Welcome! I am an assistant professor specializing in rhetorical theory in the Department of English Language and Literature at the University of Waterloo. I am also a Member of the Board of Directors for the Association for the Rhetoric of Science, Technology, and Medicine (ARSTM), a past-President of ARSTM (2018-2019), and a General Co-Editor, with Carolyn R. Miller, at Genre Across Borders.
I am the author of Science Communication Online: Engaging Experts and Publics on the Internet (The Ohio State University Press, 2019). An open access copy (CC BY-NC-ND license) of the book is freely available here. I am also the co-editor, with Carolyn R. Miller, of Emerging Genres in New Media Environments (Palgrave, 2017).
My current research is funded through an Early Researcher Award from the Ontario Ministry of Research, Innovation and Science (2017-2022), and an Insight Grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (2018-2022). Broadly, 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. My research is especially concerned with public participation in scientific research (citizen science); expertise and ethos in science, technology, and medicine; and expertise and expert networks; and rhetorics of environment, health, and safety in risk assessment.
In 2020, I won the Rhetoric Society of America Fellows’ Early Career Award, which recognizes the research accomplishments of early career researchers working in rhetorical studies; in 2018, I won the Distinguished Alumni Award from the Communication, Rhetoric, and Digital Media program at North Carolina State University, which is given to alumni who have conducted exemplary interdisciplinary research and also disciplinary and community engagement; and, in both 2017 and 2020, I won an Outstanding Performance Award from the University of Waterloo, which recognizes faculty who make exceptional contributions in teaching and scholarship.
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).