Alumni Updates

John Nerbonne (PhD, '84) retired from his position of  professor of computational linguistics, chair of humanities computing, and director of linguistics research in Groningen in July 2017.  The event was celebrated on Jan. 27, 2017 with a workshop.  Erhard Hinrichs (PhD '85) spoke at the event, as did Harald Baayen, Johan Bos, Dan Flickinger, Max Louwerse, Mark Liberman, Joakim Nivre, Gertjan van Noord, Gerry Wakker and Frans Zwarts.  A Festschrift was presented with over forty contributions.  For photos, links to the Festschrift, an interview, and the text of (some) speeches, including the valedictory lecture, see  

Nerbonne is currently an honorary professor in Germanic Linguistics in Freiburg, and recently completed a six-month senior fellowship at the German Research Foundation's (DFG) Tübingen center  "Words, Genes, Bones and Tools".  See
David Durian (PhD, ‘12) has accepted a position for the coming academic year at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania. He will be joining Ohio State Linguistics alum Angelo Costanzo (PhD ‘10) there as the second linguist in the department, teaching a combination of linguistics and composition courses. The job is a full-time salaried lecturer position in an English Department with a growing linguistics program.

David also gave an invited talk at the TESOL 2018 conference on his ongoing work investigating the inception and development of the Northern Cities Shift in Chicago English (Chicagoland English: What’s Up With “Caught - Cot - Cat”?). This work is being done in collaboration with Richard Cameron at UIC. More information on it can be found here —

Rex Wallace (PhD, '84) delivered an invited lecture on Etruscan at the Columbus Chapter of the Archaeological Institute of America 

Liz McCullough (PhD, ‘13) has accepted a position, starting in June as the Science Communication Fellowship Program Supervisor at Pacific Science Center in Seattle, Washington (  She’ll be the liaison between local science professionals and the science center, including training them to communicate with the public about their work and connecting them with opportunities for such communication. 

Zack De (MA, ‘17) accepted a position as Social Science Research Specialist in the Office of Accountability, Ohio Department of Education. Zack says, “I'll be doing statistical analysis on education data to assess school improvement as well as working with various stakeholders to evaluate the efficacy of various educational proposals. I'm excited to use a lot of the skills that I learned in grad school to understand and strengthen public education in Ohio!”

Amanda Miller (PhD, ‘01) has accepted a Speech Scientist position at [24]7 Inc., located in San Jose, California. The company develops AI powered Virtual Agents / Chatbots to deliver seamless self-service customer service experiences across channels, devices and time. They have Fortune 500 clients like United airlines and Avis Rental car. 

In this role, Amanda will be running speech recognition optimization experiments, creating analytical reports of application performance, identifying application performance problems, making recommendations to resolve application performance problems, and applying speech science to optimize recognition across all [24]7 speech accounts. 

Amanda says, “I am looking forward to this new role, and visitors affiliated with the department who find themselves in the south S.F. bay area are invited to visit.” 

Salena Sampson (PhD, ’10 has been promoted with tenure to Associate Professor of English at Valparaiso University.

Lauren Collister (BA, '06; PhD from UPitt '13) was just recently named the Director of the Office of Scholarly Communication and Publishing for the University Library System at the University of Pittsburgh. 

Jefferson Barlew (PhD, '17) got a job in February at Appen as a Lead Linguist supervising the annotation of data sets for machine learning.

Anouschka Foltz (PhD, '10)  accepted an assistant professor position at the Department of English Studies at the University of Graz in Austria.