Remembering Wendy Herd

Professor Wendy Jean Herd passed away on August 11, 2020. She was a vibrant part of the English Department at Mississippi State for nearly a decade, and left and indelible imprint on the students, faculty and alumni of Mississippi State.

Wendy received her PhD from the University of Kansas in 2011, having taught junior high school full time during her graduate study. She joined Mississippi State as an Assistant Professor in 2011. She taught nearly every class within the linguistics program, but her specialty was phonetics. Her dissertation work focused on the training and perception of new sounds in Spanish. In more recent years she developed an innovative research program on the phonetics of Southern varieties of English, a topic on which she published extensively in the last few years of her life.

Wendy was a beloved teacher and mentor. She was awarded the Mississippi Public Humanities Teacher of the Year in 2017, and she was nominated in 2019 for the college’s outstanding mentoring award. Students, faculty, and community members have all written reflections to attest to the impact on Wendy of their lives and careers. Follow the link above to read the reflections already submitted, and please consider submitting your own reflection as well.

To memorialize Wendy’s contribution to the department, we are setting up a fund to support an annual award for the most significant student research in linguistics. We hope that you will consider making a donation to support this fund, which will help Wendy’s legacy live on.