Chair's Welcome

Submitted by Joyce Parvi on
Prof. Richard Wright

As the 2023-2024 academic year approaches, I would like to reflect on our accomplishments in 2022-2023 and welcome all the faculty, staff, and students back to campus for another exciting year. A special welcome to our new graduate students: 6 PhD students and 49 CLMS students, and to all our new and returning undergraduate majors and minors in linguistics as well as our new and returning ASL minors. 

We finished last academic year with another successful in-person graduation ceremony, with one of our accomplished alumni, Chia-Hui Huang, as a commencement speaker (see the ‘Commencement 2023’ story in this newsletter).

In 2023, we welcomed Karoliiina Kuisma as our new department administrator. Andrew Hedding, who was with us as Acting Assistant Professor last year, is starting as an Assistant Professor this year.  In July, Sharon Hargus finished her term as an Associate Chair, and Barbara Citko took over. Thank you to both of them for their service to the department. 

We are very thankful to Professor Gail Stygall who has made a bequest to create an endowment, the Gail Stygall Endowed Graduate Fellowship, which will provide financial support for graduate students specializing in phonetics and sociolinguistics. 

Our faculty members, in addition to publishing and presenting in national and international venues, rise to prominent positions in the field of linguistics as well as gain recognition outside the field. Let me highlight a few of the honors our faculty have received. Emily Bender was named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science,  will be the next president of the Association for Computational Linguistics, and was profiled in New York Magazine (ChatGPT Is Nothing Like a Human, Says Linguist Emily Bender). Betsy Evans will become the next Executive Director of the American Dialect Society. Naja Ferjan Ramírez received another three-year Distinguished Professorship in Language Acquisition and Multilingualism, and Barbara Citko is the recipient of the Linguistics Department’s Howard and Frances Nostrand Endowed Professorship for 2023-2025.

Our students, both graduate and undergraduate, have also received a number of prestigious awards and fellowships. Trent Ukasick is the recipient of the Arienne Dwyer Language Documentation Award, Chester Fritz International Research and Study Fellowship, and the Endangered Language Fund’s Sharing Language Diversity Fellowship. C. M. Downey, who received a prestigious and highly competitive Presidential Dissertation Fellowship! Emily Ahn and Sara Ng received Excellence in Linguistic Research Awards. Alessio Tosolini, an undergraduate Computer Science and Linguistics double major has received a 2023-24 Chester William Fritz Humanities Scholarship.

Congratulations to our faculty and students on their accomplishments. I look forward to welcoming all of you to the 2023-2024 academic year in our department!