About Me

I am the Associate Director of Composition and an instructor of professional and technical writing at USF. Last year, I completed my Ph.D. in Technical Communication and Rhetoric at Texas Tech University. My dissertation, titled “A ‘Natural’ Miscommunication: An Examination of Front-of-Package Label Claims and User-Centered Food Labeling Practices, ”explores consumer interpretations of front-of-package food labels and regulatory policies surrounding this communication. In addition to this work, I conduct research on public health communication, risk communication, service learning, non-profit writing, composition pedagogy, and computer-mediated communications.

My recent article, titled “Nutritional Noise: Community Literacies and the Movement Against Foods Labeled as ‘Natural,’” was published in the Fall 2015 “Community Food Literacies” special issue of Community Literacy Journal. My piece “The Art of the PickUp: Wooing Your Future Employer in the Cover Letter,” is published on WritingCommons.org, an open-source, peer reviewed textbook.  I am currently finalizing two recent book chapters on composition pedagogy, including “Creating Meaning for Millennials: Bakhtin, Rosenblatt, and the Use of Social Media in the Composition Classroom” and “Curating the Public Self: Helping Students Present an Authentic, Professional Persona via LinkedIn and Public Blogging Sites,” both of which will be published in Engaging 21st Century Writers with Social Media in the summer of 2016. In addition, I write freelance articles related to health, science, and the environment for a number of online publications.

I earned my Master’s degree in English from the University of South Florida in 2010 and, during my studies, taught sections of English Composition 1101, English Composition 1102, Narration and Description, English Composition 1102 Online, and Form and Technique of Fiction. I also served as the First Year Composition program’s Teacher Mentoring Coordinator. In this role, my duties included mentoring incoming graduate instructors, facilitating pedagogical orientations, leading workshops and discussions, collaborating on curriculum changes and exam development, facilitating program-wide assessment efforts, editing pedagogical texts, readers and Web sites, and creating new curriculum. I also served as a business and professional writing tutor and tutor supervisor in the University Business Communications Center for one year.

In addition to my teaching experiences, I have helped to edit a variety of texts on college-level writing, including First Year Writing: Writing in the DisciplinesPower to the Pen: Pedagogical Approaches to Composition, and Artifacts. I have published a book review in Composition Studies and several short stories.

Most recently, I worked at the University of Colorado – Colorado Springs as an instructor of Professional and Technical Writing. Before that, I worked at Texas Tech University as an instructor of composition, and I also served as the Assistant Director of Composition, a position in which I worked closely with the program director and University Writing Center to co-administrate the First-Year-Writing program, helped to train other composition instructors, assessed student work, and designed curriculum for a program which serves over 2000 students per semester.At TTU, I was also awarded the title of “Outstanding Ph.D. Document Instructor,” a designation bestowed to an instructor exhibiting the highest level of assessment practices. In addition, I received a Texas Tech University TEACH Fellowship.

Before my work in academia, I worked as a journalist. I earned my Bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of North Florida and worked for a daily newspaper as an editor and writer. I also served as an editor for UNF’s weekly news publication throughout my undergraduate work. Currently, I work on a freelance basis for many online publications writing on a variety of subjects, including public health, food labeling, and nutrition communication.

If you have any questions or comments about my experiences, please feel free to email me at erin.trauth@gmail.com.

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