AR Mehlenbacher looking into camera in professional photo.Welcome! I am an associate professor specializing in rhetorical theory and science communication at the University of Waterloo. I am also the Principal Investigator of the Demos Lab (Democratization through Education in Medicine, technolOgy, and Science Lab). In addition to my duties at Waterloo, I serve as 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.

My research is situated in the field of rhetorical studies, a tradition dating back more than two and a half millennia, and which concerns our capacities for effectively communicating with each other. I am interested in the history and theory of rhetoric (particularly questions of style, memory, and ethics), and apply this tradition to contemporary challenges. Presently, my work is funded through an Early Researcher Award (ERA) from the Ontario Ministry of Research, Innovation and Science (2017-2022), an Insight Grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) of Canada (2018-2022), a Bob Harding and Lois Claxton Humanities and Social Sciences Endowment Fund grant (2020-2022), and a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) Science Communication Skills grant (2020-2021).

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 and collaborator, 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).