University of Florida Homepage

Alumni Updates

If you would like to be listed on the Linguistics Alumni webpage please send us an email including your name, year of graduation and degrees along with a brief description of what you have been doing. We’d love to hear from you! Email Kelli Granade with your updates.

Andrew Cain (BA 2010)

Andrew Cain grew up in Gainesville, Florida and was a Gator from day one.  My dad is a Professor at UF and my mother is an administrator.  My sister graduated from UF before me and I began at UF in 2006 and I graduated with a degree in Linguistics from UF in May of 2010.  In August of 2010, I began my Peace Corps service in the Philippine Islands.  I will be living in and teaching English as a second language in the Philippines for 27 months.  I teach high school English alongside a Filipino counterpart employing many of the skills I learned from my TESL classes at UF every day.  I live in the Western Visayas islands and I’m learning Hiligaynon (also known as Ilonggo) which is the local language.  My linguistic training has been invaluable in learning this language which is almost entirely unwritten and structurally very different from English.   I love the people here, the culture, and the language.  I consider myself very fortunate to be able to serve in the Peace Corps.  I’m having the experience of a lifetime and hopefully having a positive impact within the Filipino education system.  I maintain an active blog and can be contacted at

Marc Matthews (BA 2008)

Marc graduated from UF in 2008, and entered the JET Program.  He is currently in his third year as an Assistant Language Teacher at Chitose Senior High School in Hokkaido, Japan.  Marc passed Level-2 of the Japanese Proficiency Exam.  He continues to grapple with kanji and verbless sentences, aiming for Level-1.  After completing his time in the JET Program, Marc plans to continue his study of Japanese and Linguistics in Japan.

Kerry Linfoot (PhD 2007)

Dr. Kerry Linfoot has been working with the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office as a sworn deputy since 2010. She works on patrol where she continues to collect data on police-citizen communication and to experience “work” from the inside. In Spring 2015, she is on a sabbatical and teaching Linguistics at Colorado College. You can contact her by email.

Youssef A. Haddad (PhD 2007)

I arrived at UF in August 2004 and graduated in August 2007. During these three years, I had a super productive time. Not only did I earn a Ph.D. in Linguistics, but I also got married, and my wife Soraya and I had our first-born, Elena. In August 2007, my family and I moved to Tallahassee where I joined the Department of Modern Languages and Linguistics as an Assistant-In. In Tallahassee, we welcomed Aaya, our second baby girl. In August 2008, we moved again, this time to my home country, Lebanon, where I held a position as an Assistant Professor at the Lebanese American University. In August 2009, we all came back to Gainesville. I am now an Assistant Professor of Arabic Language and Linguistics in the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures. I have plans NOT to move anywhere for the next few Augusts!

Hilary Hodge (MA 2006)

After graduating, Hilary Hodge (’06) moved up to New York to become the northeast U.S.  Linguistics/ ESL consultant to Oxford University Press.  She is enjoying applying her academic skills to the business world.

Masayo Nakamura (MA 2004)

Masayo Nakamura is a Japanese Langauge Teacher at Murray High School and Calloway County High School, both in Kentucky, and was recently awarded the Elgin Heintz Outstanding Teaching Award from the Japan Foundation for 2010 for creating Japanese programs throughout the state.

Sarah Wears-Garcia (BA 2002, MA 2004)

After finishing her MA, Sarah worked at Academic Spoken English and occasionally taught LIN 3010. In 2009 she moved to New York City to work in publishing, and is now with the English Language Teaching division of Oxford University Press. In her current position, she gets to meet many authors in the fields of linguistics and second language acquisition, and uses her background in linguistics to advise private language schools and linguistics departments on materials and curriculum. She would love to hear from former students, classmates, and professors at

Luli Lopez-Merino (MA 2003)

Luli Lopez-Merino writes: After graduating in December, 2003, I went back to South Florida to look for gainful employment. In July, 2004, I started my career at Palm Beach Community College as an associate professor. I teach English for Academic Purposes, which is an advanced academic program designed for students who are L2 English speakers. In addition, I am the director of the new Women’s Center on the Boca Raton campus and the faculty advisor for the Spanish and Latino Student Association (SALSA). Last year, I became a homeowner! I live in a condo close to the college with my boyfriend Damion, who is a Ph.D. student in Conservation Biology at Florida Atlantic University. This fall, I will begin taking courses towards a Ph.D. in Higher Education Leadership.

Philip J. Monahan (BA 2001, MA 2003)

Phil is currently an Assistant Professor in the Centre of French and Linguistics, University of Toronto Scarborough and the Department of Linguistics, University of Toronto. His work combines theoretical linguistics, experimental psychology and cognitive neuroscience to understand how the brain encodes phonetic information, how phonological structure is employed predictively to interpret the incoming speech signal, and the time-course of access to morphological structure. Prior to arriving at the University of Toronto, he was a Marie Curie IIF Fellow at the Basque Center on Cognition, Brain and Language in Donostia-San Sebastian, Spain and completed his PhD in the Department of Linguistics at the University in Maryland with a certificate in Neuroscience and Cognitive Science.

Kathleen Dow (MA 2002)

After obtaining my master’s in linguistics, I returned to Japan for the second time to teach EFL. I worked for a language school for a year and a half, then at Asia University for 5 years. I taught in Chile for a short time, then returned to my hometown in NH to teach part-time for Southern NH University (Manchester, NH) and Northern Essex Community College (Lawrence, MA). Now, I am an EFL instructor at the Defense Language Institute English Language Center, Lackland AFB, Texas.

Jodi Bray (MA 1998, PhD 2001)

Jodi Bray is the Chief Linguist at AISE Solutions in Rosslyn, VA. She has worked for the last four years as the lead linguist for the State Department’s CLASS namecheck system where she led the design of the Arabic and Russian-Slavic algorithms and is currently working on Indian namematching.

Brent Henderson (BA 1999)

Brent Henderson writes: University of Dar Es Salaam in Tanzania 1999-2000 on a Rotary scholarship Ph.D. in linguistics (specialization in syntax and Bantu languages) from University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, 2006. Married to UF alumn Valerie Lopez in 2000, son Elijah born in 2004. Taught linguistics and Swahili at the University of Chicago, and, of course, joining the UF faculty in Fall 2006!

Steve Johnson (BA 1999)

Steve Johnson writes: After receiving my B.A. from UF, I entered the doctoral program at Michigan State University, where I’m now a studying sociolinguistics. My current research includes sociophonetics, gender and language, language and dialect contact, and perceptual dialectology. My doctoral dissertation examines to what extent individual personality traits influence one’s progression in the Northern Cities Shift. It shows how a more subtle use of labels and traits within the framework of social psychology of language coupled with sociophonetic detail can help shed light on the role of sex and gender identity in ongoing linguistic change. Much of my previous work has been on the structure serial verb constructions and Bantu applicatives. In the future, I would like to expand my sociophonetic work to include issues in language and sexuality, and I’m also interested in syntactic variation.
john1362 AT msu DOT edu.

Moreblessing Chitaura (MA 1995)

Graduated from UF with an MA thesis on gender and language in Shona.  In 2004, I completed my Ph.D. on a joint University of Zimbabwe-Universit of Oslo program, still on gender and language in Shona.  The project I worked for then has published the dissertation.