Current Ph.D. Students

To view student websites or contact information, please click on the respective student’s name.

To browse our Department’s dissertation archive, click here.


Jehan Al-Mahmoud

Concentration: Sociolinguistics

Jehan joined the Ph.D. program in Sociolinguistics in 2015 after completing an M.A. in Language and Communication in the Department of Linguistics at Georgetown. Prior to joining Georgetown, she completed her undergraduate work at Princess Noura University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Her research interests include interactional sociolinguistics, intercultural communication, and translanguaging.  Her current research focuses on patterns of language alternation among Arabic and English language learners on video online learning environments. Her previous research has investigated social media discourse and Arabic dialects variation among Saudi Arabians on Twitter.


Talal Alharbi

Concentration: Sociolinguistics

Talal joined the Ph.D. program in 2018. Before coming to Georgetown, he received his M.A. in Linguistics from Ohio University and B.A. in English Language and Translation from the Northern Border University, Saudi Arabia. During his graduate studies, Talal worked as an instructor in the Arabic program at Ohio University. Talal’s research interests include language variation and change, and discourse analysis. He is particularly interested in exploring perception and evaluation of spoken language variation in Saudi Arabia as well as language use in constructing and displaying religious, gender, and tribal identities on social media platforms in the Saudi Arabian context.


Amani Aloufi

Concentration: Theoretical Linguistics

Amani joined the Ph.D. program in 2016. Her research interests focus on Syntax, Morphology, Semantic, and thier interfaces, particularly in Modern Standard Arabic and its dialects. She is also interested in language documentation. She received her M.A. in linguistics from Northeastern Illinois University in Spring 2016. Prior to joining NEIU, she completed her B.A. in English at Tiabah University in Madinah, Saudi Arabia where she had worked as an instructor for two years.


Hana Altalhi

Concentration: Theoretical Linguistics

Hana joined the Ph.D. program in 2018. Before coming to Georgetown, she received her M.A. in Linguistics from Ball State University and B.A. in English Language from Taif  University, Saudi Arabia.  Her research interests primarily focus on Syntax and Contrastive Linguistics.


Minnie Annan

Concentration: Sociolinguistics

Minnie’s dissertation explores how speakers of African American Language construct multifaceted local identities through storytelling as well as analyzes vowel centralization in the Washington, DC area.  She serves as project coordinator for the Language and Communication in Washington, DC project (LCDC), and her research has been featured on the front page of the Washington Post, and she has been a guest on NPR. Minnie also has an interest in linguistic diversity and awareness and its effects from the classroom to the boardroom.  She has conducted workshops for private corporations, service organizations, and various student groups at Georgetown University. Minnie earned her Bachelors and Masters degrees from Georgetown University, and she has lived and worked in the Washington, DC area for the last seven years.


Bertille Baron

Concentration: Theoretical Linguistics

Bertille joined the Theoretical Linguistics program in the Fall 2016 after completing a Master of Arts degree in Linguistics at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. During her time at SIUC, she worked as an instructor of French in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, and as an instructor of Academic English for international students in the Department of Linguistics. Bertille’s research interests include African languages, morphophonology, morphosyntax, questions related to the syntax-phonology interface, as well as language documentation and revitalization. Her main research project at the moment focuses on the documentation and analysis of some intonational and prosodic processes in Ikpana, an endangered Gur language spoken in the Volta region of Ghana. She received a BA and an MA in English and American Linguistics, Culture, and Literature from Université de Caen Basse-Normandie (France).


Maya Barzilai

Concentration: General Linguistics

Maya joined the Ph.D. program in 2015. In her research, she uses psycholinguistic experiments to investigate phonetics, phonology, and and their interface. Specifically, she is interested in how universal and language-specific properties interact to predict certain aspects of speech perception and processing. Before joining Georgetown’s Linguistics department, Maya worked on the pedagogy team at Voxy, a start-up that buildings language-learning apps for adult learners of English. Maya received her B.A. as an Independent Scholar in Linguistics with a minor in Arabic from Middlebury College in 2013. 


