Waverley Mulligan

Waverley Mulligan

Waverley is entering her fourth year at Queen's, majoring in Linguistics and minoring in Hispanic Studies. She is the recipient of the Queen's University Excellence Scholarship, Dean's Honour List with Distinction for the 2019-2020 academic year, which puts her in the top 3% of Arts & Science students and last but not the least the recipient of a 2020-2021 Dean's Award of Excellence (which is a scholarship based on grades). She chose Linguistics because she was always fascinated by languages:

" Languages and linguistics have always intrigued me. I grew up speaking English, Spanish, and French. I believe that this multilingualism has contributed to my deep appreciation for language, my linguistic curiosity, and spiked the appeal to pursue a degree in Linguistics. The more I study languages and linguistics the more I learn to convert subconscious knowledge about language into conscious knowledge that can be analyzed and used to further understand both sociolinguistic factors and the underlying structure of language. I just…love learning this stuff!!

I absolutely adore my major! I think that a LING major opens up so many possibilities for learning and growth as I have been able to take a huge range of courses that have helped me become a “well-rounded” academic. I have also been able to learn to analyze the role of language in the world from a variety of perspectives (for example, from the extremely different perspectives of a syntactician versus a linguistic anthropologist). I have especially enjoyed the different problem-solving aspects in classes such as Morphology, Syntax and Semantics. This challenging but rewarding major also pairs well with my Spanish minor by routinely allowing me to see structural linguistics applied in a second language.

This niche program is home to the warmest department environment, including the professors, students, and academic support. I felt comfortable walking into Kingston Hall on my first day of classes in first year and I quickly felt welcomed into the small, close-knit Linguistics community. The LING faculty members are some of the kindest, most supportive people and I always leave office hours in awe of their extensive and diverse knowledge. I love being involved in the LING community and active student life, attending LING conferences, note-taking for several classes, and even getting together with LING friends outside of the classroom—discussing Linguistics topics and overall love for this program—over wine and cheese.

This major is a gift. I feel lucky that my degree allows me to explore two very important themes. (1) the intensely complex structure of communication—morphemes, phonemes, etc.—and (2) the story of language in terms of accents, culture, identity, people, and places. As well, I love that I can balance LING and other aspects of Queen’s student life like the Varsity Triathlon team and working as a Queen’s Lifeguard and Swim Instructor.

After graduation, I intend to pursue a Master in Speech Language Pathology to eventually work in Speech Language Pathology research. I am excited to continue pursuing an education in this field but will be incredibly sad to leave behind the unique and nurturing environment of the Linguistics Department at Queen’s."