Alumni - Notes

Lauren  Ackerman
Lauren Ackerman ...wrote (October 30, 2009): "After working at BBN Technologies in Cambridge last year, I am now a graduate student in the Linguistics Department at Northwestern University. My website is here."

UPDATE: December 2015: " I received my PhD from the Department of Linguistics at Northwestern University in December 2015 (Dissertation: Influences on Parsing Ambiguity,), and will be joining the faculty at the English Department of Boise State University as Visiting Assistant Professor of Linguistics for Spring 2016."
Nicole  Acrey
... after graduation, enrolled in the Ph.D. program at the Institute for Linguistics in Potsdam, Germany.

Here is the web page for the linguistic software company, where she now works:; and here is her personal, just-for-fun blog:
Matthew  Adamo
... served as a research assistant at Brown University in the Department of Cognitive and Linguistic Sciences.
Alyssa Therese  Adreani
... received a BA in Linguistics (1998) and an MA in Applied Linguistics (2000) at BU. As of September 2007, she was working as a Development Officer; she wrote then of her BU training in linguistics: "The experience served me well - it was a strong factor in my being hired at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. Thank you!” Alyssa worked in higher education and development for several years before pursuing a MA in Pastoral Ministry at BC. Although having degrees from these rival schools makes hockey season a unique challenge, Alyssa is happily serving as an interfaith chaplain and Director of Spiritual Care at Newton-Wellesley Hospital. (last updated 7/27/16)
Jessica  Alexander
Jessica Alexander ...parlayed her degree from BU into a career in the translation industry, first as a freelance translator (French and Mandarin) and currently as the head of quality and operations for a California-based translation agency serving medical device, pharmaceutical, and biotech clients. She currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and is training for her first half-marathon! [updated January 2019]
Sameena Naseem  Ali
... writes, in August 2006: "After BU I went straight to Kyoto, Japan to teach English through the JET Programme for three years. I followed up with some Japanese study in Tokyo resulting in a 1st Level (top) passing score for the Japanese Proficiency exam. Many Japanese companies pay more attention to certification than work experience. I landed a job in a securities brokerage which followed with another in financial software." She moved back to Toledo, Ohio two years ago with her Cuban husand and son, and is now working as a freelance interpreter and working her own Mary Kay business.
Julio  Alves
Julio Alves ... received his PhD in Applied Linguistics at BU in 1991. He is now Director of the Jacobson Center for Writing, Teaching and Learning and a lecturer in the English Department at Smith College, where he teaches introductory writing courses.

September 2012 update: See an online Smith magazine article that discusses his efforts to introduce creative nonfiction courses into the curriculum:
Andrei  Anghelescu
Web page. He received his MA in Linguistics at the University of Toronto in 2011, with a thesis on "Tone paradigms in Grassfields Bantu," and he is now working on his PhD in Linguistics at the University of British Columbia.
Catherine Azelie  Aquadro
Catherine Azelie Aquadro ... spent the summer after graduating from BU in Italy sharpening up her Italian. When she came home, she got a job at a local publisher, Sinauer Associates, as a production editor, and after 3 years, became a biology acquisitions editor. They publish biology, psychology, and neuroscience textbooks. They're making their first foray into linguistics in the coming year! (update from May 2013)
Jacqueline  Asher
... went on to a program in Audiology and Speech Science at the University of Maryland.
Lauren Elizabeth  Avalos
Lauren Elizabeth Avalos ... received her MA in Media Ecology from NYU in 2004 and then worked at Simmons College for four years. Last summer, she moved across the river from Simmons to MIT ( She is an Associate Director of Admissions there, working on undergraduate recruitment and selection. She also plans and directs one of the largest annual events at MIT, Campus Preview Weekend (CPW), for admitted students and their families.
Melissa  Baese
Melissa Baese ... now Melissa Baese-Berk, did her graduate work in Linguistics (funded by a Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant from the National Science Foundation) at Northwestern University, with interests in Speech Production, Speech Perception, Bilingualism, Music Cognition, and Psycholinguistics. She attended the Linguistic Society of America Summer Institute at MIT and Harvard in 2005.

In October 2009, she wrote: "As I'm sure you all know, I was joined this year by Lauren Ackerman - BU is now the most well-represented undergraduate institution in our department. :)"

Update from May 2013: "After finishing my PhD at Northwestern in 2010, I moved to Spain and did a postdoc at the Basque Center for Cognition, Brain and Language until summer of 2012. I wanted to move back to the US, and was lucky enough to find another postdoctoral research position at Michigan State University. This spring I was offered, and accepted, a faculty position at the University of Oregon in the Department of Linguistics. I'll be starting there this fall." (The photo is from a visit to the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics.)

See also this Facebook post. An email message from Carol Neidle reached Melissa and Tuuli Morrill (also doing a postdoc at the same university) while they were together at a coffee shop in Michigan! Melissa sent that photo and wrote, "Tuuli and I have had a great time working together since August. We never overlapped in linguistics at BU, but enjoy reminiscing about our time there."
Anna  Belew
Anna Belew ... wrote (9/9/2011): "After finishing my MA at BU, I'm now a staff member at the LINGUIST List at Eastern Michigan University. My website is here." [photo from the web page] Anna was a project manager for the Catalogue of Endangered Languages (ELCat) project's Africa and Australia sections, and for the development and maintenance of the Endangered Languages Project website. Anna is currently a PhD student at the University of Hawaii.
Tino  Bratbo
Tino Bratbo ... is now living in Detroit, MI and teaching at a public charter school called Detroit Edison Public School Academy. It is a K-12 school, and he specifically works at the high school, Early College of Excellence. He is teaching secondary Spanish, but currently restricted to Spanish 1 because of a general lack of foreign language faculty. He is hoping to expand the program in the coming years, and add some AP classes. Meanwhile, he will be getting his Masters in the Art of Teaching (MAT) from Oakland University. After these two years, he is hoping to pursue a Ph.D. either in Field Linguistics (working with MI native languages) or Spanish Linguistics/Literature.

