Lab Director

Rajka Smiljanic (PI)

Graduate Students

Sandie Keerstock, LIN
Sandie is a second year Ph.D. student in Linguistics at the University of Texas at Austin. Her research focuses on intelligibility. She is looking at the strategies speakers employ to increase speech intelligibility and the effect these enhancements have on listeners’ memory. In her free time, she enjoys practicing Korean and singing in noraebang (karaoke).


Kirsten Meemann, LIN
Kirsten is a second year Ph.D. student in Linguistics at the University of Texas at Austin. Her research focuses on speech perception and language processing. In particular, she is interested in the effect of clear speech and different types of noise on speech perception, and in the role of cognitive mechanisms to cope with such noise. In her spare time, she enjoys reading thrillers, listening to podcasts, and running (despite the Texas heat).


Steven Alcorn, SPN

Steven is a fourth year Ph.D. student in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese studying second language acquisition and bilingualism. His current research examines vowel epenthesis in Brazilian Portuguese and how conflicting phonotactic constraints affect perception and production of consonant clusters Portuguese-English bilinguals. His hobbies include playing and watching sports, visiting museums and exploring Central Texas.

Undergraduate Students

Maria Gavino
Maria is a third year undergraduate student at the University of Texas at Austin pursing a double major in Linguistics and Spanish and a minor in English. After graduating, Maria plans to attend graduate school for a PhD in Linguistics. Maria is a member of the Undergraduate Linguistic Society and the Liberal Arts Honors program at UT. In her free time, she enjoys tending to her succulent terrarium, crafting, and spending time with family and friends. This is her second year as a research assistant at the lab.


Jai Lyn Pena
Jailyn is a Linguistics and Korean double major in her third year at the University of Texas at Austin. After graduation, she plans to teach English abroad in the Republic of Korea. Jailyn enjoys painting, creative writing and taking long walks in her spare time. This is her second semester as part of the Phonetics lab at UT.



Irene Smith
ireneutsoundlabIrene is in her second year in the UT SoundLab and her third year at UT, double-majoring in linguistics and electrical engineering. She is planning to write an undergraduate linguistics thesis that combines acoustic phonetics and signal processing by analyzing speech signals from the perspective of communications engineering. In her free time,   Irene enjoys handweaving and backpacking.

Liliana Terry

Liliana is a third year Computer Science student. She is interested in language acquisition and hopes to attend Stanford for graduate school to study computational linguistics and machine learning. In her free time she gets lost on hikes, makes short films, and loves going to Women in Computer Science events to celebrate women in technology.


Hannah Ray
Hannah is a junior at UT, pursuing a degree in Linguistics and a certificate in Elements of Computing. She enjoys exploring different areas of interest, such as historical linguistics, computational linguistics, and cultural anthropology. She is a part of the UT Tennis Club, INSPIRE Women’s Leadership program, and plays guitar, violin, and cello. This is her first year working in the Sound Lab.

Lab alumni

Niamh Kelly, LIN

Cindy Blanco, LIN

Rachael Gilbert, LIN

Kristin Van Engen, postdoc

Elisa Ferracane, LIN

Hoyoung Yi, CSD

Lauren Franklin, undergraduate

Maddie Oakley, undergraduate

Emily Tagtow, undergraduate

Gaby Cook, undergraduate

Cristabella Trimble-Quiz, undergraduate

Karen Johnson, undergraduate

Jose Martinez

Gayatri Rao, PSYCH

Matthias Sjerps, graduate, max Planck Institute
Matthias (dot) Sjerps (at) mpi (dot) nl

Lauren Ayres, graduate CSD

Natalia Czimskey, graduate CSD

Zach Childers, graduate LIN

Lauren Franklin, undergraduate LIN

Kiki Adams, LIN

Corina Trevino, undergraduate LIN, CSD; Intellectual Entrepreneurship internship program

Aidan Aannestad, undergraduate LIN

Nicholas Victor, undergraduate CSD

Samantha Sebastian, undergraduate LIN

Anais Callejon, undergraduate LIN

Randall Rouse, undergraduate LIN

Gabriela Saenz, undergraduate CSD

Rob Corona, undergraduate LIN

Lauren Burleson, undergraduate LIN

Johanna Emily Boardman, undergraduate LIN

Jasmine Beitz, undergraduate CSD

Samantha Gordon, CSD

UTsoundLab Fall 2010