2014: Kelli Cargile Cook and Jeff Grabill

Citation for Kelli Cargile Cook

Elevated to ATTW Fellow, March 2014

(Written by Jerry Savage)

Dear Professor Cargile Cook:

On the occasion of its annual conference in Indianapolis on March 19, 2014, the Association of Teachers of Technical Writing hereby elevates you, Kelli Cargile Cook, as Fellow of the Association of Teachers of Technical Writing. This decision by the Fellows Selection Committee and the Executive Committee recognizes your many contributions to ATTW and to the discipline.

We don’t have all night, and so I can only mention some highlights of your career to date.

As a scholar you have demonstrated a persistent concern for excellence in technical communication education. Your book Online Education: Global Questions, Local Answers, co-edited with Keith Grant-Davies won the 2006 NCTE Award for Excellence for Best Collection in Technical and Scientific Communication. Recognizing how quickly the field changes, you and Keith followed that book last year with Online Education 2.0: Evolving, Adapting, and Reinventing Online Technical Communication. Most of your scholarship is characterized by its steady focus on pedagogical theory and practice, on the cultivation of new teachers in technical communication while helping veteran teachers to either maintain their relevance or to have no excuse for failing to do so.

You are also the recipient of other awards. You were a Fellow of the Center for Online International Learning (COIL) Institute for Globally Networked Learning in the Humanities. You earned CPTSC’s 2013 Distinguished Service Award, for which I served on the Selection Committee. When we solicited testimonials for your award we received more heartfelt messages from your colleagues and former students than we could read in the presentation. Amelia Chesley, now a doctoral student at Purdue, wrote: “The sparkling clear expectations she set and the deep confidence she always showed made Kelli one of the best instructors, mentors, and role models I could ever hope to have…. I was inspired and motivated by the trust she showed in me and my class.” Another student, Curtis Newbold, now an assistant professor at Westminster College, wrote: “Kelli deserves most of the credit for pushing me at that formative age to become something I didn’t know I had in me. She was my toughest teacher. She was also my favorite. She taught me the rewards of diligence and effort, of triumph through intellectual pain. She showed me what it meant to stretch my potential and exemplified what it meant to make a difference.”

Your service again speaks to your commitment to the technical communication discipline: Secretary and President of the Council for Programs in Technical and Scientific Communication; Vice President and President of ATTW. Your service at the university level earned you the Utah State Presidential Recognition for Service in 2002.

You are well-regarded by your colleagues as well. Your Utah State colleague and collaborator in two books, Keith Grant-Davies, has this to say: “Coediting and coauthoring are like a dance, which is perhaps why, searching  for a word that describes Kelli as a scholar/teacher/administrator, I find myself reaching—and I hope she’ll forgive me for this—into the somewhat quirky, unabashedly dorky world of contra dancing (think “square dancing meets the gardeners’ market”). For aficionados of this form of folk dancing, it’s the highest compliment to describe a dance as “zesty.” A zesty contra is well-designed, with interesting steps cleverly selected and elegantly articulated.… Zesty dance partners will give you a workout, demanding that you keep up with their pace, respond to their spontaneous variations, and anchor the considerable centrifugal force they generate as they whirl around you…I think of Kelli as a “zesty” professional, a master of her craft. …Anyone who has worked with her knows that it’s a demanding, exciting, rewarding experience that brings out the best in you.…Kelli, my friend, I salute you for this well-deserved honor.”

Angela Eaton, a colleague at Texas Tech, says: “Kelli Cargile-Cook is the type of colleague most of us dream of…. thoughtful, prepared, and always willing to take on another committee assignment. She has the time management skills that many of us aspire to…. an amazing teacher, and she supports that teaching with innovative research…But she is also pleasant, the type of person that you want in your personal and professional life…. a fantastic laugh. She is at home in a committee as she is on a motorcycle and sharing and hosting a BBQ dinner with our graduate students and faculty. She is confident and straight-forward, pragmatic and caring.”

