Jamal-Jared Alexander joined our department this year as an assistant professor in technical communications. Before arriving in Knoxville, he earned his PhD in technical communication and rhetoric at Utah State University.
Alexander’s research uses technical communication to help marginalized communities navigate disciplinary institutions in industrial and educational settings. One trajectory of this work evaluates graduate program application materials and campus support initiatives in order to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion recruitment and retention practices in higher education at predominately white institutions.
A second trajectory identifies barriers to medical care for marginalized communities and the communication strategies they employ to navigate those barriers. His 2021 co-authored article in Technical Communications Quarterly on this subject—“Health and Wellness as Resistance: Tactical Folk Medicine’’—received the Article of the Year Award from the Association for Rhetoric of Science, Technology, and Medicine (ARSTM). In the words of the award committee, “The article’s call to ‘become accomplices’ for marginalized communities by understanding motivations behind ‘noncompliant behaviors’ is the kind of call-to-action that has the potential to spark change and growth.”
In addition to working with our graduate students, Alexander will teach undergraduate courses in technical and professional writing, document design, and global communication for science and technology.