Texas Tech University

Alumni Spotlight

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Dr. Nicole Dilts

Nicole Dilts

Ph.D. Texas Tech | Class of 2007

  1. What helped you to choose tech comm as your major?I actually encountered technical writing by accident! I had a roommate during my undergraduate years at Bowling Green State University who was a technical writing major. I graduated with a degree in psychology, but I didn't want to continue with the course of study, so I became a restaurant manager. It was a terrible decision. I really hated being a manager, and I missed school and working in the social sciences. My roommate, today a professional technical writer and database manager for the National Psoriasis Foundation, suggested that I apply for the master's program in Scientific and Technical Communication at Bowling Green. At the time, I really didn't have a clear idea of what technical writing was, but since it involved science and writing, I was willing to try my hand at it. I fell in love with it right away. I loved that  I could explore my interests in medicine and culture and help people with my writing at the same time.
  2. What did you do with your degree after graduation?I am an assistant professor of English at Angelo State University. Angelo State offered me the perfect mix of teaching in small classrooms with extraordinary support for my research. I developed the Technical and Business Writing Bachelor of Arts Program as well as the minor and certificate here at ASU, which is now headed by another Texas Tech University grad, Dr. Kevin Garrison. I continue to research and write about localizing medical writing for Spanish speakers. I currently have two projects underway that I hope to submit for publication soon.
  3. What's your favorite part of tech comm?My favorite parts are researching and working with students. I love research. It is so engrossing. I literally lose track of time when I am exploring a subject that I am interested in. I also love working with students and teaching. When they first discover a topic that they love, like intercultural technical writing or editing, it is magical. I enjoy being their guide!
  4. What would you say to a student considering majoring in Tech Comm?Get out there and get experience. Start writing freelance, editing, creating websites, or whatever it is you want to focus on. Technical writers need to be able to market themselves and learn to work with clients, and the sooner you begin doing that, the more marketable and knowledgeable you will be when you graduate.
  5. What has been your favorite Tech Comm class so far?I really enjoyed Kirk St. Amant's Intercultural Technical Writing class. That course sparked my interest in intercultural technical writing. I also learned a lot from Sean Zdenek's Discourse Analysis class. The focus was artificial intelligence, and while both the subject matter and learning Discourse Analysis were challenging for me, I learned a lot and I use what I learned in that course all the time.