Jennifer Smith first encountered linguistics as a first-year college student looking for ways to combine a love of languages with an interest in science. Her research focuses on the cognitive representation of language sound systems: what kinds of consonants, vowels, and syllables do the languages of the world use, and why? How does the sound-structure system of a language interact with the structure of words or sentences? She has been invited to teach courses and give lectures around the US and abroad, and she was awarded the Chapman Family Fellowship for excellence in teaching at UNC Chapel Hill.