SIL-UND is blessed with highly-qualified and committed program staff who bring extensive overseas service experience into the SIL community and into each classroom. We have a different combination of staff members each summer—a good variety of interesting people!

Here are photos of just a few of our long-term staff, people who come back regularly. Tap or click on a photo for some information.

Tap or click on a photo for more information

Albert and Anita Bickford

Albert and Anita Bickford

Albert and Anita Bickford

Albert and Anita Bickford


Albert is the program director and a Linguistics Consultant with SIL. He plays the violin (usually not during classes). Anita can pronounce just about any possible human sound, so she usually teaches Articulatory Phonetics. She has a trained operatic voice and plays the cello. Fieldwork location: Mexico and signed languages worldwide.

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Dianne and Steve Parkhurst

Dianne and Steve Parkhurst

Dianne and Steve Parkhurst

Dianne and Steve Parkhurst


Dianne handles reams of paperwork as our registrar, and both she and Steve teach classes in Sign Language Linguistics. They show up at UND just about every summer. Fieldwork location: Spain.

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Kate and Keith Slater

Kate and Keith Slater

Kate and Keith Slater

Kate and Keith Slater


Kate has taught Participatory Methods and Syntax and Morphology, and has served in a variety of administrative roles. Keith is Director of Graduate Studies and teaches Historical Linguistics whenever we give him the chance. Fieldwork location: China. (Missing from photo: Kate)

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Linda and Rick Barnes

Linda and Rick Barnes

Linda and Rick Barnes

Linda and Rick Barnes


Linda serves as director of our childcare program. Rick keeps SIL-UND running with soldierly efficiency as a member of our admin team.

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Mary Castria

Mary Castria

Mary Castria

Mary Castria


Retired but not retiring, Mary handles our finances and happily exchanges dollars for laundry quarters, working to keep the financial records and our community 'clean'. When not at SIL-UND, she does financial coaching and might be found helping with finances somewhere in the world.

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Linda Humnick

Linda Humnick

Linda Humnick

Linda Humnick


Linda specializes in discourse analysis and field linguistics, and also has tons of experience helping linguists to improve their academic writing. She lives in Minnesota, which is almost as good as North Dakota. Fieldwork experience: Turkic Languages.

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Debbie and John Clifton

Debbie and John Clifton

Debbie and John Clifton

Debbie and John Clifton


Debbie and John have been involved at SIL-UND since the late 1970s. They make sure they're back in north-central Florida long before the snow flies! Debbie recently returned to the classroom after serving as registrar for many years. John has taught eight different courses; most recently they team-taught Language Documentation. Fieldwork experience: Papua New Guinea, Central Asia, and others.

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Jim Roberts

Jim Roberts

Jim Roberts

Jim Roberts


An Africanist whose laugh may be untranscribable, Jim has taught a number of phonology and grammar courses, most recently one on linguistic tone. Fieldwork: Chadian languages.

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Mary Morgan

Mary Morgan

Mary Morgan

Mary Morgan


Mary's 5-decade career as linguist, teacher, and consultant has taken her to more continents than we can count. She teaches classes related to literacy and sociolinguistics.

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Linda and Stuart Thiessen

Linda and Stuart Thiessen

Linda and Stuart Thiessen

Linda and Stuart Thiessen


Linda and Stuart live near the Twin Cities, though they are not twins. Linda has served us as an ASL interpreter. Stuart is the first Deaf person to be recognized as a linguistics consultant by SIL International. He teaches Sign Language Morphosyntax. Fieldwork location: Latin America and beyond.

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Jim and Juanita Watters

Jim and Juanita Watters

Jim and Juanita Watters

Jim and Juanita Watters


Jim teaches Syntax/Morphology, Field Methods, and whatever else we need—he's versatile. Juanita has taught courses related to literacy and second language acquisition. She's also the director of a similar SIL program in Mexico. Experience in Mexico and South Asia.

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Cathy and Steve Marlett

Cathy and Steve Marlett

Cathy and Steve Marlett

Cathy and Steve Marlett


Cathy and Steve met at SIL-UND before you were born. Cathy typically indoctrinates phonetics students, and Steve is often found in a phonology classroom, but teaches other classes, too. Steve is the only current SIL-UND faculty member who has been quoted in National Geographic. Fieldwork locations: primarily Mexico, but they have also taught and trained in Pakistan, Peru, Bolivia and Spain.