Tino writes: "I anticipate being very busy over the next few years. Nevertheless, I would very much like to remain in touch with the Linguistics program, and help develop the alumni network. I know that one of the things I missed during my undergraduate time was contact with alumni, and given that and my general affection for the program and its professors, I would like to help - just shoot me an email and let me know what I can do. That especially is true for connecting me with anyone considering going into teaching, or anyone who needs a Detroit/MI contact. I am happy to help." (updated September 2013)
Nomi Pearlman  Burstein
... is a Senior Technical Writer at SilverSky.

Web page:
Ross  Caputi
Ross Caputi ... is (as of May 2013) at the University of Delaware doing an MA program in Linguistics and Cognitive Science. Update from September 2013: "The only news that I have to share is that I've begun doing field work on an Italian dialect (it's probably better to call it a Latin dialect) that is spoken in one village in the region of Basilicata. It maybe has 20 speakers left."
Heather  Caunt
... enrolled in the Applied Linguistics doctoral program at BU after graduating.
Jacqueline My  Chau
... is working at Boston University in Research Accounting.
Karly  Chester
... writes (5/21/2008):
I'm just back from a week in Madrid, where I plan to move in September to improve my Spanish. I'm going to teach English to make money, and outside of my lessons, I'll be completely immersed in my favorite language. I couldn't be more excited.
Luis  Chunga-Celis
Luis Chunga-Celis ... writes (11/2/12): " I currently am working as the Department Administrator for the History Department at Boston University. It definitely a different perspective at an academic department not from a student point of view but I’m enjoying it."
Caitlin  Clancy
... is (as of May 2013) a research technician at BU School of Medicine, with research work focused on autism spectrum disorders and their neurochemical abnormalities (in the cerebellum and language areas). She also interns part time at a non-profit called "Cycle Kids", which aims to promote healthfulness among children through the implementation of a school-based biking and nutrition program.

Caitlin also writes: "I'm so grateful that I was able to be involved academically with that department, and my linguistics minor has definitely fueled my interests in the biological underpinnings of language... and certainly informs my current work in a population with language impairments and delays."
Katharine  Clements
Web page:
Mara  Collins
... is Assistant Director of Graduate Admission for Technology and Data Management at Suffolk University.
Matt  Convente
Matt Convente ... is the lead front-end developer at Grovo, an online education and training platform where people can discover and learn how to use sites. (from September 2012). See
Amanda  Cushman
Amanda Cushman ... works as an editor. "In the spring of 2005 she lived in Niamey, Niger, where she studied Nigerien culture, art, and history along with the Hausa and Zarma languages." See this page for more information.
Harlan  Dalzell
Harlan Dalzell ... is in the folk-rock band, The Princes of Hollywood. They have just released a new CD, A Change of Venue.
Cecilia  Damiani
... went into book publishing. She then went on to get a Masters at North Carolina State University in the Education department, where she also worked in the school system. She wrote: "I really appreciate the linguistics knowledge I have--it helps me daily with children who have trouble reading and understanding texts." Now she is teaching 8th grade in Cary, NC.
Nicholas  Danis
Nicholas Danis ... got his BA and MA from BU, and then went on to the PhD program at Rutgers University. He completed his degree in October 2017, under the supervision of Akin Akinlabi, and starting in Spring 2019, he will be a Lecturer in linguistics at Washington University in St. Louis. (update - 6/18). Website:
Meagan  DaSilva
... after teaching English in Quito, Ecuador for a while, took a position as a 6th grade Spanish immersion teacher..
Quinn  Duffy
Quinn Duffy ... just completed his MA in Applied Linguistics here at BU, where he also worked as a research assistant with the American Sign Language Linguistic Research Project.
Sarah Teague  Durant
... "loved her Linguistics degree but changed career paths after BU. She worked in several nonprofit organizations in California before getting her Masters of Public Policy at Berkeley. From there she moved to Portland, Oregon, where she lives with her wife and soon-to-be baby and works in the field of educational policy research." (November 2009)
Marcus  Eldridge
... is pursuing a Law degree at Harvard, where he was just awarded a 2010 Chayes International Public Service Fellowship to work at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, Washington, D.C. The web site announcing the award provides the following biographical information: "Marcus is a second-year J.D. student. He graduated from Boston University with a B.A. in linguistics, music, and Chinese language and literature. He studied Mandarin throughout college and spent a semester abroad in Shanghai. During his first summer of law school, he worked at an NGO in India dealing with a variety of human rights and social justice issues. This summer, Marcus will work in the General Counsel's Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, focusing on bilateral negotiations and WTO disputes with China. His academic interests include international economic law, language rights, and sexual minority rights. In his free time, he enjoys playing the piano, cooking, and travel."
Meredith  Enish
... received her MBA in Strategy and Business Analysis from BU in 2005. She is now the director of Finance and Personnel in the Boston University College of Engineering.
Neiloufar  Family
Neiloufar Family ... completed her PhD in Cognitive Science in Paris at EHESS (Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales). She conducted cognitive linguistic research on the Persian verbal system. Here is an abstract of a presentation at the Second International Conference on Iranian Linguistics from August 2007: A constructionist account of light verb constructions in Persian. She was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Kaiserslautern, Department of English Linguistics, Faculty of Social Sciences. She is now Director of Research and Development at Eleusis Therapeutics Ltd.
Lisa Meredith  Feldstein
Lisa Meredith Feldstein ... joined the National Center for Children in Poverty in January 2006 as Executive Assistant to NCCP's Director. Previously, she was the Educational Programs Manager for the Government Affairs Institute at Georgetown University.
Jennifer  Fick
... completed her MA in Linguistics at the University of Chicago. She received a scholarship in 2006 to attend the Library Information Services Program at the University of Maryland, College Park.
Caroline  Foulkes
Caroline Foulkes ... is the owner of Black Space Graphics.
Stephanie  Frana
Stephanie Frana ... is currently an MD/PhD candidate at the University of Iowa

