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?
The Linguistics minor was so useful to me as an International Studies and Spanish major! My major coursework gave me a lot of important historical and cultural knowledge, but my Linguistics classes provided a more technical and scientific way to understand languages and language learning. The Linguistics minor helped to give me a more well-rounded view of the languages and regions of the world that I was studying, and I still use many of the skills I learned during class today.
2. What sort of occupation or professional activity are you engaged in now?
I am currently working as an International Student Advisor at the University of Colorado Boulder. I support international students on campus by helping them navigate the United States immigration system and adjust to living in a new country while going to college. At the moment, the students that I work with are exclusively from the Middle East.
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?
My career has been very internationally-focused so far, and the knowledge I gained from studying linguistics has been extremely helpful in a wide variety of contexts. When I was teaching English in China, my background in phonetics and phonology helped me to understand the tonal aspect of Mandarin Chinese much faster than I would have been able to without it. Now that I am working with students from the Middle East, I hope to apply these same skills to dialects of Arabic to connect with them and build rapport during advising sessions and campus events.