A Michigan State University Honors College senior, majoring in Linguistics and Neuroscience, has been awarded a prestigious Baggett Fellowship.

A Michigan State University Honors College senior, majoring in Linguistics and Neuroscience, has been awarded a prestigious Baggett Fellowship.

Mina Hirzel will be participating in a one-year post-baccalaureate research fellowship at the University of Maryland, College Park.  Hirzel has been an undergraduate researcher in MSU's Department of Linguistics and Germanic, Slavic, Asian, and African Languages Language Acquisition Lab for the past two and a half years.

“This is a great opportunity for Mina,” Cristina Schmitt, associate professor in the MSU College of Arts and Letters, said.  “Building on her research experience working in the MSU Language Acquisition Lab, she will now be exploring new research areas in the language sciences under the guidance of some of the best linguists and psycholinguists in the field.”

The Linguistics department at the University of Maryland is among the best linguistics departments in the world, and only two Baggett Fellowships are awarded each year. 

“I was absolutely thrilled to receive an offer for this position,” Hirzel said.  “The Fellowship is my dream job – a full-time position conducting linguistic research.  The University of Maryland has an incredible linguistics program, and I am honored to be a part of that this coming year.”

The objective of the Baggett Fellowships program is to provide intensive research training for post-baccalaureate students who wish to pursue a research career in the scientific study of language.  Fellows are exposed to a range of methods and tools for studying human language in the context of a collaborative research environment. 

“During my time at MSU, I have benefitted from the mentorship of many linguistics faculty members, especially Christina Schmitt and Alan Munn at the Language Acquisition Lab,” Hirzel said.  “At Maryland, I hope to build on the research foundation I have gained from the Language Acquisition Lab and the MSU Honors College.  It’s a great experience to work in different labs because there are always new techniques to be gained, and the quality of work at the Maryland Linguistic Department is exceptional.  I hope to further my skills as a linguist and as a scientific researcher by experiencing different fields of linguistics and expanding my language acquisition experience.”

The one-year Baggett Fellowship is a full-time position intended for individuals with a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree who are interested in gaining significant research experience in an active interdisciplinary environment before pursuing graduate study in some area of linguistics or cognitive science.