2019 Program Scholars

Meet our 2019 undergraduate student scholars from UC Santa Barbara, HBCUs, and other colleges and universities in the U.S.


Brianna Bazile is an incoming first year Speech and Hearing Sciences graduate student at Ohio State University. Brianna recently received her Bachelor’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology/Audiology from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. Due to her parents’ obligations to serve, Brianna has had the privilege to move every 3 years and travel across the globe. She has lived in Maryland, Guam, South Carolina, Japan, California, and now North Carolina. Because of her parents’ service, she was able to discover her passion for Speech Pathology during a mission trip to the Philippines. Her exposure to cleft-lip and palate piqued her interest in further research into the restoration of this speech mechanism for both quality development and speech intelligibility.


Ericka Canon is a fourth-year undergraduate student at Emory University pursuing a joint major in Spanish and Linguistics. Her experiences growing up in the South Bronx have shaped her current research which focuses on Nuyorican identity, race and language practices. In general, she hopes to continue studying the complexities of Latinxs, specifically from the Caribbean, and use her research to serve and uplift these communities.


Dominique Cassamajor is a first-time participant in the UCSB-HBCU Scholars in Linguistics Program coming off his third year studying Theatre Arts & Performance Studies at Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA. Dominique’s research interests pertain to the copulas of academic discourse/resources and it’s accessibility thereof to educationally marginalized communities, psycholinguistics relating to the respectability of language when interacting with colloquialism, as well as the performance of language when being utilized in civic space.

Christopher Holt

Christopher Holt is a rising senior at North Carolina A&T State University studying Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology. At North Carolina A&T, he is heavily involved in campus life including on-campus organizations such as serving as a Peer Academic Leader for two all-male residence halls, the primary baritone of the North Carolina A&T State University Choir, the National Society for Leadership and Success, and serves as the Co-Founder and 2019 Vice President-Elect for the National Student Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s NC A&T Chapter. His research activities have allowed him to present at the 2017 NBASLH Convention in Atlanta, GA and the 2018 ABRCMS Conference in Indianapolis, IN. He hopes to enter a graduate program in order to receive his Ph.D. in Speech and Hearing Sciences with a concentration in voice research. Through the UCSB-HBCU Linguistics Scholars program, he hopes to assist in developing quality research that has an impact on the scientific community and is thrilled to work with such a dynamic group of faculty and students.


Jonathan Johnson is a rising senior attending Kentucky Wesleyan College in Owensboro, Ky. A California native he was born in San Diego and grew up in Cypress. Moving to Laughlin High School in the Clark County School District he became a Rogers Fellowes Scholar. His current major is in psychology with an interest in Cognitive/AI interfacing. He is the current Psychology Club President at his college. Within linguistics his interests concern psycholinguistics. He enjoys learning about computer science and its applications in modern day life especially with the uprise of MOOCS. Apart from academics he enjoys creating all forms of content media. Check out Hey, Deon on Apple Music and Dream Shaolin on Soundcloud

Sierra Smith

Sierra Smith is a rising Senior at Jackson State University majoring in Communication Disorders. She is a member of the Jackson State University softball team. Her hometown is Grayson, Georgia. At Jackson State University, Sierra is a member of the McNair Scholars Program, National Student Speech Language Hearing Association, Student- Athlete Advisory Committee, National Society of Collegiate Scholars, and W.E.B Du Bois- Harvey Honors College. Her research interests include how culture and race impact linguistic development. 


Alexandria Williams is an undergraduate student at the University of California, Santa Barbara from Pomona, California. She is majoring in Sociology and double minoring in Sociocultural Linguistics and Applied Psychology. Under Dr. Charity-Hudley, she is researching the dynamics of African American English in University housing.


Kamrynn Williams is a rising senior at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She is pursuing a B.S. in Psychological & Brain Sciences and a B.A. in Language, Culture, and Society. Her current research interests include the stigmatization of mental health and substance abuse in African-American and other minority communities. She currently serves as the co-chair of UCSB’s Commission on Student Well-Being and the alcohol and drug abuse prevention intern for the UCSB Department of Health and Wellness. In her free time, Kamrynn enjoys shopping, hanging out with her best friend, and watching tv series’ on Netflix. As she strives towards her academic and professional goals, she hopes to one day attain a career in public health.