Collegiate Affiliation

I joined the Department of Rhetoric in 1998 with a specialization in writing and technical communication pedagogy. In 2007, I moved into the Department of Writing Studies in the College of Liberal Arts. I am passionate about undergraduate and graduate education, and I have enjoyed serving as Director of Undergraduate Studies (2007-2017) and Department Chair (2017-2022) in the Department of Writing Studies.

My interests include writing theory and pedagogy, writing consultation, usability studies, digital writing, and online writing instruction. Past research investigates rhetoric and digital writing in a variety of settings such as classrooms, professional organizations, websites, and social media, and my publications appear in journals such as Computers and Composition, Journal of Advanced Composition, Technical Communication, Journal of Technical Writing and Communication, Journal of Business and Technical Communication, and Technical Communication Quarterly. Past projects include articles and book chapters about online writing, video tutorials about writing, and the Edentity project at the UMN. My book, Involving the Audience: A Rhetorical Perspective of Using Social Media to Improve Websites (ATTW Book Series with Routledge, 2018) explores social media comments as a form of usability. Previous books address issues of digital writing and online instruction, including Virtual Peer Review: Teaching and Learning about Writing in Online Environments (SUNY 2004).

I am pleased to serve as a graduate faculty member in the Rhetoric and Scientific and Technical Communication Program, the Literacy and Rhetorical Studies program, and the Human Factors and Ergonomics program at University of Minnesota. I teach courses in technical communication, writing pedagogy, digital writing, usability, and research methods and was pleased to receive a Distinguished Teaching Award at the University of Minnesota (2002). With Professor Ann Hill Duin, and Dr. Dan Card, I serve as co-director of the Technical Communication Advisory Board in the Department of Writing Studies, a group of working professionals who advise curriculum and experiential learning opportunities for Writing Studies students.  I am past president of the national organization Council for Programs in Technical and Scientific Communication (2016-2018), recipient of the CPTSC Distinguished Service Award (2022), and a current Co-Editor of the CPTSC journal Programmatic Perspectives with Dr. Lora Anderson.

Educational Background & Specialties
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Educational Background

  • PhD: English: Specialization in Rhetoric and Professional Communication, Iowa State University
  • MA: English: Specialization in Rhetoric and Composition, Iowa State University
  • BA: English, Luther College


  • Technology and pedagogy
  • Writing theory and pedagogy
  • Usability evaluation