Michele Simmons

Michele Simmons


374 Bachelor Hall
Oxford Campus


  • PhD, Rhetoric and Composition, Professional Writing, Purdue University 2000
  • MA, Professional Communication, Clemson University
  • BA, English, University of Tennessee

Teaching + Research Interests

  • public rhetorics & civic engagement
  • research methodologies
  • professional writing
  • usability & UX
  • digital writing
  • environmental communication

Selected Publications


Articles and Chapters

  • Simmons, Michele. Engaging Circulation in Urban Renewal. In Laurie Gries and Collin Gifford Brooke, Eds.  Circulation, Writing, and Rhetoric. Utah State University Press, 2018.
  • Staggers, Julie and Simmons, Michele. Secret/Agent. In Kristen Moore and Daniel Richards Eds.  Posthuman Praxis in Technical Communication. Routledge. 2018.
  • Amidon, Tim, and Simmons, Michele. Negotiating "Messy" Research Context and Design Through Adaptive Research Stances: Experience Report. SIGDOC ’16. Proceedings of the 34th Annual ACM International Conference on the Design of Communication. Article No. 26, Silver Springs, Md, September 2016.
  • Sullivan, Patricia, and Simmons, Michele. “A User Experience Study of Annual Activity Reports: Bridging Context and (In)visible Technoservice Work of Technical Communication Faculty. SIGDOC '16: Proceedings of the 34th Annual International Conference on the Design of Communication. Article no. 47, Silver Springs, Md, September 2016.   
  • Simmons, Michele, Moore, Kristen. & Sullivan, Pat. Mentoring Women Faculty in Technical Communication: Identifying Needs and the Emergence of Women in Technical Communication. Programmatic Perspectives 7(2), pp. 277-297, Fall 2015. 
  • Sullivan, Patricia, Simmons, Michele, Moore, Kristen, Meloncon, Lisa, Potts, Liza. Intentionally Recursive: A Participatory Model for Mentoring. Proceedings of the 33th Annual ACM International Conference on the Design of Communication. July 2015.
  • Simmons, Michele, Moore, Kristen, and Sullivan, Patricia. Tracing Uncertainties: Methodologies of a Door Closer. In Nathaniel Rivers and Paul Lynch Eds.  Thinking with Bruno Latour in Rhetoric and Composition. Southern Illinois U Press, 2015.
  • Zoetewey, Meredith, Simmons, Michele, and Grabill, Jeffery. Evaluating Civic Engagement: Responding to Online Spaces for Public Deliberation. In Danielle Devoss and Heidi McKee Eds.,  Digital Writing Assessment and Evaluation. Computers and Composition Digital Press, 2013. 
  • Simmons, W. Michele,  Zoetewey, Meredith W. Productive Usability: Fostering Civic Engagement in Online Spaces.  Technical Communication Quarterly, Vol. 21 Issue 3, p251-276, 2012. 
    Winner of the 2012 Nell Ann Pickett for Best Article in  Technical Communication Quarterly
  • Simmons, Michele. Encouraging Civic Engagement through Extended Community Writing Projects: Re-writing the Curriculum.  The Writing Instructor: Technology Disruptions Of/In the Pedagogies of Professional Writing, 2010.  http://www.writinginstru ctor.com/simmons
  • “Toward a Civic Rhetoric for Technologically and Scientifically Complex Places: Invention, Performance, and Participation.”  College Composition and Communication58:3 (February 2007): 419-448. With Jeff Grabill.
  • “Adapting: Online Learning Environments, Visual Pedagogy, and Active Learners.” Innovations: A Special Issue of the Romantic Circles Pedagogy Commons, December 2004.  http://www.rc.umd.edu/pedagogies/commons/innovations/
  • “Toward a Critical Rhetoric of Risk Communication: Producing Citizens and the Role of Technical Communicators.” With Jeff Grabill.  Technical Communication Quarterly, 7.4 (Fall 1998): 415-441. Winner of the 1998 Nell Ann Pickett Award for Best Article in Technical Communication Quarterly.

Reprinted in  Essays in Professional Writing and Rhetoric: Readings from the Field. Ed. Tim Peeples. Boston: Allyn & Bacon/ Longman. 2002.

  • Rethinking the Safe Drinking Water Act. Center for Policy Studies Special Report Series, Clemson University, February 1995.
  • “Studying Risk at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.” (with C. C. Travis)  Federal Facilities Journal, 3.3 (Autumn 1992): 295-300.

Work in Progress

Simmons is currently working on a book project entitled,  Post-industrial Publics: Rustbelt Revitalization. This research examines the rhetoric that enables and disables long-term civic engagement in more chronic situations including urban renewal. The book aims to offer a framework for building sustainable civic engagement in urban revitalization.