Managing Expectations: 4 Aspects of Navigating Academic Life as a Scholar, Teaching Assistant, and Student Researcher

Friday, January 7, 2021 - 4:00-5:30 PM EST

Part of the Student Programming at the 2022 Annual Meeting includes a Student Panel of current or recent graduate/post-graduate students who've had many experiences working in a professional and academic environments. This year, the panel focuses on academic life and balancing the roles of being a student, teacher, and researcher. The abstract is below: 

Join us for a panel covering a topic relevant to students and student employees: managing the multifaceted and dynamic expectations of work and life in academia. Our panelists will discuss four factors that can guide students in understanding, setting, and communicating the two-way expectations between students/student employees and their employing departments and faculty: 1) Establishing a healthy working environment (e.g., understanding the parameters of your student contract), 2) Addressing your goals and limits (e.g., setting limits on volunteering your time), 3) Identifying helpful or unhelpful examples of interactions (e.g., explicitly discussing expectations before agreeing to a new project), and 4) Addressing issues at different levels of the university (e.g., identifying college- or university-level ombuds resources). This panel is open to all and will include a question-driven portion.


Phoebe Gaston (University of Connecticut) is a post-doctoral fellow in the Cognitive Neuroscience of Communication-CT training program. Her background is in psycho- and neurolinguistics. In July 2020, she completed her PhD in Linguistics at the University of Maryland, College Park, where she was advised by Colin Phillips and Ellen Lau. She was also actively involved with UMD’s Language Science Center as an NRT fellow.

Kathleen Oppenheimer (University of Maryland, College Park) is a doctoral student in Hearing and Speech Sciences who received her MS in Speech-Language Pathology from Northwestern University and her BA in Linguistics and Chinese from Harvard College. She previously worked as a speech-language pathologist in a children’s hospital and now she studies language processing in children with Developmental Language Disorder. She is also interested in the diagnosis and treatment of language disorders in children who speak non-mainstream dialects of English. Kathleen is actively involved in language science outreach as an NRT fellow at UMD's Language Science Center.

Minnie Quartey (Georgetown University) is a doctoral candidate at Georgetown University, and her dissertation explores how speakers of African American Language construct multifaceted local identities through storytelling as well as analyzes vowel centralization in the Washington, DC area.  She serves as project coordinator for the Language and Communication in Washington, DC project (LCDC), and her research has been featured on the front page of the Washington Post, and she has been a guest on NPR. Minnie also has an interest in linguistic diversity and awareness and its effects from the classroom to the boardroom.  She has conducted workshops for private corporations, service organizations, and various student groups at Georgetown University. Minnie earned her Bachelors and Masters degrees from Georgetown University, and she has lived and worked in the Washington, DC area for the last nine years.

Cindy Blanco (Duolingo) received her PhD from University of Texas, Austin before completing a post-doctoral fellowship at Northwestern University focusing on cognitive psychology. Working at Duolingo as a learning scientist, she works across teams to develop new ways to teach language through technology. She is interested in language learning, bilingualism, pronunciation and how learners adjust to accents and dialects in their new language.