Our conference keynote is Marie Paretti, this year’s Blicq award winner and an author on the Joenk award winning paper, New Engineers’ Transfer of Communication Activities From School to Work. Marie’s keynote address is titled “Teaching to Become: Identify, Language and Pedagogy in Engineering Communication.”

Title: Teaching to Become: Identity, Language, and Pedagogy in Engineering Communication

Abstract: Situated theories of learning highlight the ways in which learning is not simply the accumulation of knowledge or the development of skills, but the construction of identity. And scholars in writing studies and sociolinguistics have long examined the ways in which identities are constructed discursively – in how we use language and position ourselves, and in how others talk about and position us. But what identities are available to students in our professional communication classrooms? Who are we asking them to become as they learn the genres of their intended professions, the strategies for adapting their communication based on the rhetorical situation, the audience, the purpose? Drawing on recent studies that include both students’ experiences of writing in engineering courses and new graduates experiences of the transition from school to work, I invite us to consider what happens when we consider the teaching and learning of professional communication through the lens of identity work.

Marie Paretti received the B.S. degree in Chemical Engineeringand the M.A. degree in English from Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA, USA, in 1986 and 1990, respectively, and the Ph.D. degree in English from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI, USA, in 1997. She is currently a Professor of Engineering Education at Virginia Tech. Drawing on theories of situated learning and social construction, her work includes multiple studies funded by the US National Science Foundation on the teaching and learning of communication, effective teaching practices in design education, the development of professional identities, the dynamics of cross-disciplinary collaboration in academia and industry, and inclusion and equity in engineering.
Marie Paretti