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Meet our graduate students

Hortensia Barrios

I was born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela where I obtained a BA in International Studies from the Universidad Central de Venezuela and worked as a Foreign Affairs Analyst for several years. I later continued my education at the University of Houston while working as a Research Assistant in the project “Digital and Physical Inroads to Sustaining Scholarly-Community Rapport: Toward a Research Collective for Writing, Community, and Global Culture.” I graduated with a BA PB in English Linguistics (High Honors) and BA PB Spanish – Literature (Honors).

Through the study of the language, I have met many unique people with compelling stories of loss and resilience that are often unheard or forgotten. Their stories make them who they are and situate them in time and space giving them a voice, connecting them with their communities, deconstructing stereotypes, and initiating changes.  My research focuses on understanding the ways in which people construct their multiple selves in socio-cultural situations through the instrumentality of language – I do so with the assistance of Digital Storytelling and Python.

My research interests are sociolinguistics, language ideologies, language attitudes, identity, agency, linguistic anthropology, linguistic ethnography, language policy, digital humanities, and digital storytelling.

I have been awarded the Joyce M Valdes Scholarship, Dorothy Z Baker Library Fellow Scholarship Award, John P, McGovern Library Scholars Award, EPE Award, and Dean’s Entrance Graduate Scholarship. I also received an Outstanding Volunteer Service Recognition by the State of Texas.

Neha Bhatia

Born in a Punjabi family that migrated to India from Lahore after the partition of India in 1947, I speak fluent  Punjabi, also read, speak and write in Hindi, English and French. Given my multilingual and multicultural background, coupled with a B.A. degree in English literature from University of Delhi M.A. And M.Phil. degrees in French and Francophone Studies as well as M.A. from Université de Perpignan,  I wish to develop my research skills further through a PhD in French Cinema at University of Calgary. The University of Calgary has a dynamic community of researchers in the School of Languages, Linguistics, Literatures and Cultures. The multidisciplinary approach of the program will prove to be an asset for my research which focuses on psychoanalysis, feminism and film analysis to interpret the representation of adolescent sexuality in contemporary French cinema. I have received funding through School of Languages, Literatures and Cultures at Calgary. I am a cinéphile and appreciate International cinema. Some of my favourite films include Anti-Christ, Dead Poets Society, Respire, Nymphomaniac Vol. 1&2 and La vie d’Adèle to name but a few. I also enjoy reading poetry, particularly Urdu poets; Gulzar and Kaifi Azmi are two of my favourite contemporary Urdu poets.

Marie-Louise Brice

Marie-Louise Brice

I am enrolled in the Ph.D. program. My research focuses on German philosophy (especially Nietzsche) and French literature of the nineteenth century. I am supervised by Dr. Anthony Wall. I am very fortunate to have received Queen Elizabeth II scholarships. I love reading novels, swimming and traveling. My favorite novel is Germinal by Emile Zola, and my favorite movie is Lord of the Rings. I speak Wolof, French, English, and possess a working knowledge of German and Spanish. I decided to study at the University of Calgary because I love the city of Calgary.

Berenice Isabel Cancino González

I am an M.A. student in Transcultural Studies. I graduated from the Monterrey Institute of Higher Education with a Bachelor in Communication Studies in 2011, and since then I developed a career as a university instructor of written composition. I chose the UofC because of its multidisciplinary approach to the study of Spanish. My research interests include  Latin American dictatorship novels of the 20th century, as well as popular culture elements in contemporary Mexican narratives. Some of my favourite books are Ensayo Sobre la CegueraLa Ciudad y los Perros and El Señor Presidente; regarding films, the ones that I have enjoyed the most are Los Olvidados, El Violín, Somos lo que hay, as well as all the movies by Quentin Tarantino. My other interests include film post-production and sound design, through which I have been able to participate in independent Mexican film productions. My supervisor is Dr. Cheryl Dueck.