After Boston University, she worked as a residential teaching assistant at Perkins School for the Blind. Exposure to the medical field while working for the Deafblind Program motivated her to return to school for post-baccalaureate studies. She continued to work with adults with disabilities, as an English tutor, and as an EMT with an ER/ambulance service. Her path to becoming a 'professional student' was definitely enriched via her degree in Linguistics, and she continues to impress others with her non-biology/chemistry/physics-only background while in medical school. Proficiency in medical Spanish and opportunities in global health care are some of her future goals. (from May 2013)
Daniel James  Frayne
... went to medical school at the University of California, Irvine and graduated in 1999. Dr. Frayne has specialized in family practice.
Kristine  Gilchrist-Minasidis
... is Associate Director of the BU University Service Center.
Laura  Gonnerman
Laura Gonnerman ... is now an Associate Professor at McGill (having previously been a Visiting Assistant Professor in Linguistics at the University of Southern California). She received her BA from BU in 1988, two MA's from Middlebury College--in French and German--and then went on to do an MA and Ph.D. in Linguistics at the University of Southern California. She completed her dissertation in 1999 with Elaine Andersen: Morphology and the lexicon: Exploring the semantics-phonology interface. She then took a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in the Department of Psychology (at the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition) at Carnegie Mellon University.

"My two main areas of interest are: 1) the structure of the lexical semantic system; and 2) the representation and processing of mrophologically complex words in English and other languages. To explore these areas, I use a combination of research in normal adult processing, language loss in Alzheimer's disease and other disorders, connectionist modeling, and imaging." See her home page. [photo from web page]
Dory  Greenberg
Dory Greenberg ... moved to Brooklyn right after graduating and worked at a variety of entertainment-related jobs before being hired as a publicist at a music marketing firm. Since 2012, she has been an associate editor of an online magazine, Cultist Zine.

Dory has an award-winning radio show, White Chocolate Drizzle, a hip-hop talk show now on Brooklyn Radio, and has decided to pursue acting full-time. Over the last 3 years, she has appeared in a number of music videos, short films, and video interviews. She has also begun producing videos and short films, and was made a creative producer for Three/21 Media. Recently, she started hosting a video interview series for Three/21's YouTube channel. Dory will hopefully be getting work as a voice-over actress soon, where she will be able to put her linguistic skills to work! (update from May 2013)
Annabel Mary  Greenhill
... entered the graduate program in Applied Linguistics at Boston University, while also working as a Research Associate at Tufts University. She received her MA in 2003.
Allyson  Gunsallus
Allyson Gunsallus ... writes (3/13/2010): "I am enrolled at Duke University School of Law and should receive my JD in 2012. I am involved in the International Human Rights Law Society and the Environmental Law Society. I hope to ultimately work in a public interest position, perhaps in policy work for sustainable development in the international human rights context. International work appeals to me because of my proficiency in French and Russian. I am looking forward to my second year in law school because I will be able to audit language courses! Now, I am taking only courses required by the American Bar Association.

I'd be happy to help any alumni or current students who might have plans to go to law school or to teach English in Moscow, which I did after receiving my BA in January 2007. Please feel free to pass my information along."
Sarah  Hardison
... writes (5/26/2008):
I am starting my Masters in Education this summer. I plan on teaching in Department of Defense Schools once my Masters is complete. I will begin teaching High School Spanish locally this Fall.
Douglas  Herman
Douglas Herman writes (9/10/12/)...
Things are great here. I still live in Strasbourg, where I am now freelancing as a French->English translator, mostly for small-to-medium-sized businesses, university research departments, and outsourcers (translation agencies). In a couple of weeks I will also be taking a teaching position at the Institut de Traducteurs, d'Interprètes et de Relations Internationales, where I completed my Master's in professional translation in May 2012.

In an interesting turn of fate, I have been doing some English-language editing of publications on semantics/pragmatics for the Université de Lorraine. This particular department seems to write a lot of its papers in English, presumably to reach a wider audience.

As for the translating, I do a wide variety of fields, especially medical (my Master's thesis was on facial composite tissue allotransplantation, wah!), light legal (terms and conditions, sales contracts, etc.), and your typical marketing/business documentation, plus websites and the odd tourism brochure.

I hope to do more teaching in the future because I am particularly interested in "traductologie" and curiously frustrated by the gap between theory and practice in translation studies.
Fresh news from September 2013: "I just got married on Saturday sso I'm still in a bit of a haze around here. In other news, I have joined up with another translator in the Strasbourg area who specializes in business and financial texts, with a focus on quality over quantity. The work is very interesting and I feel we are doing the industry and well as our clients some good."

