Rhetoric, Composition, and Technical Communication Ph.D Alumni

Doctoral students in Rhetoric, Composition, and Technical Communication (RCTC) have made a vital contribution to Illinois State University's Ph.D. program in English Studies since its beginnings in 1980 as a Doctor of Arts Program.

Please contact Sherrie Howe, the English Department Graduate Secretary with additions or changes. Many of the dissertations listed here are available as electronic editions in the Milner Library online catalog.

Roncero-Bellido, Ana. 2017. “Reading, Writing, Learning, and Knowing with the Body: Towards a Methodology and a Pedagogy of the Flesh.” Current Position: Gonzaga University, Spokane, WA.

Selznick, Hilary. 2017. “Enabling Pain, Enabling Insight: Opening up Possibilities for Chronic Pain in Disability Rhetoric and Rhetoric and Composition.” Current Position: Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI.

Parker, Debbie. 2016. “Braving Shame: The Rhetoric of Bravery in Contemporary Women’s Memoir.”

Phillips, Lisa L. 2016. “Shifting Sensations: Using a Feminist Sensory-Rhetorical Framework in Social and Environmental Justice, Technical Communication, and Pedagogy.” Current Position: Illinois State University, Normal, IL.

Dockter, Jason. 2015. "No More Fictional Teachers:  The Need for Multimodal Design in Online Writing Instruction.” Current Position: Lincoln Land Community College, Springfield, IL.

MacLean, John. 2015. "Rhetorics of Engagement Across and About Faith and Worldview Difference." Current Position: Illinois State University, Normal, IL.

McDuffie, Kristi. 2015. "What Happened to Americans First???”: Rhetorics of Whiteness in Online Reader Comments." Current Position: University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign.

Rowan, Rob. 2015. "Technical Communication as Teaching: A Research Study of the Role and Production of Cognitive Empathy and Motivated Engagement Among Computer Science Majors in the Technical Communication Classroom." Current Position: Illinois State University, Normal, IL.

Smyser-Fauble, Barbi. 2015. "Applying a Feminist Disability Methodological Framework in Technical Communication by Interrogating Access & Deconstructing Social Barriers of Exclusion." Current Position: Illinois State University, Normal, IL.

Davis, Andrew. 2014. "You Are That:  An Upanishadic Approach to Empathic Writing Instruction In A High School Social Science Course.” Current Position: Peoria Central High School, Peoria, IL.

Dunbar, Katrina. 2014. "What College Summit Can Teach Us About Preparing Students for Workplace Communication: A Study of Free-Writing and Motivational Feedback Strategies in Technical and Business Writing Classrooms.”

Gray, Pennie. 2014. "The Invisible Composition Classroom:  The Reciprocity of Face, Identity, and Politeness.” Current Posistion: Illinois Wesleyan University, Bloomington, IL.

Kim, Mathew. 2014. "Using Writing Studio Pedagogy to Help Students Reclaim Their Disabilities and Sexualities in a High School Writers’ Workshop.” Current Postion: Eagle Hill School, Hardwick, MA.

Mays, Chris. 2014. "Building Complexity, One Stability at a Time: Rethinking Stubbornness in Public Rhetorics and Writing Studies." Current Position: University of Nevada at Reno, Reno NV.

Frost, Erin. 2013."Theorizing an Apparent Feminism in Technical Communication."  Current Position: East Carolina State University, Greensboro, NC.

Grettano, Teresa. 2013. "Subjects of Terror:  Rhetorical Education After 9/11." Current Position: University of Scranton, Scranton, PA.

Parlier, Sarah. 2013. "The Impact of Contextualizing First Year Composition for Occupational Program Students at the Community College:  A Study of Student Learning and Student Perceptions." Current Position: Illinois Central College, East Peoria, IL.

Sharp-Hoskins, Kellie. 2012. "What Counts? Who Counts? A Methodology for Leveraging Perspective on the Terministic Management of Language and Bodies." Current Position: New Mexico State University, Las Cruces NM.

Applegate, Carey. 2011. "Dangerous Pedagogies: Keeping it Real in the Twenty-First Century Urban English Classroom." Current Position: University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire, Eau Claire, WI.

De Blasis, Shelley. 2011. "Listening to Haunted Identities: A Pedagogy of Mourning for Rhetorical Education." Current Position: New Mexico State University Carlsbad, Carlsbad, NM.