Amelia Becker

Concentration: General Linguistics

Amelia is a Ph.D. student in the general concentration. Her research focuses on the phonetics and phonology of American Sign Language. In particular, she is interested in the role of iconicity in grammar and its implications for the nature of phonological representation, emergent and innate aspects of grammar, and modality-specific characteristics of language. Before coming to Georgetown, she earned her M.A. in Linguistics from Gallaudet University and B.A. in Linguistics and English from The College of William and Mary. In addition to her own research, Amelia enjoys teaching Linguistics courses for undergraduate students. She has taught at both Georgetown and Gallaudet University and is particularly passionate about making the field of Linguistics accessible for Deaf students.


Laura (Ryals) Bell

Concentration: General Linguistics

Laura joined the Ph.D. program in 2013, after completing the MS program.  Previous work has included ultrasound assessment of secondary articulation during glottal stop in Levantine Arabic, intonation substitutes in text messaging, and work with the GME corpus group at Georgetown.  Her primary research examines speech acts and related phenomena in social media


Austin Blodgett

Concentration: Computational Linguistics

Austin joined the Ph.D. program in 2016. Austin’s research interests include computational semantics, natural language processing, deep learning, and mathematical approaches to linguistics. His main area of research is in computational representations of lexical semantics. He received his B.S. with a double major in Computer Science and Linguistics from Emory University. Austin is a member of the NERT research lab.


Margaret Borowczyk

Concentration: Applied Linguistics

Margaret joined the Ph.D. program in 2016. Her research interests include heritage language education, language policy, critical discourse analysis, and multilingual identity.  She primarily studies community-based heritage language schools as sites of policy negotiation, curricular innovation, and identity construction. She has also coordinated Georgetown’s International New Student Orientations with the Office of Global Services and conducted research and teacher training through the Assessment and Evaluation Resource Center. Margaret received her B.A. in Linguistics and Comparative Literature and her M.S.Ed. in Intercultural Communication from the University of Pennsylvania.


Lara Bryfonski

Concentration: Applied Linguistics

Lara is a graduate of Boston University where she studied linguistics and bilingual education. Before coming to Georgetown, Lara taught ESL in a variety of contexts in Boston. She also taught with Bilingual Education for Central America (BECA), a bilingual school in Honduras. Lara’s doctoral research focuses on interaction and corrective feedback in second language acquisition as well as task-based language teaching and learning. 


Ho Fai Cheng (Viggo)

Concentration: Sociolinguistics

Viggo joined the Ph.D. program in Sociolinguistics in 2015. His research interests include discourse analysis, intercultural communication, and language and identity. He has previously studied at the University of Amsterdam and the Hong Kong Baptist University, where he graduated with a B.A. in English Language and Literature with a minor in Psychology and an M.A. in Language Studies. Prior to his study at Georgetown, he published an article on intergroup prejudice among university students of culturally-diverse backgrounds and a book review on (in)appropriate online behaviors in computer-mediated discourse.


Hanwool Choe

Concentration: Sociolinguistics

Hanwool Choe joined the Ph.D. program in 2015. She completed her B.A. in English Linguistics, with a minor in Education, at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies in South Korea, with the highest distinction. She received a Fulbright scholarship (2013-2015) to obtain her M.A. in Language & Communication at Georgetown University. Her research interests in discourse analysis include online interaction, multimodal interaction, and language and food. Her publications have appeared in journals such as Language in Society and Discourse Studies. Her current dissertation work focuses on online discourse of Korean families(-in-law).


Keith Cunningham

Concentration: General Linguistics

Keith is a Phd student in the General concentration specializing in computational linguistics for endangered language documentation and revitalization. He is particularly interested in the American Indian language families of Algonquian, Siouan, and Na-Dene. His computational linguistics interested include treebanks, computational historical linguistics, and word embeddings. He applies these techniques to produce learning materials for heritage learners based on archival language resources.


Jason D’Angelo

Concentration: Applied Linguistics

Jason joined the PhD in 2017. They completed their B.S in Interdisciplinary Studies focusing on Cognitive Studies, with a minor in Psychology at California State University, East Bay. After this, they completed an M.A. in English – TESOL at California State University, East Bay. They have been an English instructor for remedial English composition courses at several colleges in the bay area, as well as an ESL instructor in Oakland and Washington, D.C. Their research interests include queer theory, critical disablity studies, and sign language linguistics specifically examining marginalised persons, specifically the LGBTQ+ community and multilinguals, and their intersection with their language use and identity construction.


