So who the heck am I and what makes me qualified to help you learn how to teach technical and professional communication?
Hmmmm….well, for starters, I was, and still am, a professional technical communicator. I spent years practicing the art and craft of techcomm (my abbreviation for the field) in a variety of workplace settings. I also spent quite a few years as a consultant and it was during those years that I learned about some of things that different types of professionals need to do to communicate effectively in the workplace. That means, I have a whole lot of experience so I’m not asking you to do anything in class that I haven’t done in the workplace or have seen done in a variety of different kinds of workplaces.
Beyond my practical, hands-on, words in the trenches experience, I spent a few years in school learning theories of writing. After a sufficient amount of time reading and writing, the powers that be at the University of South Carolina decided to award me a doctoral degree in Composition and Rhetoric with a specialization in technical communication.
That’s the short version. Throughout the term, you’ll learn and hear more anecdotes about my varied experiences as a consultant. Feel free to ask questions at any time. I have a complete open question policy. You can ask pretty much anything and I’ll give the most direct answer I can. If I don’t know the answer, I’ll find it out for you.
As far as who I am? My last name says a lot about me: I’m Cajun. I grew up on the border of Texas and Louisiana not far from the Gulf Coast, the youngest child of a working class family. I have a big, boisterous, straight talking, story telling, eating, drinking, laughing, crying, Catholic family. All of those things have marked me in significant ways and directly impact who I am and how I teach. And we like to watch the tree grow.
As a tenured faculty member, I am expected to do research and make a contribution to the academic field. I am known nationally for my work about the field of technical and professional communication (mostly programmatic and teaching oriented) and in the field, which I helped to found, rhetoric of health and medicine (see medicalrhetoric.com and the journal RHM). You can learn more about me on my professional website.
I am thrilled to be back in the South where it’s hot and humid and close to the beach. I am slightly sports obsessed, which means in my spare time I am often watching sports on TV or streaming some game on the Internet.
An interesting factoid that most people don’t know about me is that I collect limited editions of Dr. Martens. You might see a pair or two this term.