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Archie and Kristine Trammell

Archie and Kristine Trammell

Archie and Kristine Trammell

Archie and Kristine Trammell


Archie keeps everyone happy by putting out fires (metaphorical ones, fortunately) with our IT systems. Kristine teaches courses related to Literacy, and has consulted for literacy projects in Latin America and Africa.

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Adam Baker

Adam Baker

Adam Baker

Adam Baker


Adam is a phonologist with computer programming skills, a sense of humor, and lots of deep thought. Fieldwork: Iranian and Turkic Languages.

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Kathy Hansen

Kathy Hansen

Kathy Hansen

Kathy Hansen


Kathy specializes in the phonology of signed languages. If "phonology" and "signed languages" seems like an odd combination to you, you really need her help! Fieldwork: American Sign Language in the USA.

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Heather and Robb Fried

Heather and Robb Fried

Heather and Robb Fried

Heather and Robb Fried


Heather teaches Ethnographic Methods and Robb is a grammar writer who has most recently taught Typology and Discourse. Do you know a typologically unusual language? Robb wants to hear about it!

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Doug and Meg Fraiser

Doug and Meg Fraiser

Doug and Meg Fraiser

Doug and Meg Fraiser


Doug teaches anthropology, so nothing you do will surprise him. Meg collects your money as our finance manager, and sometimes even gives some back. Fieldwork locations: The Philippines and Thailand.

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Katie and Paul Tang

Katie and Paul Tang

Katie and Paul Tang

Katie and Paul Tang


Katie likes sounds, so she can usually be found teaching phonology or acoustic phonetics. Paul spends his summer moving things from place to place, finding creative solutions, and figuring out how to put Rick Barnes' orders into practice.

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Dan and Sarah Eberle

Dan and Sarah Eberle

Dan and Sarah Eberle

Dan and Sarah Eberle


Sign language specialists who both did their MAs here at UND, Dan and Sarah have taught a number of classes. Fieldwork location: currently Kenya, but they've been in Ecuador, Italy, and Romania too!

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Elke and Mark Karan

Elke and Mark Karan

Elke and Mark Karan

Elke and Mark Karan


Elke mostly teaches our Writing Systems course—just try to find a script she can't identify. Mark is an SIL Consultant who has taught sociolinguistics, language survey, translation, and many other subjects. Fieldwork location: mostly Africa, but if you're interested, set aside half an hour to ask them sometime!

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Jan and Larry Allen

Jan and Larry Allen

Jan and Larry Allen

Jan and Larry Allen


Jan is a nomadic professor who's taught in Illinois, Texas, and New York besides North Dakota. She teaches Syntax II at UND. Larry has taught Translation and served as receptionist. Fieldwork location: The Philippines.

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Joan Baart

Joan Baart

Joan Baart

Joan Baart


Joan manages the SIL-UND working papers in linguistics, guides thesis students, and sometimes offers special lectures on acoustic phonetics with his special, dry wit. Fieldwork location: Asia.

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Karl and Kristen Anderbeck

Karl and Kristen Anderbeck

Karl and Kristen Anderbeck

Karl and Kristen Anderbeck


Karl, often seen in overalls, a Nepalese hat, or both, teaches the sociolinguistic skill of assessing the health ("vitality") of languages in our language survey course. Kristen, often seen talking with students over meals, fills in where we need help. Fieldwork location: Island Southeast Asia.

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Larin and Pam Adams

Larin and Pam Adams

Larin and Pam Adams

Larin and Pam Adams


Larin and Pam have been coming to UND intermittently for 15 years—usually from Thailand. Larin has taught several classes, most recently typology and discourse. Pam usually helps out with second language acquisition. It still baffles them how two people in their 50s can find so much enjoyment in dorm living, late nights, and erratic volleyball—and yet that’s the way it is.

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Kate French

Kate French

Kate French

Kate French


Kate 'the Great' is a nerd about linguistics and a geek in everything else. She's working on her MA at UND and helps run our publicity team.

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A number of these smiling people are members of UND’s Graduate Faculty, which means they can serve on MA Thesis committees. If you’d like to see who those faculty are, and learn about their research interests, please have a look at this page on the UND website.

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