UC-HBCU Initiative Pathways Grant: HBCU Scholars in Linguistics

Mary Bucholtz (PI) & Anne Charity Hudley (co-PI)

University of California, Santa Barbara

The project establishes a partnership between UCSB and HBCU faculty to establish a pathway for HBCU students to enroll in UCSB’s graduate program in linguistics. The long-term goal of the project is to establish a sustainable model for cross-campus collaborations that broaden participation in linguistics and related fields. Six undergraduate scholars will be recruited each year for three years from three HBCUs with which the co-PI, Dr. Anne Charity Hudley, has longstanding professional and collaborative ties: Norfolk State University (NSU), Virginia State University (VSU), and Virginia Union University (VUU). The lead HBCU faculty collaborators—Rhonda Fitzgerald (NSU), Daniel Roberts (VSU), and Carleitta Paige-Anderson (VUU)—are leaders on their campuses in fostering undergraduate research. Since linguistics is not offered as a major at the HBCUs, a central goal of the project is to raise students’ awareness of and interest in linguistics as a direction for graduate study.

Two UCSB graduate students will serve as lead mentors for the project; additional summer mentoring support will be provided by the PI and co-PI in sociocultural linguistics and educational linguistics, UCSB faculty Dr. Matt Gordon and Dr. Argyo Katsika in instrumental phonetics, and five other graduate students, as well as UCSB Graduate Division staff. The project involves four components:  (1) intensive research experience; (2) preparatory coursework in linguistics; (3) professional development and resources; and (4) mentoring and social support. Although all four components will be included during all three years, the project will be structured somewhat differently in Year 2, in order to take advantage of the fact that the University of California, Davis will host the Linguistic Society of America’s biennial summer Institute in Summer 2019, from June 24 to July 19. The LSA Institute offers graduate and undergraduate students state-of-the-art courses taught by experts in the field and provides invaluable networking and professional development opportunities.

The research component is modeled on the National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates model, which both the PI and co-PI have successfully used in previous NSF-funded research. In the winter quarter prior to the summer program each year, the undergraduate scholars will take a special small, seminar-style online introductory linguistics course taught through UCSB’s Linguistics Department to the HBCU students and six specially selected UCSB undergraduates from underrepresented groups. This course will provide the scholars with a shared foundation in linguistics and help them to develop their research interests as they move forward with their research. In the spring quarter, scholars will be assigned to one of two research groups depending on their general research interests and will participate in monthly planning meetings via Skype to develop a collaborative research topic. Each intern will carry out research activities for 15 hours per week during the summer program. These activities include weekly lab meetings with the faculty advisor for each group, twice-weekly meetings with a graduate student mentor, and individual research and analysis, to be presented to and discussed with team members at the lab meetings. Research will be carried out during weekly team fieldwork trips to the Los Angeles area (or in Year 2, the San Francisco Bay Area).

Eligible students will typically be in their second or third year of undergraduate study; the application will consist of a one-page statement of purpose, a one-page personal achievements statement, an undergraduate transcript, a CV or résumé, and two faculty letters of recommendation. The PI and co-PI will conduct informal Skype interviews with shortlisted applicants. For more information, contact Professor Anne Charity Hudley at acharityhudley@ucsb.edu and see: https://annecharityhudley.com/ucsbhbculing/

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