Technical writing group grants fellow status to Professor Thralls

contact: Jeanne Baron
| WMU News

Dr. Charlotte Thralls

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Dr. Charlotte Thralls, professor of English, has been chosen by the Association of Teachers of Technical Writing to be elevated to the position of fellow.

Thralls was named an association fellow at an award ceremony during the association's annual conference in March. Only 54 people have been given fellow status in the 34 years since the program has been in existence.

The honor recognizes those who have made significant long-term contributions to technical communication, and only members of the association who have established national reputations based on their teaching, scholarship or academic administration are considered.

In bestowing the award, the association's presenter said, "Professor Thralls, your contribution to the knowledge of the field, your exemplary teaching record, and the extraordinary range of your service, from the local to the national levels, over a career of four decades testify to the appropriateness of this recognition."


Thralls is a specialist in rhetoric and writing studies who serves the WMU Department of English as an undergraduate advisor as well as a faculty member. Prior to coming to WMU, she held tenured appointments at Iowa State University, where she has served as graduate director for the English department, and at Utah State University, where she has served as associate dean of the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences.

Many of Thralls' contributions to the technical writing field come in the area of curriculum development. At WMU, she was instrumental in creating the major in rhetoric and writing studies, formerly known as practical writing, and she helped develop doctoral programs in technical and professional communication at both ISU and USU.

"As an award-winning teacher with a profound commitment to student learning, Charie has shaped curricula within departments across universities," Charles Kostelnick, an Association of Teachers of Technical Writing Fellow from ISU noted during the fellows award ceremony.

Thralls has twice received the WMU Department of English Chair's Service Award. At ISU, she received the Louis Thompson Distinguished Teaching Award and the Iowa Legislature Teaching Award.

She also has received several national research awards. Among them are National Council of Teachers of English Awards for her two co-edited book collections: "Communicative Practices in Workplaces and the Professions" and "Professional Communication: The Social Perspective."

In addition, Thralls received the Alpha Kappa Psi Foundation Award for Distinguished Publication on Business Communication and the Association for Business Communication Outstanding Researcher Award (researcher of the year). Plus, she has served as co-editor of two prestigious journals in the technical writing field: the Journal of Business and Technical Communication and the Technical Communication Quarterly.

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