Dr. Jan Bernsten

Professor Emerita

Janice G. Bernsten, Ph.D., associate professor of Linguistics in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Michigan-Flint, retired from active faculty status on June 30, 2008.


Professor Bernsten received her B.A. degree from Whitman College in 1968, her M.A. from the University of Illinois in 1973, and her Ph.D. from Michigan State University in 1980.  She joined the University of Michigan – Flint faculty in 1990 as a visiting assistant professor, was appointed assistant professor in 1991, and was promoted to associate professor in 1997. 


Professor Bernsten’s research focused on sociolinguistics, or language and society, and she became internationally known for her work.  Her work on African languages appeared in some of the top journals in the field, including the International Journal of the Sociology of Language and World Englishes.  More recently she examined factory gender and discourse issues at auto plants in the mid-Michigan region and in California; the resultant work was part of a collection published by the Oxford University Press. 


During her association with the University of Michigan – Flint, Professor Bernsten served on numerous departmental, college, and university-wide committees, chairing several.  She was instrumental in helping the university’s linguistics program grow to its current strength and also contributed her energy and expertise to the International and Global Studies program.  As a teacher she instituted several key pedagogical changes in the linguistics program curriculum taught an impressive range of courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels, and was a perennial favorite with students.


The Regents now salute this distinguished teacher and scholar for her dedicated service by naming Janice G. Bernsten associate professor emerita of Linguistics.