I call myself Career Linguist because in addition to the fact that linguistics is my career, I’m also interested in linguistics as a career, especially outside academia. I do research in professional self-presentation and the language of business, and I am passionate professional applications of linguistics. I particularly enjoy working with linguistics students who are willing to be radically curious about career and to explore widely in thinking about where they might like to find expression of their linguistic skills and training !
I discovered my own interest in linguistics during a year abroad in Costa Rica, but it was not until I came back to the US and was working for an organization that would pay for my MA in linguistics if I could only show them the relevance of this training that I became convinced that the world of work needs us linguists!!
That employer helped me to get my MA in Linguistics from NYU, and I have never looked back since!! I went on to do my PhD at Georgetown and along the way have had the opportunity to: teach at such institutions as Howard University and the University of Alberta; to consult in a variety of contexts, including serving as the linguistic researcher for the website that accompanied the film Do You Speak American?; and to present my work on the linguistics of professional self-presentation with research colleagues at conferences around the world, including the organizational ethnography conference in Amsterdam in 2014 (pictured left).
I currently work at the FrameWorks Institute where I work with advocates seeking to change the conversation about a number of social issues of our day (including climate change, immigration reform, and criminal justice). As Manager of the Learing Unit, I am responsible for coordinating professional learning opportunities both face-to-face and virtually through FrameWorks Academy (our online learning platform). Before joining FrameWorks, I had the priveledge of serving as the director of the MLC – the MA in Language and Communication at Georgetown University for 6 years, where I worked with sociloinguistics MA students, helping them to find professional application of their skills and training in linguistics.
I am the co-editor with Deborah Tannen of Discourse 2.0, and in my “spare time” I take the stage as a storyteller with groups like Better Said than Done, Perfect Liar’s club and Story District.
Want to know more?
In August 2015, was featured on Tammy Bjelland’s excellent podcast, The Business of Language; check it out here.
In Dec 2014, I was profiled by the Linguistics Society of America in their member spotlight