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Henry Truby Prize

Established in memory of the late Henry M. Truby by his family and friends, this award honors the top graduate student in the FIU Linguistics Program each year. In order to qualify for consideration, a student must be officially enrolled in and currently attending courses in the FIU graduate program in linguistics and must have completed at least 18 credits toward the MA degree.

Award Winners


2016-17 Truby Award Winners: Carolyn Baker and Daniel Garzon

Truby Family members with cake celebrating 20th anniversary of Truby Award.

Danny Garzon


Truby Award Winner with Truby Family, Linguistics Faculty, and Linguistics Students

Previous Winners

  • 2003 Truby Award Recipient: Olena Drozd

    2003 Truby Prize Winner: Olena Drozd (with Truby family, holding plaque)

    Olena Drozd is originally from Ukraine; she was born and raised in Odessa, in the southern part of Ukraine. She studied English language and literature at Odessa State University and received her BA in 1987. She worked as an English instructor at Odessa State Marine University until she, her husband, and daughter relocated to Miami, Florida in 1999. She entered the Master's Program in Linguistics in 2001 and graduated in the Spring '03 term. Olena's main interest in linguistics lies in the field of phonology and second language acquisition. As a partial fulfillment of her degree, she wrote and defended the Master's thesis "Sonority and its role in the acquisition of complex coda clusters by Spanish speakers learning English as a second language". She plans to continue her studies at the Ph.D. level. In addition to receiving the 2003 Truby Award, Olena is a recipient of '2002 Arts and Science Academic Award'

  • 2004 Truby Award Recipient: Kathleen Noonan

    2004 Award Winner: Kathleen Noonan (with Truby family, holding plaque)

    Kathleen Noonan was born and raised in Akron, Ohio. In 1991, she received a BS in Japanese from Georgetown University in Washington, DC. Her junior year abroad was spent at Nanzan University in Nagoya, Japan. After graduation, she began working in the hotel industry, transferring to Miami in 1994. From 1997-98, she completed a certificate program in Popular Music Studies in at the university of Liverpool England. She began her studies at FIU in the fall 2002, and graduated with an MA in Linguistics in the summer of 2004. She plans to continue her studies at Ph.D. level. Her special areas of interest are sociolinguistics and syntax. Her other interests include popular music, interior design, and world history.

  • 2005 Award Winner: Renata Santos¬†

    2005 Award Winner: Renata Santos (left to right, Mehmet Yavas, Renata Santos, Feryal Yavas, Tometro Hopkins)

    Renata Bomfim Faria Santos was born and raised in São Paulo, in the southeast part of Brazil. At the age of 21, she received a BS in Journalism from Faculdade de Comunicação Social Cásper Líbero and started taking some special courses to sharpen her skills as a Corporate Communications professional. Renata worked in the Communications field until 2002, when she came to the United States to pursue her graduate work.

    In the fall of 2003, Renata entered the Master's Program in Linguistics. During her time as a graduate student, she worked as a teaching assistant for Introduction to Linguistics and English Grammar classes and she did comparative research on the syntax and pragmatics of English and Portuguese. She graduated in May, 2005 and plans to pursue her doctoral degree in the near future. She currently teaches at college level.

  • 2006 Winner: Abigail Randall

    2006 Winner: Abigail Randall (above)

    Abigail Randall was born and raised in Miami, FL. She was homeschooled for both middle and high school before entering Miami-Dade Community College in 1997. In 2004, she received a B.A. in English from FIU graduating Summa Cum Laude. She continued with the Master's in Linguistics at FIU and graduated in December of 2005. She is currently pursuing a position as a high school English teacher, but is planning to pursue a Ph.D. in Linguistics in the future. Although Abigail is enthusiastic about all areas of Linguistics, she is especially passionate about syntax, semantics, and the theory of generative grammar and hopes to work within these disciplines in the future.

  • 2007 Winner: Laura Garcia
    2007 Winner: Laura Garcia (with Truby family, holding plaque)

    Laura Garcia was born in New York City and moved to Miami at the age of six. In 2005, she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in English at Florida International University. As a student in the English department, Laura took her first Linguistics course and decided to pursue a Masters degree in Linguistics at FIU. She worked as a Graduate Assistant and completed a joint research study “Voice Onset Time in Bilingual Spanish/English Code-Switching.” Her major areas of interest are Phonetics and Language Acquisition. Laura plans to continue her studies and pursue a PhD in Speech-Language Pathology.
  • 2008 Award Winner: Tasha Uria

    left to right: Ellen Thompson, Edward Gonzalez, Tometro Hopkins, Feryal Yavas, Tasha Uria, Mehmet Yavas)

    2008 Award Winner: Tasha Uria

    Tasha Uria was born and raised in Miami, FL. In 2006, she received her Bachelor of Arts in French from FIU and received the College of Arts and Sciences Academic Award. Tasha’s interest in linguistics was sparked when she took a class in French Phonetics as an undergraduate, leading her to pursue a graduate degree. During her time as a graduate student, she has worked as a teaching assistant for the Phonetics classes and has aided with data collection and research. She plans to work as an English-language teaching assistant in France after graduation, and would also like to work in other countries as an ESL teacher. Her main areas of interest are second language acquisition and speech errors.

  • 2009 Award Winners: Tara Blickenstaff and Lergia Sastre

    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