2022: Amy Koerber and Han Yu

Citation for Amy Koerber
Elevated to ATTW Fellow, June 2022

The ATTW Fellows are excited to elevate you to the rank of Fellow based on your significant leadership and scholarly contributions to our field. Of particular note and pride to our organization is your strong work as editor-in-chief of our flagship journal, Technical Communication Quarterly. Beyond this, though, we applaud your innovation and excellence in research, exhibited in a body of work spanning more than two decades and including two groundbreaking monographs. In addition to this work, you have also had significant leadership roles at Texas Tech University, providing intellectual guidance for your colleagues there. Your impact on our field is further felt in your mentorship and training of the next generation of scholars and teachers.

Your first professorial position started in 2002 upon completion of your PhD at the University of Minnesota. In the Department of English at Texas Tech University, you rose through the professorial ranks, becoming Professor in 2014. At that time, you were appointed as Director of Technical Communication & Rhetoric. In 2017, you were appointed as an Associate Dean in the College of Media & Communication and also Professor in the Department of Communication Studies. Since then, your leadership role expanded as the founder and director of an online graduate certificate in STEM Leadership and Communication.

As a scholar, you have published an impressive body of work in journals, book chapters, and peer-reviewed conference proceedings. Much of this work is at the intersection of rhetorical studies, scientific and medical communication, and women’s studies. Other notable threads in your work include leadership communication, qualitative methods, and pedagogy. You exemplify the very best of scholarly contribution in our field, offering both depth of specialized inquiry as well as relevance to cross-cutting topical concerns.

Through many publications and two monographs, you have opened new and important avenues for research in women’s studies, exploring connections to rhetorical and scientific communication studies. Most recently, you did so in your 2018 book, From Hysteria to Hormones: A Rhetorical History (Pennsylvania State University Press) in the Rhetoric Society of America Series in Transdisciplinary Rhetoric. The excellence of this work was recognized with the President’s Faculty Book Award-First Place at Texas Tech University and also received an Honorable Mention Book Award from the Association for the Rhetoric of Science, Technology, and Medicine. Your earlier 2013 book, Breast or Bottle: Contemporary Controversies in Infant-Feeding Policy and Practice (University of South Carolina Press, Series in Rhetoric/Communication) received the 2015 Conference on College Composition and Communication Award in the category of Best Book in Technical or Scientific Communication.

A different strand of your scholarly work has productively drawn attention to ethical issues in research publications. Beyond your several publications on this topic and the invited talks you have given, you were also awarded (as PI) a significant grant, STEM Training in Ethics of Publication Practices (STEPP): Cultivating Cultures for Ethical STEM programs. This work builds on your tenure as editor-in-chief of our journal, Technical Communication Quarterly, 2008-2013. In that role, you helped increase the number of research submissions, developed a style guide, and expanded the interactions with and guidance from the editorial board.  At the national level, you also provided leadership to the Association for Communication Administration (a Division within the National Communication Association) as a Professional Service President and Conference Planner.

As a mentor and teacher at Texas Tech University, you have directed an impressive number of PhD students to completion of the dissertation projects, helping launch them into successful careers in academe and industry. Over your career, you have developed novel courses in leadership, communication, and health and medical discourse. Outside your home institution, you have also offered important national professional development leadership workshops.

For the achievements and contributions celebrated here, as well as many others not mentioned, you have earned the respect of your colleagues in our field. We applaud your noteworthy accomplishments as a scholar, as a leader, and as an educator.

We are pleased to welcome Dr. Amy Koerber to the community of ATTW Fellows!


Citation for Han Yu
Elevated to ATTW Fellow, June 2022

It is with great pleasure that we to elevate you to Fellow of the Association of Teachers of Technical Writing in 2022. Your leadership contributions—both at your home institution and at the national level—as well as your exemplary publication record superbly qualify you for this honor.

Since earning your PhD from Illinois State University in 2007, you have risen through the professorial ranks at Kansas State University. There you have provided leadership in scientific and technical communication, including serving as Director of the Graduate Technical Communication Certificate Program, Chair of the Technical/Professional Writing Committee, and as the English Department’s Internship Coordinator.

