Graduate Student Testimonials about IMS-Funded Events

“I was honored to receive funding from the Initiative for Multilingual Studies for four INTPART conferences. I attended three week-long intensive conferences in South Africa, and a three-day workshop at Georgetown University all on Linguistics and Social Justice. The biggest highlight of all of these events was engaging with students and faculty from all over the world in different phases of their academic careers, but with the same intention of studying language use critically for the purposes of bettering society. The various conferences over the period of five years greatly shaped my own research on immigrant health discourse to consider my positionality, and critically analyze how best we can incorporate linguistic findings in medical practice. This was a truly unique set of opportunities I was able to receive that greatly shaped me both as a scholar, and as a person.”

– Helen Dominic, Ph.D. student (SOC-2018) at the Department of Linguistics, Georgetown University

The INTPART grant from the Initiative of Multilingual Studies allowed me to participate in a week-long Summer/Winter School conference on reflecting on authenticity and legitimacy in Cape Town, South Africa in December of 2022. The conference gave me the platform to present my autoethnographic work about the emotional labor of English language teaching as well as an opportunity to engage with scholars from different research backgrounds. My experience not only introduced me to new areas of research but gave me a new perspective about how research can be thought about outside of the traditional Western approach. Most importantly, though, I was able to make connections and forge friendships that reassured the importance of my work and provide me a sense of community as I continue along my academic journey.”

-Malik Stevenson, Ph.D. student (ALI-2019) at the Department of Linguistics, Georgetown University

“The initiative of Multilingual Studies has afforded me various opportunities to participate in academically rewarding events. In early 2020, when I was still a student at an Indian University, IMS, through HaBilNet, made it possible to travel to the USA to attend the GURT2020. This would have been my first chance to participate in an international conference outside India. Even though the in-person conference was later cancelled due to the COVID-19 lockdown, I got a chance to do a virtual presentation and learn many things about our field through other presentations. In 2022, during my doctoral studies at Georgetown, IMS gave me a chance to travel to Frankfurt to participate in HaBilNet2, a Colloquium, on the theme: Supporting well-being as it relates to growing up and living in a language contact setting. I attended and presented my research work in this 3-day colloquium that helped me in expanding my knowledge about the variation in multilingualism in different social contexts. This colloquium had a built-in mentoring session where I got a chance to interact with senior researchers. These interactions were constructive in building my understanding about building a career in the field of Applied Linguistics. IMS also allowed me to attend the INPART Summer School in Cape Town in December 2022. This was an extremely rewarding experiences that has changed the way I approach research and engage with vulnerable contexts. Additionally, I got an opportunity to meet and connect with researchers from various continents in whom I have found new colleagues and cherished friends.”

– Grace Isaac, Ph.D. student (ALI-2021) at the Department of Linguistics, Georgetown University

Rima Elabdali, PhD student at Linguistics Department

“The Initiative for Multilingual Studies helped me obtain funding to attend a week-long intensive course on Linguistics and Environmental Justice in Oslo, Norway in September 2022. The course enriched my thinking on the transdisciplinary role of linguistics and introduced me to a new area of research where I could apply my linguistic expertise to support environmental justice. It also offered me opportunities to network and share my research with scholars from multiple universities in Europe and Africa. I gained a fresh perspective and built lifelong friendships.”

– Rima Elabdali, Ph.D. student (ALI-2018) at the Department of Linguistics, Georgetown University

The Initiative for Multilingual Studies fed my many curiosities about so many different themes within multilingualism and offered me an exciting space to ask questions and meet other junior scholars from around the world. During my doctoral studies, I was given the chance to travel to Brussels for HaBilNet1 in 2018 and Stellenbosch for an international partnership with scholars from South Africa and Norway in 2019. I learned so much about social, psychological, cognitive factors and beyond, and I found a strong community of peers and senior scholars, many of whom I still connect with and receive support from today. The IMS (and Dr. Ortega!) helped me build an awareness about social justice and language, taught me how to recognize and challenge ideologies, and exposed me to a range of pedagogical and community initiatives that inspired my earliest interests as a researcher and educator. From third language acquisition, to ecolinguistics, to lavender linguistics, I learned about multilingualism in the broadest sense, and it is largely thanks to the IMS that I finished my graduate studies with the foundation and motivation to start a multilingual initiative at my current institution. I couldn’t be more grateful for many communities and initiatives I was welcomed into through the IMS.

-Meagan Driver, Former Ph.D. student at the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, Georgetown University (Currently Assistant Professor at the Department of Romance and Classical Studies & Second Language Studies Program at Michigan State University)

Seyma Toker Bradshaw, PhD student at Linguistics Department

“I was awarded two fellowships by the IMS to participate in an invitational academic conference on on Multilingualism and Vulnerability in South Africa in 2019 with 4 other graduate students, Dr. Ortega and Dr. De Fina and a week-long intensive course on Issues in Second Language Learning (with)in Marginalized Populations in 2020 hosted by MultiLing at the University of Oslo. In both of these events, I shared the research I conducted as part of my qualifying review at Georgetown with leading international scholars in the field and networked with Ph.D. students and faculty across three continents. It was fascinating to learn about different contexts of multilingualism and multilingual education and expand my understanding of language policies outside the educational context of the U.S. and Turkey. I left these events with lots of feedback, new ideas about my future research and a large global academic network. I am still in contact with many graduate fellows and faculty I met in these events and re-connected with some of them at academic conferences last year. Attending these IMS events was a tremendous opportunity that graduate students rarely get to experience during their doctoral education.”

– Seyma Toker Bradshaw, Ph.D. student (ALI-2018) at the Department of Linguistics, Georgetown University

We had an amazing time attending the International Workshop on “Multilingual Language Acquisition, Processing and Use” in Poznań, Poland, on 6-7 May 2017, and we owe the IMS a huge debt of gratitude for making that even a possibility for us. It’s hard to describe how much of a luxury it was to be able to simply attend the conference and soak things in, without having to worry about presenting, and instead just be able to fully engross ourselves in everything that was being said.  We witnessed lots of innovative and fascinating presentations, met some very interesting researchers from as nearby as Poznań (Magda Wrembel), and as far away as Chicago (Jen Cabrelli Amaro). […] We took copious notes, and the three of us have started a Google doc where we’ll be compiling some reflections in the interest of preparing an IMS event in the fall.”

– Will Travers, Former PhD student at the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, Georgetown University (Currently Visiting Lecturer of Spanish at the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at Emory College of Arts and Sciences