In May, 2008, I earned a Master of Arts (MA) degree in Applied Linguistics from the University of Massachusetts in Boston after completing my coursework and publishing my MA thesis.
I graduated the program summa cum laude (4.0/4.0 GPA) and received the Applied Linguistics Departmental Book Prize, awarded each year to a single "outstanding" graduating student from within the program.
To open a PDF version of my thesis in a new window, click the link below:
Here is the abstract (pp. iv-v):
In this thesis, I develop the position that the Parallel Architecture (PA) framework (Jackendoff, e.g., 2002, 2007a)—an independently-generative tripartite (i.e., phonological, syntactic, semantic) model of language acquisition and processing—can be successfully integrated with the first language (L1) literacy development and second language acquisition (SLA) frameworks of Gee (2007, 2005) and Johnson (2004) respectively. After detailing features of the PA framework that make it uniquely desirable as a psycholinguistic model for sociolinguistic inquiry, I consider well-documented issues in first language and second language development through a unified critical framework, ultimately proposing new directions for future research. The goals of this thesis can be formulated in terms of the two questions I have sought to answer: (1) How is the Parallel Architecture compatible with contemporary sociolinguistic theories of first language acquisition and literacy development? (2) In what ways might the PA model of language contribute to sociolinguistic investigations of SLA?
I also completed my undergraduate degree (BA) at UMass Boston with a dual major in English and Social Psychology.
Awards & Publications
"The Wiki-fication of the English dictionary: defining lexicography in the digital age." Media In Transition 7 Conference. Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Cambridge, MA. 13 May.
- —"For Digital Media Literacy Research, a New Psycholinguistic Approach." Presentation at the 2010 44th Annual TESOL Convention. Boston, MA. 26 March.
- —Professional Development Scholarship-(To attend 2010 TESOL Convention)
- —"The Parallel Architecture for New Media Literacy." Presentation to the Education Arcade laboratory at MIT, by invitation of Comparative Media Studies Professor Eric Klopfer. Cambridge, MA.
- —Applied Linguistics Departmental Book Prize-(Awarded to one "outstanding" graduate from within the program)
- —"The Parallel Architecture for First Language Literacy Development and Second Language Acquisition Studies: Prospective Theories and Applications." MA Thesis: University of Massachusetts Boston.
- —Robert W. Spayne Research Grant-(A "competitive grant" awarded to thesis-writing graduate students at UMass Boston)
- —Alfred R. Ferguson Prize for Distinguished Work in American Literature—(Presented "to the junior or senior English major who has written the best paper on any subject in American literature)"
- —Peter Brooks Butler Scholarship (Oxford Summer Programme)
- —The Marco Cosentino Italian Heritage Scholarship
- —Hofer Book Prize (Oxford Summer Program)
- —Departmental Distinction in English
- —University Honors English & Creative Writing
- —Watermark Literary Journal Poetry Prize
- —Academy of American Poets Harold Taylor Prize 2nd Place
- —Student Leadership Award
- —Academy of American Poets Harold Taylor Prize, 1st Place—Judged by former U.S. poet laureate Robert Pinsky