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Susan Katz, Ph.D. ’96, Steven Katz, Ph.D. ’88, and Carolyn Miller, Ph.D. ’80

Rensselaer alumni on the faculty at NC State University, from left, Carolyn Miller '80, Jason Swarts '02, Susan Katz '96, and Steve Katz '88, pose in front of Tompkins Hall, which was designed for the Raleigh, N.C., campus by Rensselaer alumnus Daniel Tompkins, Class of 1873.

Communication Grads Dubbed “Rensselaer South”

A newly published book shines light on the strength of Rensselaer’s graduate program in technical communication. The book, Professional Writing and Rhetoric, by Tim Peeples, published by Longman, is an anthology of writings in the field of professional writing studies. It includes three selections written by Rensselaer alumni: Susan Katz, Ph.D. ’96, Steven Katz, Ph.D. ’88, and Carolyn Miller, Ph.D. ’80.

“There are only a total of 26 selections in the anthology, including two by Aristotle and one by Cicero, so we’re in exceptionally good company!” says Susan Katz.

These three alumni share more than a book, however. They all teach in the same department, English, at the same university, North Carolina State University. And, Katz points out, the department recently hired a fourth Rensselaer graduate, Jason Swarts, Ph.D. ’02.

“Within our field, there are some who refer to us as ‘Rensselaer south,’ in part because of our strong connections with Rensselaer and in part because of the quality of our M.S. in technical communication,” says Katz. Susan and Steven Katz are not related, “but we spend a lot of time explaining that!” she says.

Susan Katz was recently named the 2003 recipient of the Conference of Southern Graduate Schools Achievement Award for New Scholars in Humanities and the Arts. Steven Katz won a national award for his article that is included in the anthology, and both his and Miller’s selections are among the most frequently cited articles in technical communication.

Rensselaer Magazine: March 2003
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