Dànielle Nicole DeVoss, who has served as Interim Chairperson of Michigan State University’s Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures (WRAC) since July 2021, recently was appointed Chairperson of the WRAC Department for a five-year term, which began on August 16, 2022.
“It is an honor and a privilege to serve and helm the WRAC Department and its more than 75 faculty members and many graduate students and to serve as the heart of and home for writing at Michigan State University,” DeVoss said. “Through our undergraduate majors, graduate program, and First-Year Writing program, WRAC supports, nurtures, and engages more than 6,500 students a year, serving as a key welcome for first-year students in their work as university scholars and a departure point for recent Ph.D.s leaving MSU to transform their future institutions.”
“It is an honor and a privilege to serve and helm the WRAC Department and its more than 75 faculty members and many graduate students and to serve as the heart of and home for writing at Michigan State University.”Dànielle Nicole DeVoss, Chairperson of the WRAC Department
DeVoss received the Faculty Leadership Award from MSU’s College of Arts & Letters in 2021 for her outstanding leadership within the WRAC Department, the College, the University, and in the field of rhetoric and writing studies.
She exemplifies the College of Arts & Letters’ culture of care through the support and mentorship she lends colleagues, her willingness to share teaching materials, and her involvement on a multitude of College of Arts & Letters initiatives and committees.
DeVos served as Chair/Co-Chair of the College Advisory Council (CAC) for two terms, in which she worked to ensure that all staff and faculty across all College of Arts & Letters’ departments and programs were represented and their concerns and goals heard. One of the significant initiatives of the CAC was the creation of the College of Arts & Letters COVID Relief Fund, which provided support to staff and faculty so they could best continue their professional work during the changes brought on by the pandemic. She also serves as an elected College of Arts & Letters Faculty Senate Representative on University Governance and served as Associate Chair and Director of Graduate Programs for the WRAC Department.
“Professor DeVoss has provided consistent and conscientious values-based leadership in the College of Arts & Letters for many years. I have long relied on her advice and wisdom and am pleased that the faculty in WRAC recommended her appointment as Chair,” said Christopher P. Long, Dean of the College of Arts & Letters and the Honors College. “Dànielle cares deeply about the department, the college, and this university; her thoughtful and proactive leadership will help us make WRAC a destination for a diverse new cohort of talented faculty and students.”
In addition to her exemplary leadership within WRAC and the College of Arts & Letters, DeVoss, a Professor of Professional Writing, also is an esteemed leader in the field of digital and visual rhetoric and multimedia composition. Since joining the WRAC Department faculty in 2001, she has achieved national and international prominence in these fields. Additionally, she is recognized nationally as an early and important voice in intellectual property issues and digital copyright. The breadth and depth of her scholarship has made her a popular speaker at national conferences and other universities.
DeVoss has authored numerous articles, edited award-winning books, and is a manuscript reviewer for major publications in her field, including College English, Technical Communication Quarterly, College Composition and Communication, and Pedagogy: Critical Approaches to Teaching Literature, Language, Composition and Culture.
“Dànielle cares deeply about the department, the college, and this university; her thoughtful and proactive leadership will help us make WRAC a destination for a diverse new cohort of talented faculty and students.”Christopher P. Long, Dean of the College of Arts & Letters and the Honors College
Several of her works have been recognized for their innovative contributions to the field. She has won four national publication-related awards, including the 2007 Computers and Composition Distinguished Book Award for her co-edited collection, titled Digital Writing Research: Technologies, Methodologies, and Ethical Issues.
In 2016, DeVoss was awarded Michigan State University’s William J. Beal Outstanding Faculty Award for innovative teaching and research, and in 2013, she received the Charles Moran Award for Distinguished Contributions to the Field. One of the most prestigious awards in computer and writing scholarship, this recognition is bestowed annually by the international journal Computers and Composition.
DeVoss has a Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Technical Communication from Michigan Technological University and an M.A. in Critical Studies in the Teaching of English and a B.A. in English, both from Michigan State University.
In her role as Chairperson of the WRAC Department, DeVoss is responsible for the overall operation of the department.
“I see my role as Chair to build consensus, nurture community, and engage the mission and values of the department,” DeVoss said, “in ways that are care-full and caring, equity-attentive, DEIJ focused, and as transparent and coalitional as possible.”