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Professional Profiles

Welcome students, professors, staff, and alumni!  Here you can find interviews with professionals in the field of language and international health.  These interviews include a discussion of academic and job opportunities each individual has taken on, both nationally and internationally, as well as other interesting topics. 


Wanda Taylor

Wanda Taylor, BS, BSN, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Accelerated Second Degree Nursing Program at Clemson University. As a nurse, she is a client and patient advocate who is passionate about helping underserved populations. This passion led to her research interests in aged and Hispanic populations. Dr. Taylor’s nursing career began in Georgia where the surrounding counties had high Hispanic populations and many day laborers.

For L&IH majors who are interested in nursing, Dr. Taylor highly recommends the profession, not only for its flexibility and job security, but also for the opportunities it allows for personal and professional growth. The Clemson Nursing website lists the prerequisites that students should take a look at, as well as the program’s curriculum. There are two options available to students: transferring into the program as an undergraduate or graduating and then entering the nursing program, both of which are pre-licensure. Transferring into the program can be competitive as seats are limited, so Dr. Taylor stresses the importance of having a strong academic application along with strong references. Students who are interested in entering after graduating with their baccalaureate in L&IH can enter as accelerated second degree students. That program is primarily run out of Greenville and the student will graduate with a second baccalaureate degree. Interested students are encouraged to consult the Clemson Nursing website.

Dr. Taylor also gives advice to students who are looking for research opportunities. She encourages students to contact their professors who are working on projects that may be of interest to them and offer to participate. Joining a Creative Inquiry is another great way to participate in research. Dr. Taylor suggests that students attend and submit their own posters or abstracts to conferences, find a mentor, and try to work towards getting publications. These are excellent ways for students to practice the research skills they have learned in the classroom.

Dr. Taylor is working with an exciting new Creative Inquiry that involves a community-based participatory research framework to improve the health of the community. Her group is partnering with a community in Greenville and has established a community-academic partnership. The first phase of the project is assessment which will include creating a community asset map in order for the community to identify the area they are most interested in focusing on. If you would like to learn more about or possibly participate in Dr. Taylor’s Creative Inquiry, its CRN is 19364 (NURS 3980, 005).

Please contact Dr. Taylor at with additional questions. 



Daniel Holcombe, M.A., had been interpreting for family and friends for over 20 years when he received his first constructive interpreter training in 2006. He later served as Chairperson and President of the North Carolina Professional Interpreting Association (NCPIA). Mr. Holcombe also worked on developing interpreter certification testing in North Carolina as well as editing course materials used in interpretation courses taught in North Carolina Area Health Education Centers (NC AHECs). He currently continues to update and teach existing interpreter training, in addition to writing new course syllabi for Health and Human Services interpretation (medical, social services, and school system).

The three main types of interpreters are family/community volunteers, trained interpreters, and certified interpreters. Many interpreters begin as untrained, bilingual people who desire to help others. While this is noble and the first step in the process of gaining experience, Mr. Holcombe makes it clear that it is a potential liability to interpret without training. Children and other community members with unproven language skills are included in this group. These good hearted people have not learned techniques such as positioning, lack of eye contact, how to manage the flow of the session, confidentiality, or ethics of the profession. Trained interpreters improve these techniques through study and experience, such as volunteering or working at medical clinics, taking interpretation courses, joining professional interpreter organizations, and forming study groups. Certified interpreters, on the other hand, are highly-experienced interpreters who have successfully passed tests proving their proficiency of these skills, which therefore sets them apart from community and other trained volunteers. The certification process entails both written and oral exams that test medical terminology, diseases, parts of the body, ethics, and sight translation, among others.

The job market for medical interpreters is strong. However, the opportunities depend on one’s level of ability. In order to work at interpreter banks, networks, clinics, or hospitals, interpreters must first pass the specific organization’s written and oral exams. There are jobs as telephone interpreters as well as positions at clinics and hospitals for bilingual persons who perform both their primary job in addition to interpreting. Mr. Holcombe explains that the two modes of interpretation, consecutive and simultaneous, are suitable for different situations. Consecutive interpreting is when clients speak in short phrases and then pause for the interpreter to interpret. For example, this mode of interpretation is more conducive to interpreting at medical settings, the Department of Social Services, and schools. Simultaneous interpretation is when the interpreter speaks just a few words behind the person they are interpreting for. This mode is recommended more so for the emergency department, some social services, mental health screenings, employee orientations, UN speeches, and some court settings.

If you are interested in learning more about interpretation and certification, you can check out the links below or contact Mr. Holcombe at

National Council on Interpreting in Health Care (NCIHC)

Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters (CCHI)

International Medical Interpreters Association (IMIA)