Kazuko Hiramatsu is Associate Professor of Linguistics at the University of Michigan-Flint, where she serves as chair of the Institutional Review Board. She received her BA in Linguistics from Northwestern University and her MA and PhD in Linguistics from the University of Connecticut.

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

When did you first join the LSA?

1995. In graduate school. I think a classmate encouraged me to join.

How have you been involved with the LSA since you joined?

As a new faculty member in an English Department, I felt a bit disconnected from the field so I became involved with (and chaired) the Undergraduate Program Advisory Committee (UPAC) and its current incarnation, the Linguistics in Higher Education Committee (LIHEC). Through my work on these committees, I became interested in creating an LSA-based space for the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL). I worked with Dieter Stein, Editor of eLanguage, to create a SoTL journal, Teaching Linguistics. In 2012, it was folded into Language and I have served as an associate editor since then, first with Anne Charity Hudley and currently with Michal Temkin Martínez.

What are you currently working on?

My research training is in child language acquisition but my interests have shifted to the scholarship of teaching and learning. My current research examines student learning and transformation through high-impact practices like community engagement, first-year experiences, signature assignments, and writing across the curriculum.

What is your personal favorite linguistic article or study?

I can’t resist a shameless plug—the articles in the Teaching Linguistics section of Language! We are excited to launch our new article type, Innovations in Teaching Linguistics, with Laurel McKenzie’s 2018 article, “What’s in a name? Teaching linguistics using onomastic data,” which also includes supplemental pedagogical materials.  

What, in your opinion, is the most important service the LSA provides to its members?

For me, it has been community. I have really enjoyed expanding my understanding of the field and its interdisciplinary nature through conversations with colleagues from within and outside of academia, including K12 educators.

Is there anything else you'd like to say to the LSA membership as a whole?

If there is a recently published book that you’ve enjoyed using in class, please consider writing a textbook review for the Teaching Linguistics section!