Linguistics 2021 Senior Profiles

Congratulations to the graduating class of 2020-2021! Students this year faced an unprecedented set of circumstances, and they showed an amazing amount of flexibility, resilience, and empathy. They came out strong and will surely never forget the value of friendship and human connection. They are definitely ready to be citizens of the world and we couldn’t be prouder of them!

Read on to see their creative and thoughtful answers to the questions below:

  1. What activities were you involved in during your time on Campus?
  2. What was your favorite college class?
  3. What is your favorite college memory, or what do you miss most about UW-Madison right now?
  4. What are your hopes, plans, and dreams for the future?

Henry Barford

Activities – The most important social organization/activity for me during undergrad was probably the Nordic Ski Team. I made so many great friendships and memories there, and it made the cold and dark Wisconsin winters the most exciting part of the year. It was a real blow not to be able to do it senior year. Another very important club for me was the UW-Madison YDSA, which was a fantastic community that got me engaged and active with real leftist political causes that directly impacted my city and community.

Classes – I have had so many incredible classes, from Modern Philosophy, to Creative Writing, to Structure of a Language. I think that maybe the most important one has probably been the thesis course this past year. Having the opportunity to take the lead on a big research project and apply all that I’ve learned has been a really special experience. However, if you really pressed me on it, I’d have to say that Linguistics 101 was my favorite. If a class can make you say “this is what I want to do for the next four years”, then that class has really made an impact, and that class definitely did.

Memory – I have too many great memories of my time here. The first one that comes to mind is my last really great memory of campus, which was going to Union South to see the band 100 gecs right before lockdown started at the end of February 2020. The show was absolutely wild, and me and my friends probably narrowly avoided getting COVID in the mosh pit. Over the last year, I have definitely missed the feeling of going to school with all of my classmates— I hope to have that feeling of shared experience again soon, as things open up.

The Future? – Right now, I’m looking forward to a free summer, and then starting to work at Epic. Down the road, I’m planning to go to law school, but that’s still a long ways off. I’ve got a lot of people, friends, acquaintances, old teachers, to catch up with— so I plan on doing that this summer. I plan on doing some more rock climbing during my free time this summer as well—exploring some of the places southern Wisconsin has to offer.

Pedro Da Motta Pedroso

Activities – I was a tutor for the GUTS Conversational English program during my senior year and I absoluetely loved the experiece. I got to learn about different cultures and experiences from my international peers and also prepared some lessons to help them further develop their English skills.

Classes – That’s a hard one, but I’d probably say Ling 373: Archival-Based Language Reclamation (which I took this Spring semester). I had no idea what to expect from this class, but I ended up loving it. Professor Macaulay did such a wonderful job in introducing the Menominee language and also many language revitalization programs. It was also very interesting to learn about the sad history of Indigenous language suppression in the U.S.

Campus Memory – Honestly, since I spent my senior year at home (Brazil), I just miss being with my friends in general. We would stroll around state street and grab a coffee or some food and just have a merry good time.

The Future? – After my graduation, I plan to get a job in English education, possibly as a teacher or as TA, and I wish to start a masters program in English Curriculum and Instruction next year. Hopefully at UW-Madison again. In the meantime, I would love to travel with my family to a different country and explore the world with them. There’s just so much to see and not enough time so I gotta make every moment count.

Elena Groves

Activities – I’ve been heavily involved in research through my undergraduate assistant positions in the Language and Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory, the Efferent Systems Laboratory, and the Voice and Swallow Clinic at the UW Health University Hospital. I was also the Secretary of our chapter of the National Student Speech-Language-Hearing Association (NSSLHA) this past school year.

Classes – Although I enjoyed the vast majority of the classes I took (after my freshman year spent majoring in biochemistry, that is…), I would have to say that my favorite was probably Spanish 429: Introduction to the Romance Languages, a course I took in Spring 2020.

Memory – I miss seeing hordes of students crowding the sidewalks during passing periods and, in general, just being able to walk to and sit down for in-person classes with the friends I’ve made over the years.

The Future? – This fall, I’ll be starting my master’s degree in speech-language pathology at UW-Madison. I’m so excited to be staying in the area for at least two more years!

