The Linguistics Department Virtual Department Graduation Ceremony celebrating our Graduating Class of 2021 launched Saturday, June 12, 2021.


Watch on YouTube


Congratulations to the UCLA Linguistics Class of 2021! You put in countless minutes, hours, days, weeks, and years into linguistic research in and outside of the classroom.

You listened to recordings and live language consultants to train your ears to pick up the subtle nuances of phonetics and deciphered the psychology of phonology. You built forests from sentences for syntax and peeled back the layers of interpretation in semantics. You explored world languages and cultures both familiar and foreign.

You crammed through late nights, balanced opportunities to learn new skills and get involved in your campus community, you wrote in code and sputtered out foundational sounds of language that others only understood

to be gibberish. You managed to persevere though a global pandemic that upended your final year at UCLA.

Through it all, you continued to achieve, dream, and support one other on your road to this culminating moment, your commencement. To commence means to begin, to start, and although the last year may not have been what you imagined when you first entered UCLA, we want to take this opportunity to recognize your incredible achievements, honor your commitment to your education and scientific community, and celebrate the start of your new journey. All the members of the UCLA Linguistics Department are proud of you and envision bright futures for all of you, wherever your road leads you from here!

We look forward to celebrating your graduation from the Linguistics Department with a virtual ceremony, which will launch on this page on Saturday, June 12, 2021 at 1:00 PM (Pacific Time).

A Message from Our Chair 


Dear 2021 Linguistics Grads, 

Let me offer, on behalf of your Linguistics Department, my sincere congratulations for receiving your UCLA degree. We offer a very challenging program, and you have met our expectations! We wish you the very best for the future, wherever your interests and your degree lead you. 

The faculty, TAs, and staff are so sorry that we are unable to celebrate with you in person this week. We hope that, at some time in the future, we can offer you and your families an on-campus, in-person commemorative event. 

Do keep in touch with us, especially if life takes you in unexpected directions. You know by now that the top question a linguistics major gets asked is, “What can you do with linguistics?”, and we rely on our alums to keep us informed about the many possible answers to that question. We would be delighted to hear yours! 

With very best wishes,  

Pat Keating

Distinguished Professor and Chair 

Alumni Speakers

Picture of Linguistics alumnae, VIvian San Gabriel, from the class of 2020.

Vivian San Gabriel, Class of 2020
Applied Linguistics (B.A.)

Vivian is a Social Media Marketing Associate at Nimble, a B2B tech company specializing in Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software. As a student, Vivian served on the Bruin Linguists Society (BLing) Board while working part-time at UCLA Alumni Career Engagement. She spent her time creating opportunities for undergraduates to connect to the UCLA Linguistics Community. In her new role at Nimble, she applies the community building skills she gained at UCLA to drive brand growth. 

Picture of Linguistics alumnae, Michelle Vo, from the class of 2020.

Michelle Vo, Class of 2020
Linguistics & Computer Science (B.A)
Cognitive Science (B.S.)
Digital Humanities Minor

Michelle is an Oculus Developer Support Engineer within Facebook Reality Labs, where she works closely with virtual reality (VR) developers to resolve technical issues, write guide articles for common VR challenges, and occasionally facilitate pitches meetings for approving new VR titles on the Oculus platform. In her current role, she utilizes the experience she gained on several virtual reality projects during her undergraduate years at UCLA. She loves the interdisciplinary nature of VR development, how it encourages innovation, and its broad pursuit of bringing people closer to each other and their aspirations.


Graduate Student Senior Speaker

Picture of the 2021 Linguistics Department Commencement Graduate Student Speaker, Daniel Pineda.

Matthew Pineda, Class of 2021
Linguistics & Computer Science (B.A) 

 An undergraduate transfer student, Matthew is actively involved in UCLA Radio, Bruin Linguists Society (BLing), and UCLA DevX. He has spent time outside of the classroom exploring computational linguistics and gaining experience in software engineering in the tech industry. 


To keep in touch with the latest UCLA Linguistics Department news, please join our mailing list. If you have updates on your accomplishments and journey, feel free to email us.