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Linguistics Alumni News

Moira Saltzman (M.A. 2014) has been awarded a Fulbright Grant for research in Korea for 2014-15.

Jinhan Yu (M.A. 2014) is teaching Chinese language classes at WSU.

Leah Esslinger (B.A. 2014) is at the University of Virginia, working on an M.A. in Linguistics.

Scott Shell (M.A. 2014) is working toward his Ph.D. in German Linguistics at the University of California at Berkeley.

Joaquin Newton (B.A. 2013) is working on an M.A. in Education with an emphasis on ESL at Northcentral University.

Georgia Diamantopoulos (B.A. 2013) has stitched a syntactic tree into a tapestry! (see below)

Frankie Johnson (M.A. 2013) is working toward a Ph.D. in Applied Linguistics at the University of Pittsburgh.

Ahmed Alahmary (M.A. 2012) serves as Lecturer of Linguistics in the College of Languages and Translation at Al-Imam Mohamad Ibn Saud University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Ammar Alammar (M.A. 2012) is currently working toward his Ph.D. in Linguistics at Stony Brook University on Long Island in New York. 

Sara Couture (B.A. 2012) is working toward an M.A. in Linguistics at Indiana University.  She also is an Editor at Linguist List, where she works on the MultiTree project, the Catalog of Endangered Languages, and the LL-Map project.

Cherry Meyer (B.A. 2012) is working toward her Ph.D. in Linguistics at the University of Chicago.

Molly Alampi (B.A. 2011) is working toward her M.A. in Speech-Language Pathology at WSU.  She writes to Prof. Progovac, "I always think back to your language evolution course and how much I'd love to retake that course knowing what I know now about the brain and aphasic patients.  Your syntax course was very useful for me once I began working with patients who needed language intervention who suffered head injuries or strokes.  Understanding the structures of language helped me formulate insightful observations about the techniques I choose for therapy.  I would highly recommend other speech pathology undergrads get a dual major or minor in linguistics!

Nia Teppelin, formerly Joseph Sindone (B.A. 2011), is currently working toward her Ph.D. in Linguistics at the University of Michigan.

Abdullah Alfaifi (M.A. 2009) published a paper based on his M.A. essay, "First notes on the dialect of Ǧabal Faifā' (Jazan Province, Saudi Arabia)", co-authored with Peter Behnstedt, in the Spring 2010 issue of the journal Zeitscrift für Arabische Linguistik [Journal of Arabic Linguistics].  He serves as Head of the English Department in the College of Science and Arts, King Abdulaziz University, Rabigh, Saudi Arabia.

Ashanti Alford (M.A. 2008) is working toward her Ph.D. in African Studies at Howard University.  She also serves as Chair of the International Affairs Committee of the Washington D.C. branch of the NAACP.

Khalid Almasnaah (M.A. 2008) serves as the Principal of Bridge Academy West in Detroit.  He is also pursuing a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership at Eastern Michigan University.

Ann Sawyer (B.A. 2008) serves as Coordinator at the Linguistic Data Consortium, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

Michelle Taylor (M.A. 2008) presented a paper based on her MA essay, "Finding white voice: linguistic elasticity in black comedic performance” in a panel organized by the American Humor Studies Association at the May 2010 American Literature Association meeting in San Francisco.

Andrea Berez (M.A. 2006) completed her Ph.D. in Linguistics at the University of California Santa Barbara in 2011 (dissertation: "Directional reference, discourse, and landscape in Ahtna") and is now an Assistant Professor in the Linguistics Department at the University of Hawaii.

Marie Klopfenstein (M.A. 2006) completed her Ph.D. in Applied Language and Speech Science at the University of Louisiana at Layfayette in 2012 (dissertation: "Prosodic features and speech naturalness in individuals with dysarthria") and is now an Assistant Professor in the Department of Special Education and Communication Disorders at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville.

Naomi Palosaari, formerly Naomi Fox, (M.A. 2005), completed her Ph.D. in Linguistics at the University of Utah in 2011 (dissertation: "Topics in Mocho' phonology and morphology"). 

Sarah Murray (M.A. 2004) completed her Ph.D. in Linguistics at Rutgers University in 2010 (dissertation: "Evidentiality and the structure of speech acts" based on field work she conducted on Cheyenne) and is now an Assistant Professor in the Linguistics Department at Cornell University.

Nicola Work (M.A. 2000) completed her Ph.D. in Modern Languages at Wayne State University in 2009 (dissertation "Argument realization in second language acquisition of French and Spanish: a view from the syntax-pragmatics interface") and is now an Assistant Professor in the Languages Department at the University of Dayton.

Michelle Forbes (B.A. 1998) completed her Ph.D. in Spanish and Afro-Hispanic Linguistics at the University of Missouri-St. Louis in 2011 (dissertation: "Garifuna: the birth and rise of an identity through contact language and contact culture") and is now an Assistant Professor of Spanish in the Modern and Classical Languages Department at Valdosta State University in Valdosta, Georgia.

James Kirchner (M.A. 1995) serves as Vice President of the Michigan Translators/Interpreters Network, which is the Michigan chapter of the American Translators Association. He works as a full-time translator (Czech, Slovak, German, and French into English) and as a part-time ESL instructor in the Detroit area.

. . . and thank you, Tom Wolff (M.A. 2002) for your truly generous recent donation to the Linguistics Program. Your support allows us not only to help our students with their education and career pursuits, but also to help faculty endeavors in the classroom and in research. Perhaps most importantly, gifts such as yours provide us with a tangible sense of the special relationship the Linguistics Program enjoys with its community of friends.


We love to hear from our alumni!  Please send your news to Ljiljana Progovac, Director of the Linguistics Program, Wayne State University, 5057 Woodward Ave. Suite 9408, Detroit, MI 48202.  Your financial support is most welcome as well: your tax-deductible gift may sent to Prof. Progovac at the same address.  Checks should be made payable to the Wayne State University Linguistics Program.

5057 Woodward Suite 10303
Detroit, MI 48202
Phone: (313) 577-8642
Fax: (313) 577-8618
Website: http://clasweb.clas.wayne.edu/linguistics
Email: linguistics@wayne.edu