Samantha Carron

I hold a BA from UBC-Okanagan in French and Spanish, and an MA in 17th-century French theatre from the University of Calgary. My MA thesis focused on Corneille's religious plays, and more particularly on the author's moral subversion. I am now doing my PhD with a research interest on women studies focusing on 17th-century French literature. My supervisor is Dr. Marie-Andrée Bergeron.
I am originally from France, but moved to Canada in 2008, giving myself the opportunity to hold a dual citizenship. I have always been immersed in French and Spanish, either in school, home or work, therefore I speak them fluently (or rather "close to fluent" for Spanish), in addition to English.
My favorite books are the Dan Brown books (My favorite being Inferno) and the Lord of the Rings series by J.R.R Tolkien. In my spare time, I enjoy going to the gym, reading, shopping, going to the movies, and simply spending time with loved ones. 

Marie Caroline Daigle

I grew up in a French Canadian home in Calgary and being in a bilingual environment sparked a curiosity about languages and its connection to the mind. I recently obtained a bachelor in Linguistics and Languages with Distinction from the University of Calgary. My undergrad degree included a concentration in French as well as a minor in Psychology. I decided to further pursue my interest in language by enrolling in the Master’s Program in Applied Linguistics at the U of C. My supervisor is Dr. Mary O’Brien. I chose to stay here for two reasons: first being that the professors have always constructively pushed and challenged me. The second reason being that although the Calgary French community fairy small, I believe it is strong, thriving and has plenty to learn from. Besides languages, I am very interested in food and our planet and so with my free time, I am usually in the kitchen trying to recipes and researching new ways of being environmentally friendly. 

Nella Darbouze Bonyeme

Originally from Montreal, I completed a B.A. at McGill University and a M.Sc. at Université de Montréal in Psychology, then leapt into the field with a Certificate in Modern Chinese Language & Literature at Concordia University and a M.A. in Comparative Literatures & Cultures at the University of Bristol (UK). I am now enrolled in the PhD in Transcultural Studies.

My primary research interests revolve around the notions of intertextuality and adaptation across media, languages and/or cultures. The multidisciplinary approach of the program and the numerous opportunities for professional development offered by the university are what convinced me to study here. I have been awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Scholarship.

I am fluent in English, French and Spanish, and conversant in Mandarin and Korean. I enjoy reading and writing fiction, watching films or television series. My favourite novel is Raymond Queneau’s Zazie dans le métro, my favourite films, The Hunger Games saga, and my favourite TV show, Argentine series Poliladrón. My hobbies also include karaoke sessions, card/board games and team sports.

Alba Fano Trabanco

I grew up in Asturias, in the northwest of Spain, a Celtic region surrounded by the Cantabrian Sea and the Peaks of Europe. My passion for travelling led me to pursue a B.A. in English Philology at the University of Oviedo (Spain). As part of my undergraduate studies, I had the opportunity to study abroad at the University of Kent, in the historical town of Canterbury (UK), and at SUNY New Paltz, in the Hudson Valley (US). In 2013 I moved to Philadelphia, where I started my graduate studies and teaching career. After getting my M.A. in Hispanic Studies at Villanova University, I embarked on the journey of foreign language teaching and researching more deeply at the University of Delaware. Upon completion of this second M.A., I taught Spanish and ESL at a small private school in Florida.

Currently I am a PhD student in Applied Linguistics. My research interests are L2 pedagogy, study abroad, and the role of emotions and identity in the language classroom. I have chosen the University of Calgary for the interdisciplinary aspect of the program, the good reputation of the department, and its location near the Rockies. I speak Asturian, Spanish, English and some French. One of my favorite books in On the Road by Jack Kerouac. I also enjoy doing yoga, going camping, being outdoors and painting.

