Writing, Rhetoric and Discourse


The Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and Discourse (WRD) is dedicated to studying the history and theory of literate activity and helping students excel as writers in a wide range of academic, professional, and public settings. WRD is home to DePaul's First-Year Writing program. The department also offers the Minor in Professional Writing and the Major in Writing and Rhetoric. At the graduate level, the Master of Arts in WRD addresses writing and rhetoric in professional, technical, and digital contexts, the preparation of postsecondary teacher-scholars in writing, and the study of language for writers. The Combined BA/MA in WRD allows undergraduates in any DePaul major to begin taking WRD graduate courses in their senior year. The department  offers two Graduate Certificates in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) and Strategic Writing and Advancement for Nonprofits (SWAN). TESOL prepares students to teach English as a Second Language (ESL) to adult learners in the United States and abroad. SWAN prepares students for careers in nonprofit marketing, communication, and development. Undergraduates who choose the BA/MA option may complete the TESOL or SWAN Certificate within the MA portion of the program. 

The act of writing in general and each student’s writing in particular are of central concern in all WRD courses. Theories of language, rhetoric (how to make effective choices as writers), and discourse (the way writing structures human activity) develop students’ understanding of how their own writing intersects with broader contexts of institution and culture.

WRD is made up of more than 70 faculty members; all WRD faculty teach undergraduate courses. The department’s faculty members are nationally recognized researchers in rhetorical theory and practice, composition theory, writing pedagogy, applied linguistics, second language writing, professional and technical writing, and writing program administration.​​


Alan Ackmann, MFA
Professional Lecturer, Professional Writing for Business Coordinator
University of Arkansas

Julie A. Bokser, PhD
Associate Professor
University of Illinois at Chicago

Darsie Bowden, MFA, PhD
Professor Emeritus 
University of Southern California

Antonio Ceraso, PhD
Associate Professor and Chair
Pennsylvania State University

Lisa Dush, PhD
Associate Professor and Director of Studio Chi
University of Massachusetts-Amherst

Timothy Elliott, PhD
Assistant Professor 
Texas Tech University

Jacob Friedman, PhD
Professional Lecturer 
Washington State University

Tricia Hermes, MA
Senior Professional Lecturer  
DePaul University

Victoria Hohenzy, MA
Instructor and Assistant Director of First-Year Writing
DePaul University

Amy Hornat-Kaval, MA
Professional Lecturer 
DePaul University

Jason Kalin, PhD
Associate Professor
North Carolina State University

Michael Moore, MA
Senior Professional Lecturer
San Francisco State University

Margaret Poncin, MA
Professional Lecturer
DePaul University 

Maria Prikhodko, PhD
Professional Lecturer 
Indiana University of Pennsylvania

Monica Reyes, PhD
Assistant Professor
Old Dominion University

Lydia Saravia, PhD
Professional Lecturer
University of Illinois at Chicago

Jason Schneider, PhD
Assistant Professor, TESOL Certificate Coordinator
University of Illinois at Chicago

Justin Staley, MA
Senior Professional Lecturer  
Northwestern University

Peter Vandenberg, PhD
Professor and Executive Associate Dean, LAS
Texas Christian University

Erin Workman, PhD
Assistant Professor and Director of First-Year Writing
Florida State University