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For Immediate Release
October 12, 2015

IPFW Student Attends Linguistic Society of America Conference and Institute

IPFW Student Attends Linguistic Society of America Conference and Institute Image 1
Kelsie Gillig (center) Print-quality image

FORT WAYNE, Ind.—Indiana University–Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW) senior Kelsie Gillig (’16 COAS) never thought she’d love language so much. Growing up, Gillig, an honors student pursing a degree in anthropology with a minor in linguistics and religious studies, wanted to be a cardiac surgeon. One of the reasons she chose to attend IPFW was the opportunity to be pre-med and have a myriad of academic and social opportunities.

“I took Spanish to fulfill my language requirement and a friend said I should be a translator or a linguist,” said Gillig. “I didn’t know what that was at first.”

Sitting down with Shannon Bischoff, associate professor of linguistics, Gillig found she was at home with language, syntax, and phonology.

“I loved the dissection of sentences and inventories of sound,” said Gillig. “Dr. Bischoff showed me a whole new world with linguistics as well as the socio-cultural context of language that comes with anthropology.”

Charting a new course at IPFW, Gillig was encouraged to attend the Linguistic Society of America (LSA) Summer Institute and Conference at the University of Chicago to take full advantage of getting to work with the best linguists in the world. She was excited and pleased to receive scholarships: the Ethics in Linguistics Award from the Department of English and Linguistics and an Honors Scholarship to help with the institute cost.

“LSA institute is one of the most prestigious in the world,” said Bischoff. “At the LSA Kelsie had an opportunity to work directly with leading scholars from around the world whose research is on the cutting edge of linguistic inquiry: inquiry impacting speech recognition, digital media, search engine development, neurophysiology, cognitive science, and numerous other domains. It won’t surprise me if I see Kelsie at the LSA in the future mentoring young linguists as she was mentored this summer.”

Gillig spent the summer learning from highly respected linguists and learning if this was the career path she wants to pursue with a doctoral degree.

“LSA’s institute was the ultimate test of whether I would enjoy the career path I have planned for myself,” says Gillig. “Through connecting with other linguists from all over the world I learned that I’m truly excited for a career in this field and look forward to applying to Ph.D programs this fall.”

For more information on Gillig and her time at the Linguistic Society of America Institute, contact Gillig at gillkl02@students.ipfw.edu.

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