Kaitlyn Fillmore ‘15

Studied at Luther: IIM in Asian languages and linguistics

1. Why was it important to you to include a linguistics-oriented IIM or a Linguistics minor as part of your studies while you were at Luther?

I was studying both Mandarin Chinese and Japanese languages while at Luther, and adding Linguistics into my IIM helped me discover connections between those languages. Although, I especially enjoyed the history of English language, because I learned things I didn't even know about my own native language - like some of those things we know intuitively, but don't know WHY we know them. ;) For anyone interested in language studies or who needs some knowledge of foreign languages for their discipline (ex: musicians singing in German or Italian, or biologists having some background in Latin), adding linguistics as a part of your studies really helps round out your knowledge. Linguistics also intersects with many other studies/disciplines like sociology, anthropology, early childhood education, and even neuroscience.

2. What sort of occupation or professional activity are you engaged in now?

I now work at Pearson and am pursuing a path in project management. I help manage and deliver contracts for the Maryland State Dept of Ed for their statewide high-stakes school assessments for Grades 3-12.

3. In what ways has the knowledge you gained through studying linguistics contributed to how you engage with your current work and/or the world in general?

I feel more open-minded and welcoming of diversity. Coming in to Luther, I thought I wanted to follow one set path. Taking linguistics help me realize that languages are fluid and every language is important to the human experience, no matter how many people speak it. (Google Gullah language if you are interested!) Linguistics reaffirms the profound realization that we are all not so different from each other.