Mentoring Award


Instituted in 2019, this award recognizes the work of individuals who, or organizations that, have exhibited a sustained commitment to mentoring linguists. Specific types of mentoring to be considered include assisting mentees to present and publish their work, and to find financial aid; providing career guidance; providing support, encouragement, and essential strategies for life in the linguistics community; and demonstrating continued interest in the mentee’s professional advancement. Particular emphasis will be placed, when considering nominations, on mentoring a diverse pool of mentees; sustained mentoring efforts over many years; and mentoring of early career linguists. Awarded annually, as nominations warrant.


Any individual or organization meeting the nomination criteria.  Nominators must be LSA members. 

The final nomination should include the following, as appropriate:

  • Description of mentorship activities and research; mentor programs and activities; target audiences; and outcomes where appropriate
  • Where appropriate, indication of how the nominee’s work resulted in departmental and/or institutional change in terms of the granting of degrees to underrepresented students
  • List of individuals mentored
  • Letter(s) of support from colleagues (for individuals) or stakeholders (or organizations)
*Nomination links will only be active during the nomination window. In 2024, nominations are open April 8th - end of day on July 12th. Nominations will not be accepted after this date.


 The LSA Awards Committee reviews nominations and makes recommendations to the Executive Committee, which must formally approve the recommendations.

Previous Awardees


Professor Marlyse Baptista. Dr. Baptista is an exceptional linguist of rare distinction whose guidance of students benefits from expansive global familiarity with diverse languages, speech communities, and a profusion of relevant linguistic theories and methods that she utilizes in exacting detail. She has served as chair of numerous distinguished doctoral dissertations and contributed to a plethora of other graduate and undergraduate projects that touch on nearly every branch of linguistic science. Her nomination accentuates selfless devotion; "she endeavors to make every student feel welcome and succeed – particularly those from underrepresented groups." Additionally, her "wide range of expertise has made her a true resource to her colleagues and students" while demonstrating "deep humility which allows her to truly be a collaborator as well as a guide to her mentees." Her service includes exceptional teaching at the University of Georgia, the University of Michigan, and the University of Pennsylvania, where she now serves as the "President's Distinguished Professor of Linguistics." This award coincides with the beginning of her presidency of the Linguistic Society of America. 


Dr. Robert Bayley. Dr. Bayley has been teaching in colleges and universities nationally and globally for more than 50 years, serving as a mentor for more than 62 doctoral, master's, and undergraduate students. From the time prospective students contact him to inquire about the program to many years down the line, when those same students are faculty members at institutions around the globe, Professor Bayley unwaveringly supports his mentees at every stage. As a Professor Emeritus, he is still continuing his guidance, providing students with valuable suggestions about research and career. 


Richard Meier. Professor Meier’s lifetime of outstanding mentoring has touched a wide range of people, including his senior and junior colleagues, his postdocs and his students, including his senior and junior colleagues, his postdocs and his students, many of whom have gone on to highly distinguished careers in linguistics. Throughout his four-decade career, Professor Meier has provided extraordinary service to the academic and the wider community, and has contributed significantly to making the field of Linguistics more inclusive and more relevant, especially through his work with signed languages and with members of the Deaf community.


Jo Napoli. Over her forty-five-year career, Donna Jo Napoli has lived a life defined largely by committed and sustained mentoring. Her personalized mentoring style has transformed the lives of many. She was the visionary leader and an instrumental force in building the Tri-Co Linguistics program (Swarthmore, Haverford, Bryn Mawr) by mentoring students, junior colleagues, and administrators who became allies. Using her linguistic skills as an advocate for the language rights of deaf children, she mentors others to help them do the same. Dr. Napoli’s multifaceted and long-term mentoring has made an overwhelmingly strong and positive impact on the field.


Monica Macaulay. Throughout her career, Monica Macaulay has embodied the word “mentor.” She has been instrumental in the creation of various resources focused on providing guidance and mentoring for linguists, including the Women in Linguistics Mentoring Alliance (WILMA), the “Surviving Linguistics” guidebook, and professional development sessions at the LSA’s Annual Meetings and Linguistic Institutes.  She has also personally mentored scores of linguists and their allies over the many years she has been active professionally. Dr. Macaulay is the ideal linguist to receive the LSA's very first Mentoring Award.