Texas Tech University

Amy Koerber

Professor & Associate Dean for Faculty Success & Inclusion
Communication Studies

Email: amy.koerber@ttu.edu

Phone: +1.806.834.8241

Research: Health, Science, Rhetoric, Women's studies, Gender/diversity/inclusion issues, Leadership 

Office: 111 (Dean's Office Suite)

Web: http://amykoerber.academia.edu/


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PhD, Rhetoric and Scientific and Technical Communication,
University of Minnesota, 2002

MA, English, University of South Dakota, 1996
BS, Linguistics, Georgetown University, 1990

Amy Koerber

Biography

Amy Koerber is Professor in Communication Studies and Associate Dean for Faculty Success. Research interests include health and science communication, with a specific focus on women's health issues. Her most recent book, "From Hysteria to Hormones: A Rhetorical History," was published by Penn State University Press in April 2018. Her previous book, "Breast or Bottle: Contemporary Controversies in Infant-Feeding Policy and Practice," was published by University of South Carolina Press in 2013, and was awarded the NCTE Award for Best Book in Scientific or Technical Communication.

Research

Dr. Koerber's research agenda centers around the question of how experts make effective arguments, particularly in the context of health, science, and medicine. Toward this end, she employs multiple research methods, including textual analysis as well as interviews and focus groups. Although her doctoral training is based in classical rhetoric, her current research employs a wide variety of theoretical frameworks, and she is especially interested in scholarly approaches that facilitate interdisciplinary collaboration and knowledge-making. Dr. Koerber's current research seeks to understand the role of effective communication in the STEM professions. Specifically, she has conducted a series of interviews with STEM professionals from various disciplines in attempt to understand which communication skills these professionals believe to be most crucial to obtaining and succeeding in leadership positions in their disciplines. Prior to this current project, Dr. Koerber published numerous peer-reviewed articles and two academic books, all related to her broadly defined interests in health and science communication. Her most recent book, "From Hysteria to Hormones: A Rhetorical History," was published by Penn State University Press in April 2018. Her previous book, "Breast or Bottle: Contemporary Controversies in Infant-Feeding Policy and Practice," was published by University of South Carolina Press in 2013, and was awarded the NCTE Award for Best Book in Scientific or Technical Communication. In addition to scholarly publishing, Dr. Koerber has also been involved in multiple collaborative grant-seeking efforts and is always looking for additional opportunities to bring her expertise and experience as a qualitative communication researcher to partnerships with colleagues across the disciplines.

Methodologies

  • In-depth interviews
  • Focus group interviews
  • Archival research
  • Rhetorical analysis

Research Areas

  • Health communication
  • Science communication
  • Rhetoric
  • Women's studies
  • Gender/diversity/inclusion issues
  • Leadership communication

Selected Publications

Koerber, A. (2018). From Hysteria to Hormones: A Rhetorical History. University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press.

King, C., Bivens, K., Pumroy, E., Rauch, S., and Koerber, A. (2018). “IRB problems and solutions in health communication research.” Health Communication, 33, 907-916.

Koerber, A. and Graham, H. (2017). “Theorizing the value of English proficiency in cross-cultural rhetorics of health and medicine: A qualitative study.” Journal of Business and Technical Communication 31, 63-93.

Breast or Bottle: Contemporary Controversies in Infant-Feeding Policy and Practice. University of South Carolina Press, Series in Rhetoric/Communication: 2013.

Lora Arduser and Amy Koerber. “Splitting Women, Producing Biocitizens, and Vilifying Obamacare in the 2012 Presidential Campaign.” Women's Studies in Communication 37.2 (July 2014): 117-137.

Teaching Focus

Dr. Koerber teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in health and science communication. Most recently, she has developed two new graduate courses that are two of the three required courses in Texas Tech's newly approved 12-hour graduate certificate in STEM Leadership Communication.

Leadership & Awards

  • 2016 Conference on College Composition and Communication Award for Best Dissertation in Scientific and Technical Communication to dissertation advisee Dr. Erin Trauth for “A ‘Natural' Miscommunication: An Examination of Front-of-Package Label Claims and User-Centered Food Labeling Practices” (graduated in December 2014).
  • 2016 Texas Tech Humanities Center Fellowship for book, The Hormonal Woman: A Critical Exploration of Expert and Public Discourses.
  • 2015 Conference on College Composition and Communication Award in the category of Best Book in Technical or Scientific Communication for Breast or Bottle: Contemporary Controversies in Infant Feeding Policy and Practice (Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press, 2013).