Graduate helps language center

By Keisha Howerth

Alumnus Ralph Strozza is helping keep foreign language students on the cutting edge of technology.

Strozza, CEO and founder of InterPro Translation Solutions, recently made a second donation of SDL Trados Studio licenses for the Foreign Language Learning Center. Strozza donated the first version of Trados in 2004.

“Ten computers in our Language Learning Center now have the newest version installed,” said foreign language chair Katharina Barbe.

Strozza, an alumnus in French, Spanish and marketing, said the foreign language department helped develop his critical thinking and broadened his horizons.

“Our foreign language department is first rate and our faculty is world class,” Strozza said. “They have the pedigree and skills to give NIU students what they need to succeed in their careers.”

Barbe said the translation software is used by “over 190,000 professional translators,” and that very few universities have access to this software.

“What’s so exciting for us is that we are preparing students to go out and be proficient in its use,” Barbe said. “This is only possible because of Ralph’s generous donation.”

The software builds a memory as a translator inputs content. The translator can access this information for future translations.

“When the translator receives a new text, [they] can feed this text through the software and many items will then be translated automatically and thus save a lot of time,” Barbe said.

Strozza also created the InterPro Translation Solutions Foreign Language Residence Program Study Abroad Fund for students in the program.

“He’s very dedicated to the foreign language instruction,” said program Director Greg Ross. “He’s inspirational for what students with a foreign language major can do.”

Strozza said the Foreign Language Department and the Foreign Language Residence Program don’t get enough financial support compared to other programs at NIU.

As an alumnus, Strozza tries to combat that by helping NIU students whenever and however he can.

“[Barbe and Ross] are very open-minded and appreciative of everything that we as alumni do to assist them and their students,” Strozza said. “They make me want to help even more.”