The LSA’s Mentoring Initiative encompasses a broad range of activities and resources, designed to provide guidance, scaffolding, sharing experiences, and support between LSA members with a common interest in an area of substantive inquiry, a common professional setting, or who are concerned with the interests of a specific demographic or socially defined segment of the LSA membership.

These activities take place across the spectrum of the LSA’s enterprises, from the Annual Meetings and Linguistic Institutes, to the LSA website, to “offsite” endeavors.  Click the links below for more information.

Monica Macaulay, co-founder of WILMA and

recipient of the LSA's first Mentoring Award

Distance Mentoring

Pop-up Mentoring

Mentoring at the Linguistic Institutes

Mentoring at the LSA Annual Meeting

Webinars and other Web-based Mentoring Resources

Resources and Training for Prospective Mentors


Distance Mentoring

The LSA offers a distance mentoring facility mediated by the LSA member database, that allows LSA members to identify, or to ask LSA staff to identify, mentors who can assist them with questions relating to substantive intellectual inquiry, a common professional setting, or the interests of a specific demographic or socially defined segment of the LSA membership.

LSA members who wish to be identified as mentors identify themselves as such in their membership profile, and indicate areas in which they are available to offer mentoring.  LSA members desiring mentoring in a specific area will be able to search the appropriate fields of the LSA member database and contact prospective mentors directly. 

To sign up as a mentor or mentee

New or existing members who wish to sign up as mentors will click the "I wish to participate in the LSA Mentoring Alliance" checkbox in their member profile and then select the appropriate checkboxes to participate as a mentor, as a mentee, or both.  New members can do this when setting up their profile when they join the LSA; existing members can log in to the LSA website and click the "Edit" tab below their name to change the information in the Linguistics Mentoring Alliance tab on their member profile.  Be sure to click the "Save" button at the bottom of the page after making any changes.  Mentors and mentees can also optionally select "areas of mentornig interest" and "areas of mentoring expertise"  to identify areas of scholarly (e.g. phonetics, syntax sociolinguistics) and professional (e.g. work/life balance, minority scholar, early career, LGBTQ+) in which they would like to offer guidance, or in which they are seeking it. Nonmembers may sign up for a six-month Complimentary Mentor Membership or Complimentary Mentee Membership here

Mentor-Mentee Matching

Mentees have the option of searching the LSA membership directory to identify mentors, or of having LSA staff match them with a mentor.  To identify a mentor, mentees can search the LSA Membership Directory, selecting "Yes" under the dropdown menu in the "Mentor" field, and optionally selecting areas of mentoring interest or mentoring expertise.   Mentees who wish to be matched with a mentor should click the appropriate check box; a staff member will contct you.


Participants in the LSA Mentoring Aliance are asked to affirm, when they sign up to be a mentor or a mentee, that they will abide by our mentoring guidelines.

Pop-Up Mentoring

The Pop-Up Mentoring (PUM) initiative was started in 2018 by a subgroup of members of the LSA’s Committee on the Status of Women in Linguistics (COSWL - this committee is now known as COGEL - the Committee on Gender Equity in Linguistics).  Since the PUM initiative was launched, COGEL (formerly COSWL) has helped organize mentoring events at several conferences:

  • WSS (the Workshop on Spanish Sociolinguistics);
  • WCCFL (the West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics);
  • FASL (Formal Approaches to Slavic Linguistics);
  • WSCLA (Workshop on Structure and Constituency in Languages of the Americas);
  • SALT (Semantics and Linguistic Theory);
  • CGG (Colloquium in Generative Grammar) 28
  • The LSA 2019 Annual Meeting
  • The LSA's 2019 Linguistic Institute at the University of Californai, Davis

Mentors and mentees complete a brief online form to participate, and are matched by a local PUM organizer. The details of the PUM initiative at the LSA 2020 Annual Meeting are available here.

Mentoring at the Linguistic Institutes

Mentoring and professional development activities have been a feature of the LSA’s Linguistic Institutes for some time.  The 2017 Institute at the University of Kentucky featured symposia on “What Can You Do With an Undergraduate Linguistics Degree?”, Implicit Bias, Balancing Academic and Community Needs, Linguistic Advocacy, and Impostor Syndrome.  The 2015 Institute at the University of Chicago featured workshops on The Publishing Process, Impostor Syndrome, CV Design, and Web Presence, and Professional Paths for Linguists.  The 2013 Institute featured workshops on Disseminating Research as a Student, Professional Development, and Women in Graduate Programs.  The LSA wishes to acknowledge the heavy involvement of COGEL (formerly COSWL), the LSA’s Committee on the Status of Women in Linguistics, in many of these initiatives.

The 2019 Linguistic Institute took place at the University of California, Davis from June 24 – July 19.  Click here for a list of social hour and mentoring events that took place at the Institute.

Mentoring at the LSA Annual Meeting

The LSA Annual Meeting has featured a number of in-person mentoring activities for the past several years.  Among these are: 

  • Friday evening panels, organized by COGEL (formerly COSWL) and COSIAC (the Committee on Student Issues and Concerns) on topics of interest to students;
  • A Student Lounge, furnished with snacks, providing a private space for students to socialize and study;
  • Fifteen-minute “Expert Consultation Sessions” for students on topics such as Applying for Grants, CV Construction, Web Presence, Professional Self-Presentation, and more;
  • Minicourses on topics such as common tools for linguistic analysis and guidance for early-career faculty;
  • Resources for linguists working outside of, or interest in working outside of, academia, including a career mixer;
  • as of the 2019 Annual Meeting, Pop-Up Mentoring.

Mentoring activities at the next Annual Meeting will be publicized on the 2020 Annual Meeting web page, in LSA Updates, and on Facebook posts and Tweets.

Webinars and Other Web-Based Mentoring Resources

The LSA already has a number of audio-visual resources and webinars that serve as mentoring resources.  Many professional development resources are available from the LSA’s Annual Meetings and Institutes, including recordings and presentation slides from courses, panels, workshops, lectures, and more.  The LSA’s webinars usually incorporate a practical component:  for example, webinars have covered topics such as applying for a variety of National Science Foundation-sponsored grants and awards, career planning, writing an abstract, linguistic advocacy, getting published, and more.

If you would like to suggest a topic for an LSA webinar, whether as a potential audience member or a potential presenter, please contact the LSA by email or at 202-835-1714.

Resources and Training for Prospective Mentors

The LSA provides resources for prospective mentors and mentees. If you are interested in participating in any of the initiatives mentioned above, we encourage you to explore these resources and to familiarize yourself with the LSA’s expectations and guidelines for mentors and mentees.