Felipe De Jesus

Concentration: Sociolinguistics

Felipe holds a B.A. and an M.A. in English Language and Literature from the Federal University of Santa Catarina (Brazil). Prior to joining the Sociolinguistics program at Georgetown in 2017, he taught in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at Emory University, where he held a Fulbright fellowship. He is also an experienced EFL instructor, having taught English at the college level for over six years in Brazil. His research interests include methods and applications of Interactional Sociolinguistics and Critical Discourse Analysis around issues of power relations and identity construction, especially within the area of language, gender and sexuality. He has presented at a number of major national and international conferences in the field of Sociolinguistics. He has also published book reviews in Language in Society and Gender & Language, and research articles in the International Journal of Language Studies and Gender & Language.


Helen Dominic

Concentration: Sociolinguistics

Helen’s interests include language variation, discourse analysis, and critical theory. She is currently studying variation in the Tamil diasporic community and how that affects dialectical concepts of purity and pollution in language and society. Prior to joining the Ph.D. program in 2018, Helen received her B.A. in Linguistics from the National University of Singapore.


Rima Elabdali

Concentration: General Linguistics

Rima Elabdali joined the Ph.D. program in 2018 after receiving an MA in TESOL from Portland State University. Prior to starting the program, Rima worked as an ESL teacher and tutor at Portland State University. Her research interests include but are not limited to second language acquisition, task-based language learning, and second language (L2) writing. She is especially interested in using corpus tools to study the rhetorical structure of L2 writing. Rima is also interested in conducting sociolinguistic research on the oral interaction of L2 tutoring sessions. 


Lydia Felice

Concentration: Theoretical Linguistics

Lydia joined the Ph.D. program in 2017. Her research interests include morphology, syntax, and the morphology/phonology interface. Much of her work focuses on Afroasiatic languages, including Berber and Tigre. Her current research projects investigate the relationship between morphosyntactic structure and phonological processes, with an emphasis on nominal morphology. She is also interested in case, clitic doubling, and head movement. Before joining the program, Lydia received her B.A. in Linguistics from McGill University. 


Alix Fetch

Concentration: Theoretical Linguistics, Cognitive Science

Alix Fetch (née Handshuh) is a student in the Interdisciplinary Minor in Cognitive Science.  She holds a BA in linguistics from the University of Michigan. Alix is interested in hierarchical organization of language and action, why such hierarchies are so pervasive in human perception and behavior, and how learning and memory mechanisms may create a predisposition to these types of structures. Her research focuses on primitive, universal components of hierarchy in natural language syntax like asymmetry and binary combination.  Her dissertation work asks whether children are biased to learn patterns that include these components, and whether typological universals are reflected in the types of structures that children are able to learn.  Alix works in the Learning and Development Lab, run by Dr. Elissa Newport, where she designs artificial grammars to address these questions. 


Luke Gessler

Concentration: Computational Linguistics

Luke’s interests lie in computational and documentary linguistics. He is currently focused on using software and computational methods to develop more effective language documentation methodologies. Luke holds a B.A. in computer science and linguistics and worked as a software engineer for two years before joining the Ph.D. program in 2018.


Didem Ikizoglu

Concentration: Sociolinguistics

Didem joined the Ph.D. program in Sociolinguistics in 2014. She received her B.A degree in English Language and Literature with a minor in Linguistics and her M.A in Linguistics from Bogazici University in Istanbul, Turkey. Her research interests include video-based analysis of intercultural interaction, heath communication, and digital discourse.


Adrienne Isaac

Concentration: Sociolinguistics

Adrienne joined the Department in 2014. She received her BA degree in Psychology from UCLA. For her undergraduate research, she incorporated conversation and discourse analytic methods to study classroom interactions involving English-Spanish bilingual students. Subsequent to graduating from UCLA, Adrienne taught for several years in Los Angeles County juvenile detention facilities and conducted research with female substance users as well as individuals diagnosed with behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia and early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. Adrienne then returned to UCLA to receive her MA degree in Applied Linguistics where she examined disorganized speech and social cognition in conversations with individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia. Now at Georgetown, Adrienne focuses on the resources – both verbal and nonverbal – that participants in interaction utilize for sense-making purposes. She is particularly interested in the role of theory of mind, joint attention and social cognition in conversation.


