Serena Williams has just signed on with Avantpage as our new Linguistic Quality Manager and we couldn’t be happier to welcome her. Serena is a wonderful addition to the Avantpage team, and she brings a wealth of linguistic expertise, instruction, research, and study to her position as Linguistic Quality Manager.

With a Ph.D. in Linguistics and an M.A. in Applied Linguistics, Serena has dedicated years of study and research to the linguistic field. Serena has taught at both the undergraduate and graduate level, holding positions as Associate Instructor, Assistant Professor and Adjunct Instructor at UC Davis, Brescia University, CSU Sacramento and Montclair State University. Serena has presented numerous papers, presentations and keynote speeches on linguistic topics and her work has been published in Language and Communication (Elsevier), Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics (Wiley-Blackwell), and Handbook of Language and Gender, 2ed. (Wiley-Blackwell).


From teacher to quality manager, Serena is all about helping others succeed and thrive

Serena’s teaching background includes second/foreign language acquisition and teaching methods, English and Spanish language, community-based learning, introduction to linguistics, structure of the Spanish language, American cultures, sociolinguistics, discourse analysis, women and gender studies, language and media, language and society, and more. Serena enjoyed teaching, and found that mentoring and guiding students in their own studies was especially rewarding.

Serena is fascinated by the sociological impact of linguistics on gender, society and culture, and her work at Avantpage reflects her commitment to examining issues related to translation in society, and to help others evaluate and improve their linguistic work. When asked about her new position Serena commented, “I’m excited to work with Avantpage because I am applying my Linguistics degree to practical issues that affect traditionally underrepresented groups of people. Knowing that the end users of translated documents in healthcare, for example, will be informed about something crucial to their wellbeing motivates me to take our quality control very seriously.”


Love of music, learning German, and bartending school an eclectic mix

In her free time, Serena taps into her musical side: she plays and teaches viola, violin, and piano, and she has been learning classical guitar for a couple years, but admits with a smile, “I’m still terrible at it.” Serena also shakes up a mean martini – during the time she was working on her Ph.D., she went to bartending school and mastered the art of the cocktail so that she could serve drinks on her father’s charter yacht in San Francisco.

A few years ago, Serena and her husband decided to learn German, and took courses at UC Davis and through the Davis Adult School. As a reward for their efforts, they enjoyed a month-long trip to Germany and discovered a new favorite city in Berlin.

Serena entered linguistics through a circuitous route: first came a master’s in Spanish Literature, during which time she taught undergraduate Spanish and became very interested in second language acquisition as a field. When she went on to study linguistics, she became fascinated (and sidetracked) by sociolinguistics, finally finding her calling in the application of linguistics to identity studies, discourse analysis and qualitative approaches.

As Serena transitions from academia to her position as Avantpage’s Linguistics Quality Manager, one thing is certain: her passion for language and communication and love of people and cultures are guaranteed to shine through every step of the way.