Lockwood Scholar Alicia Beckford Wassink

Submitted by Joyce Parvi on


Alicia Beckford Wassink is the University of Washington’s 2022 Byron W. and Alice L. Lockwood Professor of the Humanities.  2022 is the first year that this three-year award has been given to a faculty member in Linguistics. 

The selection committee included Dean of Humanities Brian Reed, who stated in his nomination letter:

Professor Wassink is an internationally recognized scholar who has made contributions in three key areas, namely, sociolinguistics, phonetics, and creole studies. Not only has she published frequently in top journals but she has, throughout her career, upheld and enacted a strong commitment to ethical interactions with the communities with whom she works. She has displayed a special interest in the study of understudied groups, including, in Washington, African American, Yakama, Japanese American, and Mexican American speakers of English. Additionally, there is a strong public impact from her work: it has implications for tracking and eliminating racial bias in Automatic Speech Recognition, and for supporting and refining the work of speech therapists and clinicians who work with understudied communities.

In other news about Wassink, she was recently one of several researchers interviewed by The Seattle Timesfor their 6-17-22  article on African American English in Seattle.  Her work on racial bias in speech-to-text (automatic speech recognition) was also mentioned in a recent article in The New York Times.