CANYON, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Officials with West Texas A&M University released information on an “significant addition” to its website with the help of a student at the university.

Allan Baltazar, a senior criminal justice and psychology major, noticed a need for a language translation option on the university website and therefore WT went on to add a plug-in that can translate any website on into different languages, detailed the university.

Baltazar serves as secretary of the campus community on the president’s advisory council of the WT Student Government Association and first suggested separate Spanish-language pages on the site. WT’s Office of Information Technology was able to take the suggestion and establish an efficient and applicable solution to benefit students at the university.

“We’re using the Google Translate library, which will take the contents of a page and translate it into virtually any language you would like,” said IT engineer Eyoel Mengesha. “But instead of doing that directly through Google, which would involve using a proxy server that’s blocked for security reasons, we just downloaded the library ourselves.”

Mengesha, according to WT, customized a plug-in that can be consistently utilized on mobile devices.

“This is a great example of students and administrators working together and reflects our student-centered philosophy at WT,” said James Webb, vice president for IT and chief information officer. “Actively engaging, listening and anticipating the needs of our faculty, staff and students is one of our strategic goals. We were honored to work with Allan Baltazar and the passion that he brought to this project. The end result will streamline access to information across the globe.”

Users can click on the maroon-colored box labeled “Español” in the lower-left corner of the screen and the text will be translated into Spanish. WT added that a pull-down menu will give students the opportunity to translate text into more than 130 different languages.

“I’m excited for how many more families and students that we’ll be able to reach,” Baltazar said. “As a Hispanic Serving Institution, this is a way we are actually serving that population and living up to those responsibilities.”

The university noted that enrollment of Hispanic students has significantly grown and as of spring 2023, Hispanics made up nearly 30% of WT’s overall student population.

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