We thank you, Professor Cargile Cook, for your exemplary leadership in the technical communication discipline. And on behalf of the Fellows of ATTW and everyone in this gathering, we hereby extend our congratulations.

Gerald Savage, ATTW Fellow
2014 Fellows Search Committee Chair
Emeritus Professor
Illinois State University






Citation for Jeff Grabill

Elevated to ATTW Fellow, March 2014

(Written by Stephen Bernhardt)

Dear Professor Jeff Grabill:

On the occasion of its annual conference in Indianapolis on March 19, 2014, the Association of Teachers of Technical Writing hereby elevates you, Jeff Grabill, as Fellow of the Association of Teachers of Technical Writing. This decision by the Fellows Selection Committee and the Executive Committee recognizes your many contributions to ATTW and to the discipline.

At each step of your career, your work has influenced practices across our profession. You have made major contributions to how we understand and build community literacy through authoring important texts, including Writing Community Change: Designing Technologies for Citizen Action (Hampton Press, 2007) and Community Literacy Programs and the Politics of Change (SUNY, 2001). You have shaped how we work at the intersection of technology and literacy, publishing widely and influentially on the rhetoric of public forums, on content management, on intellectual property, on risk communication, and on electronic communities and social action. You have repeatedly received scholarly recognition: three awards for technical and scientific publications from NCTE/CCCC, the Braddock award, the Ellen Nold award, and the Nell Ann Pickett award.

You have a remarkable record, as attested by your colleague D├ánielle DeVoss: “I rarely use expressions like ‘visionary,’ but Jeff is the rare person for which I'd use that label. Jeff's work is typically years ahead of the rest of the field. He has the foresight and the insight to anticipate trends, theorize them, and shape research toward them before most of us are even aware of their emergence. His work on community action, civic writing, and research in community spaces sets a high bar and a strong set of aspirations for technical and professional writing.”

Beyond your publications, Jeff, you have consistently and selflessly strengthened the profession through your organizational leadership and community initiatives. You have been a key driver of the WIDE (Writing in Digital Environments) Research Center at Michigan State and a co-developer of Eli, software to support peer review and commentary. Your current chairing of the Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures department at MSU continues to keep that department and institution at the forefront of innovative undergraduate and graduate education in rhetoric and digital writing. You are a frequent convener of disciplinary conversations, and a model for how we might best turn theory to meaningful action and change. 

Through your teaching and mentoring, you are creating a legacy to our field. Colleague Bill Hart-Davidson notes that “Jeff continues to mentor students toward successful careers in the field, supporting scholars and teachers whom ATTW can count among its membership. As a mentor, Jeff is equal parts coach and cheerleader, but he never fails to be a tireless supporter and advocate for students. He honors those who work with him with high expectations, something that is done with genuine appreciation for the creativity, intelligence, and industry Jeff notices in others.”

A spreading network of your students adds depth to your accomplishments. Former PhD student Angela Haas says “I've assigned Jeff's scholarship in every technical communication course I've taught over the last decade…because his work is a model for doing smart, responsible, ethical, and accessible work….He is an astute and rhetorical listener and asks questions in ways that help you to scaffold your own way to your own answers. And in the process of these exchanges with him, he always has a way of reminding me of what really matters in my job and in life. … His work helps us to see what it looks like for technical communicators to be public intellectuals and invested in local communities—and for technical communication to serve as ethical action.”

Many of us have also come to admire your service ethic. You perform all manner of service obligations with an air of nonchalance and resolute good will, projecting a calm assurance. Our journals are stronger for your editing work, and our conferences richer for your presence and your presentations.

For all these reasons, and with great pleasure, the Fellows of the Association of Teachers of Technical Writing unanimously endorse your elevation to Fellow and offer hearty congratulations on your accomplishments. We salute you as friend and colleague, as a worthy champion of technical writing, and as someone whose recognized contributions to our profession are both meaningful and lasting.

On behalf of the ATTW Fellows, and all those at this meeting today, we thank you for your work.

Professor Stephen A. Bernhardt, Fellow, ATTW
Andrew B. Kirkpatrick, Jr., Chair in Writing
University of Delaware