Md. Jahurul Islam

Concentration: Theoretical Linguistics

Jahurul entered the doctoral program in Fall 2014. Prior to joining Georgetown, he completed an MA in linguistics in Spring 2014 from North Carolina State University at Raleigh. The primary research areas of Jahurul include acoustic and articulatory phonetics, phonetic aspects of dialect/language variation, language change, quantitative and experimental approach, etc. He loves Praat scripting for automating acoustic data extraction, likes using R for data analysis, and is interested in using different laboratory tools (including electroglottograph, ultrasound, airflow, etc.) for studying the phonetic properties of languages. He conducted an electroglottographic investigation to study the aspect of breathy voicing in Bangla ‘voiced-aspirates’ for his MA Capstone. His future interests include investigating the phonetic variation among Bangla dialects (as spoken in Bangladesh).  


Arianna Janoff

Concentration: Sociolinguistics

Ari’s research interests include institutional discourse, naturalized and/or hegemonic discourses, and language policy. She hopes to dedicate her doctoral studies to investigating the linguistic inequalities perpetuated against non-English-speaking communities using an interactional sociolinguistic approach. Before joining Georgetown’s Ph.D. program in 2017, Ari received an MA in English Sociolinguistics from NC State University and a BA in Linguistics from Pitzer College. In her non-academic free time, she enjoys meditation, competitive ballroom dancing, and social deduction board games.


Hang Jiang

Concentration: Theoretical Linguistics

Hang joined the Ph.D. program in Theoretical Linguistics in 2017, after completing the MS program at Georgetown. She is interested in the syntax-semantics interface, especially with regard to argument structure, tense, aspect and modality. Hang holds an MA in Chinese Linguistics from The Chinese University of Hong Kong and a BA from Xi’an International Studies University. 


Yoojin Kang

Concentration: Sociolinguistics

Yoojin Kang joined the Ph.D. program in 2017. Prior to enrolling at Georgetown she worked as an associate researcher in the Korean Language and Culture Center, which is affiliated with the Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, and previous work includes new dialect formation in industrial towns in Korea, second dialect acquisition by Seoul dialect speakers and perceptual dialectology of Gyeongsang province. She has participated in Dr. Nycz’s research group, and she is currently interested in how linguistic and social factors affect the acquisition of new dialect features.


Amy Kim

Concentration: Applied Linguistics

Amy joined the Ph.D program in Applied Linguistics in 2015. Her research interests include: language testing and assessment; academic literacy; multilingualism; and education policy and practice. She holds an M.A. in Applied Linguistics from Teachers College, Columbia University and a B.A. in East Asian Languages and Literatures with German Studies minor from Smith College. 


Jessica Kotfila

Concentration: Theoretical Linguistics

Jessica received her B.A. in Linguistics and Psychology from Smith College in 2018. Her primary research interests fall within psyscholingustics, historical linguistics, and child language acquisition. Her research has centered around the acquisition of complex syntax in children, mainly concerning wh-movement and recursion. Jessica’s undergraduate thesis explored epistemic and deontic modals in the context of embedded adjunct questions in English, a line of research she plans to continue. Through her graduate studies, Jessica hopes to explore the interphase between syntax and semantics, as well as the relationship between language and the mind.


Brent Laing

Concentration: Sociolinguistics

Brent joined the Ph.D. program in Sociolinguistics in 2016. He is a forensic linguist with research interests in the language of deception, deception detection theory and methods, perceptions of deceptive communication, the language of false confessions, and the discourse of interrogation. He is also interested in authorship attribution and author and speaker profiling. Before coming to Georgetown, Brent earned his MA in Linguistics from Brigham Young University, writing his thesis on the language and cross-cultural perceptions of deception. He earned a BA in TESOL, a certificate in Intercultural Peacebuilding, and a minor in Psychology from BYU-Hawaii. He also taught ESL abroad (South Korea) and in the U.S. for four years collectively.


