While there, Ann learned a delightful linguistic blend – touron, a mix between tourist and moron. Looking back, Ann says she was always thinking about language even from a young age but decided on the biology BS because she wanted to be part of the statistic for women with a Bachelor of Science degree. After two gap years working as a copy editor for scientific journals at the American Diabetes Association in Alexandria, Virginia, Ann began her graduate studies in linguistics at Northwestern University (not in Virginia). If Ann were any reptile or amphibian, she would be a Newt, (but then she would get better).
When she began her graduate program at Northwestern she knew she wanted to do psycholinguistics, but thought she would have to do only syntax until Jeff Lidz (of the button Lidzes, not the hat Lidzes) arrived and took her under his wing. From then on, she was able to study first language acquisition. Ann’s favorite color is mustard yellow, but when asked what color lightsaber she would wield, the answer was a clear, “blue.” Her dissertation focused on syntactic bootstrapping and how kids learn the meanings of causative verbs. The Haiku below (provided by Ann) serves as a TL;DR summary of her dissertation work:
Causative verbs and
events have internal parts:
Kids learn like adults
Like many of us, several of Ann’s current research projects have been delayed due to the pandemic, but she is currently working on development of a digital tool to help scaffold the research writing process for undergraduate students. If Ann were a dessert, she would be a caramel apple pie, but her favorite desserts are any that involve burnt sugar. Ann is also involved in several scholarly teaching pursuits and groups both here at IU and through the Linguistic Society of America. She is the past chair of the Linguistics in Higher Education Committee, and the current convener of the Scholarly Teaching in Linguistics Special Interest Group (or SIG for short). She is also a member of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Linguistics faculty learning community. In addition to membership in these committees, she plans and organizes mini-courses and professional development opportunities through the LSA and is involved in scholarly teaching professional development through the Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning (CITL) at IU. If Ann ever got a tattoo (though she never would) it would be an outline of the state of Virginia.