Josh Higdon, '22: Finding Passion Through Research

October 23, 2020
A&S student traveled to New Mexico to present at the Symposium on Spanish as a Heritage Language

In February 2020, Josh Higdon, '22 traveled to the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque to present "Frequency and Regularity Effects in Heritage Speakers' Knowledge of Subjunctive Morphology in Spanish" at the Symposium on Spanish as a Heritage Language.

Alongside University of Richmond’s Assistant Professor of Spanish, David Giancaspro, and Silvia Perez-Cortes, of Rutgers University–Camden, Higdon was the only undergraduate student to present a paper at the event.

“I am so fortunate that I have been working with Professor Giancaspro because he intentionally included me in every aspect of the research process and trusted me enough to allow me to be an integral part,” remarked Higdon.

Reflecting on his experience at the Symposium, “Even though I was only an undergraduate, everyone treated me as an equal. I was so happy to be surrounded by many knowledgeable, passionate, and kind people. The main thought I had when interacting with the presenters and attendees of the Symposium was that I had found my people and my passion.”

Majoring in Latin American, Latino, & Iberian Studies (LALIS), Psychology, and Cognitive Science, with a minor in Linguistics, Higdon plans to continue conducting research and working for the LALIS department as an Assistant Teacher.

Outside of classes and work, Higdon participates in organizations to make the Richmond campus more equitable for all students and is a part of the Humanities Fellows Program. With the Humanities Fellows Program, his research centers around HIV/AIDS and the impact to various factors of a person's identity.

Looking ahead, Higdon hopes to visit Argentina and attend graduate school, “I have had such an amazing experience conducting research with Professor Giancaspro, and I am confident that researching heritage Spanish is something that I want to do for the rest of my life!”