Nationally, you have contributed as a leader in two of the field’s most prominent organizations. In 2019 you served as the ATTW Conference Program Chair. In addition, you served as a Member-at-Large on the ATTW Executive Committee, helping advance our organization’s thinking about important matters. Beyond this, you served on the CPTSC Diversity Committee, bringing your expertise to the organization’s work.

As a scholar, your work in visual rhetoric, intercultural communication and the public communication of science is original, high quality, and prolific. These three areas of scholarship, over the past two decades, have emerged as increasingly significant and competitive areas of inquiry within the field of rhetoric and professional communication and have attracted a large cohort of scholars. Your contributions to these scholarly conversations are significant, original, and timely.

Your book The Other Kinds of Funnies: Comics in Technical Communication is superbly researched and written and breaks important new ground in the field. As Professor Charles Kostelnick writes, “This fascinating study identifies a key area of visual rhetoric that few scholars have previously addressed, let alone with the scholarly insights, command of the subject, and comprehensive depth and detail that Yu does. She provides a broad cross-cultural history of comics, candidly assesses the strengths and weaknesses of the genre, and analyzes its practical and pedagogical applications in a variety of modes, ranging from instructional to persuasive. Her rhetorical, cultural, and ideological analyses of the genre as it functions in various discourse communities are extremely perceptive, original, and useful. Her study is also enriched by an impressive array of examples from around the globe, giving the book a truly international scope.”

Your book, Communicating Genetics: Visualizations and Representations, continues the steep upward trajectory of your scholarship by exploring the theory and practice of popular science in its social and cultural context. More recently, your book Mind Thief: The Story of Alzheimer’s narrates the history of this disease, assessing its cures and causes, and also placing this debilitating condition in its social and cultural context. This volume has garnered attention and praise from reviewers far beyond our field, showcasing excellence in insightful and accessible scientific communication. In short, your persistent, insightful examination of how science is communicated to the public in these two books distinguishes you as scholar in our field.

Beyond this, though, you have made many other scholarly contributions. A strand of your scholarship examines intercultural communication in a pedagogical context. Your book chapter “Teaching Engineering Students Cultural Heuristics through Narrative” assesses the major theoretical approaches to intercultural communication across several disciplines, adeptly analyzing their strengths and weaknesses and developing a hybrid approach that she shows how to implement in the classroom, partly by critiquing existing pedagogical narratives. In this important piece of scholarship, you show superb command of the literature, creativity, and pedagogical savvy. Your article “A Study of Engineering Students’ Intercultural Competence and Its Implications for Teaching” reports the results of a well-designed study using mixed methods. This piece is impressive not only for the sophistication and thoroughness of the study, but also due to your perceptive and detailed analysis of results. Your notable scholarly output includes articles in top journals in the field, including Technical Communication Quarterly, Technical Communication, IEEE Transactions in Professional Communication, and the Journal of Business and Technical Communication.

Your co-edited books have also made major contributions in intercultural and scientific communication.  Negotiating Cultural Encounters: Narrating Intercultural Engineering and Technical Communication, for example, consolidates and extends your scholarship on the theory and pedagogy of intercultural communication by bringing together the stories of professional communicators working in a variety of intercultural contexts. Allowing professionals in the field to tell their intercultural stories directly from experience offers readers an in-depth, multifaceted, highly engaging perspective on the emerging problems and practices of communicating in a global workplace.  Your co-edited collection Scientific Communication: Practices, Theories, and Pedagogies brings together scholars with divergent expertise and perspectives on the theory, practice, pedagogy, and ethics of science communication.  Finally, your two current projects are notable and promising: a book, The Curious Human Knee, and a co-edited collection Keywords in Technical Communication, which aims to define the central concepts in our discipline.

Your published scholarship creates a cohesive and extremely impressive body of work.  In all, your remarkable pace of scholarly productivity can be matched by few top scholars in the field.  Collectively, this impressive body of scholarly work has earned you wide recognition and prominence in our field.  We are pleased to mark your importance to our field today by recognizing you as a Fellow of the Association of Teachers of Technical Writing.