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Center for Writers


Dr. Karen P. Peirce, Undergraduate Center for Writers Associate Director

Office: Library 6C
Phone: 701-231-5286

Dr. Karen P. Peirce has research interests in the following areas, many of which are overlapping:

  • rhetorical ethos--investigating the means through which a communicator conveys persona so as to attract or deter an audience’s interest,
  • non-argumentative discourse--investigating ways of reaching consensus, compromise, or mutual understanding through communication,
  • intercultural communication--investigating communicative means of reaching mutual understanding across cultures,
  • multimodal composing--investigating the broadening of text-based communication to incorporate a wide variety of media,
  • writing program administration--investigating best practices in the administration of writing programs,
  • writing pedagogy--investigating best practices in the teaching of writing.

Dr. Peirce has taught at various levels, including middle school, high school, and college, and she has taught a variety of subjects, including written composition, business writing, English as a Second Language, and English studies.

Outside of academia, Dr. Peirce has experience as a bookseller, an embassy employee, and a baby rocker. Within the United States, she has lived in seven different states (some of them more than once), and she has lived in two additional countries.

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  • PhD; Rhetoric, Composition, and the Teaching of English; The University of Arizona
  • MA; Rhetoric; Carnegie Mellon University
  • ABH (Magna Cum Laude); English; Rollins College

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Teaching and Administrative Experience

  • Associate Director, Undergraduate Center for Writers, North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND, 1/12-Present
  • Graduate Writing Coordinator, The Graduate School, North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND, 1/10-12/11
  • Assistant Professor, Department of English and Philosophy, United States Military Academy, West Point, NY, 7/06-12/09
  • Graduate Associate in Teaching, Department of English, The University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, 8/01-5/06
  • Upper Division Teacher, Department of English, Berkeley Preparatory School, Tampa, FL, 8/98-6/01
  • Instructor, Department of Business, The Sawyer School, Pawtucket, RI, 11/97-7/98
  • Fulbright English Teaching Assistant, Department of English, Haksung Middle School, Ulsan, Korea, 7/93-7/94
  • Peer Writing Consultant, The Writing Center, Rollins College, Winter Park, FL, 9/90-5/93

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Other Relevant Experience

  • Managing Editor, FYHC: The Journal of First-Year Honors Composition, 1/09-7/12
  • Research Assistant, Department of English, Carnegie Mellon University, 8/96-5/97
  • Public Relations Assistant, Embassy of the Republic of Korea, Washington, DC, 1/95-7/96

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  • "Employing Ethos to Cross the Borders of Difference: Teaching Civil Rhetoric." Crossing Borders/Drawing Boundaries: The Rhetoric of Lines Across America. Ed. Barbara Couture and Patricia Wojahn. Logan, UT: Utah State UP. 2016. 76-92.
  • "Teaching English at West Point: A Dialogic Narrative." Military Culture and Education. Ed. Douglas Higbee. Burlington, VT: Ashgate. 2010. 105-118. (Co-authored with David Wood)
  • "Building Intercultural Empathy Through Writing: Reflections on Teaching Alternatives to Argumentation." CEA Forum. 36.2 (2007). <>.
  • "Becoming the Learner: Collaborative Inquiry, Reflection, and Writing Program Assessment." WPA Journal. 30.3 (2007): 29-56. (Co-authored with Erik Juergensmeyer)
  • "How Seriously are We Taking Professionalization? A Report on Graduate Curricula in Rhetoric and Composition." Rhetoric Review. 25/2 (2006): 204-210. (Co-authored with Theresa Enos)

