Faculty Contacts & Social Media
Lora Arduser, Associate Professor Director, Professional Writing
"My path to the UC professional writing program was a bit circuitous. After earning a B.A. in English literature and working as a writer and editor in corporate communication for a number of years I returned to school to get an M.A. in anthropology. I spent some time working as a field archaeologist in the Southwest and Mexico before landing a job at an archaeological firm editing and writing reports. From there I went on to work in the textbook industry and elearning. I also freelanced, writing trade books and news articles on food and the restaurant industry.
Eventually I decided to go back to school, getting my MA in Professional Writing from UC and my PhD in Technical Communication and Rhetoric from Texas Tech University. My current research involves health and medical rhetoric and writing. I regularly work with people at UC’s College of Medicine, UC Health, and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, often drawing on these connections for my class material."
Teresa Foxworthy Cook, Associate Professor
I have always loved reading and solving puzzles — not jigsaw puzzles, but mysteries, mindbenders, and lateral thinking problems. I didn’t really know how to make a career out of this love, so when I went to college, I intended to become a news anchor or maybe an actress. In the years that followed, life took me, my talents, and my skills in some surprising directions. After working as a public relations intern at The Ensemble Theater and as an administrative assistant/writer at a large music school, I went back to graduate school and developed a strong interest in rhetoric and composition.
I began to form strong working relationships with professors and students from a myriad of technical backgrounds. The more I learned about the writing they did, the more connections I saw to my own interests. My lifelong love for words and solving puzzles had found a home with a practical purpose, and the best part is that this home has many rooms – professionals from fields as diverse as sports, art, medicine, law, and engineering, need to communicate, and often they need help.
Mary Beth "MB" Debs, Program Director & Professor
“My background is in rhetoric and composition, technical communication theory, and research methods. I’m most interested in seeing how rhetorical theory and theories from other fields apply in specialized writing. I like to challenge students to think beyond their previous conceptions of language and professional writing.
In my classes, you’ll work with classical rhetorical techniques and research to find ways to persuade your audiences. Whether it’s in a paper, a brochure, or a conversation with your future boss, you’ll need to know how to present your argument well and support it with evidence in ways that work with multiple audiences.”
Kathy Rentz, Professor
“I was a Ph.D. student in literature at the University of Illinois when I got intrigued by the department’s business and technical writing course. After one time teaching this course, I was hooked. I loved—and still love—the realism and the practicality of professional writing. I also love “outwitting” a difficult writing situation and coming through with an effective solution. Doing professional writing well draws on almost all the skills one has—verbal, visual, interpersonal, and technological—plus the ability to learn fast and to be creative. To me, a well-executed product—whether an important email, a set of instructions, a report, or a textbook—is highly satisfying.
In all the courses in our program, we try to help our students experience such rewards, and we enable you to sample a wide range of professional-writing work so that you can find your most rewarding niche.”
Antoinette Larkin, Associate Professor
“Professional writing provides a unique opportunity for uniting my interests in technology, visual and written communication, marketing and public relations. With over 15 years experience in the business world, my work has focused on corporate publications.
My research area is corporate publications with an emphasis on visual design. I have worked both in the US and the European Union and so bring a more global perspective to the classroom. In my courses, students have the opportunity to work with challenging, real-world assignments and gain valuable insight into the world of business and corporate publications."
Laura Wilson, Associate Professor
It was during the last year of my BA in Literature that I took my first professional writing course and I was forever changed. In this field of writing, editing, and designing, I found a way to combine all of my interests. I have an MA in Technical and Scientific Communication and use both degrees to inform the courses that I teach: Intro to Rhetoric and Professional Writing, Technical and Scientific Writing, The Rhetoric of Social Media, and Introduction to Web Authoring. Writing for a myriad of audiences in a range of genres keeps students interested and emphasizes the need for professional writers in all fields and industries.