Nicky Macias is the LSA’s Spring 2022 Student Intern. Nicky is an ASL/English Interpreter and Emerging Linguistics Researcher. A graduate of the University of South Florida, Nicky is pursuing a Master's degree in Linguistics at Gallaudet University in the District of Columbia, where they are also working as a graduate assistant. 

The LSA Member Spotlight highlights the interests and accomplishments of a different LSA member each month. Click here to see previous Member Spotlights.

What is your background in linguistics?

Growing up as a heritage Spanish speaker in South Florida, I was fortunate to grow up surrounded by a linguistically and culturally diverse landscape. Through my upbringing I have always been fascinated with language. When I first began studying ASL (as an M2L2 teenaged learner), I found myself connecting to my local Deaf community and immersing. Soon, ASL would turn into my passion and focus of study. Following my time of interpreter and language teacher training, I became a certified ASL/English interpreter and teacher. I am now a graduate student in the Department of Linguistics at Gallaudet University. 

How did you end up working for the LSA?

The program director at Gallaudet University sent out a blast about the opportunity! I was thrilled to apply, knowing that many students from Gallaudet have served in the role in the past. 

How do you spend a typical workday?

My role at the LSA is to support the Secretariat staff and Social Media Committee with social media management. Beyond this work, I also take on special projects to further improve the operations of the LSA such as website audits, captioning support, and drafting the annual report.

What are the biggest challenges facing the LSA?

The LSA's next big challenge is to find ways of representing, acknowledging, and supporting the next generation of linguists from beyond the constraints and conventions of academia.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

I love that in my role, I often have the opportunity of providing insight into the world of linguistics, especially sign language linguistics, especially for curious minds who reach out to the LSA with their lingering questions.

What’s the one thing you would most like LSA members to know about the work you do?

That this is just the beginning of my journey! From the various hats I have worn, I cannot deny that advancing scholarship, especially for trans and queer folks of underrepresented identities, continues to be my objective. My ambitions as an emerging researcher aspiring to contribute to the growing subfield of trans* and queer sign language linguistics have only grown stronger through the start of my studies.