Xue Ma (Snow)

Concentration: Applied Linguistics

Xue Ma joined Georgetown’s Ph.D. program in Applied Linguistics in 2017 after finishing her work in the school’s master’s program. Her research focuses on second language acquisition, multilingualism, and task-based language teaching, particularly as it applies to Chinese-language pedagogy. Xue is an active practitioner, serving as an instructor with the State Department’s Foreign Service Institute (FSI), where she applies her skills in Chinese language acquisition for non-native speakers. She has been helping language learners for eight years, previously working with Johns Hopkins University and in other roles at FSI. Xue holds a MS from Georgetown University and a BA from Nanjing University.


Katelyn MacDougald

Concentration: Sociolinguistics

Katelyn joined the Ph.D. program in Sociolinguistics in 2016. Her primary research interests lie at the intersection between discourse analysis and syntactic theory, with past work focusing on ellipsis, prestige constructions, epistemic indefinites, and the clausal periphery. Other general areas of interest include narrative analysis, discourse pragmatics, syntactic cartography, and language planning. Before coming to Georgetown, Katelyn studied Linguistics at New York University while simultaneously earning an M.A. in Sociology from Columbia University. She also holds an M.A. in History and a B.A. in Classics and Religious Studies, both from Brown University.


Jordan MacKenzie

Concentration: Sociolinguistics

Jordan MacKenzie joined the Ph.D. program in 2018 after one year as a lecturer in Swahili at the University of Florida. He is principally interested in English in Cuba and Florida, but also in writing systems, pregón, linguistic landscapes, Yorùbá in the Americas, and documentation of Kidaw’ida [dav] and Kimakunduchi [swa]. He has received fellowships to study French, Swahili, and Yorùbá, and completed a Fulbright research grant in Trinidad, studying tropical fruit nomenclature. Jordan holds an MA in Linguistics from the University of Florida and is the copy editor of the Yorùbá Studies Review.


James Maguire

Concentration: Theoretical Linguistics

James entered the Ph.D. program in 2014. Prior to enrolling at Georgetown he completed a BA in linguistics from the School of African and Oriental Studies. His research interests primarily focus on semantics and cognition, with secondary interests in machine learning and the syntax-semantics interface.


Emma Manning

Concentration: Computational Linguistics

Emma joined the Ph.D. program in 2015 after completing a BA in Linguistics from Scripps College and is currently working on evaluation of natural language generation.


Alex Marsters

Concentration: Sociolinguistics

Alex joined the Ph.D. program in 2012 after spending a year in the M.S. program. Her primary research interests are in forensic linguistics, including burgeoning interests in speaker identification, authorship attribution and threat assessment. Prior to joining the Georgetown community, she completed her undergraduate work at Syracuse University in English Literature and Secondary Education with a minor in Forensic Science.


Christiana McGrady

Concentration: Theoretical Linguistics

Christiana is a Ph.D. student in Theoretical Linguistics. Her research interests include phonology, morphology, and syntax. She is interested in the interaction between prosody and morphology in primarily Western Slavic Languages, and has also worked on Russian unaccusative syntax. Christiana joined the Ph.D. Program at Georgetown in 2017. She recieved her B.A. in Applied Linguistics and Russian Language, with a Certificate of Advanced Proficiency in Russian, from Portland State University in 2011.


Todd H. McKay

Concentration: Applied Linguistics

Todd joined the Ph.D. program in Applied Linguistics in 2014. His research interests focus on language program evaluation, primarily in the South-Central Asian context. Narrower interests include utilization-focuses evaluation, culturally appropriate evaluation, task-based language teaching, and statistics and measurement (Rasch!). Prior to coming to Georgetown, Todd taught English in Bangladesh and at an intensive English program in Ogden, Utah. In his free time, he enjoys running, reading, and ‘urban spelunking’ (walking aimlessly around cities).


Shannon Mooney

Concentration: Sociolinguistics

Shannon joined the Ph.D. program in 2013. Her research interests include quantitative analysis of regional dialect change and the link between phonological variation and lexical form, function, and frequency. She has previously analyzed corpora of regional dialects of Scotland and surrounding areas in both M.A. and B.A. theses. Before coming to Georgetown, she received her M.A. in Linguistics from University of Toronto and her B.A. in Linguistics and Anthropology from New York University.


Minh Nguyen

Concentration: Sociolinguistics

Minh joined the Ph.D. program in 2015. Her research interests include language and ethnicity, language and gender, social media data, discourse analysis, and women and gender studies. Primarily interested in Asian American and queer communities, Minh focuses on the role of language in the construction of minority identities. She received her B.A. in Linguistics and Women’s Studies, as well as a minor in French, at the University of Georgia.