Paul Frey

Paul Frey

I graduated from the University of Calgary in 2016 with a Bachelor of Science in Geology (with distinction) and a minor in French. As of September 2016 I will pursue an MA in French. Due to my background, my research interests revolve around natural sciences and geosciences and their correlation with French literature, society and cultural aspects. I have received the Jason Lang Scholarship in two consecutive school years for academic excellence in the Geology program (2014-15 and 2015-16). I decided to remain at the University of Calgary because of the excellent quality in instruction in the departments of Geology and French. My supervisor is Dr. Jean-François Richer
I am fluent in English and French and hold dual citizenship (Canada & France). My favourite French series to read as a child was Les Aventures de Tintin by Hergé. My favourite English book would have to be Holes by Louis Sachar. My favourite movies are the Star Wars series. My favourite French film would have to be the comedy Les Visiteurs with Jean Reno and Christian Clavier. My other pastimes include soccer, racquet sports and international travel, especially travelling to Europe.

Annika Gilgen

I obtained a B.A. and M.A. in German Studies from Heinrich-Heine-University Duesseldorf in Germany and worked in Malaysia for the past two years after my graduation. Therefore I speak some basic Malay, beside English and German.

My research focusses on historical travel reports and my Ph.D. project will examine selected German speaking female travellers of the 19th and 20th century and the influence of the concurrent woman's movement on their ventures and writings. I will receive funding from the School of Languages, Linguistics, Literatures and Cultures. One of the reasons for choosing the University of Calgary is the multi-disciplinary approach of the program which suits my research interests very well.

The close proximity of Calgary to beautiful mountains and national parks doesn't hurt either, as I enjoy going for hikes and walks with my dogs in my pastime. It's hard to pinpoint my favourite novel, but Lord of the Rings by Tolkien and Perfume by Patrick Süskind impressed me a lot, as well as some works by Albert Camus and Irvin D. Yalom. When it comes to movies I especially enjoy horror movies and films by Wes Anderson and Quentin Tarantino.

Harriet K. Haggerty

Harriet K. Haggerty

I am a PhD student in French. I hold a B.A from Makerere University (Uganda) and an M.A in Applied Linguistics from the University of Alberta. My research focuses mainly on Second Language Acquisition and Applied Linguistics with specific interest in Discourse Analysis. My supervisor is Dr. Ozouf Amedegnato. I speak Luganda, English, French, a little bit of German and Swahili. I chose the University of Calgary because of the learning resources and the conducive academic environment. I love listening to music, watching movies, traveling and poetry. I enjoyed reading Les bouts de bois de Dieu by Ousmane Sembène. My favorite movie is The Ultimate Gift.

Jennifer Heidebrecht

I am an MA student in German. I graduated in 2017 with a BA in Music from the University of Calgary, with a minor in German. I speak English and German with growing fluency. My research interests include music and film and how the two have shaped German cultural identity. My graduate supervisor is Dr. Martin Wagner and I chose to further my education at the University of Calgary due to the supportive and encouraging environment of the SLLLC and the school's multidisciplinary approach to studies and research. My favourite film is Sofia Coppola's Lost in Translation and my favourite novel is Neil Gaiman's American Gods. I continue to be active in the performing arts, including being a member of the Calgary Opera Chorus and singing at various local events.

Karina Hincapié

I obtained my bachelor degree at Universidad Central de Venezuela, focusing on the studies of Latin American literature as well as being trained on creative writing. After that, I received a scholarship Erasmus Mundus for the Master Crossways in Cultural Narratives, where I deepened my interest around the relationship between political issues and literature. For this, I had to study in three European universities (University of Santiago de Compostela, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań and University of Perpignan) in a very challenging and   fruitful   multicultural program. This leads to the main reason why I have chosen Calgary: for the discipline–crossing approach that UofC encourages as well as the growing research strength inside a multicultural community.

Other than my academic interests, I am very fond in writing poetry and the books that I could re-read a thousand times and in which find something new always are The Odyssey and Human Poems by Cesar Vallejo. I also enjoy dancing and watching Eastern European cinema.

