Current PhD Student Bios

Aseel AL-Ammar

Aseel is a first year PhD student in linguistics and a linguistics graduate teaching assistant, currently assisting with LING 306-General Linguistics.  In 2014, she earned her Master's degree in Linguistics and TESL certificate from George Mason University.  Aseel's research interests include phonetics, phonology, and second language production and perception and bilingualism.



Abdullah Alfaifi

Abdullah is in his first year of the PhD program. He is interested in phonology; particularly, in Second Language Acquisition of speech sounds and relationship between speech perception and production. In addition, he is also interested in Arabic dialectology. He's co-authored and published an article titled “First Notes on the dialect of Jabal Faifia” in the Journal of Arabic Linguistics.

Natalie Cline

Natalie Cline is a PhD student in Linguistics and a Linguistics Graduate Teaching Assistant.  In 2013, she earned her Master's degree in Linguistics from West Virginia University.  Natalie's research interests include phonetics, phonology, and second language aquisition.


Zhiyan Gao

Zhiyan joined the Phd program in 2013. He is interested in phonetics and phonology, and his research plan includes sound change, and second language speech perception, especially second language (L2) learners’ perception of L2 contrasts. Zhiyan has several years of Mandarin Chinese teaching experience both in the U.S. and abroad. He received a BA in Chinese from Soochow University, China, where he focused his efforts on Chinese philology. He also holds an MA in English from George Mason University.





Mike Klein

Mike is excited to study linguistics at George Mason after a stint as a high-school physics teacher. He's still teaching, of course, but this time the topic is English Grammar (LING 307). Mike's first PhD qualifying paper explores the acquisition of English stops by second-language English speakers from different language backgrounds. In future research, he hopes to explore the syntax and semantics of the Mandarin bei-construction.






Baraa Rajab

Baraa is a 4th year PhD student. She earned her BA from King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia and her Master's from George Mason. Baraa has several years of teaching ESL both abroad and in the US. She is now teaching Arabic in the Modern and Classical languages department at George Mason. Her research interests are L2 phonology, second language acquisition, and morphology.






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