Madeleine Oakley

Concentration: General Linguistics

Madeleine Oakley is a Ph.D. candidate in General Linguistics. Her research interests include phonetics, phonology, second language acquisition, and the phonetics/phonology interface. She is interested in using acoustic and articulatory methods to investigate the acquisition of phonological contrasts. Her current projects use ultrasound tongue imaging to explore L2 phonological category formation. She is also interested in speech perception, and non-native tone perception. Madeleine joined the Ph.D. program in 2015. She received her B.A. in Linguistics and French from The University of Texas at Austin, where she worked as a research assistant in the SoundLab.


Bernard O’Connor

Concentration: Theoretical Linguistics

Bernard joined the Ph.D. program in Theoretical Linguistics in 2017. He is interested in the morphology/phonology interface, with a particular focus on the templatic morphology of Arabic and other Semitic languages. He is also interested in loanword adaptation. He has an MA in Linguistics and Arabic from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), and a BA in Classical Languages from Trinity University.


Siyao Peng

Concentration: Computational Linguistics

Siyao joined the Ph.D. program in computational linguistics in 2017.  His current interests lie in computational methods and corpus linguistics. At Georgetown, he worked on dependency grammars and conversions among grammar formalisms. Siyao received a B.A. in linguistics, applied mathematics and French from UC Berkeley in 2015, followed by an M.A. in language diversity from Leiden University (Universiteit Leiden) in 2016.


Stacy Jennifer Petersen

Concentration: Theoretical Linguistics

Stacy’s research interests are centered around phonetics, phonology, and acquisition. Her current dissertation work focuses on constraints of the time dimension of the vowel space to account for diphthong vowels. She also is interested in vowel dispersion and speech perception. Previous work includes L2 acquisition of French nasal vowels, Faroese laryngeal phonology, and computational phonology. She has participated in Dr. Zsiga’s research group, doing tongue edge tracking in ultrasound video of Setswana speakers. She received a B.A. in French with a minor in Linguistics at UC Berkeley.


Alexandra Pfiffner

Concentration: Theoretical Linguistics

Alexandra joined the Ph.D. program in 2015. Her primary interests are in phonological acquisition, speech perception, and the phonetics/phonology interface. Her current research looks at L2 allophonic acquisition, specifically examining perceptual assimilation to L1 phoneme categories and orthographic effects on implicit learning of allophones. She received her B.A. in Spanish with a minor in Linguistics from Colgate University.
 


Ashleigh Pipes

Concentration: Applied Linguistics

Ashleigh joined the Ph.D. program in Fall 2013. She received a B.S. in Japanese with Business Coursework from Georgetown University and an M.A. in Communication Arts from the University of West Florida. Prior to her return to Georgetown, Ashleigh held various marketing positions in the US and Japan and also studied Korean at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California. She is currently interested in individual differences in second language acquisition and task-based language teaching.


Di Qi

Concentration: Applied Linguistics

Di is a Chinese instructor at the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures at Georgetown University. After graduating with a M.A.T. ESL-BLE in 2012, she returned to the Hilltop to start her doctoral studies in 2014. Her major areas of interest are second language acquisition, cognitive linguistics, and language assessment. She is especially interested in how the motivation level in second language learners affects their language acquisition rate.


Derek Reagan

Concentration: Applied Linguistics

Derek joined the Ph.D. program in 2018. His current research interests include but are not limited to second language development, L2 pedagogy, task-based language teaching and learning, and second language pragmatics. He previously studied at the University of Idaho where he received a B.A. in English Literature and Spanish as a Foreign Language as well as an M.A. in TESL. Prior to arrival at Georgetown, he completed a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship at the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte in Natal, Brasil.


Ayşenur Sağdıç

Concentration: Applied Linguistics

Ayşenur’s​ ​primary research​ ​area is classroom-based adult second language acquisition with a particular emphasis on​ ​second language pragmatic​ ​development, instruction, and assessment.​ ​She holds a Bachelor’s in​ ​Foreign Language Education,​ ​a Master’s in TESL​ ​(Applied Linguistics focus), and a​ ​Cambridge​ ​ICELT certification.​ ​Ayşenur​ ​has several years of experience in teaching EFL​ ​and ESL learners​ ​for academic purposes at various language proficiency levels​ ​as well as in teaching English composition and writing skills to US undergraduates.


