Meet Skott Freedman ’01

Skott Freedman ’01 started at IC as an assistant professor in speech-language pathology and audiology three years ago. He is also faculty adviser for IC's Autism Speaks and Animal Rights student organizations.

What research are you working on now?
We’re doing one experiment on how adults learn words. There are new words being coined all the time, like “chillax.” We have to say, ‘Oh, okay it’s a combination of chill and relax,’ but it’s a new word nonetheless. We have to add it to our lexicon—our vocabulary.

What have you learned from your research on bilingual children?
My study examined the speech productions of five English-Spanish bilingual children during a picture-naming task and compared their word productions with five English-only speaking children and five Spanish-only speaking children. No differences emerged between the bilingual children and their monolingual counterparts in English or Spanish. In summary, bilingual children manage not only to learn two sets of words at one time and keep these two systems separate, but they also keep the two sound systems separate! That’s quite a feat. Sort of inspires you to want to go out and start learning a new language, huh?

What’s one thing students might be surprised to learn about you?
I’ve toured for years as a singer-songwriter. After I graduated from IC in 2001, I didn’t go on to graduate school right away. I decided to tour. For three years, I toured all over the country by myself, camping out wherever I went. One time in the middle of Ohio, I just set up a tent in a trailer park before a show at Ohio University. I have released five albums, and I play piano, sing, and write songs. I was really fortunate, and I got some great write-ups in Billboard and the New York Times.

Some of the above information was originally published in Freedman’s December 2012 op-ed in the Ithacan.