Student awards & recognition

Graduate and undergraduate students have long made important contributions to the study of language variation and change and to the NWAV conference. This year, we are excited to be able to recognize the important contributions of students in several ways: best student paper awards, student travel awards, and a celebration of undergraduate research on LVC.

Best student paper awards

Cambridge University Press Best Student Abstract Award

Cambridge University Press, the publisher of Language Variation and Change, continues its long tradition of supporting the NWAV community in a range of ways, including by sponsoring this year’s best student abstract award.  This year the award will be given to the highest rated abstract submission that was student-award eligible (see CFP for details).

NWAV48 winner of the Cambridge University Press Best Student Abstract Award:

Martha Austen (Ohio State University), “Pushing the envelope of variation: Listener perceptions of the TRAP/BATH split” [ Friday 11:45 am, in LabPhon session ]

Congratulations Martha!

Lillian B. Stueber Prize

NWAV 48 begins a new tradition, launching the Lillian B. Stueber Prize for the best student paper that treats variation in languages that have been missing from or are less frequently represented at NWAV.  The four finalists for the prize will be announced just before the conference begins.  The award winner will be announced at the end of the conference.

The four finalists for the prize are:

Student travel awards

We are pleased to offer a competitive award to help cover NWAV 48 travel costs for graduate students in sociolinguistics who represent underrepresented minorities. To be considered for an award, students must be nominated by a faculty member or instructor.

Faculty or instructors at any institution may send a letter nominating a graduate student by the deadline to, with “Travel Award Nomination” in the subject line. The letter, should not exceed 250 words. No other application material should be forwarded. The deadline for nomination letters is Friday, August 23, 2019.

  • Award:
    • Travel award: Recipients will receive $500 to reimburse travel/lodging expenses plus the cost of conference registration (at the Early registration student rate of $90).
    • Mentor match: Wherever possible, award recipients will be paired with an established researcher attending NWAV 48 as a mentor. Recipients will have an opportunity to discuss professional goals and opportunities with that mentor.
  • Goal: The goal of these travel grants is to encourage attendance by graduate students from backgrounds that are underrepresented at NWAV (e.g. first-generation university or graduate students, low income students, African American, Latinx, Indigenous students, etc.). Letter writers should include a brief justification regarding how the nominee’s background relates to this goal. “Underrepresented” should be interpreted relative to local and personal contexts. It is up to the letter writer to make the case. Letters should also address how attending NWAV 48 will benefit the student academically.
  • Eligibility: Students are eligible for the award:
    • if they are graduate students at the time of NWAV 48
    • if they are enrolled in either a linguistics program or a related program (e.g., English, Sociology, Anthropology, Africana studies, Psychology, Computer Science, or a language program with a concentration or research program in sociolinguistics)
    • regardless of whether or not they are presenting at NWAV 48
  • Further details: The letter writer and the nominee do not need to be from the same institution. The letter writer does not need to be attending NWAV 48, in a tenured or tenure-track position, or at a North American institution.

Recipients will be notified in early September. Award recipients must register for the conference and any workshops they wish to attend.

If you have questions, please contact the NWAV 48 Organizing Committee at

Winners of the 2019 NWAV Student Travel Awards:

        • Duaa AbuAmsha (University of Calgary)
        • Sarah Braun (Universität Duisburg-Essen)
        • Kendra Calhoun (University of California, Santa Barbara)
        • Cole Callen (Pennsylvania State University)
        • Carmen Ciancia (University of Essex)
        • Amanda Cole (University of Essex)
        • Madeline Critchfield (University of Georgia)
        • Isabel Deibel (Pennsylvania State University)
        • Claire Djuikui Dountsop (Université de Montréal)
        • Juan Manuel Escalona Torres (Indiana University)
        • Camila Lívio (University of Georgia)
        • Bryce McCleary (Oklahoma State University)
        • deandre miles-hercules (University of California, Santa Barbara)
        • Jamaal Muwwakkil (University of California, Santa Barbara)
        • Shannon Rodriguez (University of Georgia)
        • Jiyeon Song (University of South Carolina)

Recognizing Undergraduate Student Research at NWAV

With support from Reed College and the journal Lifespans & Styles: Undergraduate Papers in Sociolinguistics, we are excited to celebrate the many contributions to the study of language variation and change that are made by undergraduate students and researchers. Friday afternoon (October 11) will feature a special reception to honor the work of undergraduates. See the program (soon) for more.