Bradford Salen

Concentration: General Linguistics

Bradford joined the Ph.D. program in 2018. He received his B.A. in Linguistics and his M.A. in Second Language Acquisition (SLA) from the University of Maryland. His research interests include computational approaches to second language processing, L1 acquisition, and psycholinguistics.


Sean Simpson

Concentration: Socioinguistics

Sean joined the Ph.D. program in 2013. His research interests include natural language processing, machine learning, and sociolinguistic variation. He is particularly interested in developing NLP systems capable of picking up on linguistic cues speakers use to project various aspects of social identity. His dissertation work focuses on the automatic detection of sociodemographic information based on small conversational speech snippets. Prior to studying at Georgetown, Sean received an M.A. in linguistics from the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa focusing on language documentation and conservation. Before his time in Hawai‘i, Sean received a B.A. in linguistics and anthropology from the University of Florida.


Sasha Slone

Concentration: Theoretical Linguistics

Sasha joined the Ph.D program in 2016. She recieved her B.A. in Linguistics and Psychology from Ohio State University where she worked as a research assistant in the Developmental Language and Cognition Lab. Her main research interest is semantics and temporality with a secondary interest in computational linguistics.


Young-A Son

Concentration: Applied Linguistics

Young A joined the Ph.D. program in Fall 2013 in the Applied Linguistics concentration. Her research interests include second language acquisition and language testing with particular interest in speaking assessment. She conducted her M.A. thesis on Paired Speaking Assessment and is particularly interested in the design of scoring rubrics and rater training. She taught English Speaking courses to university students for two years. She received an M.A. in English Linguistics and a B.A. in English Language and Literature in Seoul National University.


Sakol Suethanapornkul

Concentration: Applied Linguistics

Sakol joined the Ph.D. program in 2014. Before coming to Georgetown, Sakol was an English instructor at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand for 4 years. He taught a wide variety of English courses to undergraduates in many programs (e.g., Architecture, Dentistry, and Pharmaceutical Sciences). His research interests are Second Language Acquisition (SLA), L2 construction learning, and statistical and embodied language learning. He has presented his work at major conferences in Applied Linguistics (AAAL, AILA, and SLRF) and published the research he co-authored with Dr. Daniel Jackson in Language Learning. His work was also published in the SLRF 2012 Proceedings. He received his Bachelor of Education (first-class honor) from Chulalongkorn University and received the Fulbright Scholarship to complete his MA in Second Language Studies at the University of Hawaii.​


Yasser Teimouri

Concentration: Applied Linguistics

Yasser joined the Ph.D. program in applied Linguistics in 2014. His areas of interest include individual differences, especially L2 motivation, interactionist approach, and socio-cultural aspects of second language learning. He is currently involved doing research on exploring the interrelationships between language learners’ motivational orientations, emotional experiences, and motivated behavior. More importantly, he is attempting to establish a link between learners’ cognitive and attentional processes and their motivational systems within the process of L2 learning, an area of investigation that has been neglected in SLA research for a long time. 


Rachel Thorson Hernández

Concentration: Theoretical Linguistics

Rachel joined the Ph.D. program in 2013. Prior to coming to Georgetown, she received an M.S. in Theoretical Linguistics from the Universidad Autónoma de Querétaro, Mexico and a B.A. in Spanish and French Literature from the University of Virginia. While working towards the completion of her M.S., Rachel researched the acquisition of English phrasal verbs by Spanish speakers, and the perception and production of English tense-lax vowels by native speakers of Spanish and Korean. Rachel is interested in acoustic phonetics, prosody, second language acquisition, socially constructed identity, and bilingual lexicography (and cheese).


Şeyma Toker

Concentration: Applied Linguistics

Şeyma joined the Ph.D. program in Applied Linguistics in 2018. She received an M.A. in TESL from Pennsylvania State University and a B.A. in ELT from Middle East Technical University. Her research interests include critical multilingualism, migration, identity and social justice in SLA. She is particularly interested in the language practices of marginalized multilinguals in migration contexts such as refugee populations. Prior to coming to Georgetown, Şeyma has worked as a language instructor at the university level for five years and taught several ESL, EAP and EFL courses at Penn State and Bilkent University.


