Department of Linguistics

Meet Linguistics Alumni

Regan ThibodeauRegan Thibodeau, M.A., Certified Deaf Interpreter, Gallaudet University

Regan earned her Linguistics B.A. with a concentration in ASL/English Interpreting in 2002. In the year after graduation she gained the National Interpreting Certificate, as well as the Interpreting in American Legal Systems Certfificate. She is passionate about honoring the interpreting field and celebrating the rich history of American Sign Language. She credits USM's unique combination of Linguistics and Interpreting for laying the foundation for her successes, particularly her work with other signed languages in Deaf communities around the world. Regan continued her ASL education at Teachers College, Columbia University, where she earned her M.A. in 2004. She has lectured on Deaf Interpreting topics across the U.S. and in Peru. In 2013 she became a staff interpreter at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C., the premier Deaf-education institution in the U.S. She is also consulting on the development of a new college level ASL curriculum.


Karen Yarumian

Karen J. Yarumian, M.S., CCC-SLP, New England Rehabilitation Hospital

Karen graduated in 2007 with a B.A. in Linguistics, concentrating in Speech and Language Science. She earned her M.S. in Communication Sciences and Disorders in 2009 at the University of New Hampshire. Now a licensed Speech Language Pathologist, Karen works at New England Rehabilitation Hospital, an acute care facility that specializes in recovery of patients with neurological disorders and injuries. She is responsible for assessment, diagnosis, planning, treatment, and education of patients and their families on disorders that may include speech, language, cognition, communication, voice, swallowing and fluency. Karen reports: “My B.A. in Linguistics provided a firm understanding of language, which is essential in my ability to diagnose and treat individuals with communication disorders. The curriculum at USM enabled me to enter a professional career that I find highly rewarding; I help individuals improve their level of function and return to home, work and their community.”


Darcy ChaseDarcy (Wheeler) Chase, M.A., Director of English Studies, Gould Academy

Darcy earned her B.A. in Linguistics at USM in 2000. She went on to participate in the USM Extended Teacher Education Program and earned her Maine State Teacher’s license in 2002. She completed her Master’s in Teaching and Learning at USM in 2005. After teaching middle school for several years, she became the Director of the English Studies Program at Gould Academy, a college preparatory boarding school that serves a number of international students. She is certified by the ACTFL as an Oral Proficiency Interview Rater. She regularly attends professional conferences and has presented her work at a NNETESOL Conference. “As a student in the Linguistics program," she says, "I learned to think and read critically, analyze and write effectively. I appreciated the opportunity to do research, to attend lectures by visiting linguists and to go to a Linguistics conference at Boston University. The linguistics coursework provided me with a solid foundation in the science of language - this is critical knowledge in my work as a language teacher, particularly since my students’ first languages vary greatly. Professors Wayne Cowart and Dana McDaniel have had a strong influence on me in my development as a scholar and as a teacher.”


Helen StickneyHelen Stickney, Ph.D., Visiting Assistant Professor, Dept. of Linguistics, University of Pittsburgh

Helen received her B.A. in (general) Linguistics in 2000. She spent the following year in Nicaragua studying Nicaraguan Sign Language, then began the doctoral program in Linguistics at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, completing her Ph.D. in 2009. Since the fall of 2008 she has been a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Pittsburgh. Helen loves teaching and advising students. She writes, “It gives me great joy to watch my students have ‘aha!’ moments in the classroom and I love it when they challenge core assumptions. I am also a departmental advisor. I help the linguistics majors stay on track with their courses and plan for their post-college life. It is my relationship with my students that brings me joy in my career.” Helen’s research has focused on children’s acquisition of noun phrase structures. In addition, she has recently been involved in a number of projects, including research related to software development for talking TVs intended for visually impaired users, as well as other work on augmentative and alternative communication.