Committee Descriptions

Below are descriptions of the graduate student committees (plus a few faculty committees). The current holders of these positions can be found here.

Admissions Committee

2 or 3 grad students needed

See graduate coordinator for details.

Brown Bag

2 grad students needed

This is a student-run group that meets once a week to discuss research, teaching and general professional development among the grad students. 

The students on this committee need good organizational and motivational skills to determine topics, send out reminder e-mails, and request and arrange food and drink supplies. 

Colloquium Committee

3 or 4 grad students needed

Committee is coordinated by a faculty member, and is responsible for scheduling colloquia during the academic year. Colloquia may be given by graduate students completing the colloquium requirement, by faculty in this department, and/or by speakers from other universities.

The Committee has a small budget to use to pay travel expenses &/or honoraria to speakers from places other than UCSD. Committee members invite speakers, schedule talks, arrange dinners, arrange overnight stays as necessary, and work with the staff to advertise colloquia and pay speakers. They may also negotiate with other departments &/or campuses to split travel expenses for a particular speaker. Faculty representative can explain policies, methods of payment, etc. With enough notice, the office staff will circulate flyers advertising a colloquium.

When done well, this job permits you to get to know and to impress all kinds of people (here and elsewhere) with your knowledge and industry. All of these people are potential collaborators, mentors, colleagues, and/or reviewers. You never know when one of them will be on the appointment committee for the job you're anxious to get, or when one of them will be reviewing a paper of yours for inclusion in a journal or presentation at a conference. In addition, this sort of experience is invaluable for running conferences later in your career. While it's true that there's a fair amount of organization and detail work involved, you have some control over the timing of the workload, and 2-3 people can split up the tasks in various ways to lighten any individual's load.

The members of this committee need to be responsible and organized, and need to be clear communicators. It is desirable to have at least one student on this committee who served on the committee the previous year. Unlike other committees, for which the term is fall quarter through spring, the term for this committee is from winter quarter through fall of the next year.

Curriculum Committee

1 grad student needed

The Curriculum Committee discusses curricular issues related to both the graduate and undergraduate programs. The number and frequency of the meetings are set by the committee chair. Both will vary depending on the number and timing of the issues to be discussed. In the future, you may need to discuss curricular issues as a member of a linguistics faculty somewhere; being on this committee would be good training/experience for that.

The student on this committee needs a firm background in how the graduate curriculum works, and ideally will have completed a number of the required courses. Passing familiarity with the undergraduate curriculum is also useful; TA experience in linguistics courses helps in this regard, but relevant details can also be gleaned from department documents.

External Relations Committee

2 grad students needed

This committee is focused on the image of the department outside its own walls. The primary focus is the department's website, both in terms of design and content, and its presence in social and other media.

Faculty Search Committee

2 grad students needed

Service on the faculty search committee involves coordinating the logistics of the candidates' visits with the academic personnel staff and search committee chair, attending job talks, and conducting a survey of student opinion. The student representatives coordinate a student lunch with each candidate and attend one or more faculty meetings after interviews take place to present the student viewpoint. Job talks are normally scheduled in February and March. Service on faculty search committees would be particularly valuable for someone who is close to finishing a degree and/or specializing in the candidates' area.

Graduate Lounge

1 grad student needed

This student should organize at least 1 clean-up a year and make sure the refrigerator, microwave, etc. are in working order. In addition, this student should report physical problems on the 3rd and 4th floors (burned out lights, malfunctioning locks, etc.) to Physical Plant Services, x42930. It would be nice to take down outdated notices, too, since we always have an abundance of materials to be posted.

Graduate Student Association (GSA) Representatives

2 grad students needed

A previous rep described the job duties as: "basically fielding the mail, getting per capita money, and going to the meetings when we want lounge improvement money from [the GSA]". As a GSA member, you may get an opportunity to volunteer to participate on various campus-wide committees. This would permit you to interact with campus administrators and to get an idea of how the campus functions.

Grad Student Head

1 student needed

This position involves interfacing with faculty (Chair and Director of Graduate Studies) on any issues concerning the grad student body as a group, or in representing a student in cases where the student prefers anonymity or a neutral go-between. 

The student is preferably a senior student with a good understanding of the department and strong interpersonal skills. 

Mail Committee

1 or more grad students needed

Responsible for collecting mail from the graduate student mailbox on the 4th floor and distributing it in graduate student mailboxes in the 3rd floor lounge on a daily or twice daily basis. If two people share this job, it's generally easiest to have one person doing morning pickup and one doing afternoon pickup, or one doing Tues/Thur and one M/W/F. If you anxiously await your own mail, this is the job for you.

Research/Travel Grant Committee

1 grad student needed

This committee is charged with distributing approximately $3,500 in research & travel grants to Linguistics graduate students who apply for such funding. Good experience for making your own grant applications (you see what sort of arguments are effective), and for serving on another committee of this sort in the future (you're exposed to coping strategies for the perennial problem of deciding how to allocate $3,500 when you have $10,000 of reasonable requests and you'd like to support all of them).

San Diego Linguistics Papers

several grad students needed

This is a student-run committee. A group of Linguistics graduate students edits and produces SDLP, a collection of working papers in linguistics, on an irregular basis. The committee needs people to serve as editors. 

SDLP needs at least some members who are serving for a second year. Members of this committee must have

            • strong organizational skills (to answer inquiries, coordinate the review process, etc.)

            • some technical skill (to format and publish the journal online)

            • the willingness to follow tasks through to completion and to motivate others

Space Committee

1 grad students needed

The Space Committee assesses the space needs of the department and current and future use of space. The committee establishes policy on space distribution. 

The graduate program combines thorough training in theoretical linguistics and formal analysis with innovative experimental approaches to the study of language.

Inquiries about the Linguistics Graduate Program should be directed to Professor Andy Kehler, Director of Graduate Studies.