Shulist studying dying languages in South America

WILNO – A linguist with Valley roots has spent nearly a year studying endangered languages in the Brazilian Amazon.

Sarah Shulist is the daughter of Christine (Teenie) Mask of Round Lake and Michael Shulist of Wilno. She has one brother, Joe Shulist.

Sarah was born and raised in southwestern Ontario. When she was around seven years old, the family moved to Deep River. Since her father was a teacher, the family would spend their summers and holidays in his hometown of Wilno.

As a student at Mackenzie High School, she spent one year as an exchange student in Brazil, sponsored by the Rotary Club of Petawawa.

“It was an incredible experience that really awakened a passion for me in understanding different cultures and helped me to realize that I love learning new languages and learning about new languages,” she said.

Upon graduating from high school, she attended McMaster University and earned a Bachelor’s degree. It was originally her intention to study languages and become a translator.

“When I got there, however, and took my first linguistics course, I found a new way to study what I really loved,” Sarah explained.

She went on to receive her Master’s in linguistics from the University of Alberta, a Master’s in globalization studies from McMaster and then a PhD in anthropology from the University of Western Ontario.

Get your January 21, 2015 edition of The Valley Gazette to read the full story.