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Doctoral candidate Lauren Cagle.

English doctoral student wins national research award

TAMPA, Fla. -- Doctoral candidate Lauren Cagle has been awarded the Graduate Research Award by the Association of Teachers of Technical Writing (ATTW). The award is granted to three graduate students annually and honors advanced Ph.D. students with clearly defined research projects that contribute to the field of technical and professional communication. The award includes $750 for continued research and to help defray the costs of attending the 2016 ATTW conference in Houston. Along with the two other award winners, Cagle will be featured in a work-in-progress panel presentation at the conference.

Cagle was selected for this award based on the strength of her research agenda and dissertation project. Cagle's dissertation, "Shaping Climate Citizenship: The Ethics of Inclusion in Climate Change Communication and Policy," promotes an integrated and inclusive approach to climate change communication and policy. Too often, she argues, climate change communication is seen as a secondary process of disseminating information after policy has been made by experts. Using a critical discourse analysis of southeast Florida climate change policy recommendations, Cagle argues that rethinking communication's role in the policymaking process can yield more ethical and effective outcomes.

Drawing from technical communication, political theory and ecofeminism, Cagle develops the concept of "climate citizenship" to theorize the relationship between communication and policy. As every climate change communication practice is warranted by some model of climate citizenship and its implicit assumptions about who should solve global environmental problems and how, Cagle offers the concept of climate citizenship as a new analytic lens for addressing central questions in rhetoric, such as what role expertise plays in decision-making and how to motivate people to take action.

This work builds on her previous publications and presentations in environmental rhetoric, and the award committee reported they were impressed by the quality and potential contributions of her project.


Filed under:Arts and Sciences English