LSA Annual Meeting 2018—Salt Lake City, UT


On a hot June day in 2012, I sat at my graduation ceremony at The Ohio State University wondering what I would do long-term with a BA in Spanish and Linguistics. Although I was uncertain what exactly my future would hold, I decided to pursue an application of my skills in industry and officially left the realm of academia. Fast forward six years later, and I am attending my first LSA annual meeting in Salt Lake City representing my work with MARTTI and the Linguistics Beyond Academia SIG.

With 1,100 linguists in attendance, the meeting was admittedly a bit daunting at first. After all, I’d been away from linguistics in this setting for quite a while. Throughout the four-day span, however, I began to see how valuable this event would be for me as a Career Linguist. While I have not kept up with all of the current linguistic research since completing my degree, the various talks and panels brought me up to speed. It also became clear that linguists within and outside academia face similar challenges when it comes to explaining our perspective to non-linguists – a challenge I feel more prepared to take on after attending the various talks. Personal favorites of the weekend included presentations on pedagogy and linguistics, linguistic outreach through podcasts and radio, and the Five-Minute Linguist.

The special panel on civility presented to a jam-packed ballroom and for good reason. The speakers sought to tackle complex issues of addressing bias, power dynamics, and harassment. Although geared toward the linguistics community specifically, the presentations were packed with potential training topics important to any workplace. The panel also made mention that academics can learn from industry by modeling a professional setting within their departments. My main takeaway from the weekend is just that – linguists from all professional realms have lessons to teach each other!

I came home from the meeting with new resources, contacts, and many linguistics podcasts to dive into. Most importantly though, I came home feeling energized and motivated to stay in touch with other linguists. Let’s keep the creative conversations going!

Special thanks to Anna Marie Trester for having me participate in this year’s Careers Mixer where I met other Career Linguists using their skills in fascinating ways.

by Sarah Stockler-Rex