February 20, 2013

Are you considering graduate study in linguistics at U of T?

If you've been considering graduate study in our department, read this post! Five students answer four questions about their experience in our PhD program. Shayna Gardiner, Emily Clare and Julien Carrier are new to the program this year. Shayna works on the morphology and syntax of Middle Egyptian. Emily works on acoustic phonetics and speech recognition. Julien works on the morphosyntax of Itivimiut (Inuktitut). Christopher Spahr and Matt Hunt Gardner are in their 2nd and 3rd years, respectively. Christopher works on the phonology and prosody of Finnish and Finno-Ugric. Matt works on language variation and change in Cape Breton English.


Shayna Gardiner (PhD1)

1. Where did you come from?
I come from Ottawa originally, and did my MA at U of Ottawa as well. I did my undergrad at Queen's.

2. Why did you come to U of T?
I came to U of T because I heard great things about the PhD program and the Linguistics department as a whole. It's one of the best schools in the country, and the Linguistics program is ranked very high globally as well. I also needed someplace with an Egyptology department because I'm interested in Middle Egyptian — U of T is the only school in Canada that has this.

3. What did you find here that made you glad you came?
Classes here are great; they're fun, interesting, and challenging. Professors are always ready to help, the other students are friendly, and the atmosphere is welcoming and cooperative rather than harsh or competitive like some other schools. Plus, U of T has great resources for linguists! My work requires the use of ancient Egyptian textual material as data. I've been able to receive permission to access the Royal Ontario Museum's materials and I've been working with the Egyptology department at U of T as well.

4. Did anything surprise you when you got here?
I was pleasantly surprised by how helpful and supportive everyone is; it's always confusing when you move to a new city, so it was great to have friendly and knowledgeable people around when I had questions.


Emily Clare (PhD1)

1. Where did you come from?
I did my BA in Linguistics at the University of Wisconsin in the US and my MA in Phonological Development in Childhood at the University of York in the UK.

2. Why did you come to U of T?
I applied to schools which valued experimental approaches while still maintaining a strong theoretic core. There were a number of people here whose work I was interested in, and when I came to meet them they were welcoming and fun to talk to. I also spoke with some current students about the faculty, because one of the most important things to me was that the faculty was not divided.

3. What did you find here that made you glad you came?
The dynamic of the department is great. I love how social it is and how the students and faculty interact regularly and comfortably. Everyone is so encouraging and interested in everyone else's work.

4. Did anything surprise you when you got here?
I was surprised by how much time some people spend at the department!


Julien Carrier (PhD1)

1. Where did you come from?
I’m from Saint-Georges de Beauce in Qu├ębec.

2. Why did you come to U of T?
I decided to do my doctoral studies at the University of Toronto to work with Alana Johns, who has built up a tremendous expertise on Inuktitut. Also, I knew that doing a PhD in English and having a diploma from a reputed university such as U of T would increase my employment opportunities afterward.

3. What did you find here that made you glad you came?
The teachers and the quality of education honour the university’s reputation.

4. Did anything surprise you when you got here?
I have to say that the warm welcome from all the previous students surprised me a lot and helped me to quickly integrate myself into the department.


Christopher Spahr (PhD2)

1. Where did you come from?
I'm originally from Long Island, New York, but I did my undergrad at SUNY Albany.

2. Why did you come to U of T?
I had heard that the department had a good reputation, but I decided to apply for the MA program after visiting Toronto and thinking that it looked like a great place to live. I've long wanted to live in Canada, and grad school seemed like the perfect opportunity to do so. That was over two years ago now, and I haven't regretted my decision yet!

3. What did you find here that made you glad you came?
First and foremost, the people. The faculty and graduate students are all so friendly and passionate, which makes for a remarkably stimulating environment, both socially and academically. I've made a lot of good friends and learned a whole lot.

4. Did anything surprise you when you got here?
Only how natural (though slow) it's been transitioning from being someone who liked linguistics to someone who feels like he could be a real academic. I'm taking it one step at a time!


Matt Hunt Gardner (PhD3)

1. Where did you come from?
I grew up in Sydney, Nova Scotia, which is on Cape Breton Island and is the site of my current research. I did a French and Journalism degree at the University of King's College in Halifax, Nova Scotia and an MA in Linguistics at Memorial University in St. John's, Newfoundland. I lived in St. John's for three years prior to coming to U of T.

2. Why did you come to U of T?
I came to U of T specifically to work with Sali Tagliamonte and Jack Chambers. Sali
and Jack, and their students, are at the cutting edge of variationist sociolinguistic research and the study of Canadian English. U of T is also likely the best linguistics department in Canada.

3. What did you find here that made you glad you came?
I came from a very small linguistics department, where there weren't many other graduate students. Here there is a real community of graduate students who advise, revise, commiserate, celebrate, and motivate. It was this community feeling here that tipped the scales for me when deciding between programs.

4. Did anything surprise you when you got here?
I was surprised by how much I got into phonology, and how diverse the undergrads are.

No comments:

Post a Comment