The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi

East Carolina University
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Anna A. Lawrence awarded Eldean Pierce Graduate Fellowship for 2015-2016 by ECU Chapter of Phi Kappa Phi

Rachel Pollard
Anna A. Lawrence

Each year, the ECU Chapter of Phi Kappa Phi awards the Eldean Pierce graduate fellowship, named for a former chapter secretary, to one senior student. The 2015-2016 winner is Anna A. Lawrence. She received a plaque and a check for $1500 from the chapter at the annual initiation ceremony on April 17, 2016. In addition, Anna’s materials were sent to the national graduate fellowship competition by the chapter. Anna is a member of the Honors College and graduated in May with dual degrees in Hispanic Studies and Anthropology and a minor in Linguistics. In her sophomore year, she became the lead tutor for introductory Spanish courses at the Pirate Tutoring Center and she later conducted research in sociolinguistics while working as a research assistant in ECU’s SoCIOLing lab under the direction of Dr. Stephen Fafulas. One goal of the lab is to document Spanish language change in Eastern North Carolina. Anna assisted with this work which she adapted for her Senior Honors project. She received an ECU undergraduate research award to fund her data collection and she is completing her honors thesis on “Morphosyntactic Variation in an Emerging Dialect of Spanish in Eastern North Carolina.” Her findings have implications theoretically for documenting how languages change as the speakers come into contact with other languages and also, more practically, for the methods of teaching English as a second language to nonnative speakers. She has presented her research at ECU’s Research and Creative Achievement week and at a national sociolinguistics conference held in Charleston, SC, and was awarded the Best Paper Presentation Award at the Teaching of English as a Second Language conference held at ECU in 2016 She also studied abroad at the Universidad de Granada in Granada, Spain, and last summer she was selected as one of five students to participate in a new internship program funded by the State Employees Credit Union to promote public service among students who can assist with economic development in underserved counties. Anna has also served on the Harriot College Dean’s Student Leadership Council, as President of Sigma Delta Pi, and she has tutored Hispanic women as part of the ALMAS program, and served as a volunteer interpreter for the Grimesland Community Health Center. Anna will attend the PhD program in Spanish Linguistics at the University of Texas at Austing in the fall. Her long-term goal is to inspire an interest in learning Spanish in the broader population and to promote the value of bilingualism.