Welcome! I am an assistant professor specializing in rhetoric and science communication at the University of Waterloo. I am also an Ontario Early Researcher Award holder (2017-2022), a General Editor at Genre Across Borders, a member of the Advisory Board for the Centre for Genre Research at the University of Copenhagen, and the Second Vice-President for the Association for the Rhetoric of Science, Technology, and Medicine (ARSTM).
My research examines how science communication is changing with new—especially networked—technologies and also with different communities becoming involved in scientific research and policy-making. I am especially interested in genres of science communication, citizen science, and expertise and expert networks in multidisciplinary research teams. Recently I have published a co-edited volume, Emerging Genres in New Media Environments (2017), as well as essays on crowdfunding strategies (2017), on citizen science and networks (2016), "parascientific" (meaning "alongside," not pseudoscience!) genres of science communication (2016), and ethical issues raised in new genres of science communication (2016). I have also recently published on rhetorical scholar Gertrude Buck's cognitive metaphor theory (2017).
Teaching in rhetoric, professional and technical communication, and methods, I often experiment with innovative pedagogies, particularly in online learning environments. I have published on some of these techniques in IEEE Trans. Pro. Comm., and in Technical Writing and Communication. I am also interested in experiential learning and have worked with several high tech companies on their open source documentation in my courses. Experiential learning through co-op education is another area I am especially interested in understanding, and am currently running a study related to co-op here at Waterloo.
I live in the Waterloo Region where my husband, Dr. Brad Mehlenbacher, and I enjoy “a house full of books, and a garden of flowers” (borrowing from Andrew Lang's 1884 Ballade of True Wisdom).