Linguistics Grad Students
to Pursue Doctoral Degrees
Colleen Davis will continue her studies at Brown University and Laura Tejada will study at USC
Story by Mimi Ko Cruz
June 15, 2006 :: No. 262
Colleen Davis and Laura Tejada, Cal State Fullerton graduates,
won the Patricia Bruner Memorial Award, the top honor given
to those pursuing a master's degree in linguistics
from the English, Comparative Literature and Linguistics
Davis, 25, and Tejada, 24, completed their master's
degrees last month and, besides receiving the Bruner Award,
which came with $100 that they shared, both women also were
offered five-year fellowships to continue their studies as
they pursue doctorate degrees.
Davis accepted a fellowship in cognitive and linguistic
sciences at Brown University, starting in the fall. She will
get a $22,000 a year stipend, plus all her tuition, student
fees and health insurance will be paid for as part of the
"I will be studying language processing — how
we comprehend and produce language in real time using our
various knowledge centers, and what the implications are
for the neural organization of language," Davis said. "So,
I will be concentrating on the subfields of psycholinguistics
Davis served as president of the Linguistics Student Association
this academic year and was the chair of the Humanities and
Social Sciences Inter-Club Council last year.
Tejada accepted a fellowship, which includes a $19,500 a
year stipend, plus health insurance, student fees and tuition,
to study at USC, starting in the fall. She plans to earn
a second master's degree and Ph.D. there.
"I hope to work as a researcher and professor after
finishing," Tejada said. "I also hope to publish
a grammar of the southern Quechua dialects spoken in the
Ecuadorian province of Azuay."
She has been doing fieldwork on language contact between
the South American indigenous language, Quechua, and Spanish,
spending several weeks in December and January in Cuenca,
"Laura and Colleen were chosen for the Patricia Bruner
Memorial Award because of their outstanding performance in
our M.A. program in linguistics," said Franz Müller,
associate professor and coordinator of the linguistics program. "Not
only were the linguistics faculty here impressed with their
work, but apparently so were USC and Brown University."
He said the award is named for a former graduate student who
died in a snowboarding accident shortly after completing her
master's degree in linguistics in 1992.
Mimi Ko Cruz, Public Affairs, 657-278-7586 or
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