2024 Slate of Candidates

The slate of candidates for LSA Officers & Executive Committee Members is now available. LSA members will be able to vote on these nominees in the election that will begin in September of 2024. The newly elected leaders will begin their terms at the conclusion of the 2025 Annual Meeting.


The LSA Nominating Committee and Committee on Student Issues and Concerns (COSIAC) have selected a slate of candidates for our upcoming elections. The nominees are:

  • One nominee for the Vice President/President-Elect position
    • Alicia Beckford Wassink (University of Washington)
  • Four nominees for two vacant positions on the Executive Committee
    • Eric Baković (University of California, San Diego)
    • Jessi Grieser (University of Tennessee & University of Michigan)
    • Savithry Namboodiripad (University of Michigan)
    • Kristen Syrett (Rutgers University - New Brunswick)
  • Two student nominees for one vacant student position on the Executive Committee
    • Shabnam Alizadeh Incheh (University of Connecticut)
    • Christopher Legerme (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

Should LSA members want to place additional names on the ballot, the LSA Constitution provides a way to do that. If by July 31, 2024 – six months before the Annual meeting – five percent or more of the members have separately and in writing nominated any additional individual member for Vice President or the Executive Committee, and that member agrees to be presented as a candidate for the position in question, then that name shall be added to the ballot. The requirements for placing additional names on the ballot for student representatives to the Executive Committee are essentially the same, except that five percent or more of student members must send in any additional student member's name.

Additional nominations should be sent to membership@lsadc.org with the subject line "Additional Nomination for Vice-President," "Additional Nomination for Executive Committee" or "Additional Nominations Student Representative." The deadline for submitting additional nominations is 11:59 pm (EDT) on July 31, 2024.

Statement from the Vice President/President-Elect nominee

Alicia Beckford Wassink

Alicia Beckford Wassink is Byron and Alice Lockwood endowed professor of the Humanities and director of the Sociolinguistics Laboratory at the University of Washington, in the Department of Linguistics (PhD, University of Michigan, 1999). She is an external examiner in Phonetics at the University of the West Indies, Mona, Kingston, Jamaica. She teaches courses in Sociolinguistics, Sociophonetics, Phonetics, Pidgin and Creole Linguistics, and programming for Linguists. Her research interests lie in the production and perception of the acoustic dynamics of vowel systems, ethnic-dialect-related bias in speech recognition systems, social network modeling, dialect contact, and phonological change. She has been honored to hold a longstanding research partnership with the Yakama Nation in Washington State. Her service to the LSA has included: the executive, technical advisory, and nominating committees; mentoring; and serving as LSA liaison to the Linguistics Beyond Academic Special Interest Group.

Statements from nominees for the Executive Committee

Eric Baković

Eric Baković received his BA in Linguistics from UC Santa Cruz in 1993 and his PhD in Linguistics from Rutgers University in 2000. He is now Professor and Chair of Linguistics at UC San Diego, where he's been since 2000. He works on phonology and phonological theory and, most recently, on computational approaches to phonology in collaboration with students and colleagues. Eric is a lifetime member of the LSA and has served the Society in several capacities. He organized a joint LSA/MLA Symposium on Open Access and the Future of Academic Publishing; he was the founding Associate Editor of the online-only section Language: Phonological Analysis that eventually became Phonological Data & Analysis, a platinum Open Access journal of the LSA. He has served on the Committee of Editors of Linguistics Journals and the Nominating Committee. Eric has also attended six LSA Linguistic Institutes: first as a student member of the staff (UC Santa Cruz, 1991), then as a fellowship student (Ohio State, 1993, and Cornell, 1997), and then as an instructor of introductory (Chicago, 2015) and advanced (Davis, 2019, and Amherst, 2023) phonology courses.