Mattson, Kyle. 2011. "Cultural Usability:  New 'Contexts of Inquiry' in Technical Communication Pedagogy." Current Position: University of Central Arkansas, Conway, AR.

Agboka, Godwin. 2010. "Participatory Localization: A Social Justice Approach to Decolonizing International Technical Communication Practices." Current Position: University of Houston-Downtown, Houston, TX.

Austin, Keely. 2010. "The Rhetoric of Memory." Current Position: Heartland Community College, Normal, IL.

Smith, Brad. 2010. "Ships in the Night:  A Study of Conceptual Metaphor use for Teaching Frist-Year Writing." Current Position: Governer State, University Park, IL.


Jensen, Kyle. 2009. "A Counter-Proposal for Process: Toward the Development of Online Writing Archives." Current Position: University of North Texas, Denton, TX.

Moeller, Marie. 2009. "Sites of Normalcy: Online Writing Education, Prosthetic Technology, and Pedagogic Violence." Current Position: University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, La Crosse, WI.

Roderick, Noah. 2009. "Gods, Grammars, and Genres: Towards an Ethics of English Studies in the Age of Imperial Sovereignty." Current Position: Columbus State University, Atlanta, GA.

Aitken, Nicole. 2008. "Creating a Connected Classroom: Engaging Students with Multimodal Texts in the Community College Composition Classroom." Current Position: Illinois Central College, East Peoria, IL.

Bokor, Michael. 2008. "Reconceiving Communicative Competence in International Technical Communication: A World Englishes Perspective in Native English Speakers' Ethos Transformation." Current Position: Long Island University, Brooklyn Campus, New York City, NY.

Erickson, Bruce. 2008. "Before Beyond:  A Study of a Para-Pedagogy Which Uses Discovery and De-Mystification to Revisit First-Year College Composition." Current Position: Director of Program in Professional Writing, University of Illinois at Champaign Urbana, Urbana, IL.

Fitzgerald, Devon. 2008. "Intersections of the Self: Identity in the Boom of Social Media." Current Position: Miami University, Oxford, OH.

Kaewnuch, Somsak. 2008. "Teaching Agency and Power as Social: Creating Transformative Subjects in the Clases of Modernity and Postmodernity in Thai EFL Writing Classrooms." Current Position: Srinakharinwirot University, Bangkok,Thailand.

Perry, Valerie. 2008. "Medium, Message, and Myth:  Exploring the Textual Nature of Genre." Current Position: Lewis University, Romeoville, IL.

Seible, Marcea. 2008. "The Transition from Student to Professional: A Pedagogy of Professionalism for First-Year Composition." Current Position: Hawkeye Community College, Waterloo, IA.

Hammontree, David. 2007. "Teaching (The) Everyday: Social Cleavages, Cultural Attitudes, and Cognitive Dissonance in the Critical Classroom." Current Postion: Oakland University, Rochester MI.

Yu, Han. 2007. "Teach Workplace Writing with Authentic Assessment in Introductory Technical Writing Classrooms." Current Position: Kansas State University, Manhatten, KS.

Kleinfeld, Elizabeth. 2006. "Dissonance and Excess: Four Students' Experiences of Revision in a Composition Classroom." Current Position: Metropolitan State College, Denver, CO.

Morris, Paul. 2006. "Moving Grammar from the Margins: Exploring an Integrated and Constructivist Approach to Teaching Microstructure." Current Position: San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA.

Ostergaard, Lori. 2006. "Composition in the Illinois State Normal University and Illinois High Schools, 1892-1921." Current Position: Oakland University, Rochester, MI.

Spangler, Susan. 2006. "An Eagle Winged Like A Worm: Regression Under Stress In Student Teachers." Current Position: Fredonia University, Fredonia, NY.

Antlitz, Susan. 2005. "Building Textual Spaces: MOO Writing in the First-Year Composition Classroom." Current Position: Joliet Community College, Joilet, IL.

Gillam, Kenneth. 2005. "Toward an Ecology of Revision: A Revision Model of Chaos and Cooperation." Current Position: Missouri State University, Springfield, MO.

Boyd, Michael. 2004. "Discourse Community Pedagogy: Opening Doors for Students of Composition." Current Position: Illinois Central College, Peoria, IL.

Burgauer, Debra. 2004. "The Impact of Before, During, and After Reader Response Commentaries on Peer Revision by First-Year College Composition Students." Current Position: Bradley University, Peoria, IL.

