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CCCC Outstanding Dissertation Award in Technical Communication

Nomination Deadline: October 15

Purpose: The CCCC Committee on Technical Communication presents the Outstanding Dissertation Award in Technical Communication annually during the Awards Session at the CCCC Convention.

Eligibility: Dissertations eligible for the 2025 Dissertation Award in Technical Communication must have been completed in 2023 or 2024. A dissertation may be nominated only once during its two-year period of eligibility.

Award Criteria: Dissertations are evaluated according to the following five criteria: originality of research, contribution the research makes to the field, methodological soundness of the approach used, awareness of the existing research in the area studied, and overall quality of the writing.

Award Specifics: Applicants must submit the following materials: (1) letter of nomination from a dissertation committee member, preferably the chair, emphasizing the significance of the research for technical communication studies; (2) an extended abstract (approximately 250 words); and (3) a copy of the dissertation. Send materials by October 15, 2024, to the CCCC Liaison,

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Outstanding Dissertation in Technical Communication Award Winners


Morgan Banville, “Am I Who I Say I Am? The Illusion of Choice: Biometric Identification in Healthcare”

Wilfredo Flores, “Toward a Virulent Community Literacy: Constellating the Science, Technology, and Medicine of Queer Sexual Health”

2023 Honorable Mentions
Veronica Joyner, “Black at the OB-GYN: Rhetorics of Race in Women’s Health Care”
Jessica McCaughey, “Dynamic Workplace Writing Transfer: Writing Across Career Change”

Gabriel Edzordzi Agbozo, “Spatial Technologies, (Geo)Epistemology, & the Global South: Addressing the Discursive Materiality of GhanaPostGPS through Technical Communication” 

2022 Honorable Mention
Yeqing Kong,“‘Water Is a Human Right’: Exploring Environmental and Public Health Risk Communication in the Flint Water Crisis” 

Cecilia D. Shelton, “On Edge: A Techné of Marginality”

2021 Honorable Mentions

Sweta Baniya, “Comparative Study of Networked Communities, Crisis Communication, and Technology: Rhetoric of Disaster in the Nepal Earthquake and Hurricane Maria”
Wil LaVeist, “Adding Soul to the Message: Applying African American Jeremiad Rhetoric as Culturally Competent Health Communication Online”

Temptaous Mckoy, “Y’all Call it Technical and Professional Communication, We Call it #ForTheCulture: The Use of Amplification Rhetorics in Black Communities and Their Implications for Technical and Professional Communication Studies”

Julie Collins Bates, “Toward an Interventionary Rhetoric for Technical Communication Studies”

Kathryn Swacha, “‘I Could Probably Live to Be 100’: A Rhetorical Analysis of Aging, Agency, and Public Health”

2018 Honorable Mentions
Joy McMurrin, “Negotiating the Supermarket: A Critical Approach to Nutrition Literacy among Low-Income Consumers”
Beau Pihlaja, “New Black Boxes: Technologically Mediated Intercultural Rhetorical Encounters on the US–Mexico Border”

Ella R. Browning, “Rupturing the World of Elite Athletics: A Feminist Critical Discourse Analysis of the Suspension of the 2011 IAAF Regulations on Hyperandrogenism”

2017 Honorable Mentions
Laura Gonzales, “Sites of Translation: What Multilinguals Can Teach us about Rhetoric, Writing, and Technology”
Emily J. Petersen, “‘Reasonably Bright Girls’: Theorizing Women’s Agency in Technological Systems of Power”

Erin Trauth, “A ‘Natural’ Miscommunication: An Examination of Front-of-Package Label Claims and User-Centered Food Labeling Practices”

Erin A. Frost, “Theorizing an Apparent Feminism in Technical Communication”
Ashley Rose Kelly, “Hacking  Science:  Emerging  Parascientific  Genres  and  Public  Participation in  Scientific  Research”

Natasha N. Jones, “Mediation, Motives, and Goals: Identifying the Networked Nature of Contemporary Activism”

Ehren Pflugfelder, “In Measure of the World: Advancing a Kinesthetic Rhetoric”

Joy Santee, “Inter-institutional Collaboration and the Composition of Cartographic Texts: Mapping the Underground Railroad Bicycle Route”

Colleen Derkatch, “Rhetorical Boundaries in the ‘New Science’ of Alternative Medicine”

Rebekka Andersen, “The Diffusion of Content Management Technologies in Technical Communication Work Groups: A Qualitative Study on the Activity of Technology Transfer”

2010 Honorable Mention
Sarah Hallenbeck, “Writing the Bicycle: Women, Rhetoric, and Technology in Late Nineteenth-Century America”

Jonathan Buehl, “Instrument to Evidence to Argument: Visual Mediation of Invisible Phenomena in Scientific Discourse”

Lara Varpio, “Mapping the Genres of Healthcare Information Work: An Interdisciplinary Study of the Interactions Between Oral, Paper, and Electronic Forms of Communication”

2008 Honorable Mention
Huiling Ding, “Rhetoric of a global epidemic: Intercultural and intracultural professional communication about SARS”

Natasha Artemeva, “Becoming an engineering communicator: A study of novices’ trajectories in learning genres of their profession”

Neil Lindemann, “Blurred Boundaries of Science and Advocacy: The Discourse of Scientists at a Conservation Organization”

Huatong Sun, “Expanding the Scope of Localization: A Cultural Usability Perspective on Mobile Text Messaging Use in American and Chinese Contexts”

Donna Kain, “Negotiated Spaces: Constructing Genre and Social Practice in a Cross-Community Writing Project”

Brent Henze, “Scientific Rhetorics in the Emergence of British Ethnology, 1808-1848: Discourses, Disciplines, and Institutions.”

2003 Honorable Mention
Sandra Sterling Reynolds, “Collaboration or Subordination: The Role of Rhetoric in the Conception of Primary Healthcare Giver.”

David Dayton, “Electronic Editing in Technical Communication:  Practices, Attitudes, Impacts.”

2002 Honorable Mention
Dave Clark, “A Rhetoric of Boundaries:  Living and Working Along a Technical/Non-Technical Split.”

Kenneth Baake, “Metaphor and Knowledge: The Rhetorical Challenges at a Post- Modern Science Think Tank.”

Clay I. Spinuzzi, “Designing for Life Worlds: Genre and Activity in Information Systems’ Design and Evaluation.”

Katherine Durack, “Documentation and Domestic Technology: Household Sewing Technologies and Feminine Authority.”

1999 Honorable Mention
Brenda Camp Orbell, “Discourse, Power, and Social Ruptures:  An Analysis of Tailhook 91.”

1999 Honorable Mention
Graham Smart, “An Ethnographic Study of Knowledge-Making in a Central Bank:  The Interplay between Writing and Economic Modeling.”

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