Randy Harris – English Language and Literature
Dr. Randy Harris has been a valuable member of the Department of English Language and Literature since 1992. Throughout his career at Waterloo, he has supervised seven doctoral and five master’s students. He has demonstrated a remarkably strong commitment to graduate studies and graduate students, including the time he served as the Associate Chair Graduate Studies. He was instrumental in developing the department’s unique PhD program, which combines literary and rhetorical studies. Dr. Harris is a renowned scholar of Rhetoric with research interests as diverse as Rhetoric of Science, Linguistics, Figuration, Interaction Design, Rhetoric and Cognition, and Human Computer Interaction. His own enthusiasm for research that is collaborative, crosses disciplinary boundaries, and engages diverse audiences is exemplary and inspiring.
Dr. Harris’s mentorship can be characterized as comprehensive and consistent: he supports and trains the whole person. He nurtures students’ intellectual development as researchers; he encourages them to tackle problems that personally engage them and to explore novel modes of disseminating their knowledge; he mentors students as professionals who will go on to a variety of careers both inside and outside of academia; he involves them in his own grant-funded research projects as collaborators and sometimes co-authors (a practice that is uncommon in the Humanities); and he continues to advise and support students even beyond graduation. Dr. Harris genuinely cares about the students he mentors. He goes out of his way to ensure that their experience as graduate students at the University of Waterloo is the best it could possibly be.