As of November 2015: "I'm still in Strasbourg translating for the private sector, though I just finished a short stint at the International Criminal Court in the Hague."
Laura  Hirshfield
... entered BU's Master of Education program in Education of the Deaf. She is currently teaching English at Acton-Boxborough High School -- and loving it :).
Marjorie  Hogan
... completed her MA in Applied Linguistics at BU as of September 2006.
Mitchell  Hoke
Mitchell Hoke ... is pursuing a JD at the University of Michigan Law School with the class of 2018. After receiving his BA in Linguistics & Philosophy, he worked as a Trial Clerk in the criminal courts of Orlando, Florida and briefly held positions as a Legal Assistant at a large law firm in Washington, D.C. and as a Paralegal at a small law firm in his hometown of Fort Myers, Florida.

He writes [ 1/3/16]: "I think my linguistics and philosophy background has made me a more attractive candidate for jobs, clerkships, and competitive extracurricular positions because of the critical analysis inherent to those subjects. My degree will always be something that I emphasize inside and outside of academia."
Henrison  Hsieh
Henrison Hsieh ... writes (February 2016): "After finishing my BA at BU, I worked at a small tech startup in Boston for a year before I decided to pursue graduate studies in Linguistics. Right now I'm a third year PhD student at McGill Linguistics working on Syntax and Semantics with a focus on Tagalog and Austronesian more generally. These days I find myself thinking a lot about syntactic ergativity and copular clauses."
Alexandra  Hughes
Alexandra Hughes ... earned her MS in speech-language pathology from Northeastern University in 2014 after graduating from BU in 2012. Since then, Ally has been employed as a speech-language pathologist in a public school district in southern New Hampshire. She writes: "I have worked with students from pre-K to high school with a variety of abilities, needs, and challenges, but I especially love addressing phonologically-based speech sound disorders and language-literacy disorders. In the upcoming 2016-2017 school year, my responsibilities will focus on working with preschoolers and their families through the district's early childhood learning center." (last updated August 1, 2016)
Christian  Hurley
Christian Hurley ... was, as of September 2007, in his final year of the MA program at Emerson in Media Arts, concentrating in Audio Production. He wrote: "It's the nexus of a lot of my interests (media, sound, language, computers). I'm very excited about it... I've also been working at a law firm in downtown Boston since graduation as a paralegal which I'll continue to do part time while I'm in school. Things are going quite well though!" [Update, June 2010: Christian was then itigation coordinator at Pierce, Davis, and Perritano.]

Update from November 2012: "I've finished my MA in Visual & Media arts as of 2008. I have also moved on from my work at the law firm of Pierce, Davis & Perritano and I'm now working at Digitas as a Project Manager. I enjoy it very much - great company, great people, great clients and above all engaging work. " web site
Maria  Iogansen
... has worked as a translator of English, Russian, Spanish, French, and Italian. She is currently a QA Engineer at Ledgex Systems.
Vera  Izrailit
... went off to do graduate work in linguistics at the University of Finland in Helsinki. She now describes herself as a software engineer and linguist (among other things).
Corinne  Jones
Corinne Jones ... graduated with a Master's in Speech-Language Pathology from University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2010. She worked as a speech-language pathologist and lab manager at the University of Wisconsin Hospital until 2012. She is currently a PhD student in the departments of Neuroscience and Communication Sciences & Disorders at UW-Madison. Her research is focused on motor control of speech, voice, and swallowing in movement disorders, such as Parkinson's Disease. In her spare time, she is an assistant director of the Madison Contemporary Vision Dance Company and teaches dance at A Leap Above Dance in Oregon, WI. (last updated September 2013) web site.
Sima  Kalmens
Sima Kalmens ... moved, in September 2012, to a tiny town in Galicia, Spain, where she currently teaches English at an elementary school through a government program. In September 2013, she will relocate to Madrid, where she will continue teaching English. She writes (May 2013):

    "Living in Galicia has been particularly interesting because Spanish is not the only language spoken in this part of the country; Galician is a co-official language. Most Galicians speak Galician with each other more than they speak Spanish. Becoming familiar with the basics of this language via simple observation throughout the course of the year has been fascinating for me due to my interests in Spanish and linguistics, and my background in both has made it relatively easy to understand Galician without studying it.

    The school I work at is bilingual; teachers and students alike communicate in both languages, including a mix of the two. My job allows me to observe bilingualism in action, and the effects it has on reading, writing, and general language development. I think that living and working in a bilingual community has made me aware just how far-reaching the effects of a language can be in society, daily life, and everything in between."
Michael  Kaplan
... writes (2/17/17): "i have a new album out today. it's called "no kidding" and i'm happy about it.

i've tweeted about it, and if you'd like to share the tweet or otherwise let people know about it, thank you for doing that. my tweet is here:

and here's a direct link to it on itunes, if that is of interest to you:"
Hallie  Katarski
Hallie Katarski ... (now: Hallie Katarski Huffman) is currently Director of Administration and Program Development for Bass Connections at Duke University. She works closely with faculty and academic leadership in planning around Bass Connections and supporting faculty and student participants. Launched by a $50 million gift, Bass Connections will prepare students to tackle complex issues facing society through problem-focused educational pathways and integrated project teams in five broad thematic areas.

