Current Projects

Book Chapter: Mary McCall, Gracemarie Mike Fillenwarth, and Catherine G.P. Berdanier. “Engineering Résumé Writing and Professionalization: A Quantitative Approach to Facilitating Students’ Professional Development.” Diverse Approaches to Teaching, Learning, and Writing Across the Curriculum: IWAC at 25. Boulder, CO: WAC Clearinghouse (Forthcoming Spring 2020)

Through this chapter, the authors present a novel approach to quantifying Disciplinary Discourse Density in résumés. The authors demonstrate how, for an engineering context, disciplinary discourse in résumés can be analyzed using the American Association of Engineering Societies Engineering Competency Model, and they translate their research into a pedagogical approach that enables students to quantify disciplinary discourse in their own résumés. This approach facilitates students’ ability to reflect on what their rhetorical choices mean for their disciplinary audience, working toward developing a disciplinary identity and communicating that identity via the résumé. The authors’ positionality as experts in technical communication and engineering provide validity to the method, which has been employed across multiple contexts to date. The authors extend their approach to multiple pedagogical interventions and recommendations for instructors teaching résumé writing as part of writing across the curriculum initiatives for any disciplinary community.

Article: “Getting the Story Straight: How Conflicting Narratives about Communication Impact Women in Engineering.”

More research is needed about how women in engineering develop and are recognized for communication skills within classrooms and workplaces. Using semi-structured interviews with female engineering students, this study examines how these women negotiate conflicting narratives about the importance of communication within their coursework and internships. By learning more about undergraduate women’s experiences of (under)valued labor based on narratives about what counts as “engineering” skills, instructors can better create inclusive classrooms that welcome multi-faceted competencies.

Status: Revise and resubmit with minor revisions in a peer-reviewed journal.

Article: “Weight Stigma and Cultural Images of Control: Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty and a ‘Whiter’ Definition of Beauty”

In response to women’s growing dissatisfaction with the representation of the female body within advertising, Dove launched its Campaign for Real Beauty (CFRB) in 2004 to expand the definition of beauty from an emphasis on slimness to a more inclusive perspective based on confidence and pride. However, through its selection of mainly white, fit models, Dove only reinforces a white-centric rhetoric of control concerning its assumption of feminine beauty. By considering the culturally differing images of “control” between white and Black women, I use Dove’s CFRB as a case study to analyze the intersectionality of Black women and weight stigma and to examine how the rhetoric of control surrounding the over-hyped thin, white body overshadows stereotypes of the Black female body. Through examining the CFRB advertisements, I argue that Dove reaffirms “controlling” images of Black women while seemingly challenging the pervasiveness of thin, (white) female bodies in advertising. Finally, by examining the ways in which the corporation co-opts the “voices” of its few Black models while manipulating—and consequently forgetting—their bodies, I analyze how Dove inscribes them within the boundaries of the white ideal of femininity that conform to a “whiter” definition of beauty instead of a “wider” one.

Status: This work is currently under invited revision in a peer-reviewed journal.