In April 2019 I will defend my dissertation, “Developing New Materialist Frameworks for Collaborative Response,” which explores methods for collaborative research and response to complex problems.

venn diagram combining data collection, member checks, interviews, and integrative analysisAbstract

This research considers the role of technical communication in interdisciplinary response to complex problems by examining the 2015 HIV outbreak in Scott County,  Indiana. By tracing how needle exchange policy emerged in response to the outbreak, and continues to be negotiated as the policy is implemented throughout the state, I use needle exchange to understand  how technical communication researchers can more effectively collaborate with other scholars and practitioners to develop a sustainable response to complex problems. Attention to methods in technical communication (McNeley, Spinuzzi, & Teston 2015) rises from evolving social, technological, environmental, and political disruptions which seemed unimaginable even a decade ago. New materialist methods build from the framework of action research, participatory design, visual methods and data analysis to develop collaborative approaches designed to address complex problems. This project will help diverse scholars and practitioners work more closely and communicate more effectively in order to build better communities.

Dissertation Summary (PDF) Two page summary of my motivations, frames, and research design.

Prospectus and Research Plan (PDF) Complete dissertation prospectus and bibliography.