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Dawn Shepherd

Associate Professor, Director of B.A. in Writing, Rhetoric and Technical Communication EmphasisDawn Shepherd faculty photo


Dawn Shepherd is an associate professor of English and associate director of the First-Year Writing Program. Her work has been published in edited collections, as well as The Norton Book of Composition StudiesComputers & Composition, and WPA: Writing Program Administration. Two pieces on genre and weblog, co-authored with Carolyn R. Miller, have been translated into Portuguese. She is the author of Building Relationships: Online Dating and the New Logics of Internet Culture, and her research on romantic matchmaking and algorithmic culture has been featured in local and international media, including BBC World and The Times of London. She teaches undergraduate courses in rhetoric and writing with a new media emphasis and graduate seminars on teaching writing, research methods, and digital rhetoric. She also regularly facilitates workshops on integrating mobile strategies into the classroom and teaching with technology.


  • Ph.D., Communication, Rhetoric, and Digital Media, North Carolina State University
  • M.A., English, Concentration in Rhetoric and Composition, North Carolina State University
  • B.A., English Education with Dramatic Arts minor, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


Rhetoric, new media, and media studies; digital rhetoric; writing program administration; teaching with technology

Recent Publications


  • Ruecker, Todd, Dawn Shepherd, Heidi Estrem, and Beth Brunk-Chavez, editors. Retention, Persistence, and Writing Programs. Utah State University Press, 2017.
  • Shepherd, Dawn. Building Relationships: Online Dating and the New Logics of Internet Culture. Lexington Books, 2016.

Articles and Book Chapters

  • Estrem, Heidi, Dawn Shepherd, and Samantha Sturman. “Reclaiming Writing Placement.” WPA: Writing Program Administration 42:1 (2018).
  • Brock, Kevin and Dawn Shepherd. “Understanding How Algorithms Work Persuasively through the Procedural Enthymeme.” Computers and Composition 42 (2016).
  • Estrem, Heidi, Dawn Shepherd, and Lloyd Duman. “Relentless Engagement with State Educational Policy Reform: Collaborating to Change the Writing Placement Conversation.” WPA: Writing Program Administration 38.1 (2014): 88-129. Print.
  • Rachel Bear, Heidi Estrem, Jim Fredricksen, and Dawn Shepherd. “Participation and Collaboration in Digital Spaces: Connecting High School and College Writing Experiences.” The Next Digital Scholar: A Fresh Approach to the Common Core Standards in Research and Writing. Ed. Randall McClure and James P. Purdy. Medford, NJ: Information Today, Inc., 2014. 141-173. Print.