Here is the link to the press release ( and website ( (last updated 2/1/2013)

Update from 12/5/16: Hallie has been running Bass Connections for about 4 years now. "It provides opportunities (including funding) for students and faculty to work on year-long interdisciplinary, problem-focused research teams. We have a couple years of evaluation data I was sharing [at a recent conference (NASPAA)], and I was looking to hear from other universities that are developing similar programs, or at least some similar elements of the program. It's been very exciting and challenging to build this new program, that has participation from across the campus here and from students and faculty at all levels (undergraduate, graduate, etc.)."
Zoya  Khenkina
... entered a graduate program in Global Marketing, Communication and Advertising at Emerson College.
Yung Hee  Kim
Yung Hee Kim ...writes (in October 2007): "After almost seven years working at a large insurance brokerage firm, I decided to switch gears and worked on getting my Masters of Arts in Teaching degree, and am now teaching kindergarten at International Community School in Decatur, GA. I literally get to work with students from all over the world, as well as put my French to use, albeit a bit rusty."
Tricia  Klos
Tricia Klos .... writes (1/20/17): "After six years working as a German translator/ English teacher in Hamburg, I moved to Barcelona to take a job as a Game Writer at a mobile gaming company. I'm looking forward to brushing up on my Spanish skills and exploring this beautiful city! You can find out more at my website:

I'd be happy to help any students or graduates interested in looking for work abroad. I now have plenty of experience with the struggles of finding work in a foreign language, making new friends, and navigating complicated visa processes."
Roxanne  Ko
... has, since graduating from BU, been working on a TESOL/TESL/TEFL certification. In 2011, she was accepted into the Peace Corps and served 10 months in Guinea, teaching English and sustainable agriculture. Unfortunately, her service was cut short because of medical and safety reasons. Since returning to the states, she has been living in Honolulu, HI and this past academic year she was a substitute teacher at an Elementary School. With the start of the fall semester 2013, she was accepted as a Second Bachelors student at the University of Hawaii and is working towards a B.S. in Microbiology and applying to Medical School. In all of her travels and experiences, she has picked up many languages and can speak Spanish, French, and Pulaar. (last updated September 2013)
Naomi  Konikoff
Naomi Konikoff ... is practicing as a Bilingual Speech Language Pathologist in a low income public school. Recently, Naomi founded a company called Speech Language Literacy Lab (SL3). With SL3, Naomi is now providing professional development and language assessment tools to schools nationwide. (updated November 21, 2014).
Avra  Kutcher
Avra Kutcher ... , influenced by the Language Myths course she had taken with Pete Alrenga -- which she says was "such an informative and enlightening class!" -- decided to enter the Master's program in Forensic Linguistics at Hofstra University. She writes that, when she was considering that program, Dr. Robert Leonard "explained to me all the interesting things he has done in case work and throughout his life which led me to believe... that working with lawyers, as consultants can and should be a profession of worthiness and it can be so integral to the outcome of a case. Interestingly, in addition to being a full-time professor, Dr. Leonard also is a full-time consultant and is constantly telling us about the cases and even including us in the internship class that he runs with visiting lawyers. Every class we've taken thus far has been so interesting and applicable to the law, most courses require papers, which gives students ample time to research and prepare for the thesis at the end of the two years. That is currently the stage I am at now! Hopefully, I'll be graduating in May with a finished thesis :0 Furthermore, this program has really brought me into the law even more and I am considering to continue this journey and apply these lessons by attending law school in the not so distant future. We shall see! I will keep Professor Neidle and BU Ling updated :) I honestly am a poster child for this master's degree program, I feel so fortunate to have fallen into something so unique, special and wonderful... !!! Please feel free to contact me with any questions or comments!!" (last updated March 30, 2015). [photo from that Avra is currently (as of March 2017) a Juris Doctor candidate at NY Law School.]
Vera  Lee-Schoenfeld
Vera Lee-Schoenfeld ... received her PhD in Linguistics at the University of California in Santa Cruz. For 2005-06, she was a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Linguistics Department at Northwestern University. From 2006 through 2010, she was a Visiting Assistant Professor of Linguistics at Swarthmore College. She is now a tenured Associate Professor of Linguistics at the University of Georgia. (last updated 7/26/16)
Marc  Levy
... wrote (November 21, 2014): "I interned and then went to work in international development. I followed that with several years of working in (mostly digital) marketing as a contractor. Then, I learned Drupal, a content management system, and increased my skills in computing languages to Javascript and PHP. I worked at a non-profit where I was solely responsible for building their Web sites. Now I work on Drupal as an onsite contractor [for the government], around the corner from the house I rent."
Ross  Lichtenberg
Ross Lichtenberg ... wrote (April 2020): "After brief stints as a research assistant in the Harold Goodglass Aphasia Research Center and the John Trueswell Language Learning Lab at UPenn, I packed my bags and went to teach English in Italy. That was in the fall of 2010, and I have yet to come back! After various academic years as an English teacher in public and private schools, I opened my own School of English in Milan Languages continue to be my passion, as I’ve now dedicated myself to the perfection of the Italian language as well as Serbian."
Andrew  Lord
Andrew Lord ... is entered the MA in Applied Linguistics at BU after graduation, and he served as a teaching fellow for CAS LX 250 Introduction to Linguistics.
Marilyn  Manley (née Feke)
Marilyn Manley (née Feke) ... went on to receive her PhD from the University of Pittsburgh. She is now an Associate Professor of Spanish at Rowan University. "Her teaching and research interests include topics of theoretical linguistics and applied linguistics, with a specialization in Hispanic sociolinguistics and anthropological linguistics. She has presented papers at national conferences and published on Hispanic sociolinguistics and Quechua (the indigenous language of the South American Andes, spoken today by over ten million descendants of the Incan Empire). She has lived and studied in the United States, Spain, Mexico, and Peru and has carried out linguistic research with speakers of English, Spanish, Quechua, and Juchita'n Zapotec." See her web page. [photo from web page]
John  Manna
John Manna ... went on to the graduate linguistics program at Rutgers University. Update from John (9/30/05), now in his third year of the PhD program: I'm finishing up my qualifying papers, and this year I'll be working on nominal and verbal anaphora in Japanese using a dynamic logic/online update framework... Also, I'll be working with one of my friends in the Psych department on the linguistic reasoning (syntactic, semantic) for the difference in comprehension time between was-passives and got-passives." See his web page. [photo from web page]
Rachel  Mattison
Rachel Mattison ... wrote (November 21, 2014): "After graduating with a BA in Linguistics in 2010, I received a Masters Degree in TESOL from Teachers College, Columbia University. I then taught ESL for the New York City Department of Education for three years. I taught at both a transfer high school and an elementary school. During that time, I spent a summer teaching English in Shanghai. I now work at Educational Testing Service in Princeton, NJ in the language assessment department. I develop and review items for the TOEFL Primary and TOEIC Listening tests."
Maijaliisa  Mickols
... writes (5/21/2008):
After graduating in January, I continued working as the Office Manager for The Boston Language Institute, and received my TEFL certificate there. I then accepted a position teaching English at Shenyang Jianzhu (architecture) University in northeast China. I've been working here in Shenyang at the university since August 2006, teaching students of all majors as well as some of the faculty, and another private school teaching kids as young as age 3 to business English classes. I've also been doing private tutoring for IELTS, TOEFL, and SAT test prep. I've taken advantage of the 4 months of university holidays, traveling all over China and the surrounding countries.