Jessi Grieser

Jessi Grieser is a sociolinguist specializing in African American Language who has held tenured positions in the Department of English at the University of Tennessee and the Department of Linguistics at the University of Michigan. Her history with the LSA is long: while studying for her Ph.D. at Georgetown, she served as the summer intern at the LSA Secretariat, then continued for the organization as a consultant and front-end web designer, including building the editorial backend for Language. Since starting her faculty career, she has served on the LSA Demographics Committee, Web Committee, and helped develop the current LSA strategic plan. She is also a founding member of the LSA NSF grant for the Faculty Learning Community to expand the capacity for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Linguistics. She is also a member of the LSA's Committee on Ethnic Diversity in Linguistics.

Savithry Namboodiripad

Savithry Namboodiripad is an Assistant Professor in Linguistics at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, having earned her PhD from UC San Diego in 2017 and BA and MA from the University of Chicago in 2007. Her work uses experimental methods to study syntactic typology and contact. She further has a series of collaborations studying the field of linguistics, including interrogations of the concept of "native speaker/signer" in linguistic theory and practice. Savi has been involved in the Linguistic Society of America's Committee on Ethnic Diversity in Linguistics since 2019, currently serving as its Co-chair. She has also presented on inclusion in teaching linguistics, particularly in fields where variation and/or linguistic oppression are not typically centered as topics of study, such as language acquisition, psycholinguistics, and typology.

Kristen Syrett

Kristen Syrett is a Professor and incoming Chair of the Department of Linguistics at Rutgers University – New Brunswick, where she has been on the faculty since 2011. She directs the Rutgers Laboratory for Developmental Language Studies, where she and her students investigate child language acquisition and development and experimental semantics and pragmatics in psycholinguistics in NSF-funded research.

Kristen has been active in the Linguistic Society of America since she was a graduate student when she was the Bloch Fellow, served on the Executive Committee as a student member, and attended multiple Linguistic Summer Institutes. Since then, she has chaired the Committee on the Status of Women in Linguistics (now COGEL, where she worked with others to design and launch PUMP) and the Public Relations committee (where she helps run the annual Five-Minute Linguist event) and also served on multiple other LSA committees. She has received the LSA Early Career award (2018), and the LSA Service award twice (2007, 2020). She has been an Associate Editor of LSA's Semantics and Pragmatics since 2013 and served as an Associate Editor at Language.

Statements from student nominees

Shabnam Alizadeh Incheh

To me, language transcends mere word assembly; it embodies reflection. In the meticulous selection of words lies the interrogation of projected emotions. Being born and raised in Iran, becoming a self-reliant and independent woman was an ideal image for me throughout my childhood and adolescence. Striving for a better future did not come without hard work and determination, which led me to pursue a graduate degree.

My name is Shabnam Alizadeh Incheh. I am a Ph.D. student in the Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences at the University of Connecticut, where I am advised by Dr. Adrián García-Sierra (expected graduation Fall 2029). Broadly, my research incorporates behavioral and electrophysiological approaches to study bilingualism using Event Related Potentials (ERPs). More precisely, I study how bilinguals' speech production (phonetic traits) and sentence processing (syntactic structure) are affected by cross-linguistic interference. In May 2024, I presented my study "Grammatical and Phonetic Insights from Heritage Spanish Bilinguals" at the Institute of Brain and Cognitive Sciences (IBACS) at the University of Connecticut; I am currently preparing the manuscript for journal publication.

Reflecting on my academic background, I earned a BA in English Language Translation and an MA in Applied Linguistics (TEFL) from Azad University North-Tehran, Iran. During my BA, I was engaged in many activities related to my field of study, all of which covered both translations (to and from Farsi and English) and teaching English as a foreign language to children and adults. After I earned my Master's degree, I joined the researchers' club at the National Brain Mapping Laboratory in Iran; I voluntarily engaged in translation activities for the Persian readership and a diverse range of audiences in academic outreach programs. There, I introduced the meaning and importance of neuro-psycholinguistics, a relatively new subject in Iran, to people of different ages, ethnicities, and educational backgrounds. This experience has brought me more empathy and awareness of how to communicate with people that are not from my community.

