Doctoral Alumni

For a listing of all UCSB Linguistics doctoral alumni, click here.

Andrea Berez, Ph.D., 2011

I finished my PhD in 2011 with a dissertation titled “Discourse, Landscape, and Directional Reference in Ahtna.” I am currently an assistant professor in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Hawai‘i at M?noa, where I teach in the Language Documentation and Conservation track. My research includes language documentation in Alaska and Papua New Guinea, with a special focus on the interaction between grammar and discourse.

Kobin Kendrick, Ph.D., 2010

After I finished my Ph.D. in 2010, I took a post-doctoral research position at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in Nijmegen, the Netherlands. I am now a research coordinator for the Interactional Foundations of Language project, which investigates possible universals in the organization of face-to-face social interaction. My research uses conversation analysis to examine basic mechanisms of turn-taking, repair, and sequence organization cross-linguistically.

Loretta O'Connor, Ph.D., 2004

I did graduate studies at UCSB and the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in Nijmegen, Netherlands, obtaining a Ph.D. in Linguistics from UCSB in 2004. My research and fieldwork have centered on the documentation and comparative description of language diversity, with publications in semantic and syntactic typology as well as documentary and educational materials in print and in a digital archive. I have field experience in Bolivia and Mexico and have published two books, Motion, transfer and transformation: The grammar of change in Lowland Chontal (2007) and El chontal de la Baja de Oaxaca (to appear). 

Robin Shoaps, Ph.D., 2004

As soon as I completed my dissertation in 2004, I began a tenure-track job in the Communication Department at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. They were interested in me because of my background in discourse analysis and my MA and other published work (which grew from a "publishable paper") on Rush Limbaugh and US Pentecostal prayer. I bring this up because "Language and Social Interaction" is a subfield within Communication and UCSB students might think about searching for these jobs in Comm Departments for academic employment. While at UMass I was able to publish on Sakapultek stance, including data and insights that I was unable to fit in the dissertation. I also began collecting more data from Pentecostals in the US. Due to the "two body problem" I left UMass after two years to take a position in Anthropology at the University of Chicago. I know that had I not done serious ethnographic work in Guatemala and were I not already known to the linguistic anthropologists there, my PhD in linguistics wouldn't have gotten me in the door in that position. During this period of time I published on a Sakapultek ritual aimed for a cultural anthropology audience. I also began to analyze Sakapultek evangelical sermons. After a fellowship at the Center for Ethics at the University of Toronto (where I honed the concept of morality as an ethnographic object), I was fortunate to receive a $100,000 grant to spend two years investigating evangelical discourse in Sakapultek and K'iche', adding another fieldsite and language to my research. I am still in the midst of publishing my analyzes of the data I collected then, in part because I returned from the field in 2012 to begin an new position as the linguistic anthropologist at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. Keep an eye out for publications on the language of Sakapultek evangelization, political rhetoric in K'iche' and contemporary Anglophone Pentecostal prophets. UAF has awesome resources for studying Alaska Native languages, including spoken language courses and archives of data. I am currently collaborating with a colleague on a project on Ahtna (Athabaskan) radio sermons.  While at UAF I also collaborated with a colleague from the English Department on a book chapter about the rhetorical contest surrounding what to call drones in three different US spheres (military, government regulatory and commercial). That chapter just appeared in The Rhetoric of Names and Naming, a book edited by Star Medzerian Vanguri.

Kristine Hildebrandt, Ph.D., 2003

I graduated in 2003 and I immediately took a position as a post-doctoral research assistant at the University of Leipzig, in the Institut für Linguistik, from 2003-2005. After that, I had a position as a lecturer in the Linguistics & English Language program at the University of Manchester, from 2005-2008. In 2008 I took a position at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in the English Language and Literature program. I was promoted to Associate Professor in July 2012. I remain active in language documentation and description initiatives in Nepal.

Keith Slater, Ph.D. 1998

Since leaving UCSB I've been working with SIL's East Asia Group. I am based in Kunming, China, and serve as Associate Director for Academic Affairs. I also serve on the graduate faculty of the University of North Dakota. My linguistic research continues to focus on Mongolic languages of NW China, especially in the areas of grammatical description and discourse. Recently I've begun to dabble in historical morphology. You may also find me in the pages of Speculative Grammarian, where I've made a number of questionable contributions to the field of linguistics.

Margaret Field, Ph.D., 1997

I received my PhD in 1997, and my dissertation dealt with language socialization in a Navajo preschool. After spending a year as a postdoc in American Indian Studies at UCLA, I accepted a position at San Diego State University in American Indian Studies.  I continued to work on the relationship between language ideology and language shift in American Indian communities for the next several years, co-editing a book on the subject with Paul Kroskrity from UCLA. I then turned my focus to the local indigenous language of the San Diego area: Kumeyaay, which is extremely endangered. Since 2007 I have been collaborating with Yumanist Amy Miller on a study of the Kumeyaay dialects which are still spoken in Baja, CA.