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  • “The Construction of a Transforming and Generative Rhetorical Ethos in Lisa Westberg Peters' Fractured Land: The Price of Inheriting Oil.” International Conference on Narrative. Amsterdam, The Netherlands. June 2016.
  • “Re-envisioning Student-Centered Teaching: Turning the Teacher into the Student.” Conference of the Assembly for Enhanced Perspectives on Learning of the National Council of Teachers of English. Estes Park, CO. June 2015.
  • “Expanding Professional Horizons through the Fulbright Program.” College English Association Convention. Baltimore, MD. March 2014.
  • “Ethos Water: Contemporary Rhetorical Citizenship in Action.” Rhetoric in Society Conference. Copenhagen, Denmark. January 2013.
  • “Designing Graduate Writing Workshops: Challenges and Opportunities in Crossing Disciplinary Borders.” College English Association Convention. Richmond, VA. March 2012.
  • “Fighting Nature’s Power: Ethos in Press Releases and Media Coverage Surrounding the 2011 Red River Flood in Fargo.” Plenary Panel. Languages and Cultures Circle of Manitoba and North Dakota Conference. Fargo, North Dakota. September 2011.
  • “Rethinking Assumptions: Evidence of Corder’s Generative Ethos Among Faculty at West Point.” Rhetoric in Society Conference. Antwerp, Belgium. January 2011.
  • “Discovering Ethos: Researching the Archival Record of a Mentor.” Western States Rhetoric and Literacy Conference. Las Cruces, NM. October 2010.
  • “Honors Composition at North Dakota State University: A Descriptive Study.” Conference on College Composition and Communication. Louisville, KY. March 2010.
  • “‘Warrior Ethos’: Designing the Contemporary Soldier.” College English Association Convention. Pittsburgh, PA. March 2009.
  • “A Minimalist Approach to Using Blackboard in a Writing Class.” Workshop. Conference on College Composition and Communication. New Orleans, LA. March 2008.
  • “New Directions in Literacy: Proposing Changes to the United States Military Academy Writing Program.” National Council of Teachers of English Annual Convention. New York, NY. November 2007.
  • “Building Intercultural Empathy Through Writing: Reflections on Teaching Alternatives to Argumentation.” College English Association Convention. New Orleans, LA. April 2007.
  • “Acknowledging Complexity: A Comparison of North Korean and American Press Releases.” Conference on College Composition and Communication.  San Francisco, CA. March 2005.
  • “Understanding Ethos: Mingling and Communicating Across Cultures.” Rhetoric Society of America Conference. Austin, TX. May 2004.
  • “Burkean Dialectic: Pedagogical Tool for Cross-cultural Communication.” Eastern Communication Association Convention, Kenneth Burke Interest Group. Washington, DC.  April 2003.
  • “Composition, Collaboration, Community: The Schoolwide Writing Center.” Florida Council of Independent Schools Convention, Orlando, FL. With Kim Rueden. November 2000.
  • “Faculty v. Peer Input in the Dialectics of Writing.” Florida College English Association Conference, Gainesville, FL. With Caroline Bone, Cris Kimbrough, Susan Williams, and Bethany Wright. February 1993.
  • “Collaboration Goes Public: How to Flaunt What We All Do So Well.” National Peer Tutoring Conference, College Park, PA. With Cinda Bennett, Susan Brown, Richard Bullwinkle, Jason Dimitris, Stephen Ferruci, and Ricky Rodriguez. October 1990. 

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Honors and Awards

  • International -- Fulbright Scholar, South Korea, 1993
  • National -- Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honor Society, 1992; Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society, 1990
  • Local -- The University of Arizona College of Humanities Outstanding Graduate Associate in Teaching Award, 2006; The University of Arizona Writing Program Johnnie Raye Harper Award for Outstanding Graduate Associate Teaching, 2002; The University of Arizona Graduate Registration Scholarship, 2001

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Professional Memberships

  • College English Association (CEA)
  • Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC)
  • Council of Writing Program Administrators (CWPA)
  • Fulbright Association
  • International Writing Centers Association (IWCA)
  • Modern Language Association (MLA)
  • National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE)
  • Rhetoric Society of America (RSA)

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Student Focused. Land Grant. Research University.

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North Dakota State University
Phone: +1 (701) 231-7927
Campus address: Library 6
Physical/delivery address: 1201 Albrecht Blvd., Fargo, ND 58102
Mailing address: NDSU Dept. 2365 / PO Box 6050 / Fargo, ND 58108-6050
Page manager: Center for Writers

Last Updated: Monday, October 17, 2016 10:16:40 AM
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