by Cherese Colston, Published June 27, 2012
YPSILANTI - Ann Blakeslee, an English professor from Eastern Michigan University, was recently honored by the Society for Technical Communication (STC) with the Ken Rainey Award for Excellence in Research. Blakeslee received the award in a ceremony at the Society's annual conference in Rosemont, IL.
The award is given annually to individuals whose research has made outstanding contributions to the field of technical writing.
"I admire Ken Rainey because he believed that research, theory, teaching and practice in our field need to be connected," Blakeslee said. "I was very pleased to be recognized as someone who has also done this in my career."
Blakeslee was honored for her leading-edge research exploring the connections between academia and industry, her contributions to training new generations of researchers in qualitative methods, and the clarity and power of her arguments for applying theory to practice.
Blakeslee is director of EMU's University Writing Center and Writing Across the Curriculum program. She published her first book in 2001 entitled, "Interacting with Audiences: Social Influences on the Production of Scientific Writing" and her second book in 2007, "Becoming a Writing Researcher" with co-author Cathy Fleischer. She has also published numerous studies on workplace writing and on preparing technical communication students for the workplace.
Currently, Blakeslee is working on publishing her third book, tentatively titled, "Complicating Audience," which she's writing with Rachel Spilka from the University of Wisconsin. The book comes after a four-year research project where Blakeslee and Spilka reviewed literature in technical communication, rhetoric and composition on audiences.
Blakeslee earned her bachelor of arts degree in Communications English in 1985 from Gannon University, her master's in technical and scientific communication in 1987 from Miami University, and her Ph.D. in rhetoric in 1992 from Carnegie Mellon University.
Technical communication is the process of conveying complex information in a way people can understand and use. The Society for Technical Communication is the largest association of technical communicators in the world, comprised of members on six continents throughout its 100 chapters and 22 Special Interest Groups. STC members work in every industry, producing instructional manuals, online help, multimedia, training resources, and other forms of technical communication.