Department of English News

TPC & STC Partnership!

12244395_1034770369876766_226222368565740410_oTPC@ECU (Technical and Professional Communication) had a productive meeting with STC (Society for Technical Communication) Carolina folks this week in Raleigh. We hope this is the beginning of a long and exciting partnership!

The event itself went fabulously. Four STC-Carolina representatives hosted us: Christina Mayr (STC Carolinas President, and an ECU alumna), Robert Perry (immediate past president), Betsy Kent (Competitions Manager, and also an ECU alumna), and Ben Davidson (Socials Coordinator). Christina gave a great presentation on professional development, networking, and mentorship strategies and the transition from graduate work into the profession, and then wove that into a conversation about STC-related resources, professional resources and opportunities in North Carolina, and support for students making the transition to professional careers. We ended with an energetic, inspiring question-and answer session and some great dialogue about the relationship between academic preparation and professional resources.

Academy-Industry Relationships and Partnerships: Perspectives for Technical Communicators

Kirk St. Amant, professor of international studies and technical and professional communications in the Department of English, recently published a collection titled, “Academy-Industry Relationships and Partnerships: Perspectives for Technical Communicators,” with co-editor Tracy Bridgeford of the University of Nebraska – Omaha. The volume contains 11 entries that explore different aspects of and approaches to establishing and maintaining effective academia-industry relationships and partnerships focused on fostering research activities and research-related conversations that can facilitate collaboration among academics and industry practitioners in the field of technical and professional communication.

Sigma Tau Delta Book Drive

Seasons Greetings! This year, Sigma Tau Delta will be hosting a book drive! Our plan is to donate books to a Title I elementary school in the Greenville Area. For many of these low income students, access to books is limited. We want to provide an opportunity for students to pursue their love of reading outside of school. As we all know, nothing replaces the feeling of a book in one’s hands, and this is a feeling that should be available to ALL students!
We are asking for either monetary donations in order for us to purchase books OR actual book donations (we know you have some favorite titles!). There will be a donation drop box located in the Faculty Lounge. Donations should be made prior to December 15th.
Thank you again for your willingness to spread the love of reading!

Congrats to SAMLA presenters

The Department of English congratulates ECU faculty John Hoppenthaler, Amber Flora Thomas, Donna Kain, Margaret Bauer, Liza Wieland, and Tracy Ann Morse on their upcoming presentations at the South Atlantic Modern Language Association Conference to be held in Durham, North Carolina, November 13–15. Also presenting at SAMLA is ECU alumnus Michael Brantley, a graduate of the MA program. Best of luck on your presentations, all!

ECU English Club Meeting This Tuesday!

Hello fellow English clubbers!

The ECU English Club will be holding its next meeting on Tuesday, November 3rd at 5:30 pm in the Bate English Lounge (2136). For this meeting, we will be welcoming a guest speaker from the English department, Professor John Hoppenthaler. Prof. Hoppenthaler is an associate professor of English and Creative Writing here at ECU. He teaches courses on literature, creative writing, and poetry. Please join us for an opportunity to meet and chat with Prof. Hoppenthaler. As always, we will be providing scrumptious snacks!

See you there!

With kind and warm regards,

Paige Vaughan

English Club PresidentE

Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Matthew Cox

Matt Cox

Dr. Matt Cox is an assisstant professor of technical and professional communication in the Department of English at East Carolina University. He holds a BA from Indiana University, an MA from Utah State University, and a PhD from Michigan State University.



. . .

Where are you from?

A small town called New Haven, Indiana. It’s just outside of Fort Wayne, Indiana (the second biggest city in Indiana) in Northeast Indiana (about midway between Chicago and Detroit). Lots of flat farmland and Amish communities around. The local Meijer (like a super Wal-Mart) in my town even has its own covered hitching post for Amish shoppers!

What brought you to ECU?

While I was on the job market, I was very sensitive to whether my research in queer/LGBT rhetorics and professional identity was received well and would be supported. Especially in TPC, often folks will see that kind of work as “too cultural” or somehow “not related to tech comm” (though I disagree vigorously, obviously). The English Department at ECU supported me from the start and I have always felt I could do the research here that I am good at and know the most about. I was also drawn to the PhD and Masters programs that are growing and beginning to receive notoriety in our field. I am very proud to be a part of all of this!

What is your field and how did you first become interested in it?

My fields are technical and professional communication/writing and queer/LGBT rhetorics. I see these both as existing firmly in rhetoric and writing studies (though some see TPC as more adjacent than within rhetoric and writing studies). Rhetoric and writing studies are, in turn, a part of the larger family of English studies.

What degrees do you hold and where did you earn them?

I received my BA in English (specializing in British literature – specifically the Victorian and Romantic periods) from Indiana University, Bloomington in 1996. I then received an MS in English in Technical and professional communication from Utah State University in 2006. I earned my PhD in rhetoric and writing in 2012 from Michigan State University where I concentrated in cultural rhetorics.

What life experience prepared you for your role at ECU?

I worked from 1996 through 2007 full time as a production editor in the book publishing industry and as a technical editor and writer in the computer software industry. These were absolutely essential experiences for me in terms of learning how to be an effective and thorough collaborator and communicator.

What recognitions and achievements are you most proud of and why?

Experiences come with age I suppose, and at this point in my life, I’m very proud as a first generation college student to have gone all the way through to my PhD. I’m from a blue collar background (the son of a police officer and a baker and tailor) and no one in my family or extended family has ever had a PhD. It’s been an exciting journey. But, now that I’m here, I’m really the most proud of being able to help the students I work with achieve those same goals. It’s so cool to be able to do that.

What is your favorite part of your job?

I love networking. Helping make connections (to both people and ideas) for colleagues and students (and myself). I’m a natural extrovert and networker. To me the world is a huge playground and I think it’s important for us to impart on our students that same curiosity and excitement about the world and their education about that world.

Describe one of the most rewarding courses you’ve taught in your time at ECU.

I have enjoyed each of them so far in their own way because they allow me to draw on the experiences I’ve had and to pass those on to students. But I also learn so much from my students. They are so diverse and bring with them their own stories and aspirations. I have particularly enjoyed the graduate Cultural Rhetorics course I taught in the spring of 2015. Thanks to technology, we were able to have so many wonderful scholars (both established and up-and-coming) in our field stop by via Skype to talk with our class. Being with our energetic and smart grad students is so energizing for me.

Congrats to the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences Faculty!

Congratulations to Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences (THCAS) Faculty who recently were awarded travel grants for Fall 2015. A special congratulations goes to ECU English Faculty Dr. Helena Federer and Dr. John Hoppenthaler!
The new THCAS Faculty Travel Grant Program helps full-time faculty to attend regional, national, or international professional conferences, workshops and events for the purpose of presenting or engaging in original research or creative activity. Faculty Travel Grants are funded directly from the Dean’s office, and are allocated to support professional development activities specifically targeting research and creative discovery.