Ladner-Mathis, Jocelyn. 2004. "Performing the Word, Transforming the Word, Writing the Word: Alternative Teaching Strategies for Freshman Composition." Current Position: Cuyahoga Community College, Cleveland, OH.

Balzhiser, Deborah. 2003. "Beyond User-Centered: Ecological Design for Techical Communication Practitioners and Pedagogues." Current Position: Texas State University, San Marcos, TX.

Banks, William. 2003. "Performing the Not-Me! Ethos in Four Student Portfolios." Current Position: Eastern Carolina University, Greenville, NC.

Fan, Jianping. 2003. "Semiotics and Avertising." Current Position: Instructional Design Specialist, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN.

Nickoson-Massey, Lee. 2003."The Making and Unmaking of Author(itie)s: On the Complexities of Writing Assessment as a Rhetorically and Institutionally Situated Activity." Current Position: Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH.

Jeyaraj, Joseph. 2001. "Situatedness, Othering, and Rhetorical Authority in Technical and Professional Writing." Current Position: Liberty University, Lynchburg, VA.

Kumpf, Eric. 2001. "Visual Rhetoric, Concurrent Discourses, and the Design of Student Engineering Documents." Current Position: University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

McCurrie, Kilian. 2001. "Crossing Boundaries: A Case Study in Composition and General Education." Current Position: Columbia College of Chicago, Chicago, IL.

Richmond, Kia. 2001. "Reflections of/on the Teacher: Emotions and Disclosure in the Writing Classroom." Current Position: Northern Michigan University, Marquette, MI.


Sandy, Kirsti. 1999. "Learning by Co-Teaching: Mentors and Apprentices in an Intensive Introductory Writing Class." Current Position: Keene State College, Keene, NH.

Ward, Amy. 1999. "Paradigms and Peer Response Problems: The Writing Processes versus the Teaching Practices of New Composition Instructors." Current Position: College of Mount St. Vincent, Bronx, NY.

Ding, Dan. 1998. "Historical and Social Contexts for Scientific Writing and Use of Passive Voice: Toward an Undergraduate Science Literacy Course." Current Position: Ferris State University, Big Rapids, MI.

Hawley, Earl. 1998. "Is There an Author (ity) in This Class: Gender and Resistance in the Composition Classroom." Current Position: College of DuPage, Glen Ellyn, IL.

Ruzicka, Dennis. 1998. "Cognitive Style and Individualized Instruction in a Community College Composition Program." Current Position: Ferris State University, Big Rapids, MI.

Strasma, Kip. 1998. "Sites of Disjuncture: Reading/Writing Hyperfiction." Current Position: Methodist College of Nursing, Peoria, IL.

Vivian, Steven. 1998. "English studies, poststructuralism, and radicalism." Current Position: South Suburban Community College, South Holland, IL.

Weeden, Scott. 1998. "Teaching Discipline-Specific Academic Writing: A Qualitative Study of Four Semesters." Current Position: Indiana University/Purdue University-Indianapolis, Indianapolis, IN.

Crawford, Wayne. 1997. "Criteria for Evaluating Composition: Their place in Students' Composing Processes." Western Illinois University, Macomb, IL (deceased).

Knutson, Debra. 1997. "Metadiscourse and Composition Instruction in Three Textbooks: a Historical Perspective." Current Position: Shawnee State University, Portsmouth, OH.

McDonald, Jeanne. 1997. "Interest and Engagement in Writing." Current Position: Waubonsee Community College, Sugar Grove, IL.

Moldenhauer, Marty. 1997. "Teaching Concepts of Textuality Through Engagement with Authors? Manuscripts." Current Position: Wisconsin Lutheran College, Milwaukee, WI.

Sawyer, Paul. 1997. "Evaluating the Design and Delivery of an Online Technical Writing Course." Current Position: Southeastern Louisiana University, Hammond, LA.

Nugent, Becky. 1997. "Toward a Deprivatized Pedagogy: Public Teacher Response to Student Writing." Current Position: Governor's State University, Chicago, IL.

Shannon, Maureen. 1997. "Senior Learners: Motivations and Composition Strategies for Teaching Students 55+." Current Position: Kankakee Community College, Kankakee,IL.

Haas, Mark. 1996. "Conversations in Context: A Genre-Based Pedagogy for Academic Writing." Current Position: Geneva College, Beaver Falls, PA.

Lamonica, Claire. 1996. "Conflict and Creativity in Student Writing Groups: A Case Study Investigation." Current Position: Illinois State University, Normal, IL.

