A Day in the Life of Whitney Gissell

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The next in our A Day in the Life… series is Whitney Gissell, Manager for Compliance and Quality Assurance, a true Texan, and a really charming individual. In addition to being highly competent, well-read and well-travelled, Whitney is also a qualified ASL interpreter, fully committed to the profession and the industry. Here you can get a glimpse into an average day of Whitney’s life. 

5:00AM My alarm begins to buzz an hour earlier than usual as I have a flight to catch; The Windy City awaits me today. Brian, my better half, skips out the door to feed the horses and get back in time to haul me and my 49.5 lb suitcase (I’m the master!) to the airport. I am randomly selected to queue in the TSA Pre-checked line and arrive at my gate in less than ten minutes from arriving at the airport. That must be a record!

9:00AM My Laptop powers up as I check out the view below. I lucked out with a window seat and a three-hour flight which gives me enough time to get a few things done this morning uninterrupted by email. First on the list: draft the outline of a new Client Training and Procedure Manual to be distributed to our clients across industries for reference on best practices for requesting and utilizing our primary lines of service including interpretation, document translation, and interpreter training and language proficiency assessments.

10:30AM I snack on some peanuts as I begin my second task of the morning; reviewing our interpreter compliance profile strategy for the first quarter of 2015. As the QA manager, I am responsible for overseeing the general strategy which ensures that we have adequate resources of interpreters whom have all of the necessary vaccinations, credentials, assessments, and continuing education trainings on file before they are eligible to perform any interpretation work at a client location. This strategy gets refined regularly as language demographics and client needs shift.

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River cruise around Chicago.

1:00PM I check into my hotel and order lunch. My phone lights up with the emails I have missed from the morning and I respond to as many as I can. I am reminded of a question from my colleague on the State of Texas Advisory Committee on Qualifications for Healthcare Interpreters and Translators regarding a surgical consent form for hysterectomy that some interpreters are being required to sign by the State of Texas and I forward his question along to MasterWord’s partner in compliance, Bruce Adelson, former senior attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice. Bruce guides MasterWord on federal requirements for language access and we often extend his expertise to our clients and colleagues.

3:00PM I sort out my notes for tomorrow’s business meeting and call my colleague Katia back in the Houston office Business Development Division just to think out loud. We collect our final thoughts and questions for the meeting and I let her return to her busy day. She transfers me over to our Vendor Relations Department for an update on the efficiency of a new process we implemented into our proprietary Database two days ago. The team lets me know that all is working well except for one glitch they have discovered which I coordinate with our Database Development Manager.

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Whitney Gissell presenting on Mental Health Interpreting at ATA Annual Conference in Chicago, November 2014.

4:30PM I switch over to my personal email to catch up on a motion proposed by a board member of the Greater Houston Interpreters for the Deaf of which I am Chapter President. The motion passed to underwrite an event hosted by FASLI, the student group of American Sign Language Interpreters from Lone Star College so I will continue with the coordination of sponsorship. Since I came into this industry as a Sign Language interpreter, I hold tight to any opportunity to support students of our profession.

6:30PM I log off the network and bundle up to head out for some Chicago sightseeing! Was hoping to catch my lifelong friend, Melissa on stage in Newsies while it’s on tour here in Chicago, but the show is dark on Tuesday nights. Will settle for some deep-dish instead and then head back in and spend some time with a freshly downloaded book by my favorite author, Stuart Woods, on my Kindle while the snow starts to fall.

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