2005, PhD English, Pennsylvania State University

2002, MA English, Pennsylvania State University

2000, BA Honours, English, Glendon College, York University


My research connects rhetorics of science, medicine, technology, and gender across a variety of contexts. My first book, Science on the Home Front: American Women Scientists in World War II (University of Illinois Press, 2009), examined how women contributed to wartime research in anthropology, nutrition, psychology, and physics and how the genres they wrote, from technical reports to field notes to nutrition guidelines, often obscured their contributions and their perspectives. My second book, Autism and Gender: From Refrigerator Mothers to Computer Geeks (University of Illinois Press, 2014), constructs a rhetorical history of autism by studying how scientific theories draw on contemporaneous understandings of gender and how autism advocates often play the roles of gendered characters, from “mother warriors” to “paternal doctors.” I am currently finishing a book that explores how humanistic theories—particularly rhetorical theories of creativity, gender, politics, and affect—can inform social and cognitive neuroscience, and vice versa.

I also co-direct the HHIVE Lab (, where I work with undergraduate and graduate students on collaborative projects in health humanities. You can find some recent collaborative articles and book chapters that draw from this research here (

Next year, I will be interim Writing Program Director.

To read more, visit my website


  • Autism and Gender: From Refrigerator Mothers to Computer Geeks. Champaign-Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2014).
  • Neurorhetorics (editor). (New York: Routledge, 2012).
  • Science on the Home Front: The Rhetoric of Women Scientists During World War II. (Champaign-Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2009).
  • “Healing Arts: Rhetorical Techne as Medical (Humanities) Intervention.” (co-authors Sarah Singer and Jennifer Edwell). Technical Communication Quarterly, special issue on “Medical Humanities and/or the Rhetorics of Health and Medicine.” Online ahead of print. DOI:
  • “Advancing Pre-Health Humanities as Intensive Research Practice: Principles and Recommendations from a Cross-Divisional Baccalaureate Setting.” (co-authors Sarah Singer, Kym Weed, Jennifer Stockwell, and Jane Thrailkill). Journal of Medical Humanities 38.4 (2017): 373-384.
  • “Gestational Diabetes Testing, Narrative, and Medical Distrust.” (co-author Jennifer Edwell). Journal of Bioethical Inquiry, special issue on “Public Trust in Expert Knowledge: Narrative, Ethics and Engagement.” 14 (2017): 53-63.


  • Winner of the 2015 Rhetoric Society of America Book Award for Autism and Gender: From Refrigerator Mothers to Computer Geeks.
  • Winner of Feminist Scholarship Award, Organization for Research on Women and Communication, 2013 for “Gender Copia: Feminist Rhetorical Perspectives on an Autistic Concept of Sex/Gender.” (Women’s Studies in Communication 35.1 (2012): 1-17.)
  • Winner of the Kathleen Ethel Welch Outstanding Article Award, Coalition of Women Scholars in the History of Rhetoric and Composition, 2013 for “Remembering Sappho: New Perspectives on Teaching (and Writing) Women’s Rhetorical History.” (co-author, Jessica Enoch. College English 73.5 (2011): 518-537.)
  • Undergraduate Research Consultant Team (URCT) Award, Office of Undergraduate Research, UNC-Chapel Hill. ($5000). P.I. Jordynn Jack. Co-investigators: Maebelle Mathew, Pragnya Dontu, Destiny Ho, Shweta Bhatnagar, Akhila Boyina (UNC undergraduate students), and Laura Young (Department of Medicine, UNC).
  • Creativity Hub Pilot Award. P.I. Daniel Anderson. Co-investigators: Jordynn Jack (English and Comparative Literature), Ketan Mayer-Patel (Computer Science), Melanie Feinberg (Information and Library Science), and Tessa Joseph-Nicholas (Computer Science). $5000 to develop a full proposal for a Creativity Hub Award.
  • Integrated Curriculum Course Development Award. Co-teacher: Mai Nguyen (City and Regional Planning). $10,000 to develop a co-taught first year seminar, “Public Persuasion:  How Rhetoric Shapes Public Policy.
  • IAH/Honors Carolina Research Collaboration (with Ashley Ruhashya) $2000 award to support an undergraduate researcher collaborating with a faculty member on qualitative analysis of Writing Diabetes results.
  • CDHI Data Studies Course Development Grant (with Jane Thrailkill). $5000 to fund course development for Engl 695: Health Humanities: Intensive Research Practice.
  • Mellon Foundation Grant (with Jane Thrailkill, Sue Coppola, and graduate assistants). $75,000 award for “Falls: An Interdisciplinary Feasibility Study of Older Adults’ Experience Telling Fall Narratives.” Role: conceptualize study, develop methodology, interpret and publish results.
  • Fostering Interdisciplinary Research Explorations (FIRE) Grant, Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. (With Jane Thrailkill, Laura Anne Young, Sue Coppola, and Michelle Rivkin-Fish). $25,000 award for “Writing Diabetes: An Interdisciplinary Collaboration Examining the Significance of Illness Essays for Patients, Clinicians, and Researchers.” Role: conceptualize study, develop methodology, interpret and publish results.

Courses Taught:

  • (Engl 805) Making/Rhetoric
  • (Engl 801) Research Methods in Rhetoric and Composition
  • (Engl 706)Practicum in Rhetoric and Composition
  • (Engl 695) Health and Humanities: Intensive Research Practice
  • (Engl 610) Rhetoric of Health and Medicine
  • (Engl 316) Rhetorical Traditions
  • (Engl 318) Multimedia Composition
  • (Engl 105i) Writing in the Natural Sciences

Curriculum Vitae / Resume