Van Hoorn, Debora. 1996. "Student Self-Disclosure in the Compositon Classroom: A Case Study of Two Female Students." Current Position: Bradley University, Peoria, IL.

Bell, Diana. 1995. "Motivation and Critical Pedagogy: A View from Within." Current Position: University of Alabama-Huntsville, Huntsville, AL.

Berthel, Jamie. 1995. "Everywhere Empty: Paradox and Difference in Critical Thinking and Process Rhetoric." Current Position: Danville Area Community College, Danville, IL.

Lowe, Kelly. 1995. "Matrices of Meaning: Postmodernism and Writing Program Design and Administration." Current Position: University of Mt. Union, Alliance, OH.

Martin, Eric. 1995. "Reconceiving the Voice-to-Style Relationship in Academic Discourse: A Study of Students' Initial Perceptions and Emerging Writing Practices." Current Position: Governor's State University, University Park, IL.

Dively, Ronda. 1994. "Beyond Dualism: Writing and Responding to Religious Rhetoric in the Freshman Composition Classroom." Current Position: Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, Carbondale, IL.

Stovall, John. 1994. "Conferencing and Cognitive Style: An Inquiry into the Garrision Method and Field Orientation." Current Position: National Lewis University, Chicago, IL.

Westphal, Richard. 1994. "The Place of Narrative in Composition Studies: a Multidisciplinary Approach." Current Position: Aurora University, Aurora, IL.

Dye, Rebecca. 1993. "Reading for Personal Development: Implementation of Missouri's Mandate." Current Position: Culver-Stockton College, Canton, MO.

Flint-Ferguson, Janis. 1993. "Putting the pieces together : designing a language arts curriculum that meets the needs of the young adolescent." Current Position: Gordon College, Wenham, MA.

McLaughlin, Margaret. 1993. "Whole language for academically underprepared college students : a rationale, description, and assessment." Georgia Southern, Statesboro, GA (retired).

Ng, Joseph. 1993. "Writing Intstruction in the Computerized Context: An Ethnographic Case Study of Three College Teachers at Work." Current Position: California State University Monterey Bay, Seaside, CA.

DeWitt, Scott. 1992. "Hypertextualizing Composition Instruction: A Research Study." Current Position: The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH.

Dion, Elaine. 1992. "Integrating the Creative Processes of Published Authors into the Classroom: The Impact of Manuscript Study on Student Writing." Current Position: Quincy University, Quincy, IL.

Perkins, Nancy. 1992. "The Echoes Project: Five Case Studies of Students Writing Research Papers Using Primary Sources in a Collaborative Community." Current Position: University of Illinois-Springfield, Springfield, IL.

Fennick, Ruth. 1991. "The Creative Processes of Prose-Fiction Writers: What They Suggest for Teaching Compositon." Illinois State University, Normal, IL (retired).

Leonard, Marcellus. 1991. "The Classroom Writers' Forum: Teaching Basic Writing in the Cultural Context." Current Position: University of Illinois-Springfield, Springfield, IL.

Canilao, Paz. 1990. "Audience Awareness: An Inquiry into Its Impact in ESL Composition." Current Position: Leeward Community College, Pearl City, HI.

Holman, Elizabeth Vanderventer. 1990. "Intuition and College Student Writers: A Phenomenological Study."

Withrow, Mark. 1990. "Enhancing Students' Relationship with Language: Instructional Strategies for Teaching Reading and Writing." Current Position: Columbia College, Chicago, IL.

Worley, Demetrice. 1990. "Visual and Verbal Transactions: The Effect of Visual Imagery Training on the Writing of College Students." Current Position: Bradley University, Peoria, IL.


Baer, Eugene. 1989. "Reading in the Composition Course: Instructional Strategies and Student Traits." Current Position: Mount Mary College, Milwaukee, WI.

Bosley, Deborah. 1989. "A National Study of the Uses of Collaborative Writing in Business Communication Courses among Members of the ABC." Current Position: University of North Carolina-Charlotte, Charlotte, NC.

Fleckenstein, Kristie. 1989. "Connections: The Cognitive and Affective Links between Expressive Writing and Aesthetic Reading." Current Position: Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL.

Foehr, Regina. 1989. "Using the Simple to Teach the Complex: Teaching College Students to Interpret Complex Literature and to Write Litterary Analysis Essays Through Fairy Tales and Children's Stories." Illinois State University, Normal, IL (retired).

