PhD in Linguistics

Omar Alkhonini

Omar Alkhonini, 2021

Omar Alkhonini is an assistant professor of Linguistics in the department of English at Majmaah University. He received his Bachelor’s degree in English language from Qassim University in Saudi Arabia in 2011. He then went to the USA to study for his MA in Linguistics at Southern Illinois University, where he gained a deeper interest in theoretical Linguistics, especially phonetics and phonology. He earned his PhD degree in Linguistics at George Mason University in 2021 and now teaches multiple linguistics courses at Majmaah University.

Chiu-ching Tseng

Chiu-ching Tseng, 2021

PhD in Linguistics

At Mason, Chiu-Ching Tseng completed an important dissertation dealing with Voice Onset Time and tone in native and non-native Mandarin Chinese. He was one of the linguistic program's most valuable graduate student instructors. After completing his PhD, he was an Assistant Professor of Chinese Mandarin at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center and Adjunct Japanese Language Instructor at Florida International University. Starting in Spring 2022, Dr. Tseng was appointed as a tenure-track Assistant Professor of Linguistics at Providence University in Taichung, Taiwan. His concentrations will be phonology, syntax, and computer assisted language learning (CALL).

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Hussain Almalki

Hussain Almalki, 2020

Hussain Almalki earned his Ph.D. in Linguistics from George Mason University in 2020. His dissertation focused on the production and perception of prosodic prominence in Urban Najdi Arabic. Dr. Almalki is currently working as an assistant professor of English and Linguistics at King Abdulaziz University in Saudi Arabia.

Yuting Guo

Yuting Guo, 2020

My research focuses on the acquisition of second language speech sounds, both in perception and production. My research has included a variety of speech phenomenon from the prosody of a second language (e.g., speech rate variation in read and spontaneous speech, pausing patterns) to individual segments (e.g., coda and onset stops). My dissertation examines production and perception of laryngeal contrasts in Mandarin and English by Mandarin speakers. The study at Mason has prepared me to start the next chapter of my life. I have joined Amazon as a Language Data Researcher. Our team helps to improve the quality of conversation between customers and Alexa. I conduct quantitative and qualitative analyses to elevate the customer experience, evaluate current conventions and pilot new processes to support expansion to new data areas.

Zhiyan Gao

Zhiyan Gao, 2019

I received my PhD from the linguistics program in 2019. In the most tumultuous year known as the year 2020, I continued my research on speech perception and developed new skills in automated mispronunciation detection technology. Now I am a researcher at the R&D arm of a major tech company in China, providing structural data and knowledge graphs to various speech-related AI projects. All the knowledge and skills I gained from the GMU linguistics program have been put to good use.

Aseel Alammar

Aseel Alammar, 2018

Currently, I am an assistant professor in the department of Applied Linguistics- College of Languages - Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University. I am also the advisor to the university’s Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning. The courses I have been teaching include: Phonology, Phonetics, Psycholinguistics and supervising graduation projects. Since I obtained a PhD in linguistics from George Mason University, I resumed my position as a faculty member in the department of Applied Linguistics. I was appointed as the department head from 2019-2020, then vice dean of the college of Languages for graduate studies and research from 2020- 2022. During that time, I supervised the college’s graduate programs, its research center and our scientific journal (Critical Studies in Language and Literature). I also oversaw faculty members currently enrolled in national and international scholarships. As of January 2022, I am the advisor to the university’s Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning. I am very excited to start my current position as it allows me to apply the knowledge and skills that I learned from my studies at George Mason. In addition to the knowledge I gained from the MA and Phd in Linguistics programs, I was fortunate enough to gain professional experience in teaching from the graduate TESOL courses and my TAship. My entire experience at GMU has proved to be invaluable to further my career in higher education.

Baraa Rajab

Baraa Rajab, 2017

Baraa Rajab completed her PhD in 2017 and is currently the Vice Dean of Prince Khalid Alfaisal Institute for Moderation at King Abdulaziz University. Her area of expertise includes language acquisition, curriculum design, assessment and professional development. Dr. Rajab is TOT certified and has given numerous workshops on innovative teaching methodologies. Her current research interests are second language acquisition, language programs evaluation, and instructional design.

Kelly Enochson

Kelly Enochson, 2015

Kelly Enochson received her PhD in Linguistics from GMU in 2015. After graduating, she worked as a Computational Linguist at Rosoka Software, a text analytics company in Herndon, VA. She is currently a Computational Linguist at MITRE, a non-profit company that conducts federally-funded research supporting several U.S. Government agencies. Her professional interests include translation workflows, entity extraction and resolution, and psycholinguistics.

Jason Wagner

Jason Wagner, 2015

I graduated from the GMU PhD linguistics program in 2015. My dissertation focused on the acquisition of different grammatical constructions by L2 students learning English and Spanish. My findings demonstrated that the complexity of grammatical constructions can determine the usefulness of corrective feedback, especially written corrective feedback in L2 writing classes. I also studied Vietnamese, L2 English students' production of coda consonants after varied vocalic environments. I am currently an ELL teacher and testing coordinator at one of the largest high schools in Kansas. My studies at GMU help me to understand my ELL students' language acquisition and inform my decisions when providing feedback to the Kansas Department of Education about developing better language assessment tools. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at GMU, and I am happy that I am able to put my education to use in my career and daily life.