Dànielle DeVoss Appointed Interim Chairperson of WRAC Department

Dànielle DeVoss, Professor of Professional Writing, was appointed Interim Chairperson for the Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures (WRAC) for a two-year term that began July 12, 2021. 

“I’m delighted to continue to serve the Department that is the home and heart of writing at Michigan State University and contribute to a dynamic and thought-forward environment that encourages student curiosity, insight, and the robust exchange of ideas along with attention to the importance of writing and communication—drawing across techniques and media, being attentive to audience and purpose, and sharing one’s ideas with the world,” DeVoss said. “I’m honored to work with an exceptional group of colleagues engaging cutting-edge research on professional and technical communication, cultural rhetorics, digital humanities, experience architecture, and rhetoric and composition studies.”

Since joining the WRAC Department faculty in 2001, DeVoss has achieved national and international prominence in the field of rhetoric and composition, particularly for her contributions in the areas of digital rhetoric, multimedia composing, and assessing digital writing. 

Headshot of Professor Dànielle DeVoss.
Professor Dànielle DeVoss

In 2016, she was awarded Michigan State University’s William J. Beal Outstanding Faculty Award for innovative teaching and research, and in 2013, she received the Charles Moran Award for Distinguished Contributions to the Field. One of the most prestigious awards in computer and writing scholarship, this recognition is bestowed annually by the international journal Computers and Composition.  

Several of DeVoss’ works have been recognized for their innovative contributions to the field. She has won four national publication-related awards, including the 2007 Computers and Composition Distinguished Book Award for her co-edited collection, titled Digital Writing Research: Technologies, Methodologies, and Ethical Issues.

Additionally, DeVoss is recognized nationally as an early and important voice in intellectual property issues and digital copyright. The breadth and depth of her scholarship has made her a popular speaker at national conferences and other universities.

“Professor DeVoss is a nationally known, award-winning scholar of digital and technological literacies, digital-visual rhetorics, and social and cultural entrepreneurship. She has been a transformative leader as Chair of the College Advisory Council and has held leadership positions at the Department, College, and University levels,” said Christopher P. Long, Dean of the College of Arts & Letters. “We are all looking forward to collaborating with her as we continue to elevate academic excellence across the research, teaching, and engagement mission of the College.”

I’m delighted to continue to serve the Department that is the home and heart of writing at Michigan State University and contribute to a dynamic and thought-forward environment that encourages student curiosity, insight, and the robust exchange of ideas.

Professor Dànielle DeVoss

DeVoss served as Chair/Co-Chair of the College Advisory Committee (CAC) for two terms and is currently a Faculty Senate Representative from the College of Arts & Letters. She also has served as Associate Chair and Director of Graduate Programs for the WRAC Department.

DeVoss has a Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Technical Communication from Michigan Technological University and an M.A. in Critical Studies in the Teaching of English and a B.A. in English, both from Michigan State University.  

In her role as Interim Chairperson of the Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures, DeVoss is responsible for the overall operation of the Department. 

“WRAC is a community committed to diversity, equity, and inclusivity; to anti-racist practices; to transparent and open communications; to collegial support and mentoring; and to staff, graduate students, and faculty supported in cultivating their own pathways to intellectual leadership and professional productivity,” DeVoss said. “We’re a department that engages care—caring for one another, building community in our everyday actions and activities, and being care-ful about the work we do, across research, teaching, service, and community engagement. I am fully committed to this vision and supporting it as Interim Chair.”

DeVoss replaces Jackie Rhodes, who had served as Department Chairperson since August 2018. 

“I wish to thank Dr. Jackie Rhodes for her leadership and stewardship of the Department over the past three years as the Department Chairperson. She has been a steadying force during these challenging times and we wish her well in her new endeavors,” Long said. “Finally, I very much appreciate the time everyone in the Department took to participate in the search process and particularly for the careful and considered work of the search committee.”