Holmes, Ken. 1989. "A Process Approach to Teaching Reading and Writing Using the Afro-American Short Story from Chesnutt to Hughes: A Secondary-School Guide for Instruction." Current Position: Southwestern Illinois College, Belleville, IL.

Mabrito, Mark. 1989. "Writing Apprehension and Computer-Mediated Peer-Response Groups: A Case Study of Four High-and Four Low-Apprehensive Writers Communicating Face-to-Face versus Electronic Mail." Current Position: Purdue University-Calumet, Hammond, IN.

Crowley, Elizabeth. 1987. "The Relationship between Ability to Summarize and Field Independence or Dependence." MacMurray College, Jacksonville, IL (retired).

Droll, Belinda. 1987. "Teaching College Composition Freshmen to Structure Discourse: The Effects of Text Summarizing Versus Sentence Outlining." Current Position: Millikin University, Decatur, IL.

Doubler, Janet. 1987. "Literature and Composition: A Problem-Solving Approach to a Thematic Literature Course." Current Position: Illinois Central College, Peoria, IL.

Littler, Francis. 1987. "The Impact of the Gordon Rule on Student Writing in Florida Colleges and Universities." Current Position: Palm Beach State College, Boca Raton, FL

Meyer, James. 1987. "Paragraphs in Process: What Student Writers Really Do." Current Position: Josiah Quincy Upper School, Boston, MA.

Pomerenke, Paula. 1987. "A Business-Based Rationale for Incorporating the Process Aproach into University Report Writing Courses." Illinois State University, Normal, IL (retired).

Ricker, Curtis. 1987. "Teaching Writing through Conferencing: A Survey and a Study of Its Effect on Basic Writers." Current Position: Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, GA.

Tappmeyer, Mark. 1987. "The Influence of Field Dependence-Independence on Writers' Goal-Setting Strategies." Current Position: Southwest Baptist University, Bolivar, MO.

Visor, Julia. 1987. "The Impact of American Black English Oral Tradition Features on Decontextualization Skills." Illinois State University, Normal, IL. (Deceased)

Walker, Helen. 1987. "Decentering: Its Place in the Writing Process." Current Position: Messiah College, Grantham, PA.

Shepherd, Teresa. 1986. "Correlations of the Reading Processes and the Writing Processes of Student and Adult Writers."

Strauch, John. 1986. "Options in the Composing Process: A Textbook for High School Composition." Current Position: Washington High School, Washington, IL.

Keene, Nadene Coffin. 1985. "Male/Female Language: A Stylistic Analysis of Freshman Compositions." Current Position: Indiana University-Kokomo, Kokomo IN.

Price, Stephen. 1985. "A Synthesis of Materials for Using the Process Approach to Teaching Professional Writing." Current Position: Northwestern State University, Natshitoches, LA.

Wallace, Ray. 1985. "English for Specific Purposes in ESL Undergraduate Composition Classes: Rationale." Current Position: ndiana University Southeast, New Albany, IN.

Brown, Alan. 1984. "Writing Centers: How They Succeed and Fall." Current Position: University of Western Alabama, Livingston, AL.

Harvey, Robert. 1983."A Survey of the Research on the Composing Processes of Student Writers." East Central College, Union, MO (deceased).

Henson, Darold Leigh. 1982. "A Data-Based Pedagogy of Rhetoric for Lower-Division Technical Writing." Missouri State University, Springfield, MO (retired).

Pavlisin, Peggy. 1982. "Teaching Students to Revise and Proofread: An Experiment with Technical Writing Students." Lincoln Land Community College, Springfield, IL (retired).

Simpson, Jeanne. 1982. "A Rhetorical Defense of the Writing Center." Eastern Illinois University, Charleston, ILe tired)

Duszynski, Tim. 1981. "Writing Skills in Community College Vocational-Technical Programs: A Modified Delphi Application." Current Position: Newman University, Wichita, KS.

Flynn, James. 1980. "Neo-Classical Invention: Four Principles for Contemporary Persuasive Discourse." Current Position: South Suburban College, South Holland, IL.

Gorrell, Donna. 1980. "Controlled Composition for Teaching Basic Writing to College Freshmen: A Comparison with Grammar Lessons." St. Cloud State University, St. Cloud, MN (retired).

Additions or Changes

Please contact Diane Smith, the English Department Graduate Secretary with additions or changes. Many of the dissertations listed here are available as electronic editions in the Milner Library online catalog.