Ildiko Melis) of Language Ideologies: Critical Perspectives on the Official English Movement, Volume 1 (2000) and Volume II (2001), both published by NCTE and Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Dr. González’ pioneering efforts in language access and interpreter testing and training have led to research, policy, educational, and testing initiatives with numerous entities, including the U.S. Department of Justice Executive Office of Immigration Review; the National Institute for Disability and Rehabilitation Research; the State of Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services Office for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services; the City of San Francisco Fire Department; the states of New Mexico, Arizona, New Jersey, California, and Washington; private entities such as Kaiser Permanente and the Alameda Alliance for Health, hospitals, school districts, and many others. Over the course of her career, her varied efforts have all been focused on advancing equal access to all social institutions, the protection of civil rights for language minorities, and creating language policies that serve the language needs of private and public entities without violating the rights of any group.

Moreover, she advised the U.S. District Courts on interpreter policy and practice-policies and practices that have been adopted through the United States at every court level. In 1991, with research support provided by Agnese Haury, Dr. González and her colleagues Victoria Vasquez and Holly Mikkelson wrote the text which is recognized as the seminal work in the field of court interpretation: Fundamentals of Court Interpretation: Theory, Practice, and Policy. Fundamentals has been adopted by interpreter training programs throughout the country and is a basic text in many international programs as well. Every federal and state court uses Fundamentals as a standard of informed practice. Her body of work has influenced the practice of not only interpreters and translators in the field of law, but also the fields of conference interpreting, medical interpreting, community interpreting, and escort interpreting. The 2012 second edition was published in September and promises to continue standardizing the field of court interpreter practice and guiding judges and attorneys in their work with LEP defendants, witnesses, and victims, as well as how best to utilize the services of interpreters in the courtroom and in any ancillary court related event.

When Roseann was a freshman at the UA, she met her future husband, Bob Gonzalez, a graduate teaching assistant in the Electrical Engineering Department. One of Roseann’s UA classmates, Margaret Soltero, introduced Roseann to her Uncle Bobby. That was the beginning of a three year courtship and 42 years of marriage. Roseann was engaged as a junior and married one month after her UA graduation. Bob graduated with his Master’s in Electrical Engineering and made his career as an electrical engineer at Burr Brown Research Corporation. He had the privilege of working there until it was bought by Texas Instruments. Roseann and Bob are life partners who have devoted themselves to their work, the larger community, and their family, committing themselves to the education of their children in Amphitheater schools, Catalina Foothills schools, Salpointe, Duke, Stanford, and Harvard.

Her two children, Roberto and Marisa González, are gifted individuals who have gained their own sense of social responsibility and commitment to social justice and equity. Dr. Marisa González is an OB/GYN who graduated from Harvard Medical School in 2008; she completed her residency at the University of Arizona Medical Center in 2012 and is now a practicing physician in San Diego, California, serving a diverse and limited- and non-English speaking population. Her husband, Ricardo J. Llamas-Vidales, is a graduate of Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering. He is currently enrolled in the Master’s in Business Administration program at the University of California, San Diego.

Roberto José González is the Deputy General Counsel of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Washington, D.C. A graduate of Stanford Law School, Roberto was Editor of the Law Review at Stanford, graduated second in his class, and served as law clerk to Justice Guido Calabresi of the Second Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals. He also had the privilege of clerking for Associate Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens and the honor of serving as Associate White House Counsel to President Barack Obama. Roberto is married to Sarah Gerber Rapawy, who is an attorney covering Africa for the U.S. Agency for International Development. They have just had a daughter, Adriana Rapawy González, on September, 27, 2012—the newest addition to the González family, making Roseann a proud grandmother for the first time.