Ivo Jirásek

Ivo Jirásek

I am originally from what used to be Czechoslovakia, now Czech Republic. All my life I have been interested in science, have Phd in Physics from Prague Technical University and spent my professional career working with computers, the last 10 years teaching in the Computer Science Department here at U of C. After retirement I wanted to explore the humanity side of the academic life and decided to do a degree in Spanish, because I was already familiar with the language and have traveled extensively in Latin America. I have finished my B.A. in Spanish in 2016 and decided to continue with M. A. program. The topic of my B. A. honours thesis was comparing the Czech and Chilean exile literature and in my M. A. thesis I would like to expand this comparison to other aspects of literary fiction. My supervisor is Dr. Luis Torres.
In my spare time I like to go to the mountains for hiking and skiing.

Shuo Kang

I come from China where I obtained my B.A. in English Translation & Chinese Education and M.A. in English Linguistics and Literature from Shandong University. My research interests include Chinese as a foreign language acquisition, translation studies between English and Chinese, as well as Chinese modern literature. Now I am enrolled in the Ph.D. program in Applied Linguistics at University of Calgary, which is a precious opportunity for me to continue my research comprehensively. My supervisor is Dr. Wei Cai.

The reason why I choose University of Calgary is that I am able to develop my research skills and academic potentials under the guidance of the faculty members with great expertise, which will also help me enhance my employability. I speak Chinese, English and a little French. My favorite novel series is The Three-Body trilogy which portrays a grand picture of human life in the future. In my non-academic pastime, I like reading (especially short stories), going to the gym and watching comedic movies.

Isabel Lara

Isabel Lara

I am an international Ph.D. Student, having arrived in Calgary from Colombia in September 2012.  For my Master's degree, obtained from the University of Calgary, I wrote a thesis on Francisca Josefa de Castillo y Guevara, a Colombian mystic writer from the seventeenth century. My dissertation analyzed the erotic components in Castillo's writings as well as the mystic language used in them. Now for my Ph.D. I am planning to continue my research on mysticism under the supervision of Dr. Rachel Schmidt.  I love cinema, dancing and nature. One of my favorite novels is Heinrich von Ofterdingen and my favorite movies include Happy Together, Solaris and The Mirror.

Laura Larrad

Laura Larrad

Work brought my family temporary to Calgary. We liked it and decided to stay, which pushed me to continue my education at University of Calgary. I am currently writing my doctoral dissertation in francophone literature under the supervision of Dr. Anthony Wall and Dr. Eileen Lohka. My research hones in on how several French-speaking writers from the Maghreb have taken on the cause of “Oriental” females, not only to debunk the old stereotypes, but also to give a new voice to such overly exploited figures. I hold a Master in French Studies from Paris IV, a Master in International Relations from Universidad San Pablo CEU (Madrid), and a BA in Spanish Studies and a Master in Education from the University of Oviedo (Spain). Alongside my university formation, I have been teaching fifteen years French as a Second Language and Spanish in public schools in France, Spain, USA and Canada. I love French cinema, especially movies directed by Robert Guédiguian; my favorites novels are La Regenta by Clarin and Les Identités meurtrières. In my free time, I love skiing, spend time with my children and travel around the world. I speak Spanish, French and English; I have also studied Chinese (Mandarin) for several years.

Sophie Qing Li

I am an international Ph.D. student enrolled in the program of Languages, Literatures and Cultures. I come from the People’s Republic of China. I obtained my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Translation and Interpreting from Shandong University, China. And I received a Bachelor’s degree in Management from the same university minoring in Cultural Industry.

My supervisor is Dr. Anthony WallMy research interest lies in the translation studies between Chinese and English and I am typically interested in the English translation of Chinese cultural texts. If possible, I also hope to research about teaching Chinese as a foreign language. The reason that I chose to pursue a higher research degree in University of Calgary lies in the great research atmosphere and a general research funding that I was provided with. The views of mountains and lakes also make me believe that I will have a pleasant stay here.
I am passionate about learning different languages and cultures. Besides my mother tongue Chinese, I am fluent in English, and I can also speak a little bit Japanese and French. I don’t have a favorite author, but I like to read books about history and geography, detective fictions and Chinese classics. I enjoy watching the Trilogy of the Lord of the Rings. In my spare time, I prefer to watch documentaries, travel to an ancient cities to visit museums, spend time with my family and friends, and explore new things.

