Alumna Roshawnda Derrick accepts tenure-track job at Pepperdine

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Alumna Roshawnda Derrick on a balcony.Congratulations are in order for Roshawnda Derrick, who just accepted a position as Assistant Professor of Spanish Linguistics at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California. Derrick's job talk, "Radical Bilingualism in U.S. Latino Texts," which featured audio clips and a discussion of code-switching in works by Latino authors, was based on her dissertation research.

Derrick will be defending her dissertation, Radical Bilingualism, Code-Switching, and Code-Mixing in U.S. Latino Texts, this June. Prof. Eugenia Casielles is her dissertation advisor, and her dissertation committee consists of Professors Hernán Garcia and Felecia Lucht from the department of Classical and Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, and Prof. Nicole Trujillo-Pagan (sociology, Latino studies).

Derrick encourages graduate students to practice, practice, practice where the job market is concerned and recommends the mock interview process organized by the Department of Classical and Modern Languages as a way to polish interview skills. Once you get interviews, she suggests that knowing how to talk to people is key, and adds, "you have to have a lot of confidence in yourself and a little bit of swagger." Derrick's advisor was incredibly supportive, and she also appreciates the experience garnered while working with the department's graduate forum. Building relationships with graduate students and faculty members, she advises, will help ensure that she has colleagues to rely on in her future career.

Derrick will be moving to Malibu in August, and while she is naturally excited about the weather, she is even more enthusiastic about beginning a tenure-track position in her field. In her new position, she will teach courses including an introduction to linguistics, phonetics, and seminars of her design. "I am looking forward to spreading my wings," she says.

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