Jason Jenson

Activities – I had a really great time attending some of the activities organized by the Russian faculty here–while they lasted.

Classes – My favorite class was Second Language Acquision taught by Jacee Cho. That’s actually what got me interested in potentially pursuing linguistic experimental research down the road!

Campus Memory – I’ll always miss going to the Marquee to watch some high brow art films for free.

The Future? – Next up is my Capstone year abroad in Kazakhstan as part the last segment of the Russian Flagship Program. Still figuring it out about after that…

Vade Kamenitsa-Hale

Activities – I was in the marching band!

Classes – My favorite linguistics class was advanced phonology, and my favorite class in general was Intro to Software Security.

Campus Memory – My favorite campus memory is the same as what I miss most about campus right now: football gamedays!

The Future? – I am seeking employment after graduation, preferably as a software developer in the Madison area.

Lizbeth Lopez-Rico

Activities – During my time here at UW-Madison I joined the Latino Student Union my schedule and when my schedule allowed, I went to a couple of the linguistics talks on campus.

Classes – My favorite class would be a linguistics topics class that focused on Dialect. I was able to do research on a topic of my choice which was Spanglish. I really enjoyed completing that project and it got me excited about possible projects for the future.

Campus Memory – Something that I miss from campus was just being on it! I was a transfer student from Madison College and was on campus for the only my first semester and half of my second one. I was just getting used to campus and finding nice places to study in.

The Future? – I don’t quite know what the future looks like for me quite yet, but I do want to work a bit and maybe later take on a masters and even a PhD. For now, I would just like to celebrate this great accomplishment as a DACA and first-generation college graduate.

David Owen

Activities – During college I did a variety of smaller activities, during freshman and sophomore year I played on intramural soccer teams and then during senior year I helped out with some ongoing German Linguistic research. I was also an English tutor through the Eagle Heights program with GUTS.

Classes – My favorite classes during college were German Linguistics with Mark Louden and Structure of a Language with Monica.

Campus Memory – My favorite campus memories are of Badger game days. But since going online I definitely also have missed going to Van Hise for class and just seeing the variety of people there and hearing all the different languages in the halls.

The Future? – I plan to be staying in Madison for the foreseeable future, and I am very much looking forward to doing a lot of kayaking on the lakes this summer.

Rachel Riese

Activities – I was a double major in Viola Performance, so I have been in a string quartet for the past three years with some of my now-closest friends. I’m also a member of German Club.

Classes – My favorite linguistics classes have been anything I’ve taken with Professors Macaulay and Salmons! My favorite class in another department was a Seminar in Musicology on the topic of Late Beethoven I took on the year of his 250th birthday.

Campus Memory – – In general: nighttime walks by the lakes, football games in the fall, hanging on the Terrace on a warm evening, viola lessons/chamber coachings, and weekly viola coffee! A more specific favorite memory was playing in the pit for the opera La Bohème my freshman year; there is a really special bonding that happens in an opera pit that helped me form friendships I’ve had for the last four years here.

The Future? – I hope to someday explore the intersection of music and language cognition. Until then, we will see where life takes me. I will start a Master of Music program in Viola Performance/Pedagogy this fall at the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. I’m truly grateful for the inspiration and support from all my professors here in the Lang Sci department over the past four years. I’m so glad I found linguistics when I did!

Nisha Stukel

Activities – I was involved in sheepshead club for my freshman year, but this year and half of last year I was too busy to attend.

Classes – My favorite class was Making Comics 1.

Memory – I miss being able to spend time at the Unions, just being able to have lunch or even sitting around and doing classwork with a friend.

The Future? – Honestly my plans for the future right now are to work in a cafe or bakery for a good bit while my partner is getting work experience and then we will either stay in Madison or move to the Toronto or the Vancouver areas.

Also graduating this year (Fall 2020, Spring 2021, or Summer 2021):

  • Erin Geier
  • Erin Perkins
  • Summer Schultz
  • Brandy Thielen

(If any of you still want to add a profile, just email Becky your info!)

All Ways Forward!