I am a Research Scientist at Altus Assessments, and have the honor of being a part of the Altus research team! Altus promotes diversity in higher education, empowering institutions to look beyond book smarts and also take into account non-cognitive competencies such as empathy and collaborativeness when making key academic decisions. At Altus, I research assessment tools, equity in admissions, and I work with faculty and staff in higher education to learn from and improve the admissions process.


I have obtained my PhD in Linguistics at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 2020. Here's a link to a recording of my dissertation defense: https://osf.io/xbruf/

Dissertation available online @ UMass ScholarWorks and OSF


For an overview of my research and teaching, here's my academic CV! For a compact version of my experience, here is my resume!


🏳️‍🌈 I am also working with Gender Talk Romania and Identity Education to help promote gender neutral language awareness in Romanian. If you'd like to help out, get in touch with us! 🏳️‍🌈

As a linguist, I'm a comparative psychosyntactician: I gather and examine crosslinguistic and psycholinguistic data in order to inform and refine our syntactic theory. It is at UMass that I found my love for psycholinguistics, which to me, is crucial in the investigation of our assumptions about language and its syntax. In my dissertation, I present experimental data that provide evidence that syntactic and pragmatic constraints jointly determine the choice of pronominal expressions for reflexives and bound variable anaphora in Romanian. This data was gathered by means of four NSF DDRI funded experiments on the comprehension and production of pronouns and anaphora in Romanian. I am also among the first linguists to investigate adult comprehension in Romanian, having also run studies on NPI illusions for strong/weak NPIs and neg-words in this negative concord language. UMass also helped me discover my passion for fieldwork, and I have had the incredible fortune of working on binding and definite wh-phrases in Yalalag Zapotec. I have also worked on pronouns and (tensed) definite determiners in Somali with Deniz Özyıldız and Binding in Vietnamese with Thuy Bui.

Other projects in Linguistics I'm currently working on include Binding Theory and reference more broadly, fake indexicals and their agreement patterns in Farsi and Romanian with Zahra Mirrazi, and (reflexive) denominal verbs with Adina Camelia Bleotu (under grant PN-III-P1-1.1-PD-2019-0472 awarded to Camelia by UEFISCDI).

I am also very passionate about teaching linguistics. If you'd like to peruse the course materials I designed for Introduction to Linguistics and Introduction to Syntax at UMass way back in 2017, you may find them here.

Most Recent Output

April 2022: Bleotu & Ivan @ GLOW 45 slides

GLOW presentation


You may reach me by email at this preferred email address:


[at] gmail.com

My Altus Assessments email is:

rivan [at] altusassessments.com

My U of T email is:

rodica.ivan [at] utoronto.ca

Academic CV