Jennifer Schechter

PhD Student in Linguistics

The State University of New York at Buffalo

Mark Diamond Research Fund Director

UB Graduate Student Association


Hello! I'm Jen. I am a third-year PhD student in linguistics and a teaching assistant in the department. My concentration is in morphosyntax, with my current research being conducted mostly in the subfield of sociolinguistics. As a third year, I am in the process of completing my qualifying paper, which looks at Donald Trump's accent in the context of socioeconomic class and gender. Questions I am exploring surround his being labeled as having a 'masculine, working class accent.' Technology is a large part of my research and this specific project, as my data and secondary sources come from social media. Utilizing these platforms allows me to collect hundreds of hours of audio as well as candid remarks about the current president's language use.

Additionally, I am the Director of the Mark Diamond Research Fund (MDRF) for the Graduate Student Association here at UB. The MDRF is a research fund for graduate students who are in the final stages of their degrees. For more information, check out the website here.

I am a member of the Graduate Linguists Association, Sociolinguistics Lab and the Graduate Student Association and was an active member of the Finance Committee before taking on the role of MDRF Director.

I am originally from Michigan and love traveling to my home state. I also enjoy cooking, writing (creatively) and spending time with my family.



Votes and Variation

The most recent race to the White House raised a lot of interesting questions and discussions, some of which concerned candidates' accents (or dialects). The success of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders had many political bloggers stumped, for a variety of reasons, including Trump's and Sander's historically stigmatized New York City accents. This, combined with the failure of Ted Cruz's "New York Values strategy", raises an interesting sociolinguistic question: are Americans' attitudes towards the New York City dialect changing?

Contact Section

Linguistics Department


office: 627 Baldy Hall

Graduate Student Association


office: 310 Student Union