I'm traveling to Australia this summer to escape the Olympics (Shenyang is one of the satellite cities for soccer matches) and take the GRE, as I plan to work one more year here and then move back to the states to pursue an MA in Linguistics (hopefully) or ESL.
Joe  Mondello
Joe Mondello ... was, last we knew, teaching English in Korea.
Mark  Monfasani
... returned to graduate school at BU to study Chinese religion. He received his MA in September 2007. As of spring 2010, he was Acquisitions Editor at Brill in charge of modern Chinese studies. See
Lindsay  Morgia
Lindsay Morgia ... writes (11/10/16): "Next week, I will begin a new position as the Research and Policy Analyst for the Office of the Child Advocate (OCA). The OCA is a state-level government office that oversees the treatment and care of children in state custody, including those under the Department of Children and Families (child welfare) and the Department of Youth Services (DYS). While I am there, I will also be working on my dissertation research as I pursue my PhD in Public Policy at UMass Boston.

Although I'm not a linguist, language is such an integral part of the work that I do, and I look back on my time in the linguistics department with much fondness and appreciation. I really do enjoy hearing updates about the department, and of course, appreciate all of the effort that you put into keeping in touch with alumni.
Tuuli  Morrill
Tuuli Morrill ... went on to graduate study in Linguistics at NYU, with interests in phonology and neurolinguistics. Here's a link to a paper she presented in August 2007 at the 16th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences: "Phonetic Cues Identifying English Compounds". She then served as an Assistant Professor Linguistics at George Mason University. She is now a Data Scientist at WeddingWIre.
Nadia  Nassif
Nadia Nassif Nadia Nassif received her BA in Linguistics in 2003 and went on to teach English in Japan for 2 years, meanwhile developing her Japanese language skills. She continued to pursue a career in English language training--a path that opened up several Boston-based opportunities to manage, develop, and train in the Corporate English as a Second Language setting. Nadia saw a market need that transcended general language school offerings and founded her company Springboards (, coupling this effort with enrollment into an MBA program. Nadia received her MBA degree from U-Mass Boston in 2011. Today, Nadia is a coach and the full time CEO at Springboards, a company which offers a full spectrum of English language development and professional communication programs for the ESL and native English speaking market.
Jennifer  Nieling
Jennifer Nieling ... is an Intern at Robert and Penny Fox Historic Costume Collection. (last updated November 21, 2014) [photo from that site]
Jeni  Parham
... went on to do graduate work in Linguistics at the University of Chicago.
Pamela (Honora)  Parris
... took an internship at MIT Press after graduation.
Kathryn  Persons
Kathryn Persons ... wrote (11/14/2011): "I am currently working as an Acquisitions Assistant at The MIT Press—I work on the Cognitive Science list, as well as the Philosophy; Information Science; and Science, Technology, & Society lists. I’ve decided to pursue a Master’s in Higher Education, so that I will become qualified to work with students at the college level."
Katrina  Peters
Katrina Peters ... see
Matthew  Picard
... became involved with Teach for America.
David M.  Pimentel
... is now the Director of Residence Hall Community Learning Centers at the University of Michigan.
Gretchen  Ransow
Gretchen Ransow ... served as a legal intern for Free Legal Advice Centres in Dublin in 2006. Here's a picture. See
Andrew  Richardson
Andrew Richardson ... went on to teach English to 2nd- through 5th-grade classes in Metz, France. He wrote: "Many of the children in the area come from bilingual German/French homes or Arabic/French ones, so it's fascinating to see them near trilingual by the time they graduate, and hear them code-switch on a dime whether they mean to or not. I currently work with members of labor unions across the country and tutor languages if I have any spare time. I have plans to move back to France in 2024, so we'll see what the future holds." (last updated 7/1/15)
Arashdeep  Sangha
Arashdeep Sangha website:
Daniel Joseph  Sax
Daniel Joseph Sax ... went to Dublin, to study in the Speech and Language Processing program at Trinity College. He is currently a translator and English language editor of Academia, the popular-science magazine of the Polish Academy of Sciences. He is also a Lecturer in Polish-English translation at Warsaw University. He has recently published two book translations: Ten Centuries of Polish Literature, by the scholars of the Institute of Literary Research, Polish Academy of Sciences (2005), and Polish Academy of Sciences: Past and Present (2006). See [photo from web page]
Rose  Schreier
Rose Schreier ... wrote (April 2014): After leaving BU in 2003, I received my MLIS (Library & Information Science) from the University of Illinois in 2009. I worked as a librarian in the Chicagoland area from 2010-2014, and I am now working as a freelance tutor and editor (dissertations, theses, resumes, business documents, etc.)--so if you know anyone in the program who is seeking such services, please feel free to pass along my contact information!

