Laura Grossenbacher, Ph.D is Director of the Technical Communication Program and the Director of Undergraduate Program Review. She holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Texas at Austin, and has been teaching courses in technical communication at UW-Madison for sixteen years. She has been involved in the development of online modules in engineering communication to help create a more flexible, blended learning experience for students. The modules are also designed to be used by engineering faculty in all departments as a communication-across-the-curriculum initiative. She recently presented a paper on the value of these modules for developing consistent assessment practices for the 2012 ABET Symposium in St. Louis, Missouri, and again at the 2013 Symposium in Portland, Oregon.
She has taught technical communication as part of the UW-Madison College of Engineering study abroad programs in both Toulouse, France, and Hangzhou, China. Her research interests in engineering ethics have been informed by her work abroad and by her development of case studies for a capstone course she teaches for undergraduate students in the International Engineering Certificate. She has given several professional presentations on issues in engineering ethics, most recently at the Association of Practical and Professional Ethics Conferences in 2011 and 2012 and at the Congress for Social and Ethical Implications at Arizona State University in November 2011. In January 2012, she was the invited ethics faculty for the “Winter School” of the National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network; this two-week study abroad graduate program, held at UNICAMP, Brazil, is sponsored by the National Science Foundation.
Elise Gold has a Ph.D. in English from the University of Rochester. After teaching writing and 19th-century British Literature at Lycoming College in Williamsport, PA, for three years, she took a position at the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) in Madison, WI, managing a national long-distance education program for credit union executives for ten years and, in the process, learned a lot about professional and business writing in the workplace. Returning to teaching, she joined the Technical Communication Program at the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 1998. Having taught engineering freshmen and coordinated EPD 155 (Basic Communication) for many years, she currently continues her interest in first-year writing by coordinating the College of Engineering’s Steuber Prize for Excellence. Additionally, Elise developed a specialization in editing which not only led her to teach a technical editing course in the program for many years but also allows her to work as an editor on projects in multiple disciplines across the curriculum. She currently enjoys teaching EPD 397 (Technical Communication) and learning a lot from her students about all things technical.
Cynthia Poe, J.D., Ph.D.
Cynthia Poe holds a J.D. from the University of Michigan and a Ph.D. in U.S. History from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She came to Madison after several years of practicing law and managing political campaigns in Cincinnati, Ohio, and has been teaching in the Technical Communication Program since 2008. Cindy’s teaching and research interests include communication across the curriculum, civic and political communication, environmental history, and legal and constitutional history.
Mike A. Shapiro has been a writing instructor and tutor since 2003, and joined the Technical Communication Program in 2014. His research interests include writing centers, the online tutoring of writing, and the academic and professional use of Twitter.
After a brief stint in the world of finance in New York City, I came to realize that my life interests lie in writing, literature, and academia. Since I’d studied mathematics and economics in college, and since English isn’t my mother tongue (I was born in Poland and grew up in Montreal, Canada), my discovery required me to go back to school to hone my language skills. Having earned two Master’s degrees in creative writing, I was then hired as a lecturer in the College of Engineering at The Ohio State University. Five years of teaching composition and technical writing to Buckeyes — five years during which I learned as much as my students — have prepared me well for the position of Assistant Faculty Associate in UW-Madison’s Engineering Professional Development (Go Badgers!). Further, my regular interaction with engineers has sparked my interest in the history of science and technology and in professional ethics, topics that you can hear me discuss in my EPD 155 and 397 classes. And when I’m not teaching or grading, I can be found holed up in some corner, writing the Great Polish/Canadian/American novel.
Steven Bernard Zwickel teaches in the Technical Communication Program at the College of Engineering of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is the author of a college textbook on technical presentations and has taught classes at UW on technical writing, basic academic writing, document design, and teams in the engineering profession.
A native of New York City, Mr. Zwickel is a graduate of Binghamton University, where he majored in political science, and he has both a law degree (from Brooklyn Law School) and a Masters in social work (from the University of Wisconsin-Madison). He moved to Madison in 1976 to go to graduate school and liked it so much he stayed.
Before he joined the UW faculty, Mr. Zwickel worked in the printing industry and before that he was in social work. His experiences prepared him to write “All the Rage” about dealing with anger and two other books about interpersonal relations-one on dealing with anger, the other on coping with workplace stress. In recent years, Mr. Zwickel has spent time teaching in China. When they are not busy with their grandchildren, he and his wife enjoy traveling and have been to Eastern Europe, Spain, Morocco, Alaska, and the British Isles. The Zwickels have a beagle named Bogey. Mr. Zwickel’s hobbies include researching family history, taking photographs, and rooting for the Green Bay Packers.
Other instructors who have contributed to the success of the Technical Communication Program include the following individuals:
George R. Johnson
Gisela Kutzbach (Former Director)
Christine G. Nicometo
Paul L. Ross