(Left to Right: Lergia Sastre, Truby family, Tara Blickenstaff)
2009 Award Winners: Tara Blickenstaff and Lergia Sastre
Tara Blickenstaff was born and raised in Sterling Heights, Michigan. She received her BA in English and Linguistics from Oakland University, graduating Summa Cum Laude. While pursuing her MA in Linguistics at FIU, she has worked as a teaching assistant for the Phonetics classes, as well as assisted with data collection and analysis. Tara's main areas of interest include phonology and disordered speech and language. Tara plans to continue her education and earn a graduate degree in Speech-Language Pathology.
Lergia Sastre was born and raised in Miami, FL, to Cuban parents. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in English from FIU in 2008 and was one of the first students to enter into the Linguistics 4+1 MA program. After taking an undergraduate Introduction to Linguistics course required by the English department, Lergia became interested in the field and shortly thereafter became a part of the Linguistics program. As a graduate student, Lergia worked extensively on a research study with Bangor University in Wales, where code-switching data from English-Spanish bilinguals (as a subset of a larger English-Spanish-Welsh bilingual study) was collected and analyzed during a one-year period. She is particularly interested in the fields of Language Acquisition and Phonetics. Lergia plans to pursue a career in Linguistics with a federal government agency