I am still good friends with my old BULA compatriots Marj Hogan and Jamie Vidich (BA 2003 both), though we each live in a separate region of the country (Marj is on the west coast; Jamie is on the east coast, and I'm in Chicago).

I just visited the BU Linguistics Facebook page and it made me most nostalgic for my time on campus. I remember when BULA hosted a translation panel event in early 2003; that was one of the highlights of my time in the program.

Hope all is well with everyone and I will be sure to reach out when I am back in Boston for a visit.
Gregory  Scontras
Gregory Scontras ... received his BA in Linguistics and in Philosophy from BU, and then his PhD in Linguistics from Harvard (2014). He then joined Noah Goodman's Computation and Cognition Lab in the Department of Psychology at Stanford University.

Greg is now an Assistant Professor of Linguistics at UC Irvine:
Olga  Shergova
... went to Paris and studied at Sorbonne (Applied Foreign Languages), then during an internship at UNESCO, found out about Media Education. She is now in the Ph.D. program (Moscow State University); her thesis deals with linguistic methods in Media Education.
Catherine  Shubat
... just arrived in Shanghai, where she will be for the next year. She writes (8/25/16): "I came as a one-year intern through my church, but I'll be taking Mandarin classes at Jiao Tong University, and teaching conversational English to locals in PuXi! I'm already in contact with a few other hip hop aficionados. As of now, it looks like I'll have lots of time to explore the city and practice Chinese--can't wait for the year to start! Looking for more connections in China (or anywhere in this hemisphere, as I'm planning on travelling around for the next few years.)"
Jennifer  Sia
Jennifer Sia ... completed an MEd in TESOL at BU in 1999 and then a PhD in Second Language Acquisition at the University of London (October 2010).
Robert Louis  Simon
Robert Louis Simon ... is an Professor of Spanish and Portuguese at Kennesaw State University. See his Web page (picture from that site) (last updated 7/27/16).
Jamie  Sirota
Jamie Sirota ... is currently working on an MA in Computational Linguistics at CUNY Graduate Center in NYC. She is also interning at Morningside Translations assisting the project managers. (last updated October 2012)
Dawn  Smalls
Dawn Smalls ... is currently practicing law at Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP, a litigation firm based in New York. After graduating from BU, she served in the Clinton Administration as Assistant to Chief of Staff John Podesta and Special Assistant to the Federal D.C. Interagency Task Force. She left D.C. in Summer of 2000 and entered Stanford Law School that fall. Her publications include "Linguistic Profiling and the Law," 15 Stan. L. & Pol'y Rev 579 (2004), a paper that she wrote in conjunction with Professor John Baugh's ongoing research on Linguistic Profiling (racial profiling based on one's speech). She was profiled here in 2007; she was NY Political Director of the Obama for America Campaign [picture].

See also:
Erin  Smith
... has worked as a sales and marketing specialist at Harris Investment Management. She's now pursuing her MBA in Finance at Loyola University of Chicago (2007-2009(expected)).
Elliott  Smith
... writes (12/16): "In 2016 I finished a MPH from the University of Washington with a focus on Community-Oriented Public Health Practice. I've been working on different programs focused on promoting equity in the food system, and I have been the Operations Manager at a small foundation in Seattle, WA since 2014. Not necessarily a lateral step from studying the mechanics of Language, but I have often found myself thinking how similar the field of Public Health is to Linguistics. I see them both as different ways of understanding and manipulating puzzles- words/sound/meaning for Linguistics and systems/environmental factors/behaviors for Public Health. I'm grateful I started with Language. :-) I fondly remember all the classes and professors from my time at BU- and I wish you all well! I hope BULA is alive and well."
Teresa  Speciale
Teresa Speciale ... returned to the United States after two years living and teaching in Dakar, Senegal. She received her Masters in International Education at the George Washington University, and is currently a doctoral student at University of Wisconsin-Madison in Educational Policy Studies focusing on language policy in Francophone West Africa. (update: May 2013)
Win  Swarr
Win Swarr ... went to Japan to teach English for two years after graduating. Upon returning to the US, he went back to school and became a programmer. He worked, for a time, for Canon USA as a Systems Engineer in the Medical Division. Win wrote: "I found a lot of similarity between computer science and Linguistics."

