Julie Watts is professor of English and chair of the English, Philosophy, and Communication Studies Department. She was the founding director of the online M.S. Technical and Professional Communication program for 12 years and served as the associate dean for the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences at University of Wisconsin-Stout for five years.
Julie completed her Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Professional Communication in 2003 from Iowa State University in Ames. She completed a M.A. in English from the University of Oklahoma at Norman and a B.A. in English from Northern Michigan University at Marquette. Prior to coming to UW-Stout, she held a post-doc instructor position for two years with the Cain Project in Engineering and Professional Communication at Rice University in Houston, Texas.
Julie’s research experience focuses on program and course assessment and the scholarship of teaching and learning, especially the communicative dynamics and culture of the classroom learning community and what instructors can do to facilitate student learning. Her article about assessing the value of online graduate programs published in the Journal of Business and Technical Communication won the 2019 CCCC Best Article on Pedagogy or Curriculum in Technical and Scientific Communication. Most recently, she is exploring how power is communicated in learning environments (J. of Educators Online, 2022) and through course syllabi and other quotidian teaching artifacts such as writing prompts and rubrics. Her sabbatical project (2020-2021) also has led her to consider the rhetoric of scenery found in early conservation arguments, examining how it is used as a rhetorical device to argue for a specific kind of public lands conservation, one calling for both scenery's preservation and its consumption.