Penn State Penn State: College of the Liberal Arts
Partnerships for International
Research and Education

Mary Beth Spang

Mary Beth Spang
2013-2014, Undergraduate Student - Linguistics, Spanish, and English
Mary Beth Spang


I am a rising senior majoring in Linguistics, Spanish and English. For the past two semesters, I have had the privilege of learning from Dr. John Lipski about research being conducted in Colombia regarding a Spanish-based creole language called Lengua Palenquera.
I will be traveling to Palenque, Colombia this summer to collect research regarding Lengua Palenquera. Then, I will take this data to Radboud University Nijmegen in order to analyze this data and complete my PIRE project, which will also form the basis for my Schreyer’s honor thesis. My research deals with sociolinguistic variation in Lengua Palenquera based on age, gender and neighborhood distinction.
Outside of the lab, I enjoy volunteering with Habitat for Humanity and promoting service through the Council of Lionhearts. I am the current Executive Director of Penn State Habitat for Humanity, as well as the Treasurer for the Liberal Arts Undergraduate Council and a Liberal Arts Envoy. I can’t wait to go abroad to the Netherlands to conduct my research and experience a new culture, and am so grateful to have been selected as a PIRE undergraduate fellow!