Consequently, to broaden my view about linguistics, I joined the Linguistic Society of America (LSA) in December 2021, drawn by the opportunity to deepen my understanding of linguistics and engage in collaborative endeavors within the field. Being a member has allowed me to sharpen my knowledge through access to a wealth of resources, including publications, conferences, and networking opportunities. Moreover, the LSA's emphasis on promoting collaboration aligns perfectly with my belief in the power of collective intelligence. By participating in LSA activities and initiatives, I have not only contributed to the advancement of linguistics but also benefited from the diverse perspectives and insights of fellow members. Overall, my membership in the LSA has been instrumental in both expanding my expertise and fostering meaningful connections within the linguistic community.

Since the start of my program in Fall 2023, I have been assigned as an instructor for the course "Introduction to Communication Sciences and Disorders" at UConn. Through this course, I introduce students to typical communication through the lenses of assessment and intervention and provide an overview of typical speech, language, and hearing development across the lifespan, as well as disorders of speech, language, and hearing as seen in children and adults. Shedding light on bilingualism, I introduce students to bilingualism in typical and atypical populations and how it is manifested in dual-language learners. Teaching at UConn has been an invaluable opportunity for me and has tremendously broadened my perspective on teaching within academia. Today's students are tomorrow's scholars, and I feel the urge to expand my students' worldviews so that they can tackle the 21st-century challenges by integrating their range of skills to become critical, creative, emotionally intelligent, and interdisciplinary thinkers.

As a Student Representative and Executive Committee member of the Linguistic Society of America (LSA), my experience as an immigrant scholar working with diverse individuals has shown me the value of varied perspectives, enriching the collective learning experience. I am committed to promoting cultural dynamics within the Linguistic Society of America (LSA), encompassing values, beliefs, languages, and customs shaped by diverse experiences and histories. This includes appreciating the diversity of cultures, recognizing their historical contexts, achievements, and challenges, and advocating for equality at individual, structural, and cultural levels. Moreover, I emphasize the importance of acknowledging and respecting all forms of diversity, particularly neurodiversity in academia. Despite progress, the significant stigma surrounding neurodiverse populations persists, necessitating proactive measures to foster understanding and inclusion. My passion for inclusive education drives me to disseminate knowledge to all individuals, advocating for an environment where every member feels valued and supported.

I am deeply grateful and honored by the opportunity provided by the Linguistic Society of America. I am committed to paying forward this chance by using my position to pass on knowledge, promote the field of linguistics, advocate for equality, and enhance scholarly appreciation of cultural dynamics.

Thank you for considering my dedication and passion for the LSA's mission.

Christopher Legerme

I'm Haitian-Canadian, and I work on heritage Creole varieties from theoretical and experimental perspectives. My nomination for a more active role in shaping the Linguistics community stems from a desire to foster inclusivity and support for students from diverse backgrounds to unite in their love for language work. My passion for Linguistics stemmed from amazing Profs that I've met throughout my studies, like Keren Rice, Sali Tagliamonte, Marlyse Baptista, and Michel DeGraff, who have inspired me because of their commitment to enriching the communities that inform their work. As a Student Representative to the Executive Committee, one of my goals is to promote outreach through Linguistic Education because I believe that raising awareness about Linguistics in the classroom will lead to more diverse groups of students finding their way into the field. Some of my PhD work involved developing educational content for K-12 students. With the support of faculty such as Profs Maya Honda and Danny Fox, I've taught for various schools and programs, e.g., the MIT Splash and Spark initiatives. For community service, I've been involved at MIT, e.g., as an event coordinator for my dorm, an executive member of the MIT Black Graduate Student Association, and as a colloquium organizer and overseer of the colloquium nominations/voting system for the MIT Linguistics Department. For my involvement with LSA, this past January 2024, I presented my first in-person conference poster at the LSA Annual Meeting. I also presented a virtual talk at SPCL in 2021.