Sarah Lunt

Sarah Lunt

I graduated from the University of Calgary in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts with a major in French and a minor in History. I chose to continue my education at this university because of the quality and passion of the professors. My research interests are in French Literature, particularly the 19th and 20th centuries and how they are reflective of the societies within which they were written, and linguistics. I am currently pursuing a thesis-based Master’s in French. My supervisor is Dr. Jean-François Richer.

I am bilingual in French and English. My favourite books are the Harry Potter series and Stephen King. I enjoy a wide range of movies including anything Disney and superhero movies. My interests outside of the realm of French include Scottish culture, ballroom and Latin dancing, reading, wine tasting, and traveling.

Mauricio Martínez Mona

I'm Colombian and I have a BA in Communications and Audiovisual Languages from Universidad de Medellín in my hometown, and an MSc in Cultural Industries and Entrepreneurship from the University of Nottingham in England. My main research interest is the relationship between cultural industries, its creators and audience. I have also worked with innovation, entrepreneurship and public policy. I speak Spanish and English. The reason to choose the University of Calgary was mainly the possibility of working with people from different backgrounds and languages.

My favourite novel would probably be amongst Terry Pratchett's Discworld books, Mort is the first I think of right now. And, although saying just one favourite movie is difficult, I would say that my favourite is 24 Hour Party People, because combining music and film is always winning combo for me.

Alfred Mulinda

Alfred Mulinda

I am a Ph.D. student in French. I hold a B.A. in Education from the University of Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) and an MA in French from the Université de Genève (Switzerland). My research interests are French Language Didactics and Language-in-Education. My supervisor is Dr. Ozouf Amedegnato. Before my admission into the PhD programme, I was an Assistant Lecturer in the Department of Foreign Languages and Linguistics, University of Dar es Salaam. My choice of the University of Calgary was motivated by recommendation from a friend who was then pursuing a graduate degree in Canada. I speak Runyambo, Kiswahili, English and French. I also have scanty receptive skills in Kinyarwanda, Kirundi, Luganda and Lunyankole. I greatly enjoy reading novels by Ngugi wa Thiong’o, and Une Vie De Boy by Ferdinand Oyono, watching movies from Nollywood movie industry and watching European football.

Peter Peltekov

I completed my BA and MA in German at the University of Calgary. Because of my genuine passion for foreign languages and cultures, in addition to my research interests in second language pedagogy, I decided to continue with a PhD program in Applied Linguistics. The reason for me to choose the University of Calgary again lies in the optimal learning environment and the quality of instruction offered by the School of Languages, Linguistics, Literatures, and Cultures. My supervisor is Dr. Mary O’Brien, and my proposed research involves the effects of multimodal instruction on L2 learners’ listening comprehension skills. I speak the following languages (in descending order of active knowledge): Bulgarian, Italian, English, German, Russian, and French. I have also studied Latin and I am fascinated by Ancient and Modern Greek as well. When I am not immersed in language learning, I like to dedicate myself to my other hobby – weightlifting. 

Anna Pletnyova

I come from Kharkiv, the second-biggest city of Ukraine, sometimes called Ukraine’s City of Students because it has so many universities and young people studying there. I chose the University of Calgary because it is also young, vibrant and full of fresh ideas. I am a PhD student supervised by Dr. Ozouf Sénamin Amedegnato, and my thesis topic is connected with second language teaching as well as sociolinguistic elements important for French and English language learning. I have received the Eyes High Doctoral Scholarship.

