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Devon Asmus

 Acknowledgement to Mentor:

"Dr. Zukosky has been an integral part to my success in McNair, and as a student at Eastern Washington University.  His guidance and mentorship, as a professor and a mentor, has pushed me to not only write and think more critically, but to understand and value what I can contribute to the academic world. Dr. Zukosky's belief in me as a student has given me the confidence  to pursue graduate school; he has helped make my dreams of obtaining a PhD in Anthropology a reality.  I am eternally grateful for everything he has done."






Michael ZukoskyProfessor, Department of Geology and Anthropology, EWU

TRiO McNair Research Internship:________________________________________________

Between the Two: Investigating Medical Interpretation of Disease across Language and Culture
How do medical interpreters deal with the culturally specific concept of a disease across language and culture in clinical encounters in the United States?  This project explores how medical interpreters compensate for culturally specific conceptualizations in a source language while maintaining fidelity in target languages during interpretation in the Spokane, WA area and tests existing theory provided by general translation and interpretation studies. In an I.R.B approved qualitative study with medical interpreters working with non-Indo-European languages in the Spokane area health community, I highlight interpreters' own narrative explanations of the process of interpretation.  Furthermore, I evaluate the degree to which those explanations support or refute theories in translation and interpretation studies related to the notion of linguistic incommensurability, distinct languages often have culturally-specific vocabulary that is difficult or impossible to translate and interpret. Preliminary results from the interviews indicate that medical interpreters interpret American culturally specific ideas of disease which lack an equivalent in the target language by using that language's terms for the shared, physical referents of English anatomical and biomedical terms.  My findings have implications for the development of new theory within translation studies because they show how conceptual fidelity of vocabulary should not necessarily be the goal within medical interpretation so much as the physical referents to which those words refer to, a theory I term "referential fidelity."    

Conference Presentations: ______________________________________________________

  • 29th Annual National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR), Cheney, WA (2015)
  • 23rd Annual MAEOPP National McNair Research Conference and Graduate School Fair, Delavan, WI (2014)
  • 3rd Annual Strategic Plan Conference: Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program, Cheney WA (2014)

Honors and Awards:____________________________________________________________

  • McNair Scholar Summer Internship, Awarded $2,800. The goal of the McNair Program is to increase the attainment of PhD degrees by students from underrepresented segments of society. (2014)

Graduate School Acceptances:_____________________________________________________

  • State University New York at Buffalo - PhD program in Anthropology
  • University of San Diego - Master of Applied Anthropology Program
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