Linguistics 2023 Senior Profiles

Congratulations to the graduating class of 2022-2023! What an amazingly talented and energized group we have this year! We wish them all the best and are sure that the world is ready for the wonderful things they will do in their post-Badger era.

Read on to see their thoughts and heartfelt reflections on their time at UW-Madison:

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

Tina Bolek

Activities – I was involved in the SLA (Second Language Acquisition) lab while on campus and also played clarinet in the University Bands. I led a Bible study at my church and was a member of other leadership groups at my church as well.

Favorite class – I had a lot of fun classes throughout college, one of them being Linguistics 101 with Becky! This intro linguistics class sparked my interest in the field and pushed me to pursue a degree in Linguistics. Another fun class I really enjoyed was English 414: The Global Spread of English, with Professor Purnell. I loved being able to apply linguistics concepts to real life and think about language in a wide variety of aspects.

Favorite UW memory – Some of my favorite UW memories are from Badger football games. Also, I will strangely miss the cages from Memorial Library. At least the books were there to comfort me.

The future? – I am moving to St. Louis next year, and am planning to pursue a career in the book publishing industry as an editor!

Simon Dantzic

Activities – I was a DJ with WSUM, UW’s own student radio show for three years! I hosted a music show featuring underground electronic music.

Classes – My favorite class I’ve taken here at UW was Language and Immigration in Wisconsin with Joe Salmons. As a non-Wisconsinite, I learned a lot about the state’s history and culture via that class, as well as discovering my passion for sociolinguistics.

Campus Memory – I’ll be sad to no longer be surrounded by such creative, intelligent, and compassionate peers as those I’ve met during my time at UW. I’ll also miss the mentorship and invaluable knowledge of the professors and staff I’ve had the privilege of working with.

The Future? – My immediate plan upon graduating is to travel around Europe. I’ve spent nearly 9 years of my life learning to speak the German language but have not yet had the opportunity to travel to a Germanophone country. Beyond that, I hope to find work in translation or another linguistics-related field, and ultimately start my own business.

Fiona Freeman

Activities – I have served as a language tutor for both Korean and English on campus and in the surrounding Madison High School district throughout my time at UW. I also co-founded a Korean speaking club to help learners of Korean practice the language outside of the classroom with other students.

Classes – Since I majored in both psychology and linguistics, my favorite class has been PSYCH 521: The Structure of Human Thought taught by Gary Lupyan. This class was my first experience with the field of psycholinguistics, so I found it incredibly interesting!

Campus Memory – My favorite campus memories have to be those I shared with the friends I’ve made at UW. Since I’m from Illinois, I came to UW knowing almost no one, but over the years I’ve met so many amazing people. Everything from sitting out on the terrace to watch the sunset, studying at College Library late at night, and bundling up to confront the harsh never-ending winter has become a cherished memory to me since I had such amazing people by my side for all of it.

The Future? – I have the amazing opportunity to study Korean at a university in Gwangju, South Korea for this upcoming summer through the Critical Language Scholarship program. After I complete this, I’m hoping to stay abroad and eventually go to graduate school in Korea to study Korean linguistics.

Andrew Kline

Activities – I was a part of the Arabic House Baytunaa in the International Learning Community during my second year. We organized a number of casual cultural activities related to Arabic and the Arab World and took a seminar about cultural expression in the Arab World.

Classes – It is so hard to choose my favorite class. Every linguistics class I took introduced me to new topic areas and showed me the depth of linguistics as a field. “Language, Race, and Identity” was one of my favorites and stoked my interest in sociolinguistics. My favorite academic experience was definitely studying Arabic in Amman, Jordan during Fall 2022.

Campus Memory – I think I will mostly miss the environment of campus and Madison as a whole. I really enjoy walking to class each day (when the weather is nicer) and going for runs through the Arboretum. The City of Madison is just a cool place to be.

The Future? – This September I’m planning to begin two years of Peace Corps service in Vanuatu as an education volunteer. The incredible linguistic diversity there makes it a dream location for a linguist, so I am excited!

Alexander Peseckis

Activities – I worked at the UW Graphics Lab and created an application useful for comparing different robot motions.

Classes – I really enjoyed my Linguistics capstone class (Linguis 690) with Professor Joe Salmons. It was fun learning about how the Wisconsin accent evolved into what it is today and then conducting research on the topic. I also really liked Linguis 373: Statistics for Linguists with Professor Eric Raimy. It allowed me to use knowledge from both my majors, Computer Science and Linguistics, by having us code in R for the purpose of analyzing linguistic data.

Campus Memory – My favorite memories from UW are from going to the football home games at Camp Randall with all my friends. It was so much fun being in the student section, watching the Badgers play, singing “Sweet Caroline,” and jumping for “Jump Around” together after 3rd quarter.

The Future? – I look forward to continuing my education at UW Madison by pursuing a PhD in Computer Science.

Tia Sadlon

Activities – On campus, I was involved in a couple different extracurriculars: WSUM (the student radio), Pi Phi (a Greek life org), Psi Chi (national honors society for psychology), the Language Ideology and Linguistic Discrimination working group, and Phi Beta Kappa.

Classes – It’s hard for me to pick just one favorite class, so here’s a few: 1) the horror class I took freshman year with Prof. Adam Stern, German 276. We learned about different perspectives on horror from several German philosophers, then applied them to various horror books and films. I’m a huge Stephen King fan, so this was right up my alley! 2) English Language Variation in the US with Prof. Tom Purnell. I’ve always been interested in dialects and want to pursue sociolinguistics in the future, and this could not have been a more perfect class to introduce me to that type of work. 3) My entire senior honors thesis and all the courses that contributed to it, with my mentor Arella Gussow and Prof. Maryellen MacDonald. I discovered that I love doing my own research, and I could not have done it without Arella and Maryellen’s support.

Memory – It’s easier to list what I won’t miss about Wisconsin — maybe walking up Bascom? Maybe the fact that the Van Hise elevators still confuse me to this day? Maybe the fact that Brogden only has one bathroom per floor? Besides those things, I will miss pretty much everything else, from Camp Randall to Lake Mendota.

The Future? – My plans for the future involve first a MSc in Applied Linguistics at the University of Edinburgh, then a PhD and (hopefully) becoming a professor in linguistics or something close to it. I hope to always be involved in linguistics/cognitive science research no matter what my career ends up being, and my dream would be to be a professor in the US with a summer/sabbatical home in Sweden!

Jennifer Stoughton

Classes – My favorite class is a toss up because I currently love my linguistics capstone since I get to do research, but English 413 Words: Grammar, Culture, Mind with Anja Wanner was such an interesting class that introduced me to a lot of topics I love now.

Memory – I think my favorite UW memory that is specifically attached to UW is going to Belize my freshman year for a winterim study abroad. Other than that, meeting and being with all of my friends is also a favorite.

The Future? – Hope, plans, and dreams for the future would be to live a life I love, have a job I like, and help others in any way possible. I would love to have a career in some form of research or language documentation. I just want to be happy with my life and be able to do the things I enjoy. 🙂

Miranda Vescio

Activities – I was lucky enough to get to be the Co-President of the Photography Club here on campus, as well as the Multi-Media Intern for Language Sciences.

Classes – My favorite academic experience, I think, has been being able to study vastly different topics (including my majors, Computer Science and Linguistics) and see all sorts of connections between them. Even things that seem to have nothing in common can be connected if you look at them from the right perspective, and getting to see so many of those connections has been really intriguing.

All Ways Forward!