I speak five languages (English, French, Russian, Ukrainian and German), and in each I find fascinating works of literature to read, so it’s difficult for me to pinpoint one favourite writer. As for movies, I like watching the French films in which Kristin Scott Thomas acted, and I also greatly respect the Coen brothers. Among my favourite pastimes is doing yoga, which I took up after going in for rhythmic gymnastics professionally, as well as hiking and cycling.

Bernadette Raedler

I completed my Master’s Degree at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich, Germany in 1996. After three transatlantic moves I arrived in Calgary in 2007, and later decided to pursue a PhD degree. I am currently a PhD candidate in the German program. I am interested in literature that evolves at borders, marking political, historical, cultural, or linguistic change. My dissertation project focuses on the metareferential treatment of identity construction in fictional biographies. My supervisor is Dr. Cheryl Dueck, my co-supervisor is Dr. Florentine Strzelczyk. I was awarded two Queen Elizabeth Doctoral Scholarships in 2016. I love the Rocky Mountains which remind me of the Alps. The Rockies intrigue me with fantastic powder snow for skiing and their foothills for hiking. My hometown mountains seduce me with alpine lodges on every hike that offer Kaiserschmarrn and adipsous fluids. I like New German Cinema and cherish the Nigerian-American writer Teju Cole for his novel Open City.

Elaheh Salehi Rizi

I received my Ph.D. in French Comparative Literature from University of Nice Sophia Antipolis in 2017. In my doctoral thesis, I focused on women’s writing and sociological criticism as well as the basics of women's studies and gender studies.

Given my high interest in French linguistics, I decided to undertake another PhD in this field with a specialization in gender studies. My goal would be to conduct research related to the triangle between “woman, language and society”. I am interested in sociolinguistics, semantics, gender and linguistics, syntax, and lexicology. I chose the University of Calgary because of its academic environment and renowned faculty especially in the field of French and I have received funding through the School of Languages, Linguistics, Literatures and Cultures. I speak French, English, Persian, and Azeri. I have also studied Literary Arabic in school. I have a basic level in German and I am learning Spanish and Turkish.

It isn’t easy to mention one favorite novel when you did “Comparative literature”, however I can name La femme rompue and Le Cahier interdit. Both illustrated parts of a woman's life, their worries and their limitation in different societies. In my free time, I love watching movies and my favorite ones are Tais-toi, Mustang and Nahid. Also, I enjoy watching French reality TV shows, hiking, going to the gym, dancing (Salsa, Persian), learning new languages, traveling, discovering different cultures and nations and finding friends from different countries.

Masako Shimada

I graduated from the University of Calgary with a double major degree in Linguistics and Spanish with distinction, followed by an MA in Linguistics. After completing my studies, I explored exciting careers as a translator, an interpreter, and a buyer that constantly sent me to various countries. Meanwhile, I also taught languages whenever possible. I found teaching rewarding, and I wanted to become a better teacher, which led me to pursue a PhD in Applied Linguistics.

The University of Calgary, with the extensive knowledge and expertise of professors, offers an ideal environment to learn second language pedagogy, as well as to advance my research on Japanese prosody, in particular, pitch-accent. I am also excited to live in Calgary again because of its wonderful people and the Rockies nearby, making me feel at home as I grew up in a city surrounded by mountains.

Japanese is my first language and English is my second. My passion for Flamenco and Latin dance led me to learn my third language, Spanish. I enjoy travelling and meeting the locals while speaking in their language. On a sunny day, I like to go on a hike in Kananaskis or for a nice long walk in a park.

Maria Sidorova

I am fortunate to be able to pursue my MA degree in Applied Linguistics in an open-minded and incredibly welcoming atmosphere of the University of Calgary. I chose the School of Languages, Linguistics, Literatures and Cultures at UCalgary because it is amazingly versatile and dedicated. It allows diverse research foci and offers a supportive and inspiring environment and the input of excellent scholars.