Brandon Tullock

Concentration: Applied Linguistics

Brandon joined the Ph.D. program in 2013. He conducts research in the areas of second language acquisition and multilingualism, study abroad, and multiliteracies, and his work has appeared in System and Research on the Teaching of English. His dissertation work focuses on multilingual US-based study abroad participants learning Spanish in Catalonia. Brandon holds a BA in German from Belmont University in Nashville and an MA in Applied Linguistics from the Universitat de Barcelona. Before coming to Georgetown, he taught English in Austria and Barcelona for 2 and 4 years, respectively. He speaks German, Spanish, and Catalan.


Francesca Venezia

Concentration: Applied Linguistics

Francesca joined the Ph.D. program in 2015. Her dissertation explores community-based learning in university Spanish language courses. She has also conducted research on heritage speakers, dual language education, and language policy. Francesca received her B.A. from Rutgers University.


Mark Visona

Concentration: Sociolinguistics

Mark joined the Ph.D. program in 2015 with a BA in Arabic from Georgetown and a MA from the American University in Cairo in journalism and mass communication after working for several years as an educator in Egypt and Kuwait. In his master’s research he has examined the phenomenon of agenda-setting for Facebook users in Egypt and the use of poetic slogans in propagating revolutionary ideals. His doctoral research has included conference presentations on linguistic landscapes in Malawi, emergency calls to university police, argument in online religious discussion boards, and systemic functional linguistic analyses of emails from the White House. He has received an Honorable Mention in the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program and the Graduate Student Award from the American Association of Applied Linguistics 2019 Annual Conference. Currently, Mark is working on a dissertation on the language of deceptive online hotel reviews as part of his focus on Forensic Linguistics.


Jeremy Wegner

Concentration: General Linguistics

Jeremy Wegner entered the Ph.D. program in General Linguistics in 2013. His interests include metrical phonology, information structure, frame analysis, and stance-taking in discourse. In broader terms, Jeremy is concerned with language evolution, language contact, and cross-cultural communication. Prior to joining the program, he studied Linguistics and Linguistic Anthropology at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, specializing in the structure and poetics of Athabascan folklore.


Lindley Winchester

Concentration: Theoretical Linguistics

Lindley joined the Ph.D. program in 2014. Her research focuses on both theoretical and computational approaches to studying the morphology and syntax of Semitic languages. Prior to coming to Georgetown, her research centered around Arabic and the broken plural construction. She received her B.A. and M.A. in Linguistics from the University of Kentucky.  


Ezra Wyschogrod

Concentration: General Linguistics

Ezra joined the program in 2017. His research interests include variation, sociophonetics, dialectology, language contact, and the phonetic-phonology interface. He has conducted fieldwork in New England, New York City and in Côte d’Ivoire. His work has been featured at NWAV, ICEL, and in American Speech. He received his BA in linguistics from Columbia University.


 Yiran Xu

Concentration: Applied Linguistics

Yiran joined the Ph.D. program in 2015. Her research interests include adult second language acquisition in study abroad (SA) contexts, multilingualism, second language writing, language assessment and research methodology. Her current projects include a meta-analysis on language complexity development, a study on the dialectics between monolingualism and multilingualism in SA context through the lens of a language pledge, and a C-test on Mandarin Chinese for research purposes. Prior to joining the Department of Linguistics at Georgetown, Yiran worked at the Language Learning Lab at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She had also been an instructor of Mandarin Chinese at the Princeton in Beijing (PIB) summer program.  


Akitaka Yamada

Concentration: Theoretical Linguistics

Akitaka joined the Linguistics Department in 2014 soon after receiving an M.A. from the University of Tokyo. His recent work centers around the quantitative description and the qualitative generalization of the conditional clauses: applying multivariate analyses and Bayesian statistics to corpus data, and comparing several formal and functional theories on this issue. Appreciated for his attempts to synthesize the functional and theoretical paradigms, he is granted Fulbright scholarship in 2014 for his graduate study. Aside from his own study, he works as a teaching assistant of a Japanese class in East Asian Languages and Cultures, making every effort to make the class full of laughter with improvement.