Special Assistant for Research and Creative Achievement in the Office of the Vice President for Research // Director of the Center for Social Science Scholarship // Professor of Language, Literacy, and Culture // the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) // she/her
As Special Assistant for Research & Creative Achievement, I help advance UMBC’s mission by working with the Vice President for Research & Creative Achievement to support the growth of our campus-wide efforts as a newly designated R1 university. Among other projects, I am working to launch a campus-wide program to establish grant-writing academies designed to catalyze NIH research funding for UMBC faculty.
As the founding Director of the Center for Social Science Scholarship (CS3), UMBC’s sole comprehensive social science research center, I am proud to lead in supporting faculty, graduate, and undergraduate students across more than 20 departments and programs across in the College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences. Established in 2018, our broad ambition is to promote excellence in and to amplify the highly-ranked social sciences at UMBC. By sponsoring and coordinating speakers series, events, trainings, and internal grants and fellowships, we provide comprehensive interdisciplinary research support and mentoring to faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate students. As Director of CS3, I supervise a stellar staff, including staff in our grants administration unit, which provides a high level of pre-award and post-grant management support to about 50 PIs in the social sciences. I also work closely with an Associate Director and a 7-member faculty advisory board.
My research, teaching, and engagement reflect my longstanding personal commitment to carry out and apply engaged academic work within a social justice framework. In my interdisciplinary work, which lies at the center of the fields of linguistics, education, and sociology, I comprehensively examine language as a socially and culturally contextualized behavior and practice, and I work to dismantle deficit notions surrounding cultural and linguistic difference in ways that are community-centered while also informing educational policy and practice. My work has provided key, concise information to thousands of educators about language variation in English, particularly regarding the language practices of Black, U.S. Southern, and Appalachian communities, via a participatory-based research framework. This work has contributed to theoretical models of how language is used by students from historically marginalized groups in educational contexts from Pre-K through graduate school. It has been adopted into and informed state and local curricular and educational policy frameworks, and my books are used in courses that center on language worldwide. I have received funding to support my research from non-profits as well as federal agencies including the National Science Foundation.
I am also the immediate past chair and a continuing member of the Ethics committee of the Linguistic Society of America, where I also serve on the Committee for Ethnic Diversity in Linguistics. I am the former associate editor of the journal American Speech (2008-18).