Update from Win as of November 2012: "All is well. I'm living with my wife and 2 little ones in the Bay area. I work as a software developer for a medical records company."
Christina  Tarbell
Christina Tarbell ... is currently a Professor at the Savannah College of Art and Design, where she uses industry-standard software applications as a medium to teach students about the relationship between language, culture, and design. Her background in Linguistics was instrumental to her current pursuits with art and design.
Timothy  Tilbe
Timothy Tilbe ... went on to receive his PhD in Linguistics at the University of Buffalo in 2017.
Joanna  Upton
... is living in Niger. In December 2005, she wrote:
Through one experience or another, I've gradually been launching myself into the development field. I was RA for the BU Program here last year, and then began working part time for a small NGO called Rain for the Sahel and Sahara. I administrate our programs here, which are primarily in support of nomadic schools up in the Agadez region. We do various projects to support the community and the school, such as school gardens and grain banks. One element that I have been working toward adding to our programs is adult/women's literacy, in both French and Tamascheq, the local language of the region which has traditional literacy that has been fading out over the past couple of generations. With my focus on linguistics I have always been a proponent of national language literacy; but since literacy on the part of the parents has a positive effect on the liklihood that they will understand the value of education and send their children to school, we're able to slide this in under our primary education sector.

I've gone into all of this with my focus on education and language. In one way or another, though, my life circumstances keep pushing me toward health. While back in the States for much of 2004, I got a job in Public Health in Arlington County, which was a great perspective-builder after (and before) so much time here. Personal circumstances have put health in the forefront for me as well, to an almost humorous extreme: everywhere I am, babies tend to be born, and in difficult circumstances. I helped carry my best friend here through over a year of treatment for Tuberculosis, which included spending a great deal of time at the public TB clinic in Niamey and giving Streptomycin injections. This friend's little sister had a crisis with cerebral malaria, and I was the only one available for her immediate care. My personal role is hence quite often impromptu nurse and midwife. The circumstances I have seen here (as well as in Arlington) have made me think a lot about health care problems and inequalities. In Niger especially, not only is the situation drastic, but there are internal racisms among the population that put certain people at an even greater disadvantage.

Through one thing after another, I've been accepting the message that is sending me down the path of public health and health justice. Most of my life and studies has been geared toward cultural understanding, and I've had wonderful opportunities and privileges to expand on that. I take that as a great responsibility, and see this now as a way of applying that awareness to something real and valuable. I've taken some time to focus on what I want my graduate studies to be, but I'm in the process of applying to PhD programs in Anthropology and Medical Anthropology.
Jasmin  Urban
... is just beginning her graduate studies in Linguistics at the University of Chicago. Home page.
Jamie  Vidich
... has been enrolled in an exciting new graduate program in European linguistics at the University of Freiburg. He wrote: "What I particularly like about it is that it has a strong focus on minority languages, standard and non-standard varieties, and multilingual and multicultural communication in Europe. There is even a class on the Sardinian language!" As of May 18, 2008, Jamie writes: "I'm now in the phase of completing my Master's degree in Freiburg and awaiting the next step in life. I am writing my thesis now, and hope to have graduated by September." Jamie's thesis is on the phonological changes that took place in the borrowings of Anglo-French loanwords into Middle English. "Then it is for destiny to decide what is in store for me. I'll let you know when I figure it out myself. :-)" [Note: Jamie finished his thesis: "Phonological Aspects of Anglo-Norman Loanwords in Middle English."]
Anika  Webster
... served in the Peace Corps in Senegal from 2008-2010. She received her MBA/MSW joint degree from Washington University in St. Louis, and now works as a management consultant with Accenture. [last updated 1/17/18]. See also
Stephen  Weiss
Stephen Weiss .... is Executive VP and Director of Technology at STYLESIGHT. "In his role, he is responsible for creating, deploying, and maintaining STYLESIGHT's internal network and web services... Stephen is responsible for all hardware and software support internal to the company. Prior to joining the company, Stephen developed web presences for various educational institutions and departments, including work for Lehigh University, Boston University, and the Thoreau Language Institute." See
John Thomas  Wellehan
After graduating, John moved to Chicago and worked on a trading floor, in film production, in derivatives analysis, and then as market data specialist for a derivatives trading group within a bank, which is what he was doing when last we heard from him (April 2003), at which time he was considering going back to school... [Update June 2010: John received his MBA in Finance from Northwestern in 2007, and he is now Vice President at Harpswell Capital.]
Kari  Wiborg
... entered the linguistics dept. at UT Austin, spent some time in St. Petersburg studying Russian, and is hoping to do something with Slavic linguistics.
Jocelyn  Wood
Jocelyn Wood ... writes (September 2013): "Since graduating from the Linguistics program at Boston University, I received a Master's in Speech Language Pathology with a Bilingual Extension (Spanish). I have spent the past 6 years working in Brooklyn, NY, providing speech and language therapy to children from low-income families, both in a school and home-based environment. Most recently, I have been working with the NYC Board of Education to design curriculum based vocabulary instruction which will target these low-performing students. I have also started a private practice, where I provide therapy to infants, toddlers, and school-aged children with speech, language and learning difficulties (including ADHD and executive function deficits). I provide information for families on my website at"
Commencement 1994

Linguistics students at Commencement Exercises (vintage 1994)

left-to-right: Christina Tarbell, Kristine Gilchrist,
Jacqueline Chau, Daniel Sax, Shannon Moran, Nomi Pearlman