My research is focused on Russian dialectology, especially Northern Russian dialects, historical and cognitive linguistics. I am particularly drawn to the research interests and expertise of Dr. Elena Bratishenko. I was honored to be awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Scholarship.

I graduated from the Linguistics University of Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, with my major in Linguistics and minor in Public Relations. After graduation I moved to Moscow and later to Canada where I decided to continue my education to follow my passion for research, to enrich my academic training, and to enhance my knowledge and skills in my area of interest.

I speak Russian and English and a little bit of French. I enjoy reading books both in Russian and English and comparing various translations of the same writings. I am a big fan of Nabokov and Joyce. As for the movies I can watch The Big Lebowski again and again. And I absolutely cannot live without good heavy music. My favorite pastime is traveling and exploring new places, people, food and cultures.

Richard Slipp

I am a PhD candidate in a co-tutelle agreement between the University of Calgary and the JL-Universität Gießen in Germany. I completed my BA in English and MA in German at the UofC, and have also worked here as a sessional instructor since 2005. I seem to keep getting drawn back to Calgary between long academic and work stints in Freiburg, Dublin, Leipzig, Jena, Erfurt and Berlin, where I currently live.

I am writing a dissertation on the narrative treatment of memory acts in the prose of Christoph Hein, under the supervision of Dr. Carsten Gansel (Gießen), Dr. Florentine Strzelczyk and Dr. Cheryl Dueck. I hold a SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship and was awarded the Chancellor’s Challenge Scholarship in 2016 and 2017. I speak English, German and some very basic Spanish. My research and teaching interests are in aspects of narratology, East German literature, and German film – especially those of Christian Petzold and Andreas Dresen.

Narrowing down my literary favourites is difficult, but a short list would include Franz Kafka, Max Frisch, Günter de Bruyn and Thomas Glavinic.   

Lisa Suessenbach

I’m originally from Göttingen, the geographical heart of Germany, where I obtained my Bachelor’s degree in English and American Studies. I’ve always had a passion for languages and knew relatively soon during my studies that I wanted to pursue a degree in Linguistics and was accepted to the University of Victoria in British Columbia, Canada in 2013, where I graduated with a Master of Arts degree in Applied Linguistics in the Summer of 2018. While theoretical linguistics became “my love at second sight”, speaking different languages has been a dream close to my heart since I was 4. I speak German, English, French, Dutch, and Danish. In grad school, my focus became phonetics and phonology in second language acquisition, or more generally speaking: foreign accent. I am interest in the research of Dr. Mary O’Brien whom I have this passion in common with and whom I look forward to conducting research with in the future, which is why I’m now pursuing a PhD at the University of Calgary whose financial support for the following 4 years I value immensely.

Aside from being a school enthusiast I love to play music, write songs, play sports (soccer, skiing), and travel the world. With beautiful Canmore right next door, it’s a dream come true for me to be able to go skiing, practice biathlon, and go hiking, all of which I enjoy a lot. My favourite movies are 10 Things I Hate about You, Pulp Fiction and Arrival. My favourite novel is The Gambler by Dostoyevsky.

Abigail Williams

Born in St Lucia, in the Caribbean, I have spent over half my life traveling, living in countries where English is not the first language: Peru, Italy, Spain and Germany. This has given me a real working knowledge of how languages function and has led me here to the University of Calgary.

I have undergraduate degrees in education and sports science, and my experience with languages and cultures as both a teacher and a learner have provided me with a solid base for this master’s degree in Applied Linguistics. My research interests include ethnically diverse language learners and pedagogy, so I am particularly drawn to Dr. Angela George’s research on second language acquisition and pedagogy, specifically sociolinguistics and heritage learners.

When I am not learning something new, I enjoy swimming, hiking, cycling and can’t wait to go white water rafting down the Bow River with my family. I am grateful for the opportunity to enhance my research and teaching skills and to contribute positively to the university and community. I look forward to hard work in a warm Canadian atmosphere, in no way connected to the often chilly weather!