Undergrad Linguistics student Julia Whelan presents at the 2018 NordMetrik conference in Stockholm, Sweden

Julia Whelan

The College of Arts and Humanities takes pride in supporting the wide range of creative and academic endeavors of students and faculty — endeavors made possible through generous gifts made to the Dean’s Council Annual Fund.



In September, Dean’s Council funds helped yet another Arts and Humanities student experience a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Thanks to the generosity of Dean’s Council donors, travel funding was provided to Linguistics undergrad Julia Whelan, who presented her freshman research project at an international conference the 2018 NordMetrik conference: Metrics and versification in poetry and song Sept. 13-15 in Stockholm, Sweden.

The conference, which was held at Stockholm University and the Swedish Academy, focused on meter which included presentations from various disciplines. In her presentation, Whelan analyzed the meter used in the Latin poem Æneid and showcased how her findings illuminated further linguistic understanding of Latin poetry.

“The general assumption with meter is that it’s inherently rhythmic. This helps support the argument that it might not be, so I think that’s possibly a way that researchers might use my findings in the future,” said Whelan.

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Whelan and Goldston
Whelan was joined by Fresno State Linguistics professor Chris Golston, who presented at the NordMetrik conference alongside Whelan and many other accomplished linguists.

As one of the youngest speakers invited to present her research at the 2018 Nordmetrik conference as a Sophomore, undergrad Julia Whelan has accomplished what few achieve in graduate school. She admitted that although she was a bit nervous, she was equally excited to receive recognition for her work at such an early point in her college career.

“Receiving positive feedback from the linguists at the conference was one of the high points of the trip,” said Whelan.

Whelan Presenting

Whelan is a first-generation college student and has studied the Latin language for eight years — since she was nine years old. Because she had been excelling in her English classes, her mother suggested she study Latin to further challenge her and Julia began lessons with a private Latin tutor.  She is well known in Fresno State’s College of Arts and Humanities as an exceptional student, which has been demonstrated again through her participation at the conference.

Whelan said she was grateful for the Dean’s Council support of her trip to Stockholm, Sweden and is appreciative of the many opportunities she is exposed to at Fresno State. In an interview, Whelan spoke about what the experience of attending the international conference meant to her:

My experience was great. I got to meet linguists from all over the world, and several of them gave me advice on how to expand my project. I also got to listen to many interesting presentations.

Whelan Stockholm

Whelan expressed her thanks for the Dean’s Council funds that made it possible for her to take part in the trip.

“The dean’s council funding played a huge role in my being able to attend the conference and I’m very grateful for it,” said Whelan.

Want to help support students like Julia Whelan?
www.fresnostate.edu/artshum/giving/ or call the College of Arts and Humanities Development Office at 559.278.1877 to learn how you can make a difference for students and faculty in Fresno State’s College of Arts and Humanities through the Dean’s Council Annual Fund.


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